Before I start this post, I need to publish a disclaimer. There are six states and two territories in Australia, and, as far as I am aware, each has its own set of road rules. I can’t possibly know all of these rules, so this article does not represent legal advice in any way. It’s for entertainment.
I thank you! Okay, here goes…
If you are going to be driving a car in Australia, you’d better be sure to understand all of the rules and regulations. Trust me, there are some strange ones.
It gets worse; each state or territory has its own rules, so if you’re driving all around the country, there are a lot of rules and regulations you’ll need to come to terms with.
It was some time ago that I wrote my post Buying a second-hand car in Australia Compared to England, and in that post I mentioned that in the UK, second-hand cars seemed to be for sale on every street, with a simple for sale sign stuck in a window along with a telephone number.
Here, in Australia, or certainly Queensland, I hardly ever see a car for sale on the side of the road.
There are laws about that too.
Jeep for sale
I am selling my trusty old Jeep after five years, but before I can do that here in Queensland I need a Road Worthy Certificate (RWC). This is a bit like the U.K.’s MOT, except I’ve not had to do an RWC every year; I am trusted to ensure that my car is in a roadworthy condition.
When selling a car though, I need to MAKE SURE my car is roadworthy, hence this test. By the way, it costs $110.
When I got my roadworthy certificate, it said on the front “… the certificate must be displayed in a conspicuous place on the vehicle offered for sale. Note: failure to display this label or certificate may result in enforcement.”
I telephoned Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads for clarification. I explained that I had advertised my car online, but hadn’t, as yet, put a ‘for sale’ sign on it and parked it somewhere in the street. I asked under what circumstances I needed to display the certificate.
I was told that as the car has been advertised online, it is now being offered for sale and the certificate must be placed in that conspicuous place, otherwise I could be fined.
“Can I put a for sale sign on it and park it in the street?” I asked.
“Yes you can” I was told, “as long as you display the certificate as well.” I asked what the fine was for failure to display the certificate…
So that’s why I don’t see cars for sale on the streets much here, people usually prefer to find a buyer FIRST, before getting the RWC done for their car. It’s pretty difficult to get caught trying to sell a car without an RWC if you haven’t got a for sale sign on it.
I mean, what are the chances?
In some states, as I understand it, it may actually be illegal to put a for sale sign on a car under any circumstances. Maybe some of my readers from around the country can clarify the rules from where they live.
So, now that my car is up for sale, this is how it looks…
You can check out the exact regulation on this page about safety certificates. Do remember to check those other state and territory rules to see what happens elsewhere.
Other strange motoring regulations
Here is a list of just some of the strange rules I came across, along with which state they are apply in and the potential fine. They may apply in all states for all I know, see disclaimer above.
- Not giving way to a resting horse; QLD; fine $110
- Running an orange light, that’s to say driving through an orange light when it is deemed you had enough time to stop; Vic; fine $282
- Failure to leave 1 metre of space in front and behind when parallel parking; QLD; fine $44
- Driving with any part of your body protruding out of the vehicle, (for example, your elbow); NSW; fine $298
- Tooting your hooter and waving goodbye, technically, could be two offences; Vic; fine $141 for bibbing your hooter unnecessarily and another $141 for waving your arm out of the window.
- Back in New South Wales, the same double crime, see above, would be $298 plus $298 = $596
- Driving with a pet on your lap; QLD; fine $256.30
- It is even illegal to leave your keys in the car and/or leave the window open if you are more than 3 metres from it; NSW; fine $99 + $99 = $198
- Splashing a bus passenger with mud after driving through a puddle; NSW; fine $165.
Many of these offences also carry penalty or demerit points as well, which can ultimately lead to the loss of your license, so it really does pay to know the regulations.
I downloaded a PDF version of the rules that cover Queensland, it’s got 390 pages! You can download your copy here.
There, now we’ve both got something to read today.
Soon, I hope, I’ll be writing a post about buying a new car. Got to sell this one first though.
Update August 2021: I was recently contacted by the Marketing Manager from ASAP Roadworthys asking me if I would link to an article on his website all about Roadworthy Certificates. Well, the article has some good information on it, I liked it, and I think it will be useful to my readers, so why not…