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Selling a car in VIC

Each state and territory in Australia has its own unique rules and regulations when it comes to selling a used car.

Selling a car in Victoria is simple if you follow the few rules that apply. Do that and the process will be smooth sailing, ignore them and you could be in for a nightmare.

Get a roadworthy

You need to get a current roadworthy certificate, known in Victoria as a Certificate of Roadworthiness. It’s needed before the registration of a used car can be transferred to a new owner.

Roadworthy certificates can only be obtained from a tester authorised by VicRoads for the purpose. To find the location of the authorised roadworthy testers near you contact VicRoads, either at their website or at one of their offices around the state.

The only times a roadworthy certificate is not needed are when you transfer ownership to a spouse or domestic partner, a licensed car dealer, or if the car is unregistered.

It is possible to do a deal whereby the buyer agrees to get the certificate, but it is not a good idea.

A Victorian roadworthy certificate remains current for 30 days from the date it was issued.

How much does a roadworthy cost?

The fee for a obtaining a roadworthy certificate is not fixed; it can depend on the age, type and condition of the vehicle being tested. 

It’s a good idea to shop around for the best deal, but typically the fee will be between $100 and $150 for a car with no defects.

The cost of a test on a car that has defects, or for any reason isn’t straightforward can be more.

Why get a roadworthy?

To transfer registration of a used car to a new owner VicRoads requires a current roadworthy certificate, but it doesn’t specify who should get it.

It is possible to do a deal whereby the buyer agrees to get the certificate, but it is not a good idea.

By leaving it to the buyer you are relying on their honesty to do it and submit it to VicRoads with the completed transfer paperwork within the 14 days required by VicRoads.

You are also potentially liable for any parking fines or driving infringements that might be incurred while the car is still officially registered in your name.

And by being able to show a potential buyer a current roadworthy certificate you are more likely to make a sale than if you aren’t able to demonstrate your car is roadworthy.

Selling a vehicle listed on the written-off register

As the seller you are required to inform the buyer if the car you are selling is recorded on a written-off vehicle register in Victoria, or in any other state or territory in Australia.

Do the paperwork

To transfer ownership of a used car in Victoria both the seller and buyer are required to fill out an ‘Application For Transfer of Registration’ form, which can be downloaded from the Vicroads website, or picked up from a Vicroads office.

If you are the seller you are required to fill out the ‘Seller’ section of the form, which asks for your details, details of your car, and details of the car’s roadworthy certificate.

Keep a copy of the original transfer form and give the original to the buyer.

You are also required to give the buyer a receipt for the car, which confirms the sale, and includes the selling price, your name, the name of the buyer, and identifying details of the vehicle, such as the registration number, VIN number, or engine number.

How much is my car worth?

Before advertising your car for sale you should determine its market value. That way you won't rob yourself of possible sales by setting too high a price, or cheating yourself by setting a price that is too low.

Preparing your car for sale

A little planning can make selling your car so much easier. Presentation is key, so thoroughly clean your car inside and out and remove any private items before offering it for sale. Touch up any minor stone chips, scratches or blemishes, inflate the tyres to the recommended pressure, and have the service book and ownership papers available for the buyer to inspect.

Have you ever sold a car in Victoria? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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