Pink slip – An eSafety inspection report

Do you need a pink slip? Read our guide to know more about what it is, costs, requirements, where you can get it from, and more.

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A pink slip or an eSafety check, as it's most commonly known, is necessary for all light vehicles that are older than 5 years. The inspection is a legal requirement and you cannot register your car without it. It's performed at authorised inspection stations and the results will be electronically lodged with the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

Depending on the age and condition of your car, it can be a breeze to pass. Here's what you need to know about pink slips.

What is a pink slip?

Despite the name, a pink slip isn't always pink. Also known as an eSafety check, a pink slip is a letter from your mechanic stating that your car is in good working order and fit for the roads. If your car is over a certain age, a pink slip will be required in order to register your car.

Your mechanic will inspect your car and either issue a pink slip or a list or repairs needed for it to pass inspection. Although you are under no legal obligation to carry out the repairs after the inspection, it is illegal to drive an unregistered and unroadworthy vehicle. The mechanic will also submit a report to Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) on the outcome of the inspection.

How long does a pink slip last?

Light vehicle pink slips are valid for six months (excluding public passenger vehicles), so you'll need to use the report to renew registration within six months of having your safety check.

Interstate reports are valid for 42 days or less if the state has an earlier validity period.

If you do not register within that time, you will be required to obtain another pink slip and pass inspection again. Depending on your length of registration, you will typically be required to get a pink slip annually. Your registration papers will state if an inspection is required.

How much do pink slips cost?

Pink slips have a standard cost, which depends on your vehicle, and are separate to the cost of registration. We got these costs from the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) website. Costs are for NSW only.

Type of vehicleCost
Light vehicles$42
Motorcycles$23
Trailer without brakes$21
Trailer with brakes$33

Pink slips won't protect your car, but insurance will

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. Also, get up to $200 for damaged or stolen groceries.

⭐ Current offer: Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Australia Post car insurance offers comprehensive cover for things like theft, fire, new for old replacement and emergency accommodation and transport. Cover also extends to anyone who uses your car, not just you.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 online discount + $100 gift card when you purchase by 11 July 2021. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: If multiple people use the one car and you don’t want to worry about listing all drivers.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to manage their policy online 24/7.
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

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

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics. You don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. It'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats.

⭐ Current offer: Get $50 cash back when you purchase online until 30 June 2021 using the code STELLA50. T&C apply.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription – you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at any time. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month to month.
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Huddle's black comprehensive is its cover with highest limits and exclusive benefits. It includes roadside assistance. You can also get up to $2,000 for emergency travel and accommodation and up to $30 million legal liability cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a 24/7 claims processing.
PD Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed
Finder's summary: PD comprehensive car insurance policy lets you buy, manage, and start your claims process online. It includes cover for emergency repairs up to $500 and free windscreen chip repair. Ability to customise your extras cover.

⭐ Current offer: New policyholders can enjoy 15% off on their first year's premium. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those with low claims history and the only driver.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Real Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Real Comprehensive Car Insurance provides similar coverage to other insurers for the important stuff like looking after your car if it's stolen or you crash. They're also one of the few insurers who offer a Pay As You Drive policy, so you might be able to save big if you don't drive much.

Who it might be good for: Those that don't drive much can take advantage of their Pay As You Drive policy.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder's summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums. Its Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover.

⭐ Current offer: Get up to 15% off when you purchase a new car insurance policy. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: QBE is a sustainable insurance company and also Finder's Green Insurer of the Year 2021 award winner. This policy offers the highest level of protection available from QBE including three-year new car replacement.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those that are looking for a more environmentally friendly insurance choice.
Woolworths Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Woolworths has some unique perks like a price-beat guarantee where it'll beat any current comparable comprehensive renewal notice if you're over 25. You can also get 10% off your grocery shop once a month and can add roadside assistance onto your policy for just $7.35 per month.

⭐ Current offer: Save up to 15% when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Woolworths shoppers and those that want to take advantage of its price-beat guarantee.
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What does a mechanic check during a pink slip inspection?

When you go to get your pink slip, your mechanic will assess your vehicle on a number of factors, and run a variety of tests and checks that must be passed. Assessments generally take about 30 minutes. Your vehicle will be assessed on the following:

  • Tyre quality and tread depth
  • Vehicle body condition
  • Working electrics such as headlights, blinkers, interior lights and dash lights
  • Engine/suspension/exhaust and driveline condition
  • Seatbelt condition
  • Engine and driveline fluid leaks
  • Brake efficiency test

What requirements are there for a pink slip?

You will be required to get a pink slip if your car is more than five years old. If you fail inspection for a pink slip, you will need to make all required repairs and then have your vehicle inspected again. Generally, a mechanic won't charge you if your vehicle needs to be inspected again, though they are under no legal obligation to do so.

What happens if my car fails to pass an inspection?

Should your vehicle not pass an inspection, your mechanic will issue you a Repairs Needed report. This report states where your car failed the inspection and what repairs are required before a pink slip can be issued.

If you disagree with a mechanic's assessment of your car and the subsequent Repair Needed report, you are not obliged to have the repairs completed and you can go to a different mechanic for a second opinion and inspection. However, your car is required to pass inspection before a pink slip can be issued for registration.

Do I need a pink slip for a motorcycle?

You will be required to get a pink slip if you have a motorcycle that is more than five years old. A pink slip is needed for registration just like a car, with similar requirements to meet, such as an oil check, lights, blinkers and tyres tests. The inspection process is typically shorter for a motorcycle than a car and the cost is lower too.

What is a car safety check?

A car safety check is when a qualified mechanic inspects your car to identify issues that could affect your safety or the safety of other drivers and pedestrians.

Your pink slip inspection is just one example, but there are other situations where it's a good idea to go in for a safety check:

  • You're about to sell your car. Some states require you to provide the buyer with a roadworthy certificate showing that the car is safe to drive. Even if your state doesn't require it, it can be a good way to gain the trust of potential buyers.
  • You've just had a child. There's no better time to make sure your car is safe than when you've had a child who will be riding along with you.
  • You're getting other damage repaired. If you're taking your car in for repairs, it's a good idea to have your mechanic do a quick safety inspection to make sure nothing else got jiggled loose.
  • You have free servicing on a new car. Taking your car in for free servicing is a no-brainer. They'll usually do a safety check as part of the overall service.

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