What Happens If You Fail A Roadworthy?

what happens if you fail a roadworthy

What Happens If You Fail A Roadworthy?

Of course one of the biggest questions we get when it comes to roadworthys is what happens if I fail? 

Don’t be concerned, there are structures in place to ensure that you are not left out of pocket and having to book more inspections. 

In short, you will be allowed an extension of time to fix any issues that you have failed on. After this, you will be eligible for a reexamination which is free of charge.

For anyone who wants to know exactly how much a roadworthy cost, read my guide here. You can also find out what a roadworthy certificate is here

Now, if you’re ready for a roadworthy please don’t hesitate to book online with one of your examiners who will help you. We come quickly and offer same day service. 

Well, let’s get straight into this then. Let’s find out what happens if you fail a roadworthy.

Table of Contents

What Happens If You Fail A Roadworthy?

If you fail a roadworthy you will have 14 days to rectify any issues your vehicle failed on.  If this is done within the timeline, you will only be required to pay a call out fee for our Inspectors to come out again for the rectified issues to be passed. How easy is that! 

Honestly, you don’t need to stress about failing your roadworthy inspection. Usually, the examiners will be really helpful and guide you on which areas you have failed on. 

This has been set in stone by the Queensland government meaning no inspectors or companies should be charging for a second service unless they have a valid reason. For example if we need to come back out to visit you, there will be a small call out fee applied.

All in all, I know that the word failure sounds daunting but when it comes to your roadworthy inspection you don’t need to worry.

In the most simple terms possible, if you do not pass your roadworthy you will have 14 days to fix it and you will only be charged a small call out fee.

What Can You Do If You Fail A Roadworthy?

So, you can choose to fix any failed components yourself or if you would prefer at any other garage providing it is within the 14 days. Obviously fixing any issues yourself can carry a risk. You might find that you have not fixed it properly and it fails again. 

Be careful doing this. If you do fail again then you might be required to pay for another roadworthy inspection at full price. However, you might be allowed another extension to get it fixed.

Our inspectors will do their best to replace or repair any components they can while carrying out the inspection. However, without the tools and correct knowledge they are limited.

If there is something really small they can try to fix that on the spot. This also applies to the caravan gas inspections we do as well. 95% of the time we can fix any issues that come up. 

To be honest it is always best if you take the time to check these mentioned points prior to the roadworthy inspection.

You have 14 days to fix any issues that your vehicle failed on. Here's an image of our inspections trying to fix any issues to give the pass for the roadworthy inspection.

You Could Also Choose To Get It Fixed At A Garage

Pre purchase car inspections work through booking in your time slot and getting the inspector to come out and check through the car. If you are unavailable, the pre purchase car examiner will organise the best time with the seller to conduct the inspection. 

That’s right. You could choose to get your vehicle fixed and serviced at the garage. We will give you a list of areas that your vehicle failed on so you can take this straight to the mechanic. 

That means it would be an easy fix and this way you have a much higher chance of passing your roadworthy inspection for the second time. No one really wants to fail twice. 

Although this is a more expensive way of getting your vehicle fixed, it’s the one we strongly recommend because it’s done by professionals that know what they’re doing.

After this, the inspector will begin conducting the pre-purchase car inspection. They will go through a series of structured inspections to ensure they have not missed anything and always capture the clear representation of the car’s health, safety, performance and quality. 

A pre-purchase inspection involves a critical check performed on different parts of a vehicle, including the; 

  • tyres/wheels
  • engine
  • gears
  • steering/suspension
  • dashboard
  • brakes
  • transmission
  • car’s exterior (body) and interior
  • electrical components
  • HVAC
  • undercarriage
  • exhaust

In easier words, a pre-purchase car inspection is a comprehensive examination carried out on a car you intend to buy to identify any challenge and ascertain the car’s safety, performance, value, and quality so that it aligns with exactly what you desire.

Most importantly, these days cars use a lot of computer systems so it’s important to remember to do a computer diagnosis test to make sure that everything is running smoothly from the inside, which you can’t see unless you test.

What Happens If I Don’t Rectify Within The 14 Days?

If you do not have the failed components fixed within 14 days, the whole inspection will have to be carried out again at an extra cost. 

This is why we advise you to get things done as soon as possible. You may find a different inspector could flag up additional findings on your next roadworthy inspection. That’s why it’s strongly recommended to have the failed areas fixed as soon as you can.

This will mean that you will be left out of pocket. You don’t want to be paying for multiple roadworthy inspections. It also means you’re going to be left short for time if you are selling your vehicle, or won’t be able to get it booked in again for weeks.

If you dont rectify within 14 days you will be required to pay for another roadworthy inspection.

