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Do I need car insurance in Australia?

Yes, CTP insurance is compulsory in Australia, and there are 3 other types of optional cover – each offers more protection than the minimum legal insurance.

Is car insurance compulsory in Australia?

Only CTP insurance is compulsory. In Australia, you must insure each registered vehicle with CTP insurance, sometimes known as Green slip insurance. CTP actually stands for compulsory third party insurance.

You buy your policy from one of a handful of insurers your state has selected to take part in its CTP scheme – all of these state-regulated policies cover you for the medical bills of anyone you injure in an accident. Some states will cover some of your medical bills, even when you're at fault.

In most states, your Green Slip automatically comes with your registration. But you can choose between private insurers if you're in NSW, SA, ACT or QLD.

How does car insurance work in Australia?

Once your car has compulsory third party insurance sorted, you can choose to add on other insurance for further protection. This is optional, yet recommended depending on the value of your car. There are three types of additional insurance to go along with your CTP. These are:

Third party property damage car insurance
Third party property damage (TPPD)

This covers damage you cause to another's property, including cars, homes, land, pets and personal items. But it won't cover repair costs for your car. This level of coverage is a good option for those with less valuable cars.

third party, fire and theft
Third party, fire and theft (TPFT)

This covers everything TPPD does plus fire and theft. It doesn't cover your car if you're involved in an accident or if it's damaged by any other type of natural disaster, besides fire. This level of coverage may be good for those in more dangerous LGAs or those who simply want coverage in the event of fire or theft.

Comprehensive
Comprehensive

This covers you for everything third party property damage (TPPD) and third party fire and theft (TPFT) does, plus, many other ways your car can get damaged: storms, natural disasters, vandalism, uninsured drivers, hit-and-runs and at-fault accidents. The most notable difference between comprehensive and third party insurance is that comprehensive car insurance covers damage to your own car.

Additionally, there are specialist types of car insurance that you might need depending on your circumstances. Examples include multi-car insurance, which lets you insure all your cars together – and rideshare insurance, to cover you if you're an Uber or Ola driver, for example. There's also modified car insurance for those with mods that sit outside of regular insurance.

Finder survey: How many Australians have car insurance?

Response
Yes88.07%
No5.57%
I don't own a car5.27%
Only some of my cars are insured1.09%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1006 Australians, December 2023

Compare car insurance

1 - 6 of 24
Name Product Roadside assistance Accidental damage Storm Choice of repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2024 winner of our Best Value Car Insurance award. It's cheaper than most, plus you can lower costs by adding age restrictions.

⭐ Current offer: 15% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Anyone who wants a good value policy.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: The 2023 winner of our Best Features Car Insurance award. Plus, it's one of the only insurers to automatically include roadside assistance.

Who it might be good for: Those who want good customer service with lots of inclusions.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Covers a little more than other insurers. You don’t need to pay an excess for windscreen repairs and cover applies to anyone who uses your car.

⭐ Current offer: Get $100 off your first year's comprehensive car insurance premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Multiple people using one car.
ROLLiN' Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: One of the most cost-effective insurers for under 25s, according to Finder research, with no aged-based excess.

Who it might be good for: Young drivers looking to keep costs down and anyone who’d like to get more flexibility from their car insurance.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary: Our data shows it’s the cheapest comprehensive policy. It just covers the basics such as damage to your car, theft and storms – it doesn’t go in for add-ons and extras.

Who it might be good for: Those wanting a low-cost, no-frills policy.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You need car insurance so why not get one that lets you earn Qantas Points? It's good value too (it's underwritten by the same insurer as Budget Direct).

⭐ Current offer: Earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Car Insurance policy you take out by 28 May. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want more bang for their buck with Qantas Points.
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1 - 4 of 15
Name Product Damage to your Car Damage to Other People's Car Legal Liability
Budget Direct Third Party Property Only
Only $5,000 cover for uninsured motorist damage
$20,000,000
⭐ Current offer: Save 15% on your first year's premium when you purchase a new policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Drivers who only want cover for damage to another person’s vehicle and up to 15% off your first year.
Youi Third Party Property Damage
Only $5,000 cover for uninsured motorist damage
$20,000,000
⭐ Current offer: Covered up to $5,000 for accidental damage to your car caused by an uninsured third party.

