Club Rego Rorting - Faine 430

By: Jon Faine

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club plates 1 club plates 1

A 1993 Triton with club plates loaded with ladders. Really?

Are club permits the best thing to happen since ratchet handles?

So why do the pen pushers make it so complex? And why do the selfish knuckleheads who rort it think they are doing anything other than threatening its future?

Just about every jurisdiction has a version of the system that allows you to drive your old car without handing over the approximately $850 registration for a car that only goes out for a spin every now and then.

Some state governments (SG’s) have gone AS (ape sh*t) about OCs (old cars). Take WA (West Australia) where someone in the DoT urgently needs PERE (Plain English Re-Education).

Under the WA DoT rules, a permit will require a CEO at the DoT or a visit to the DVS with an IBC from ASIC with an ACN or a CMC1 from WADoC. The ‘Vintage, Veteran, Post Vintage, Invitational Class Vehicle Application’ (Form E81)  must be presented along with the ‘Certificate of Financial Membership’ (CMC 1 Form)  from an approved club that must have a minimum of thirty (one more than twenty nine [29]) members. You cannot use the vehicle for general transport or to work (DRAT).

| Read next: Should it be on classic plates?

In Victoria, where someone in the bureaucracy clearly won an award at the plain english workshop, you are required to fill in a ‘Permit Application’ and show proof of membership of an eligible club and proof of safety. Which is exactly the same as in WA. Except in Victoria, owners of old cars are driving to and from work and to the supermarket every day and use the $150 a year permits (good for 90 days of driving) as a way of avoiding nearly $850 plus of registration each year.

You have to fill in a log book each time you go for a drive. If you are checked by the police and the log book is not filled in, you are charged with unregistered and uninsured driving, losing points and copping a minimum and mandatory $1200 fine. If you have a prang when the log book is not filled in, you are uninsured, even if your policy is up to date. Yet people do it every day.

In Queensland, the ‘Special Interest Vehicle’ scheme has similar restrictions to WA. The car must not be used for general purposes – going to or from work – or for hire or reward. You can only use the vehicle on rallies, club events, going to or from a repairer, or for road testing within 15km of home but not for everyday use. Fair enough, and clearly explained. But widely exploited by the simple ruse of taking a screw driver with you to the supermarket or on the drive to work and telling any inquiring plod that the carbies needed adjusting in time for next weekend’s club drive.

These cheaper permits and reduced rego schemes have revived the entire old car community.

Owners of multiple old cars can keep a fleet, all legal and running around, without going broke. I renewed one permit last month and when I checked the log book I had used the car three times in twelve months. Apart from feeling ashamed, I also felt grateful it had not cost me 20 times more in fees for a rarely driven car to be legally but occasionally on the road.

The flip side is the tradie in the ’93 Triton twin cab with club plates on the freeway, loaded with conduit and ladders who goes past me every day in a fluoro fleecy. Not just risking his own pockets but putting the credibility of the system at risk.

And so is the local ‘entrepreneur’ offering membership of an eligible club (his private one) for $100, no questions asked, vehicle neither checked nor even seen and club permit applications signed on payment of the cash. Genuine club participation is irrelevant, and old car enthusiasm not required. So what do we do, those of us who want the schemes nurtured and retained, to counter the prospect of the regulators and bean counters getting so cross with the scammers that the entire system is scrapped? Bringing back the stocks and public floggings seems just a bit excessive...


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