Mike Stevens | Apr 9, 2010

IN AN EFFORT to curb the use of stolen vehicles and parts in the 'rebirthing' of written-off vehicles, the New South Wales Government plans to ban the re-registration of both 'statutory' and 'repairable' write-offs.

Around 36,000 vehicles are officially written-off each year in NSW, with about 14,000 of them repaired and put back on the road. In 2009, 20,537 written-off and repaired vehicles were presented for registration, and it is estimated that the parts in as many as six in 10 vehicles had questionable origins.

Almost half of Australia's missing vehicles are eventually recovered in NSW. Other states ban the repair of statutory write-offs (those damaged beyond repair) but allow the re-registration of repairable write-offs (those considered repairable but 'written off' by an insurance company due to significant damage and the high cost of the repairs).

NSW Transport Minister David Campbell said the ban will not only help curb car theft, but also protect motorists from 'dodgy' repair jobs.

"Too many of these vehicles are doctored up in backyard chop shops and are dangerous when they are brought back on the road," Mr Campbell said.

According to the Motor Traders' Association's James McCall, poor repair jobs meant that around 60 percent of re-registered vehicles are dangerous.

While NSW is the first state to push for the new laws, Mr Campbell said that he hopes other states will get on board.

"NSW will be leading the nation on this, and I expect that will lead to some criticism but I don't apologise for it," Mr Campbell said.

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