How to sell your unregistered car in the Northern Territory

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How to sell your unregistered car in the Northern Territory
A 1800 Salvage member helping a customer assess the engine of their unregistered vehicle.
Sell Salvaged Vehicle
Doug Whiffin
Doug Whiffin
National Automotive Buyer and Second-In-Command Manager
June 17, 2024
minute read

Here’s how to quickly and legally sell your unregistered NT car

Sometimes, selling your four-wheeled faithful can feel like severing a limb. Other times, you just need to get rid of an old beater. Either way, it’s best to get the job done quickly.

The good news is that selling a car is a speedy and straightforward process. We’ll teach you exactly what you need to do.

But first, let’s answer the big question: Is it legal to sell unregistered cars in the Northern Territory? Yes, it is. You do not need to register or reregister your vehicle before selling it. However, you do have to prepare and provide a couple of documents. So, let’s explain those.

While you’re getting ready to sell, we’d love to make you an offer. We offer quick and competitive cash-for-car services in Darwin and the Northern Territory. We’ll even send a tow truck — free of charge — to make car removal as easy as possible. Get in touch, and we’ll make you an offer worth your time.

Now, onto the business at hand.

2 steps to selling your unregistered vehicle

Step 1: Submit your Notice of Disposal to the Motor Vehicle Registry

The Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) is a Northern Territory road authority. They don’t require you to register your car, but they do require you to submit a Notice of Disposal to them.

What is a Notice of Disposal?

A Notice of Disposal is a document that clearly states that you, the vehicle’s current owner, are selling it to a new owner. The MVR simply needs them for its records.

Notices are easy to write up yourself, so you won’t have to worry about paying a lawyer.

Your completed notice needs to contain the following information for both you, the seller, and the buyer of the vehicle:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Date of sale
  • Price of sale
  • Signatures

The notice also needs the following details for the vehicle:

  • Make and model
  • Registration number
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Engine number

What counts as a Notice of Disposal?

You can write your own Notice of Disposal using the information provided above.

Alternatively, you can use the Northern Territory Government’s downloadable R06 Notice Of Disposal template.

This guide is about selling unregistered cars, but if you decide to register your vehicle, your most recent registration certificate may suffice.

How much does submitting a Notice of Disposal cost?

Submission is free.

How to submit a notice of disposal

There are three ways to submit your notice:

  1. Email
  2. Mail
    Motor Vehicle Registry
    GPO Box 530
    Darwin NT 0801
  3. In-person
    Find your nearest MVR office

When do you need to submit your notice of disposal for a car sale?

As the seller, you are obliged to submit your notice within 14 days of selling your car.

If you were planning to unregister your vehicle before the sale but didn’t get to it, then, as the registered owner, you’ll be sent any fines your buyer racks up in their new car during that two-week period. Of course, you can dispute those fines and have them sent where they belong, but why go through the hassle?

Step 2: Prove you are the car’s current owner

You need proof of ownership to prove you have the right to sell the vehicle in the first place. In place of a registration certificate, you can submit one or more of the following documents:

  • The sales receipt from when you originally purchased the vehicle
  • A Notice of Disposal signed by the car’s former owner and yourself
  • A legal document from a court of law stating that you are the owner of the vehicle

Your documents are in order. Now what?

Now that we’ve covered the legalities, how do you go about actually selling your second-hand vehicle?

Primp and preen the vehicle

You want your car to be in the best possible condition to get the best possible price. Consider taking it for a professional wash to get its exteriors and interiors spotless. But consider how much you actually want to invest. You can easily clean your car’s interior with a handheld vacuum and buff its exteriors with a rag and a non-abrasive dishwashing liquid.

Find the buyer

You’ve got a few options to choose from.

Second-hand car dealerships will give you a decent price, but likely not the best one since they’re not strapped for cars to buy. They may also offer you credit towards another car rather than the cash payment you’re after.

Private buyers may offer more competitive prices. All states have a healthy second-hand market. However, you do need to keep your wits about you when bargaining to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

Car salvagers, like yours truly at 1800 Salvage, will always try to make the deal as sweet as possible for you. You’ll have a better chance of getting a cash payment and a quick removal. We strongly recommend getting a quote from a couple of salvage dealers to get the best price.

Negotiate a price

This is always the trickiest step. 

A great way to benchmark your unregistered car’s sales price is to get a third-party valuation.

Ultimately, the best way to get a fair price is to get quotes from multiple potential buyers and then see if they’re willing to compete.

There’s a limit to how competitive potential buyers will be considering they’re buying a used vehicle. But consider the make, model, age and safety features of your car so that you can seek out the right buyers.

For example, parents often buy their teens second-hand starter cars to get them from A to B. As long as the car’s in good nick and its safety features are intact, they’ll be happy to pay your asking price for it.

If you’re selling an older vehicle, there may be collectors and restoration specialists who’d be more interested in it than the average driver. 

Always, always, always get a receipt

Make sure you and the buyer both keep a receipt of the sale of the vehicle. Your receipt needs the same details as your Notice of Disposal, so you can use that as a receipt.

We can make selling your unregistered vehicle a little easier

Like we told you at the top, selling an unregistered car in the Northern Territory is as easy as pie.

  1. Submit your Notice of Disposal
  2. Get your proof of ownership
  3. Find your buyer
  4. Negotiate a price
  5. Keep your receipt safely

How could it be any easier? We bet we can do it.

1800 Salvage buys cars from anywhere in the Northern Territory. We will also:

  • Buy cars in any condition (unregistered, unroadworthy, rusted down to the chassis…)
  • Offer competitive prices
  • Valuate your car online — just send us a few photos
  • Send a free tow truck to pick up your car wherever it is
  • Pay you the instant we pick up the vehicle
  • Complete all the above paperwork for you

Frequently Asked Questions

Do NT car sellers need to provide a roadworthy or safety certificate?

No. In the Northern Territory, car sellers are not obliged to provide a roadworthy certificate for either an unregistered or registered vehicle.

Are there any additional documents I should provide?

If you still have them, you should provide:

  • The owner’s manual
  • The service logbook
  • Warranty documents

What happens to my car’s warranty?

You shouldn’t have to worry about that. Vehicle warranties are typically attached to the vehicle, not the owner, so any outstanding coverage will automatically transfer over to the new owner.

How do I get a reimbursement for vehicle registration?

If you have a registered car and want to unregister it before selling it (because you don’t drive anymore or it’s unroadworthy), remember to submit an application to cancel the registration to the MVR. Once they’ve approved your application, the MVR will reimburse you.

How do I surrender my car’s NT number plates?

When you submit your application to cancel your registration, take your plates with you to your nearest Motor Vehicle Registry office.

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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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