ADVERTISEMENT

Changes to Learner Hours and Speeds, Plus New Restricted Provisional Licences

The NSW Government announced yesterday more changes to the logbook driving hours requirement for learner licences.

Learners who participate in a new Safer Driving Course will be able to reduce their compulsory supervised driving hours from 120 hours to 100 hours.

The reduction of 20 hours is in addition to the 20 hour reduction already available for having 10 hours of professional lessons.

In total, learners will be able to reduce their compulsory supervised driving hours from 120 down to 80 if they participate in the new Safer Driving Course and also have 10 hours of professional lessons.

The new Safer Driving Course will involve both theoretical and practical training and has been developed in consultation with safety and industry experts.

The government also announced that from 1 July 2013, learners will be allowed to travel at 90km/h, instead of the current 80km/h.

The final aspect of the announcement is that restricted provisional drivers licences are being tested in three remote communities in northern NSW.

The restricted provisional licences are designed to assist young drivers from remote, lower socio-economic and Aboriginal communities satisfy the requirements to get their P-plates.

Under 25 year olds from those remote communities will be eligible for the restricted provisional drivers licence if they have completed 50 supervised driving hours and have passed the driving test.  They will only be able to use the restricted provisional licence to drive to work, education and medical appointments.

CTP Greenslips Across Australia

We know that those of us who take the time to shop around, we can find cheap green slips in NSW, but what about the rest of the country? People who are planning to make an interstate move to, or from, New South Wales, will be interested to know that the process for purchasing CTP insurance in NSW does not always work in exactly the same way across Australia.

Overview of CTP Insurance in NSW

When registering a motor vehicle in NSW several steps are involved once you receive your renewal notice from the State Government’s Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) Department (formerly Roads and Traffic Authority – RTA).

Firstly, you will need to get a Green Slip – your Compulsory Third Party Insurance. NSW registrations are unique in that you are able to compare prices in order to get the cheapest Green Slip NSW has on offer. Your previous insurer will send you a renewal notice well in advance, but you are under no obligation to renew with them.

Use our NSW Green Slip Calculator to find the cheapest Greenslips in NSW.

Once you have paid for your green slip, its details will be sent electronically to RMS.

The second step is to have your vehicle inspected for roadworthiness at an Authorised Safety Check Inspection Station (ASCIS) for light vehicles. (Heavy vehicles inspections are conducted though an HVAIS, and cranes are inspected by an ACIS.)

Your e-Safety check will be transmitted electronically to RMS.

You can then either complete your registration online, paying the required registration fee electronically, send your registration renewal with payment to the RMS, or present at an RMS location and pay in person.

From January 1, 2013, there is no longer a requirement for registration stickers to be displayed on NSW registered vehicles.

The NSW CTP Insurance scheme is explained in full on this website, including everything you need to know to compare and purchase your greenslip.

So that’s the story for CTP insurance in NSW, what about the other States and Territories?

How Much Is CTP Insurance in QLD?

When you register, or renew registration, on a motor vehicle in Queensland, there is no real need to shop around for the best Greenslip price. You simply nominate on your registration documents which insurer you choose to use, and the insurance is actioned at the same time as your registration.

There are six companies who provide CTP insurance in Queensland:
AAMI
ALLIANZ
NRMA Insurance
QBE
RACQ Insurance
SUNCORP

Their prices are all the same, which in February 2012, was $328.80 for 12 months, for a Vehicle Class 1, without Input Tax Credit Entitlement (ITCE).

However, as is the case with a CTP NSW insurer, if you have other policies with one of these providers, e.g. home contents insurance, then by electing them as your CTP insurance provider as well, you may be offered a multi-policy discount on those other products.

CTP Insurance in Victoria

In Victoria, when you register your car, a component of your registration is a TAC charge or TAC premium. ‘TAC’ stands for Transport Accident Charge, which is Victoria’s Compulsory Third Party insurance, its Greenslip.

