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How to get a Roadworthy Certificate in VIC

By  AAMI

Passing a roadworthy certificate inspection can be one of the biggest roadblocks when selling a car. Failing your roadworthy can cost you time and money, and devalue your car if you’re selling.

The process of booking in your roadworthy is fairly simple. Just locate your nearest roadworthy tester location, bring your driver’s license along and drop off your car for an assessment by a licensed vehicle tester that usually runs for two hours. However, while the process might be simple, passing can be quite difficult.

What is checked in a roadworthy certificate?

Before booking in your inspection, here are six checks you can do yourself. If you notice anything that needs repair or servicing, definitely check it out with your local mechanic.

Lights

If it lights up, it’s got to work! This means brake lights, indicators, headlights, number plate lights and fog lights. Watch out for any cracks and check that the lenses aren’t faded. Small details like these are picked up by inspectors and can cause you to automatically fail.

Suspension

Your suspension is the system of parts that connects your vehicle to the wheels and sets things in motion, so it’s pretty important to make sure it’s in good condition. These are the key parts that inspectors will generally assess:

  • suspension bushes (the cushion-ey padded things behind the wheels)
  • shock absorbers
  • springs, ball joints and tie rod ends.

If you don’t know your car parts that well, no problem. Some warning signs of a shoddy suspension could be:

  • pulling to one side while still driving
  • feeling every bump on the road
  • difficulty steering
  • one corner of your car sitting lower than the other
  • acceleration makes your car nose dive, lean back or roll.

Tyres

Check that your tyres aren’t worn, your hub caps aren’t cracked and your valve caps are fitted properly. It’s also important to check your tread depth (that’s the vertical measurement from the top of the tyre’s rubber to the bottom of its deepest groves). It has to be at least 1.5mm to pass the inspection.

Even taking care of small things, like checking your tyre pressure is up to scratch and having a spare tyre handy count in the inspection.

Power steering

Pop up your bonnet and check your power steering fluid with your dipstick to make sure the colour and level are right. Good power steering fluid should be clear, amber, or pinkish in colour – if it’s black it will be flagged by inspectors as a fail! Also check for oil leaks by looking for stains on the pavement where you normally park your car at night.  

Brakes

Inspectors will generally check your brake pads and rotors. If you don’t know how to check these, test out whether you feel any brake pedal pulsation while you’re driving, or if your steering wheel shakes when you brake. These are usually warning signs your brakes need servicing.

Windscreen

VicRoads have super strict specifications when it comes to tinted windows. Make sure your tint is lower than 35%, otherwise it’s seen as too dark to be safe and won’t pass. It’s also important to fix any small cracks, scratches and chips. If you do have some windscreen damage, don’t fret – these can be repaired at a fraction of the cost of a full replacement.

Book your inspection when you’re actually ready to sell

Once you’ve made the decision to sell and you’ve gone through your home checks, book your inspection before you list your car on a private seller site. If you’ve found an interested buyer and started to negotiate before your inspection, failing the test can bring down your car’s final sale price. Also, roadworthy certificates are only valid for 30 days, so once you’ve passed, make sure you’re ready to sell!

Having your roadworthy certificate in hand also brings more trust to the negotiating table. Potential buyers will have a stamp from a Licensed Vehicle Tester that assures them your car is safe to drive.

If you’re looking to buy, look for vehicles with a current roadworthy certificate

On the flipside, if you’re looking at used cars offered for sale in Victoria, listings that don’t include a roadworthy certificate can be a red flag. And keep in mind, a roadworthy certificate can tell you the car is safe for road use, but it’s not an indication of quality – always do more research!

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The information is intended to be of general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.

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