Buying a Car

Buying a car is a big deal.  Also, there’s more to pay than just the initial cost.

When buying a car you should make sure that you have enough money to purchase the car, register the car, properly insure the car and maintain it.

When you register your car you pay to legally drive and park the vehicle on the street. You will also need to pay for Compulsory Third Party Insurance, which is provided in different ways around the country (check below for information about insurance in your region).  Compulsory Third Party Insurance is third party personal insurance for people who are hurt in car accidents.  It does not cover property damage caused by a car accident (for example, that means it doesn’t cover any costs for damage done to cars).

It is illegal to drive an unregistered vehicle on a public street and you can receive large fines for driving an unregistered vehicle.

It is highly recommended that you have insurance to cover events like injuring another person in an accident or damaging another vehicle or property. A higher level of insurance can also cover your car from theft and fire.

Differences between states

Northern Territory

There is compulsory third party insurance in the NT, and when you register your car in the NT a component of the registration fee goes towards this. This is known as a compensation contribution, which provides third party personal injury insurance for people who are hurt in car accidents. It does not cover property damage caused by a car accident. You can find out more from the NT Department of Transport.

ACT

When you register your car in the ACT, you also pay for the Compulsory Third Party Insurance.  Since July 2013, motorists are now able to choose their insurer from a list of licensed CTP insurers.  You can find more information on the ACT Government Treasury website.

Western Australia

Compulsory Third Party Insurance (TPI) is paid as a part of vehicle licensing in Western Australia, and covers the driver or passengers of the vehicle for third party personal injury.  It also covers anyone hurt by uninsured or unidentified vehicles.

In Western Australia, the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA) is the only provider of compulsory TPI.  You can find out more information on the WA Department of Transport website.

NSW

Before you register your car in NSW you will need to buy a ‘green slip’ which is Compulsory Third Party Insurance.  This type of insurance provides third party personal injury insurance for people who are hurt in car accidents.  It does not cover property damage caused by a car accident.  You can find out more about green slips on the NSW Roads and Maritime Services website.

Victoria

In Victoria, when you register your vehicle (or renew your registration each year), you have to pay a certain amount for the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) Levy. This covers you if you have an accident and the injured person makes a claim against you for compensation. The TAC Levy does not cover any damage to property (eg. cars or luggage) caused by the accident.

You can find out more information on the TAC website.

South Australia

In South Australia, when you pay to register your car, you also pay for Compulsory Third Party Insurance. Compulsory Third Party Insurance is third party personal injury insurance for people who are hurt in car accidents, including passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. It does not cover property damage caused by a car accident.  You can find more information here.

The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) is South Australia’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer.

Tasmania

In Tasmania, when you pay to register your car, you also pay for Compulsory Third Party Insurance (it will be listed as MAIB Premium as it is provided by the Motor Accidents Insurance Board). Compulsory Third Party Insurance is third party personal injury insurance for people who are hurt in car accidents. It does not cover property damage caused by a car accident.

For more information, take a look at the MAIB website.

Queensland

In Queensland, Compulsory Third Party Insurance is regulated and monitored by the Motor Accident Insurance Commisson (MAIC).  You can find out more information about the insurance and how to make a claim on the Queensland Government’s CTP Scheme website.