Managed by the Victorian Government’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) rather than individual insurers, so there is no need to go through the process of searching for the cheapest Greenslip NSW-style.

The Transport Accident Act 1986 is the legislation that guides the type of benefits the TAC can pay, but they are essentially the same as in other states, i.e. for the treatment and compensation for people injured in accidents caused by drivers of Victorian registered vehicles.

How Much is a Green Slip in SA?

Compulsory Third Party Insurance in South Australia is referred to as Motor Injury Insurance, and is controlled by the Government’s Motor Accident Commission (MAC).  As with Victoria and Queensland, CTP insurance is bundled with your vehicles registration fees.

In 2013 the MAC increased insurance rates by an average of 4.7%. This brought the Class 1 passenger vehicle premium to $512 (family car garaged near or in Adelaide).

All claims enquiries and claims processing are managed by MAC’s Claims Manager, Allianz Australia Limited, which is one of the providers we compare to get the cheapest Green Slip NSW rates.

CTP ACT – Australian Capital Territory Green Slips

As with elsewhere in Australia, it is compulsory for anyone registering a vehicle to have compulsory third party insurance in the Australian Capital Territory.

Unlike the New South Wales model where, when registration time comes, around you can shop around and compare green slip NSW prices, there is only one provider of CTPI for ACT motorists – NRMA Insurance.

As a rough guide to rates, as at 1 September 2012, the CTP rate for a passenger vehicle in the ACT was $578.70.

CTP Insurance in Western Australia

Compulsory Third Party Insurance in Western Australia is provided by the state government under the auspices of the Insurance Commission of WA.  The Commission is subject to conditions of the insurance policy and the Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act 1943.

The premium to cover this insurance is included with motor vehicle registration.

For a Class 1X Motor car used for private purposes, the premium, as at 1 July 2012, was $245.01.  As with all other states, including NSW greenslips, prices vary depending on the type of motor vehicle being registered.

NRMA Covers Tasmania CTP

Tasmanian CTP insurance is governed by the Motor Accidents Insurance Board, but as in the ACT, the NRMA is the sole provider of green slips for Tasmania.

Green Slips in The Northern Territory

CTP insurance in the Northern Territory is paid as part of motor vehicle registration renewal, and is managed by the Territory Insurance Office (TIO). Currently the CTP component for a car of less than or equal to 4 cylinders is $227.90.

From July 1, 2013 the Northern Territory will abolish registration stickers.

New South Wales is unique in giving its motor vehicle owners the flexibility to seek out budget CTP green slip quotes, and using our free Greenslip Calculator allows you to do it all in one place.

New Road Numbering System

RMS (formerly the RTA) is introducing a new road numbering system and new names for some important routes.  The changes will commence in early 2013 and should be fully implemented by the end of that year.

The changes are simple in that they apply a letter and number code to Motorways (M), roads of national significance (A) and roads of state significance (B).  The numbers identify the different motorways or roads within each category.

The changes will make navigation on major routes much simpler.  For example, if want to drive to Broken Hill from Sydney, you will simply follow the A32 the whole way.  If you want to drive from Sydney to Walgett you join the B55 and follow it through to Walgett.

The changes are consistent with systems in most other states so that the same code will apply as roads cross into those states.

Name changes will apply to some major roads, however the changes are not significant and should not have a major impact.

More information is available on the RMS website.

 

Rego Labels Abolished

The NSW State Government has announced that registration labels for light vehicles will be abolished from 1 January 2013.

From that date registration labels will no longer be required for cars, motorbikes and trucks with a GVM up to 4.5 tonnes.

Registration labels are not a reliable indication that a vehicle is validly registered and in any case police check vehicle registration regardless of the label.

The RMS has introduced a facility for checking vehicle registration.  If you go to the free registration check page of the RMS website and enter a vehicle registation number, you will receive information on the registration status and on the current greenslip insurer for that vehicle.

