10 February 2020

ACT cuts fees for registering hail storm replacement cars

| Dominic Giannini
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January hail storm

The ACT Government will waive or reduce administration fees and charges for those who have had to replace cars following the January hail storm. Photo: Region Media.

The ACT Government has announced new measures to help ease the burden to the hip pocket for those who had their cars written off in the January 20 storm.

Administration fees and charges will be reduced or waived for those who have been forced to replace their cars after about 30,000 vehicles were damaged in the extreme weather event.

Those who are buying a replacement car for $10,000 or less will receive a stamp duty rebate of up to $100.

“Vehicle owners will not have to pay any additional registration fees for a replacement vehicle,” the government said in a statement.

“We will provide refunds for registration cancellation fees ($47.70) and vehicle establishment fees ($48.80 or $95.70) for those with vehicles written-off by hail damage and replaced.

“There will be a vehicle roadworthy inspection fee rebate of $72.10 and an additional $55.30 should a basic identity inspection be required. This will assist those owners whose hail damaged vehicles are not being assessed through insurance claims.

“A higher fee of $95.70 is charged for interstate vehicles not previously registered in the ACT and this will be rebated to where owners purchase replacement vehicles interstate.”

These measures will be available for vehicles privately registered in the ACT that were impacted by the hailstorm until 30 June 2020.

The rebates are set to come out of the budget’s bottom line, and while the government has described the impact to the bottomline as “minimal”, there has been no figure attached.

“We have undertaken costings of the measures but given the lack of available data there is a degree of uncertainty,” a government spokesperson told Region Media.

“Therefore we have taken the approach of providing in-principle funding support to Access Canberra for the additional resources required to administer the rebates, which will be informed by actual take-up figures.

“Much of the rebate costs do not have a net financial impact as the revenue from this increase in activity was not factored into the budget forecasts. The Budget did not forecast a major hail event so there is revenue forgone rather than lost revenue.”

Drivers with comprehensive car insurance may have escaped most of these costs, however the rebates will be able to provide some relief for those who have been left significantly out of pocket.

Canberrans who buy a hail damaged bargain at car yard sales and online auctions, are advised to do their research.

ACT legislation prohibits re-registration of written off vehicles in the ACT unless the vehicle is an economical repairable write-off and was registered in the ACT at the time it was written off.

A vehicle that has been assessed as a statutory write-off cannot be registered and may only be used as a limited source of spare parts or scrap metal. Only an economic repairable written off vehicle can be repaired and re-registered.

Consumers may also experience stricter conditions and higher premiums when taking out insurance on a previously written off vehicle.

More information is on the Access Canberra website.

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Why throw that onto rate payers when the budget is blowing out big time already? The rego on the write off can be reclaimed backdated to January 20 so nothing is lost having to register a new car. And presumably the old car was insured for replacement or agreed value.

Sounds like a pre election giveaway to me.

Rego and CTP is reclaimable backdated January 20.

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