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Changes to the written-off vehicle scheme

Changes to the written-off vehicle scheme will improve safety and increase consumer protection for Queenslanders buying second-hand vehicles.

Changes to the laws around repair standards for written-off vehicles will come into effect in 2022 and will bring Queensland further into line with other states.

All light and heavy vehicles will be classified against nationally agreed damage assessment criteria, issued by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.

Light vehicle changes

Light vehicles that are considered uneconomical to repair, will be categorised as statutory written-off vehicles and cannot be re-registered.

These vehicles will only be permitted to be repaired when they meet specific exemption criteria and an exemption application has been approved.

An application for an exemption will only be considered if the vehicle has no non-repairable damage and fits into one of the exemption categories.

Non-repairable damage

  • Non-repairable damage is damage that is so severe, it is not safe to repair the vehicle.

This damage would meet the definition of the statutory written-off assessment criteria documented in Damage Assessment Criteria for the Classification of Light Vehicle Statutory Write-Offs (National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council website, under registration and licensing).

Exemption categories

  • Hail damage, where the registered operator was in possession of the vehicle immediately prior to the hail incident occurrence.
  • Must be in the name of the registered operator for more than a specified period of time prior to the damage occurring that caused the vehicle to be written-off.
  • Inherited in a will or bequeathed by other legal means.

No repairs to vehicles should be undertaken until your exemption application has been approved.

Heavy vehicle changes

A written-off vehicle register will be introduced for heavy vehicles and implement inspection requirements to assess the quality of repair and the validity of the identity requirements.

With the new changes, heavy vehicles that are assessed as a total economic loss must be notified as a written-off vehicle and will be classified as either a statutory write-off or as a repairable write-off.

Statutory write-off

It will be notified as a Statutory Write-off if the heavy vehicle that is assessed has sustained damage that meets the definition of the statutory written-off assessment criteria documented in Damage Assessment Criteria for the Classification of Heavy Vehicle Statutory Write-Offs (National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council website, under registration and licensing)

Repairable write-off

It will be notified as a repairable write-off if the heavy vehicle is assessed as a total economic loss but can be safely repaired.

Inspection requirements

Vehicles that are classified or authorised to be repaired will then be subject to more stringent and comprehensive inspection.

The inspection will include:

  • checking the quality of the repair
  • check the integrity and methods used to repair the vehicle
  • complete an identity inspection to validate the traceability of the parts used within the repair process.

Notification requirements

Vehicle notification obligations remain unchanged for light vehicles, they will now apply to heavy vehicles.

Reform timeframe

The changes are planned to start in 2022. These scheme reforms will help ensure any written-off vehicle that is eligible for re-registration is repaired to the appropriate standard before being allowed back on Queensland roads.

There will be a 12 month transition period to allow all previously recorded repairable write-off vehicles to meet the new requirements.

The changes for written-off vehicle inspection requirements for both light and heavy vehicles will bring Queensland further into line with other states and improve processes and standards.