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Top 10 money mistakes to avoid

slowing down, money mistakes

Owning and driving a car in NSW can be expensive, so why waste money on unnecessary penalties? We’ve compiled a list of top 10 money mistakes that vehicle owners can avoid.

1. Pay registration late ›

2. Drive your car unregistered ›

3. Pay tolls late ›

4. Speed anywhere except school zone ›

5. Speed in a school zone ›

6. Ignore double demerits periods ›

7. Buy used car without checking if registered or financed ›

8. Get insurance that doesn’t cover rideshare ›

9. Buy fuel without comparing prices ›

10. Renew your green slip without comparing prices. ›

1. Pay registration late

Always pay your registration on time to save money (and effort):

  • If you pay later than 21 days after the due date, you have to renew for 12 months. This means you forfeit the cheaper option of 6 months.
  • If you pay later than 3 months after the due date, registration will be cancelled. Beginning a new registration incurs the extra costs of a blue slip, first 12 months registration fees and a 12-month green slip.

To avoid late payment, let greenslips.com.au remind you when your registration is due.

2. Drive your car unregistered

Your vehicle is unregistered if its registration has expired or been cancelled/suspended. It’s illegal to drive your car unregistered because that means you’re also uninsured. Total penalties are heavy:

Offence Fine
Drive or park an unregistered vehicle $704
Drive or park an uninsured vehicle $704
Total   $1,408*

*As at February 2024

To make sure you register your vehicle on time, greenslips.com.au can send a sticker to remind you when registration is due .

3. Pay tolls late

Always pay your tolls on time. If you don’t have a toll tag on your vehicle (or it’s not working) you have only 3 days to pay your toll. If you don’t, there’s a sliding scale of penalties much worse than the toll itself:

  • A $10 fee for each trip with 14 days to pay
  • A $20 fee for each trip with 14 days to pay
  • If you have 3 unpaid notices, pay $198 for each one
  • If you still do nothing, pay overdue fine of $263 for each unpaid notice.

Tolls are already rising fast enough without paying high penalties for late payment.

4. Speed anywhere except school zone

The cost of any speeding is high, including demerit points, if you are caught by police or camera:

  • Speeding by 10 kph or less = $124 +1 demerit point
  • Speeding by over 20 kph = $494 + 4 demerit points.

If you don’t pay your fine by the due date, you get a further 28 days to pay. After that, the overdue fine increases by $65 for each step taken to recover the debt.

5. Speed in a school zone

In a school zone, speeding and other offences incur even higher fines and more demerit points:

  • Speeding by 10 kph or less = $205 + 2 demerit points
  • Speeding by over 20 kph = $615 + 5 demerit points

If your fine is not paid by the due date, you have a further 28 days to pay. The overdue fine then increases by $65 for every step taken to recover this debt.

6. Ignore double demerits periods

During a double demerits period, you get twice as many demerit points for certain traffic offences. While demerit points themselves don’t cost money, accumulating 13 demerits will cost you your licence. A suspended licence could cost money, such as taking taxis or rideshare or having to pay for a driver education course and driver knowledge test to get it back.

Finally, having any demerit points at all can increase the price of your green slip for 3 years .

7. Buy used car without checking if registered or financed

If you buy an unregistered car, you can’t drive it home. You also have to pay all the extra costs of getting a blue slip and registering and insuring it for the first time. Use the Check Registration to find out the date registration is due (and the current greenslip insurer).

If you buy a car that is still under finance, the finance company can come to you for the monthly payments. Go to the Personal Property Securities Register to find out whether the car is under finance. It doesn’t cost much to save a fortune.

8. Get insurance that doesn’t cover rideshare

If you offer rideshare, you must find out which insurers cover drivers of vehicles with paying passengers. Budget Direct, Coles, Huddle and Qantas don’t cover any ridesharing at all. While ANZ, Kogan, and QBE do provide rideshare cover, this is only if you drive less than 32 hours per week.

If your comprehensive or third party property policy doesn’t cover rideshare, it will be void if you have an accident.

9. Buy fuel without comparing prices

The price of fuel can vary by 30 cents or more, even within a suburb. Our fuel price calculator checks prices from every service station, every 20 minutes and is easy to use:

  1. Select fuel type.
  2. Enter suburb or postcode.
  3. Choose favourite service stations.

Once you have your favourites, you can check them all at once for prices. If you’re on a long trip, you can instantly check fuel prices wherever you are in NSW.

10. Renew your green slip without comparing prices

It may be easier to renew with your current insurer but do you want to pay more than you have to? Green slip prices change regularly and the cheapest insurer for you last year may not be the cheapest this year.

Don’t make any more money mistakes. It doesn’t take long to compare the cheapest green slip prices using the greenslips.com.au Calculator.

author image

Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 9 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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