Car owners: your legal obligations

Make sure you’ve got the essentials covered before you hit the road.

Cars give us the freedom to go where we want, when we want. Whether it’s your daily commute, weekend grocery shop or a once-in-a-lifetime road trip, you can’t beat the convenience of your own set of wheels.

With that convenience comes responsibility though, and as a car owner you need to meet two legal requirements: registration and Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance.


Registering your car is a must. State road enforcement agencies’ cameras can detect unregistered vehicles, and if you commit an offence (such as speeding) your details can be checked against a database for valid registration. If your car is found to be unregistered you could face a hefty fine.

The rules vary from state to state, but your car may well have to pass an inspection to prove it’s roadworthy. You can find out about the regulations in your state at

Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance

As the name suggests, CTP insurance is mandatory. It covers you, or anyone driving your car, if you cause an accident in which someone else is injured. CTP covers the injured person’s treatment and rehabilitation costs, which could be substantial.

CTP works differently across the country – in most states you get it automatically when you register your car – but if you live in New South Wales, Queensland or South Australia (from 1 July 2019) you can choose your CTP provider.

In NSW CTP is called a Green Slip. You get it before you register your car. In QLD and South Australia you nominate a CTP provider when you pay for your rego.

It’s important to know that CTP is the bare minimum when it comes to motor insurance. It doesn’t cover damage to other people’s cars or property, or your car. For that you’ll need car insurance.

Car insurance

Third Party insurance covers the cost of damage to other people’s cars and property (you can also add Fire and Theft cover). Comprehensive insurance provides the same protection, but also covers damage to your car. Many comprehensive policies offer additional benefits and the chance to tailor your policy with optional cover to suit your needs, so it’s worth taking time to ensure you’re getting the most out of your policy.

If you'd like to talk through your options we're here to help. Call us on 133 723.

The advice on this website is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You must decide whether or not it is appropriate, in light of your own circumstances, to act on this advice. You should ensure you obtain and consider the policy wording or Product Disclosure Statement for the policy before you make any decision to buy it.

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