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Why do you need a Roadworthy Certificate?

Hey guys, Let’s have a chat about Road worthy certificates.

Here at Airlie Auto we love to be transparent and clear as we can be with all your car dealings.

Now, let’s open up the hood of your car (figure of speech) and go over all the different bits and pieces of a roadworthy.


We are an approved inspection station located in the Whitsunday region. We have certain laws, regulations and or guidelines that we must abide by to keep you and others safe on the road.

You will need a roadworthy certificate when:

1. A registered vehicle is offered for sale

2. Transferring registration to a new owner

3. Transferring to Queensland registration from another state or territory

4. Re-registering an unregistered vehicle

The inspection covers the basic vehicle safety standards for a range of components like tyres, brakes, steering, suspension, body rust, damage, windscreen, and lights.

Vehicle Inspection Guidelines (VIGs) are used by approved inspection stations when inspecting motor vehicles for the purposes of issuing a certificate of inspection or safety certificate. The VIGs are also used by transport inspectors and police officers when determining if a vehicle is defective.


As of writing this (February 2020) a certificate for a motor vehicle up to 4,500kg GVM is a government standard of $84.70. Please refer to the Queensland Government site for prices:


Certificates are valid for 2 months.


In some cases, we have to fail a vehicle due to it being unsafe and not meeting the requirements to drive on the road. This is quite unfortunate as we try an make the process as easy for you. Many inspections fail as a result of tiny defects.

We will provide you with a list of requirements/repairs that must be performed before we can sign off on your roadworthy. Please be mindful that when you are presented with these requirements for your roadworthy, we are going off the Queensland Government laws, regulations and guidelines for your car. As the Queensland Government and Airlie Auto want you all safe on the road.

Here is a list of top 15 check to do before your Roadworthy Certificate

1. Lights

One of the top reasons people fail their certification is due to malfunctioning lighting. Lights must not be cracked, and the lenses cannot be faded. Indication, brake and number plate lights are often forgotten. If they do not work, your vehicle will fail an inspection. If there are fog lights on the vehicle, those have to be working to the same standard of all other lights. Lights are an inexpensive replacement. Make sure your lights work before an inspection. Lights can be changed quite easily and save you the hassle of having to get a second inspection for your vehicle.

2. Tyres

Tyres are the second reason people fail their certification. In fact, in the year 2013 more than 150,000 vehicle examinations failed because of tyre issues. If they are worn, have a crack, or a tread depth less than 1.5 mm, is cause for failure. Tyres should have valve caps fitted to protect from the buildup of grime and dirt. The tyres air pressure should be checked to ensure all tyres have the correct pressure, including the spare.

3. Steering Components

Many vehicle owners become complacent with their steering, getting to know the vehicles quirks and difficulties of perhaps making quick turns without recognising the possible existing damage to internal components. Steering and alignment components must be top-notch and not worn out.

4. Windscreen

A significant number of vehicles failed the examinations due to a cracked or chipped windscreen. Another reason for inspection failure is window tints are too dark. The glass must be 100% free from scratches, chips, or cracks for your vehicle to pass inspection.

5. Suspension components

Worn out suspension components are problematic not just to the vehicle owner and driver, but to all other drivers on the road. A worn out suspension must be replaced before certification can be achieved.

6. Supplementary restraint system failure

Supplementary restraint systems, such as seat belts and airbags, must be in proper working condition. For some vehicle owners, checking seat belts in the back of the car is overlooked because the driver rarely occupies these spaces.

7. Modifications

Modifications are made on vehicles for a many of reasons, including performance and appearance. Individuals who modify their vehicle must check with the Department of Transport to verify that their modifications are complicit with safety standards. Should you opt to modify your vehicle without permission, the modifications may cause your vehicle to fail safety certification. Please refer to QLD Transport website for more information.

8. Rust

Rust will lead to breaks in the surface of the paint and cause a bubble in the duco. This may cause your vehicle to fail the safety inspection. Excessive corrosion is indicative of poor maintenance and can lead to myriad functional problems at a later date.

9. Engine and transmission oil leaks

Engine and transmission oil leaks are a significant contributing factor to certification failure. Not only are these safety concerns but they can lead to expensive damage compromising the integrity of the vehicle.

10. Horn

Your horn is intended for situations where you must alert another driver that they are about to hit something or someone. As such, horns that do not work can cause your vehicle to fail the safety inspection. Avoid an unnecessary fail; double check that your horn is working properly before going in for an inspection.

11. Wiper blades

Something as easy to replace as a cracked wiper blade can cause an inspection failure. No matter the weather conditions, clear vision is paramount on the road and only new windscreen wiper blades can guarantee this. On that note, never hesitate to open the bonnet and double check that the windscreen washer fluid, brake fluid, and coolant reservoirs are at the appropriate level. These brake components and engine components must be free from any fluid leaks. If you discover that you have a low fluid level, it might be indicative of a leak.

12. Exhaust leaks

Many people fail their certification simply because they have an exhaust leak that they have let slide. You want always to keep your ear out for an increased amount of noise from your exhaust, it is an indication of an exhaust leak.

13. Brakes

Your braking system must function at high capacity. Faulty or ineffective braking systems are tantamount to certification failure. Many people fail to double check the handbrake, another common cause of inspection failure. Your handbrake should hold the vehicle in place at an uphill angle to successfully pass inspection.

14. Radiator Hose

The radiator hose must not be brittle, torn, frayed, or cracked, they can lead to problems with the engine oil temperature. While radiator hoses are often reliable in their normal environment with a strong capacity for high operating pressures and internal temperatures, problems with the hose can restrict airflow and inhibit the functionality of the radiator.

15. Battery

The battery should be clean and battery fluid at acceptable levels. Any imperfections with the battery could warrant certification failure. If your lights start to dim at a noticeable rate or the ignition starts up slowly, it may be time to replace the battery altogether.

Remember that your safety is important so if your vehicle fails for a specific reason instead of being disgruntled understand that the examiner is doing 'exactly' what you have paid them to do. All of the guidelines that Approved Stations are bound by can be found online on the Queensland Government website.

If you would like to get a safety certificate, let us know. We are licensed to inspect vehicles and give Roadworthy certificates.

For more information please refer to Queensland Roads:

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