Can you trade in an unregistered car?

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Can you trade in an unregistered car?
Sell Salvaged Vehicle
Doug Whiffin
Doug Whiffin
Business Development Manager
May 10, 2023
minute read

Tips for selling your unregistered vehicle

Are you thinking of trading in an unregistered car? It can be confusing to know what to do with a vehicle that isn’t registered, as regulations and documents vary from state to state. 

Are you asking yourself questions like, “Do I have to get my car registered to sell it?” or “If it’s unregistered, do I have to get a tow truck to move it?” and “Do I need a roadworthy certificate?”

If you want to sell an unregistered car but aren't sure if it's okay to trade in, don't worry! In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of trading in cars without registration so you have all the facts before deciding.

What to know before trading in an unregistered car

Trading in an unregistered car can be daunting, but knowing what you're getting into before diving in is important. Here are some things you should consider if you plan on trading in your unregistered vehicle:


Unregistered cars are not insured, so the owner is liable for any damage or injury caused by the car. It is essential to ensure that any potential buyer has sufficient insurance coverage to protect them from any liabilities arising from the transaction.


Unregistered cars typically have less value than their registered counterparts, and this needs to be factored into negotiations with potential buyers. The seller should also investigate how much similar vehicles are selling for to ensure they receive a fair price for their vehicle.


Depending on the state, fees may need to be paid when trading in an unregistered car, even if it does not have plates or registration documents attached to it. Always check with your local Department of Transportation before dealing with an unregistered vehicle.


Before selling an unregistered car, ensure all necessary repairs have been completed and that there are no underlying issues that could cause delays or extra costs during trade-in or sale.

By following these steps, sellers can feel confident that they will get the best deal when trading in their unregistered vehicle while ensuring their buyers have adequate protection from any potential liabilities associated with it as well.

Before selling your unregistered car, ensure you have the vehicle’s details, including the vehicle identification number and service history.

Do I need an unregistered vehicle permit?

An unregistered vehicle permit (UVP) is a short-term permit allowing you to drive an unregistered car on public roads legally. UVPs are generally valid for up to 28 days and can be used for temporary travel or transportation of the vehicle.

Depending on the state or territory in Australia, you may need this permit if you're travelling more than a specified distance from your home address. It's important to check with your local government about the specific regulations for unregistered vehicles in your area before using them on public roads.

Which state requires an unregistered vehicle permit? 

Depending on the state or territory in Australia, you may need an unregistered vehicle permit for your car when selling.

In New South Wales, an Unregistered Vehicle Permit (UVP) is required if you're travelling more than 50 km from home. A UVP is only needed in Victoria and Queensland if you're travelling more than 200 km from your home address. 

In the Northern Territory and Western Australia, there are no requirements to obtain an UVP. However, in South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, all unregistered vehicles require a permit before they can be used on public roads - even for short distances. 

You can apply for an unregistered vehicle permit online or in-person to move a vehicle. However, you many need compulsory third-party insurance for the trip. As such, it's important to check with your local state or territory government about the specific regulations for unregistered vehicles in your area before driving on public roads.

The benefits of trading in an unregistered vehicle

Trading in or selling an unregistered car can bring a variety of benefits. 

  • The convenience of not having to register your vehicle. 
  • The opportunity for better deals when negotiating with potential buyers.
  • Eliminates the need to repair any underlying damage yourself.
  • It lets you eliminate a troublesome vehicle without laying out extra cash.
  • Ensures adequate liability protection for all parties involved.

Finding a buyer for your unregistered car

Finding a buyer for an unregistered vehicle can be tricky, but there are ways to make it easier. You can start by utilising online marketplaces. These sites offer plenty of options for buyers looking for unregistered vehicles. 

Additionally, you can advertise in local classifieds and post flyers to attract potential buyers. If possible, you could also contact friends and family who may know someone interested in purchasing your car. By using these methods, you'll be able to find a buyer for your unregistered vehicle without too much difficulty.

Selling to a salvage company

Selling your unregistered vehicle to a salvage company can be a great way to get rid of it without any hassle. Salvage companies specialise in buying junk cars, so they will likely be willing to purchase your vehicle regardless of its condition or registration status. 

Additionally, since many salvage vehicles are used for parts and scrap metal, you don’t have to worry about potential buyers who may not have the proper paperwork or experience with unregistered vehicles. 

Depending on the company, some may even offer free pick up from your home or other designated location. Selling to a salvage company is usually a fast and efficient way to eliminate an unwanted unregistered vehicle.

We’ll take your unregistered vehicle off your hands

If you have an unregistered car taking up space, it’s time to call 1800 Salvage. Why choose us? We provide an efficient, hassle-free way to sell your unregistered or registered car. 

We purchase cars in any condition and handle all the paperwork involved. Additionally, selling to us can save you money on storage fees and other costs associated with holding onto an unregistered vehicle. Plus, you can feel good about contributing to sustainable practices by selling your car to us. We work to recycle and salvage as much of the car as possible, reducing waste and environmental impact.

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Get in touch for friendly advice

Whether you want to buy or sell salvage vehicles, we are here to help. Get in touch and we will get back to you soon with the information you need.

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