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Cover your "Arse", buying check

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by geeth, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Since there have been a couple of posts here recently about writen off bikes I thought that I might make a post about a few things about purchasing a bike that will help you cover your ass.

    Since are already posts on inspecting bikes I will not be putting that in here. Instead just linking.


    By law the seller must tell you that a bike has been written off statutory or repairable. I don't trust sellers and you need to be cautious of them too.

    There a few ways to check the wrtitten off status of a vehicle first one is REVS:
    You will need the following info:
    VIN number, Rego number if applicable, state of rego, Engine number.

    ACT 02 9633 6333 http://www.revs.nsw.gov.au/
    New South Wales 02 9633 6333
    Northern Territory 02 9633 6333
    Queensland 13 13 04 http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/
    South Australia 131084 https://www.ecom.transport.sa.gov.au/
    Tasmania 03 6233 5201 Not Available Victoria 131171
    Western Australia 1300 30 40 24 www.docep.wa.gov.au/revs/
    Australian Shipping Register 02 6279 5921 http://www.amsa.gov.au/Shipping_Registration/

    Another one that I have used is Vheck. It seems that it's only avaliable for QLD and Vic vehicles, however you only need the VIN for it.

    Vcheck QT
    VIC Vcheck Vic roads

    Though information is shared among the states as there is a national write-off register going through the state links maybe better, I honestly am not sure off the national update speed. From what I have found out the state registries are meant to be updated within 24 hours.

    If you are getting a repairable write off, it is HIGHLY recommended to get a mechanic to look at it before purchase to get a quote of repairs. Whats the point of buying a bike for $3000 less then the others when repairs are $4000?

    There are two types of write off status statutory and repairable. Breifly the differences are:

    Statutory: The vehicle has damage that has permenantly reduced the structual integrity and safety of the vechile. It cannot be registered. These are good for parts and thats about it.

    Repairable: Is usually when the insurance company deems the cost of repair to high and that is just better to payout the policy. With fairing bikes this will include the cost of replacing / repairing fairings.

    Both types need to be offically registered with a transport authority and therefore should be on one of the lists above.

    Now for the long winded offical meanings of the types of write-offs.

    A vehicle may be considered a statutory write-off if it has severe structural or other damage or deterioration that prevents it from being driven safely on a road
    A vehicle declared a ‘statutory’ write-off on or after 20 September 2004 in any State or Territory of the Commonwealth of Australia will not be eligible for re-registration in South Australia.
    *the effective date for a write-off recorded in New South Wales is 9 July 2001.
    This includes all such vehicles acquired by a person whose business is to sell wrecked vehicles or parts of wrecked vehicles.
    A vehicle may be a ‘repairable’ write-off if it is written-off and is determined not to be a statutory write-off.
    A vehicle may be declared a write-off by an insurer following accidental damage or if determined to be a write-off by an owner.
    It is an offence to drive a written-off vehicle on a road other than for the purpose of being driven to or from a place of repair or inspection, prior to re-registration.
    Source: SA dept of transport site. Source

    As well as written-off vehicles encumbrance is another thing to look out for. This is where the owner has taken out finance and used the vehicle as security. Mainly this is a secured car loan. I don't know how many banks actually do secured bike loans, I know the one I work for doesn't. So this may not be a major occurrence.
    If the vehicle is encumbered and the owner stops paying the loan and defaults the bank can and most likely will take your bike since they technically own it.

    Remember if unsure of the condition get a mechanic to look at (pref not one that owner wants to take it to) if the owner says no, then I would be very suspicious as to why. For the check remember you requested it, you pay for it and RACQ doesn't check bikes.

    This isn't a stat dec but it can hold up in court. A written declaration is having the owner writing out they have sold the vehicle to you for the amount. I have used these before because I am paranoid.
    They aren't overly important for most buys but you can get the owner to write on the declaration that the bike hasn't been stolen or written-off. This is so if you have to take them to court it doesn't come down to their word vs yours.
    This can also be used as protection for selling, as you can put they agree to buy in the current condition (works great if you have a mechanic receipt from within a few days prior), this way if they break it, you have proof of the condition prior to sale.
    You want a copy for you and the other party. For the extra paranoid, put yours in an envelope and mail it to yourself. The date stamp from Auspost is a legal stamp under federal law. When you get the envelope back DO NOT OPEN IT. This way if you have to go to court you break the seal (or the judge does) and they have a untampered document with a federally recognized date stamp. And don't forget to stamp it :p
    Handwritten is best.