Ways To Avoid Failing Your Roadworthy

You can carry out simple checks on all the areas that we usually test in a roadworthy inspection. Either by yourself or maybe you have a friend who is knowledgeable with motors. 

If you’re really wanting too, you could just get a mechanic to do a quick service on these areas to try and get them up to scratch before you go into your inspection.

I’ve got through a full checklist of the areas we find fail the most here. Feel free to read through. In the meantime I’ll cover a couple below. 

Here are the 6 most common areas of failure 

  • Light bulbs
  • Tyres
  • Mountings
  • Oil leaks 
  • Brakes 
  • Bushes

If your vehicle is regularly serviced by a garage then your chances of passing a roadworthy will be much higher. Regular checks and services can go a long way. 

The same applies for how well you maintain your vehicle. If you look after it well then you will have a higher chance of passing your roadworthy. 

If you drive long distances, you might be more likely to pick up some areas of faults. It really depends. 

One factor to also consider is the age of your vehicle. Older cars are more likely to fail and sometimes take longer because there are more checks in place to keep all road users safe. 

We encourage you to do everything possible to pass your vehicle inspection test the first time. It would be best if you find out how to pass your vehicle’s roadworthy inspection the first time.

Why A Roadworthy Certificate Is Important

A roadworthy certificate is as important to the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads as your other motor vehicle papers. The certificate will show that your vehicle is safe for road use. 

Unfortunately, no matter how much you might not want to get a roadworthy certificate, it is required by law. Here’s some examples of when it’s required. 

  • You need a roadworthy certificate if you intend to sell your car to enable you to complete the transfer of ownership through the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.
  • Your car may be de-registered without a road safety certificate at the point of sale to a new buyer. You also need a roadworthy certificate when re-registering your vehicle after the existing papers expire.

You need a roadworthy certificate if you own any of the following vehicles and intend to sell them off:

  • Motorcycles
  • Cars
  • Vehicles weighing around 4,500kg gross vehicle mass.
  • Trailers with caravans having an aggregate trailer mass of around 750kg to 3,500kg.

However, there are some occasions of transferring the ownership of a vehicle that may not
require a roadworthy certificate. They include the following:

  • Traded vehicles to dealers or between dealers do not require a roadworthy certificate.
  • Disposing of your motor vehicle in a particular area that is exempt does not require a roadworthy certificate.
  • Transfer of car ownership from one spouse to their partner may not also require a road safety certificate, except for completely divorced partners.
  • Transferring a vehicle belonging to a deceased individual to their beneficiary can also go without a roadworthy certificate.

So, if you are within any of the categories outlined above, you may not necessarily need to obtain or present a roadworthy certificate and won’t need to worry about failing it.

Don’t forget how long a roadworthy lasts as well. This is important to time getting your inspection in place. 

roadworthys are essential for keeping road users safe. Our inspectors are fast and reliable and come to you quickly.


Now you know what happens if you fail a roadworthy. You have the knowledge to prepare yourself and avoid failing your inspection. Really, you want to try to aim to pass it first time. 

Around 80% of all road users pass their inspections for the first time so there is a very high chance you will pass. We can help you prepare well in advance for your inspection at ASAP Roadworthys. We work with the authority in charge of inspection in the whole of Queensland. Allow us to take you through the nitty-gritty so that you can avoid spending twice the fee.

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3 Responses

  1. What happens if i get a road worthy inspection and the buyer wants their money back after discovering that the car that was inspected is dangerous to drive? Who is liable in that case?

  2. Hi ASAP, A couple of weeks ago I arrived here in Brisbane from Sydney with the intention to settle here. Of course I have to re-register my car to a Queensland number plate and also my NSW drivers license to the QLD equivalent. I am driving a 2004 Nissan X Trail which served me over the years well. Today I called a mobile mechanic in order to get my Roadworthy certificate. The booking fee I had to pay when he arrived was $110.00 and within 10 minutes he told be i am into a repair bill of in excess of $ 1200.00 for new rear shock absorbers and a motor head gasket. Frankly, i doubt there is a problem with the shock absorbers but it could need a new head gasket although there is no oil dropping to the floor. There is oil visible on the outside of the motor block but this condition passed all inspections for several years I had in Sydney. I would have agreed to a reasonable repair bill but I consider this quote as a ripoff. what can I do now ? I guess nothing but to pay for another “inspection”. As an age pensioner I can hardly afford it.
    Kind regards: George

  3. It’s good to know that I would still have two weeks have two address issues with my car if I fail my roadworthy inspection. If this happens I hope I could find a reliable mechanic that can help me completely fix these issues. This is very timely since this is a requirement periodically when you own a car.

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