Sell A Car Without A Roadworthy Certificate
Posted On Jun 18 2024 | Automotive

Selling a car involves several steps, and in Queensland (QLD), one important document is the roadworthy certificate. Many car owners wonder if they can sell their car without this certificate. 

This blog will provide a detailed explanation of what a roadworthy certificate is, why it is needed, and whether it is possible to sell a car without it in QLD. By the end of this blog, you will have a clear understanding of the requirements and processes involved in selling a car in Queensland.

What Is A Roadworthy Certificate?

A roadworthy certificate, also known as a safety certificate, is an official document that verifies a vehicle meets the minimum safety standards to be driven on public roads. 

In Queensland, this certificate is issued by approved inspection stations, which are licensed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads. The roadworthy inspection covers various parts of the vehicle, including:

Brakes and suspension: Ensuring the vehicle can stop effectively and handle road conditions.

Tyres: Checking for sufficient tread depth and overall condition.

Lights and indicators: Confirming all lights and indicators function correctly.

Windscreen and windows: Inspecting for cracks or damage that might impair visibility.

Body and chassis: Ensuring there is no structural damage that could affect safety.

Why Do We Need A Vehicle Roadworthy Certificate?

The primary purpose of a roadworthy certificate is to ensure that all vehicles on the road are safe to operate. This helps in reducing accidents caused by mechanical failures. Here are some key reasons why a roadworthy certificate is necessary:

Safety: It ensures that the vehicle is safe to drive, protecting not just the driver but also passengers and other road users.

Legal Requirement: In QLD, it is a legal requirement to have a roadworthy certificate when selling a registered vehicle. This helps in maintaining road safety standards.

Transparency: It provides transparency to the buyer, assuring them that the vehicle has been inspected and deemed safe for use.

Preventing Fraud: It helps prevent fraudulent sales of unsafe or defective vehicles.

Can I Sell A Car Without The Roadworthy Certificate In Qld?

In Queensland, the rules regarding the sale of vehicles are clear. A roadworthy certificate is required if you are selling a registered vehicle. Here’s what you need to know:

Selling a Registered Vehicle: If you are selling a registered vehicle, you must obtain a roadworthy certificate before transferring the registration to the new owner. This applies to both private sales and sales through a dealership. The certificate must be obtained within 30 days prior to the sale.

Selling an Unregistered Vehicle: If the vehicle is unregistered, you do not need a roadworthy certificate to sell it. However, the buyer will need to obtain one if they wish to register the vehicle for road use.

Selling to a Dealer: If you are selling your car to a licensed dealer, a roadworthy certificate is not required. The dealer will take responsibility for obtaining the certificate before reselling the vehicle.

Selling Interstate: If you are selling your vehicle to someone who will be registering it in another state, the roadworthy certificate rules of that state will apply. It’s important to check the specific requirements of the buyer’s state.

Penalties: Selling a registered vehicle without a roadworthy certificate can result in penalties, including fines. The seller is responsible for providing the certificate, and failure to do so can lead to legal complications.


Selling a car in Queensland without a roadworthy certificate is generally not allowed for registered vehicles. This certificate is crucial for ensuring the vehicle’s safety and legality on the road. It protects both the seller and the buyer by providing transparency and preventing the sale of unsafe vehicles. If you are selling an unregistered vehicle or selling to a dealer, you may not need the certificate, but it’s always best to check the specific regulations to avoid any legal issues. Always remember, safety comes first, and a roadworthy certificate is a key part of that safety.


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