    An example of the declaration is:
    I <name> agree to sell one motorbike to <name of buyer> with the VIN <VIN> <engine no> for the amount of one hundred million dollars. I confirm that this vehicle has not been stolen or written-off and that there is no encumbrance owing on the motorbike. I am selling the motorbike in the condition as stated on mechanics report dated <date> by <mechanic and company>.
    Seller Buyer Witness
  2. Some great advice there geeth. I'm not looking at write-offs myself, but the information on written declarations will come in very useful when (or if) I sell my bike. Sending the document to yourself and not breaking the seal is brilliant. Providing it doesn't get lost in the mail ;)

    By the way, you bike profile needs a picture!!!
  3. Done :p
    Was going to wait to get the bike back and get some better ones, but just for you.
  4. :p

    I can see it's your pride and joy, the tank is so clean I can see your house's reflection!

    I lurve the XJRs! I can't understand all those people who go on about Hornets. ;)
  5. Something I've always wondered. If a bike is uninsured and has an accident then who determines if its a statutory or repairable wreck, especially if it's a single-vehicle crash that's not reported to police?
  6. People can privately get a vehicle written-off, by contacting the transport authority in their state.

    I think I know what your getting at, if someone has a crash and doesn't want the vehicle to be a stat write-off.
    For that I don't have an answer at the moment, will keep looking and if I still can't find something I will give QT a call tomorrow.

    If the vehicle is towed and a mechanic looks at it, then they can write it off, and they make the call.
    When my wife rolled her car, the tow company gave it a stat write-off on arrival.

    I would imaging that if a vehicle had enough damage to be a stat write-off that this would be picked up by the road worthy. But then again, do you trust all mechanics?

    Just e-mailed QT 2 questions which I think will answer yours

    First one is
    If a vehicle is involved in a single vehicle crash and there are no cops called and it's towed to a private address, then who determines if the vehicle is a repairable write-off are statutory?

    If a mechanic has a car brought in and they notice that it had structural damage to it rendering it stat write-off are they obligated to record this with the written off vehicle registry?
  7. Yep. What would be stopping them from simply fixing up the bike and selling it off to someone else?
    I know I certainly wouldn't trust a RW to pick up damage to a frame that had been welded and painted over.

    Be interesting to see what the reply is to the questions you've sent off.
  8. What I want to know is what covering a donkey has to do with this thread. What if you don't have a donkey? what do you cover then?

    Edi:t I have added this to the stickies folder good stuff there Geesh.
  9. Well you'd be a bit of a clot if you did that wouldn't you........it would greatly reduce the resale value of your wreck.

    Licenced auctioneers & insurance companys MUST have their write offs formaly notified.

    This doesn't apply to you or me. (ie Joe Average)

    There is quite a lot in this WOVR stuff. If anyone wants to get into it they would be well advised to ask google, and not this forum.

    The rules are quite convoluted and there is at least one really useful loophole for those with imagination.

    The relevant local rego authority website should have it all. Read the fine print very carefully.
  10. Nobody. The owner will repair it and sell it on, or swap it for a case of beer or a DT175 to someone who will fix it and sell it.

    Revs checks are handy, but more for the finance thing than anything else. A good mechanic should be able to see the signs of a dropped bike. Hell, a buyer should.
  11. Have a response from QT and it was to call them about the writting off question above.

    Since I work mon - fri and I don't like spending my lunch break on hold to them, I am no planning on calling them.
  12. Bikes have to be pretty seriously damaged to be a statutory write off. So an uninsured owner is more likely to wreck the bike and sell it on ebay than fix it as the cost of fixing it is going to be much more then they are going to get for it.

    could happen but I doubt it.

    last time I went to a damaged bike auction it was difficult to see the value in it, given modern part prices from wreckers and dealers and the cost of registration, greenslips etc.

    so I'd say to anyone thinking they can get a cheap bike this way, "think again". If you are open minded about which bike you buy on the day, you buy well, you do all the work youself and you are willing to have some parts not 100%, then you might save 5-10% on a bike, but otherwise . . . .

    remember also this 5-10% needs to be weighed against re-sale value.
  13. You also need to take into account if it worth it based on the 'cost' of your time.
    I would consider buying a write-off maybe to have a spanner night with people to learn how to pull it apart and put back together without risk to a bike 'real' value.

    But now I am running off the topic :p