Unregistered Car Insurance

Find out whether you can cover your unregistered vehicle through Savvy’s informative guide today.

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, updated on August 14th, 2023       

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Are you looking for insurance coverage for an unregistered car? While it's important to note that most insurance providers require vehicles to be registered, there may be specific options available for unregistered car insurance in Australia.

You can find out more about car insurance for unregistered vehicles and whether you may be able to take it out right here with Savvy. Learn about some of the situations where you may be able to cover an unregistered vehicle today.

Is it possible to get insurance cover for an unregistered car in Australia?

In Australia, it generally isn’t possible to obtain traditional comprehensive or third party car insurance coverage for an unregistered vehicle. Most insurance providers require vehicles to be registered and roadworthy to qualify for coverage. Registration serves as proof that the vehicle meets certain safety and legal requirements, such as having a valid licence plate, roadworthy certificate and compulsory third party (CTP) insurance.

This means that if you’re involved in an accident on the road while your vehicle is unregistered, you won’t be covered. This is because the damage took place in a scenario where you broke the law (driving an unregistered vehicle), therefore voiding any coverage you may have had.

However, there may be specific car insurance options available for unregistered cars in certain circumstances. These typically provide limited coverage and are designed to protect the vehicle against specific risks while it isn’t on the road. It's important to note that the availability and terms of such insurance can vary between insurers.

Can I get coverage for my unregistered car while it's being stored or undergoing repairs?

You may be able to insure your vehicle if it’s being stored and not used on the road. This is known as laid-up cover or storage insurance. This type of insurance is intended for vehicles which aren’t in use and are kept off the road, such as classic cars, project cars or vehicles undergoing restoration. Laid-up cover can provide protection against risks like fire, theft, vandalism and accidental damage while the vehicle is stored or undergoing repairs.

Another possible option for this type of vehicle is transit or transport insurance, which covers the vehicle during transportation from one location to another. This type of insurance is commonly used when moving an unregistered vehicle from one place to another, such as when transporting it to a workshop or a new owner. Alternatively, if you have a luxury vehicle which you take to different shows, transport insurance may come in handy to cover you against damage sustained in transit.

It’s important to note that these policies are generally only offered by specialist car insurance companies, rather than standard insurers, so it’s worthwhile taking the time to compare your options and seek out insurers who may provide the coverage you need for your car.

How do I register my car in Australia?

The specific process of registering your vehicle may vary slightly depending on which state or territory you live in. However, the general process is likely to be as follows:

  • Purchase CTP insurance: CTP insurance provides coverage for personal injury caused by your vehicle. It’s mandatory in Australia and must be purchased before registering your vehicle. This may be provided by your state or territory government as part of your registration costs, but if not, contact an insurance provider licenced in your state or territory to purchase your coverage.
  • Complete the registration application: visit your local motor vehicle registry or relevant government website to obtain a registration application form. Fill in the required details, including your personal information, vehicle and CTP insurance details.
  • Pay the registration fees: you can calculate your registration fees based on the type of vehicle you have and factors such as its weight, cylinders or value, as well as the duration of registration (usually three, six or 12 months).
  • Submit the application: submit the completed registration form along with the required documents, such as proof of identity and proof of CTP insurance (such as through a certificate of currency). You may also need to provide additional documentation depending on your state or territory's requirements.
  • Receive the registration certificate and plates: once your application is processed and approved, you will receive a registration certificate and number plates for your vehicle if it’s being registered for the first time. Affix the plates to your vehicle as instructed.

You may also be required to obtain a roadworthy certificate for your vehicle in certain circumstances, such as if it’s previously been written off, defected or modified, in order to obtain vehicle registration.

It’s important to visit the official website of your state or territory's transport department or contact them directly for detailed and up-to-date information on vehicle registration.

Further questions about unregistered car insurance

Is car insurance mandatory for unregistered vehicles?

CTP insurance is mandatory in Australia for vehicles registered for road use. However, if your vehicle is unregistered and you don't plan to drive it on public roads, you may not be legally required to have insurance. It's important to check with your local authorities and insurance provider for specific requirements.

Can I get comprehensive insurance for an unregistered car?

In most cases, comprehensive insurance isn’t available for unregistered cars. Comprehensive insurance can cover damage to your vehicle due to collision, fire, theft and certain weather events and liability for third party property damage, which don’t apply to unregistered vehicles. However, if you’re looking for laid-up cover, you may be able to take out a comprehensive car insurance policy, though what this covers specifically will depend on your insurer and the terms and conditions in their product disclosure statement (PDS).

Can I transfer my existing car insurance to an unregistered vehicle?

As mentioned, car insurance policies are tied to registered vehicles. If you have an existing car insurance policy, it typically can’t be transferred to an unregistered vehicle unless that vehicle also meets your insurer’s qualification requirements (such as if you’re transferring a policy between laid-up vehicles). It's important to inform your insurance provider about any changes in vehicle registration status to ensure you have appropriate coverage for your specific situation.

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