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TMR Team | Jul, 29 2013 | 1 Comment

New money-saving proposals by Victoria's road authority VicRoads have been slammed by the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) this week.

One of the options under consideration, expected to save motorists around $73 million each year, would allow owners of vehicles less than five years-old to sell without a roadworthy certificate.

Under the current system, Victorian motorists pay between $70 and $200 for a roadworthy inspection and certificate.

VACC Executive Director David Purchase has dismissed the plan as "nonsense". His concern is that this plan could potentially allow unsafe vehicles to be sold to the unwary, provide fewer consumer protections, and increase numbers of unsafe vehicles in use on the roads.

Mr Purchase said that the industry had not been consulted on the proposed changes, and dealers have been left in the dark on how the new system will affect their obligations under the Motor Car Traders Act and the Australian Consumer Law.

“From a consumer point of view, the roadworthy is an official procedure carried out by a Licensed Vehicle Tester (LVT), Mr Purchase said.

"Car buyers and sellers support the current process, because knowing a vehicle has been checked by a LVT prior to purchase and sold with a Roadworthy Certificate provides peace of mind for all parties."

He said that, under the current system, vehicles sold with a Roadworthy Certificate are considered safe vehicles. Without this requirement, buyers have little assurance.

"Apart from VACC’s voluntary check of a vehicle’s critical safety features during a service, the roadworthy inspection on transfer is one of the few opportunities to check the condition of the vehicle," Mr Purchase said.

For now, VicRoads has confirmed it is studying three options for streamlining the roadworthy system, with a view to cutting costs.

The first option centres on vehicles under five years-old, while the second option cuts the limit to three years.

The third option, likely to be the most popular, would see vehicles unde three years-old put through a shorter and more affordable test.

Victorian State Treasurer Michael O'Brien has confirmed that the proposal does not extend to hire vehicles, buses or taxis, which would still undergo annual tests.

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