First-Time Car Owner: What to Know About Rego Inspections

Rego inspections are the government's way of ensuring that the cars registered in Australia are roadworthy and meet the set safety requirements. If you are a first-time car owner, it's essential to know what these inspections entail. In most states, you should get a rego or eSafety inspection if your car is more than five years old and is classified as a "light vehicle." Failure to do this before the expiry of the registration will lead to cancellation of the registration.

If your car meets the above criteria, you should get an inspection. Once you pass the checks, you receive an eSafety check that allows you to renew the car's registration online. Below are the key things to note about rego inspections.

You Shouldn't Wait Until Rego Expiry

Don't wait until your registration expires to get an inspection. If you do, you will be driving an unregistered vehicle, which according to the RMS, is illegal. If you get caught, you can be fined or lose your number plates. Even driving an unregistered car to an authorised inspection station (AIS) is still risky as you may get caught.

Always schedule your inspection before the lapse of your registration. This leaves you adequate time to get the test done. Should you fail the checks, you can still do repairs, get the car reinspected and renew your registration on time.

Rego Inspections are Extensive

If you've never had an eSafety check before, it's easy to assume that it only entails checking the lights, tyres and exterior. However, the inspections are extensive and involve checking a hundred little things in your vehicle. The RMS issues authorised inspection stations with a folder which contains all the checks required. These include the following:

  • Vehicle and driver information
  • Car exterior, including the lights, tyres, doors and handles, wipers, windows and windshield
  • The interior, including the steering wheel, brake pedal and seat belts
  • Engine, coolant, exhaust, battery and suspension components
  • Oil leaks
  • Chasis

If you haven't been servicing your car diligently, consider seeing a mechanic before taking the inspection. If there are any issues, fix them. If you fail the check, you cannot register your vehicle before doing repairs and passing a second inspection.

You Must Pay for Inspection 

Every state charges different fees for rego inspections. You have to pay this fee to the AIS regardless of whether you pass the inspection or not. However, if you fail, you can get a free re-inspection within a stipulated period. 

For example, in NSW, you get a free second inspection if you conduct necessary repairs and come back for re-inspection within 14 days of the initial checks. Ensure you do all the recommended repairs to avoid failing again.

Have these things in mind as you prepare for a rego inspection. Contact a mechanic for checks and repairs if you're not sure whether your car will pass the inspection.