NOTE: Be aware that owners of vehicles that are subject to the compulsory defective Takata airbag recall may be required to provide proof that the defective airbags have been replaced by an authorised vehicle dealer before a roadworthy inspection can be performed.
With only a few exceptions, all light vehicles that are rated as Passenger Transport Vehicles must undergo annual inspections for those vehicles to both remain safe to operate on public roads and to retain their status as Passenger Transport Vehicles.
However, the regulations around vehicle inspections are contained in a 220-page document titled Transport (Road Passenger Services) Regulations 2020. As such, an article of this nature can only provide the broad outlines of the regulations that pertain to how, and why car owners in Western Australia should have their vehicles inspected and certified safe to be used on public roads, starting with-
Why you may need to have your vehicle inspected
There are several statutory reasons why may need to have your vehicle inspected and certified, including one or more of the following-
- If you want to register (license) your vehicle in Western Australia
- If you have received a defect notice, aka a "yellow sticker" or "work order"
- If you have made significant modifications to your vehicle such as replacing the engine, or the vehicle’s overall dimensions
- If you want to register (license) a written-off vehicle that you want to repair
- If your vehicle had passed an inspection, but the certificate of inspection has lapsed before actually registering the vehicle
- If your vehicle is subject to a compulsory vehicle inspection
Note that some vehicles are required by law to undergo an annual inspection, including vehicles that must be inspected every time the vehicle’s license (registration) expires. These vehicles include-
- Passenger Transport Vehicles
- Regular Passenger Transport Vehicles
- Any vehicle with an expired or lapsed certificate of inspection
In all cases, a vehicle that passes an inspection will be issued with a printed certificate of inspection that will be valid for three calendar months from the date of issue. Note, though, that WA requires that you be in possession of, and present a list of prescribed documents when you present your vehicle for an inspection before the vehicle will be inspected. These documents include the following-
- Vehicle license papers and proof of ownership (of the vehicle)
- Proof of identity and residency in WA
- Weighbridge certificate if the tare/mass weight of the vehicle cannot be established from the manufacturer's specifications, previous licence documents or licensing records
NOTE: Be aware that in cases where you may need to drive an unlicensed vehicle to a testing station, you can apply for, and purchase a temporary movement permit online only if you hold a valid Western Australia driver’s license. Note that the application involves providing-
- your actual point of departure- as opposed to your intended point of departure
- your intended route to the testing station, which must include the names of streets/roads you intend to use, as well as the names of the suburbs you will move through
- the vehicle’s engine number, chassis number, and plate number if it is available
Who issues roadworthy certificates in Western Australia?
Regardless of whether you live in a rural or metropolitan area, you can have your vehicle inspected and certified by an Authorized Inspection Station near you. A list of Authorised Inspection Stations in metropolitan areas is available here, while a list of Authorised Inspection Stations is available here.
How much does a vehicle inspection cost in Western Australia?
Testing fees vary somewhat based on whether you live in a rural or metropolitan area, with fees charged in rural areas being slightly higher. However, the list of possible charges is too long to reproduce here, but the examples taken from an official WA government source are instructive-
- $181.90 in Perth for an initial inspection of a light vehicle (including motor/mobile home equal to or less than 4 500kg
- $185.40 in a rural area for an initial inspection of a light vehicle (including motor/mobile homes equal to or less than 4 500kg
- $187.55 in the Goldfields/Esperance region for an initial inspection of a light vehicle (including motor/mobile homes equal to or less than 4 500kg
Barring unforeseen changes, the fees quoted above will apply for the remainder of 2023. Nonetheless, we strongly recommend that you visit https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/get-a-vehicle-inspected.asp for more information on current inspection fees in Western Australia.