Greenslip Scam Warning

The MAA has issued a warning about a greenslip scam.

The scam was uncovered after reports from two insurers and involves more than 1,000 ctp greenslip policies. It seems to be centered around the south western suburbs of Sydney.

Under the scam, purchasers are paying cash at inflated prices for greenslips obtained fraudulently. Victims loose their money and do not have a valid greenslip for their vehicle.

When purchasing a greenslip, it is critical to ensure you purchase the greenslip directly from one of the seven licensed insurers or from a reputable broker or agent. The price of the greenslip should be based on your vehicle and your details. If in doubt, contact the insurer to confirm the price and to confirm that the broker or agent is entitled to act for them. Contact details for the insurers are set out on this website.

QBE – No At-Fault Driver Cover

QBE is no longer offering At-Fault Driver Cover on NSW greenslip policies commencing on or after 1 April 2012.

At-Fault Driver Cover is an additional feature offered now by four of the seven NSW greenslip insurers.

Through At-Fault Driver Cover, insurers offer to pay additional benefits to at fault drivers injured in a motor vehicle accident.  The injuries for which a benefit is payable and the benefits vary from insurer to insurer.

A full explanation of At-Fault Driver Cover and an insurer by insurer analysis of the benefits are available on this website.

New Learner Driver Course

The State Government announced this week that it will introduce a new course for learner drivers.

The course, which is still to be developed, will be aimed at giving learner drivers skills to become safer drivers.

A board of independent road safety experts and advisory panel will be appointed to make recommendations on the structure of the course.

Learner drivers who complete a safer driving course will have their log book requirements reduced from the current 120 hours to 100 hours.

Learner drivers will be able to combine the safer driving course with the three for one driving lessons concession to reduce their log book requirement to 80 hours.

Call for CTP Review

A review of the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA) was released this week and some parties are not happy with the findings.

The NSW Parliamentary Law and Justice Standing Committee released its eleventh review into the MAA and the Motor Accidents Council (MAC) on Tuesday.  A copy of the report is available here.

Amongst other things, the report found that for the last five years there is a gap between the profit insurance companies project for the purpose of setting greenslip premiums and the profit they actually make.

The NSW Bar Association says that this represented a fundamental flaw in the greenslip scheme in NSW and, along with the NSW Greens, has called for an overhaul of the scheme.

The Insurance Council of Australia argues that the higher profits result from fewer claims on the scheme.

Battle of $77 green slip lift

There is an interesting article in today’s The Daily Telegraph by Andrew Clennell, titled “Battle of $77 green slip lift”.  The article says that the State Government, through the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA), is pushing back on requests by insurers for increased CTP greenslip premiums.

Under the current legislation, the MAA may reject a premium proposed by an insurer if, in its opinion, the premium will not fund liabilities under the scheme, the premium is excessive or the premium does not comply with guidelines issued by the MAA.

If the MAA and the insurer are not able to reach agreement on the premium, the matter may be resolved by an arbitrator agreed on by the parties, or in the absence of agreement on an arbitrator, by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

College St Cycleway Disaster

I have commented in the past about cycleways in the Sydney CBD and feel compelled to do so again. My comments this time are specifically about the cycleway in College Street, between the Cathedral and William Street.

I do not understand why cyclists run the risk in College Street traffic when there is a new cycleway running a parallel path. Any week day afternoon there are many cyclists weaving through the traffic in College Street and yet the cycleway is largely unused. Last Friday afternoon I witnessed an altercation between a driver and two cyclists at the William Street lights.

Something needs to be done. College Street is dangerous for cyclists and for drivers.

If the cycleway is badly designed and in the wrong place, admit defeat and move it so that it can be used, otherwise get rid of the cycleway. What is the point of retaining a cycleway that is not used?

Finally, if the cycleway is to be retained, then cyclists should be forced to use it.