Who it might be good for: Drivers who want a reliable insurer. It was the 2022 Insurer of the Year for Customer Satisfaction.
Bingle Third Party Property Damage
$20,000,000
Who it might be good for: Drivers who want a cheap policy and cover for damage to other people’s vehicles (but not your own car). It can also cover rideshare drivers.
Qantas Third Party Property Only
Only $5,000 cover for uninsured motorist damage
Up to $20,000,000
Earn Qantas Points when you sign up. T&Cs apply.
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Why is additional insurance important?

CTP may be the only form of insurance that's compulsory, but that doesn't mean you should go without more cover.

If you want to stop yourself from potentially severe financial hardship, it may well makes sense to get extra cover. Here are 3 reasons why:

Number 1
Damaging someone's property can be expensive

Causing an accident can be expensive. Even if you forget about the damages to your car, you'll still be responsible for damaging other people's cars plus any other property you can think of, like road signs, bus stops, homes, lawns, shopfronts and animals.

Number 2
There's often no one else responsible when your car is damaged.

If replacing your car would hurt your wallet, consider these situations where CTP won't pay for your car: you cause the accident, an uninsured driver hits you, someone hits you and drives off, someone steals or vandalises your car or there's a natural disaster like a flood or hailstorm.

Number 3
Your bank may require it

If you borrowed money for your car, your lender might insist that you take up additional cover to protect the loan.

While budgets are tight, it can be tempting to drop down a cover level. But I look at it the other way round. Even optional covers can save you money in the long run as they can help you avoid out-of-pocket costs. Take roadside assistance. You can get a standalone policy for around $7 per month. And it could save you hundreds of bucks on the cost of private towing fees if you find yourself stranded at the side of the road following an accident.

James Martin

James Martin
Insurance editor

Weighing up your car insurance options

The type of insurance that's best for you will depend on your personal circumstances. Below are some questions to ask yourself that can help determine what level of cover may be best for your car.

  • Do you owe money on your car? If you're still paying for your car, there's a good chance your lender will require you to have comprehensive car insurance because that's the only level that fully covers your car. Even if not, you should strongly consider comprehensive cover so you don't need to take out a second loan to replace the vehicle.
  • How much is your car worth? If replacing your car wouldn't break the bank, you can get away with third party property cover. It won't cover your car, but will help you avoid massive bills if you crash into someone else's.
  • Do you drive often or rely on your car? If you're on the road a lot, comprehensive car insurance can swoop in to help if an accident leaves your car undriveable. For example, it can provide you with a hire car while yours is in the shop and put you up in a hotel if you're stranded far from home.
  • Where do you live? If you live in an area that's prone to natural disasters or theft, you should get a level of insurance that will cover those specific risks. Third party, fire and theft will help out if you live in a bushfire-prone area. If you live in a flood zone or somewhere that experiences cyclones, you'll need comprehensive cover.

How safe is your car?

59% of Australians say they aren't taking extra precautions to reduce the chances of their car being stolen. According to our consumer sentiment tracker, 15% of people hide their keys in the house, 14% of people have CCTV and 9% of people have an alarm system. Many insurers will lower your premium if you can keep your car secured somewhere safely at night.

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    corrineFebruary 10, 2019

    I am in QLD on WHV 417 and want to buy a car to travel around the country. If I buy a car i understand i must register it as the new owner – do you know how much that is? and then I must insure it with a green slip if I sort this in QLD am I then covered for insurance across all australia?

      AvatarFinder
      JohnFebruary 11, 2019Finder

      Hi Corrine,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Depending on the vehicle number of cylinders, your vehicle registration in QLD may range from $350-$670. The rules of CTP insurance vary from state to state. For example, drivers in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have the power to choose their CTP/Green Slip insurance provider. All vehicles in Australia must have CTP insurance before they can be registered and legally driven in any road in Australia. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    SueNovember 20, 2018

    Can you insure the car you are driving if it is not registered in your name/

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiNovember 20, 2018

      Hi Sue,

      Thanks for reaching out! You may certainly insure a car you’re driving that’s not registered under your name. Non-owner car insurance allows you to drive someone else’s car and be protected.Typically this insurance only provides liability coverage, not optional coverage like damage to the car, rental reimbursement or medical expenses. Do your research by viewing this list of car insurance providers on our page and ask if they offer this type.
      As a friendly reminder, carefully review the Product Disclosure Statement of the product before applying. You may also contact the insurance provider should you have any questions about their policy.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

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