Queensland is looking to introduce new regulations which could make it harder for written-off vehicles to be registered again, as the state aims to catch up with laws implemented elsewhere almost 15 years ago.

    The Queensland Government is currently seeking feedback on proposed changes to its written-off vehicle regulations, the most significant of which would be the introduction of a mandatory Quality of Repair (QOR) inspection for written-off vehicles.

    This would provide a more detailed evaluation of vehicles which had been deemed as repairable write-offs. Currently, the inspection time of a vehicle post-repair is up to 90 minutes in Queensland, while in Victoria the same inspection might take 2-6 hours.

    All other states and territories have implemented a QoR process since 2010, and while it has twice been considered for Queensland, the Sunshine State is still without such a scheme.

    Without a QoR process which is aligned with Australia’s seven other jurisdictions, vehicles are provided a pathway towards being re-registered in Queensland rather than the state or territory they were written-off in.

    Between 2015 and 2023, there were 28,220 vehicles which were written-off interstate but inspected in Queensland, with a staggering 76 per cent of those having originally been declared a loss in Victoria which has the most stringent re-registration regulations.

    Across the same eight-year period, more than 417,000 vehicles were written-off in Queensland, with 69 per cent of those being repairable write-offs. Last year alone there were 35,284 written-off vehicles deemed as repairable in the state. 

    “The lack of QoR process in Queensland means that the safety of these vehicles cannot be assured,” the Queensland Government’s Public Consultation paper says. 

    “[A] QoR would impose more rigorous obligations on repairers and vehicle inspectors to ensure repaired WOVs are safe for road use. 

    There have been two approaches proposed to implement the QoR process.

    The first requires a repair diary with photographic evidence of key stages of the repair (as well as proof of purchase of parts from reputable sources) which is an approach adopted in Victoria and is said to add “an additional two to six hours of time per vehicle during the repair”.

    The second approach would see the repaired vehicle being inspected at “particular times throughout the different stages of the repair process”, ensuring greater oversight to theoretically deliver quality closer to the required standard – though at greater cost, both financial and time, to the repairer.

    Additional proposed changes include removing the age limit of 16 years old for relevant vehicles declared a total loss to be put on the Written-Off Vehicle Register (WOVR), as well as including odometer readings on the WOVR and their status as written-off or otherwise on Queensland’s Rego Check application.

    The Rego Check app currently only shows a vehicle’s registration status and expiry date, leaving used car buyers to complete a Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) check to find out whether their purchase is currently or has ever been declared as a write-off.

    The Queensland Government will allow the state’s motorists to have their say on the proposals until June 20, 2024.

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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