Thursday, January 15, 2009

Probably only of interest to locals

I've been trying to find out what you can legally do in Australia to get money for a car that is unroadworthy, but still basically functional. NOWHERE online is this information forthcoming. So I thought I'd put up a short post here detailing what I've found out, in the hope that it might be useful to other people searching for the same information.

It seems you might be allowed to sell a car "as is", without passing a roadworthiness test, but you still need to have it inspected by a mechanic, and give the buyer the mechanic's list of what needs to be done to make it roadworthy; also you have to take reasonable steps to ensure that the buyer does not drive the car home from the sale: i.e. you can be prosecuted if they drive it with your knowledge. This all seems like too much hassle and expense for a car that is probably only going to sell for $300. Note: I was also unable to find out whether this is true for the ACT*—the information in this paragraph is based on what I could find out for some other states.

Inside the philosophy factory told me that charities in the USA will sometimes buy old cars, since they can sell them for scrap. This doesn't seem to be the case here.

Wreckers vary wildly in terms of how much they will give you, or whether they want your car at all. Nonetheless, this turned out to be the best option. I called 10 wreckers around the ACT. Most don't even answer their phones. Five did: two didn't want the car; one was willing to give us $80; one offered $50; and one (Queanbeyan Auto Dismantlers) offered $200. (You can guess which one we went with.) The two wreckers who didn't want our car at all also recommended trying Queanbeyan Auto Dismantlers, so I guess they are the biggest or otherwise most likely to buy cars.

Incidentally, the wreckers who offered money for the car were only interested once I told them we could drive the car over to them. If your car is undriveable, I think you'll be lucky not to have to PAY someone to take it away.


* Note: I'm deliberately including my state here, despite my anonymity. Otherwise this post is pretty much useless in terms of people searching for relevant info. However, I'm still avoiding using my city's name, as I prefer google searches for [CITY] + [UNIVERSITY] or [CITY] + linguistics not to list this blog in their results!


Anonymous said...

actually in our state it does not have to be in a roadworthy condition/have roadworthiness certificate, that is the responsibility of the buyer.

I found this out the hard way.

however, if you've got a current certificate, it makes selling a car a whole heap easier. Also if you know what's wrong, and have set your price to reflect these problems, then it can be easier selling too.

crip said...

As long as you tell them it's unroadworthy, you're done.

StyleyGeek said...

Yeah, except that they can't actually get it transferred into their name unless/until they get a passed roadworthy. So it's legally mine and I'm legally responsible for it until then (which could be forever). So how do you get around that?

Anonymous said...

ahhh a valid point.

i believe they come into problems if you receive any infringements, and can prove that you sold the car to someone. So if you got them to sign a bit of paper saying they bought the car in x condition for y money. Both of you keep a copy signed by both parties.

Should solve that. I think people get in trouble if they fail to change the ownership within a certain time of taking possession too.