Uninsured and Unregistered Vehicles - Accidents on Private Land

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Policy

The TAC can pay benefits to an eligible client injured in a transport accident involving a registered and/or an insured motor vehicle on private land.

However, the TAC is unable to pay benefits to any person injured as a result of a transport accident involving an unregistered motor vehicle on private land and where no transport accident charge has been paid.

Also, the TAC is unable to pay benefits to the owner of an uninsured motor vehicle injured as a result of a transport accident on private land and where no transport accident charge has been paid.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.41A and s.41B

Definitions

Motor vehicles include motor cars, motor cycles, trucks and buses that are used, designed or intended to be used on a highway.

Under the Road Safety Act, a motor vehicle does not include:

  • a railway train or tram
  • a motorised wheelchair capable of a speed of not more than 10km per hour
  • a golf cart, golf buggy or ride on mower that is mainly used outside the road system (and not for travelling more than 2 km at a time when on a highway in the one direction and is being used for the purpose for which it is manufactured)
  • self propelled vehicles, designed to be controlled by a person walking with the vehicle or a pedal cycle with a motor with an output of less than 200 watts
  • a self propelled vehicle used for construction that travels less than 10 km per hour
  • an electronic scooter with an output of less than 200 watts that travels less than 10 km per hour.

An uninsured motor vehicle is a motor vehicle where the transport accident charge or a corresponding interstate accident charge, also known as the third party insurance fee, had at the time of the accident been unpaid for at least 12 months.  
Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.41B(2)

An unregistered motor vehicle is a motor vehicle that has never been registered in Victoria or elsewhere in Australia and the transport accident charge has not been paid to cover the date of the transport accident. 
Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.41A(2)

The 28 day grace period refers to the period of time owners in Victoria have from the date on which the motor vehicle's registration and transport accident charge expired, in which to pay the transport accident charge. If the transport accident occurs outside the grace period, the vehicle is considered to be uninsured. 
Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.109(4)

In Victoria the owner of a motor vehicle usually pays the transport accident charge and a further payment for registration at the same time. Both fees are normally collected by VicRoads.

How does the Transport Accident Act define private land?

Private land means any land whether publicly or privately owned that members of the public may not enter or may not remain on without permission and which is not a 'highway'. 
Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.41A(2)

A highway is defined by reference to the Road Safety Act. A highway is any 'road' or a 'road related area'.

A highway includes any area accessible to the public such as:

  • a road (an area open to or used by the public and developed for, or has as one of its main uses, the driving or riding of motor vehicles)
  • a footpath, nature strip or an area that divides a road
  • an area open to the public and designated for cyclists
  • an area open to or used by the public for driving, riding or parking motor vehicles.

Is a person entitled to TAC benefits in relation to an accident involving an uninsured vehicle on private land?

The TAC will pay benefits to a client where he/she is either a driver, passenger, pedestrian or pedal cyclist injured in a transport accident in Victoria occurring on private land involving an uninsured vehicle, provided the client is not the owner of the vehicle. The TAC can seek financial recovery against the owner for any compensation that is paid. 
Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.41B(1)

The TAC will not pay benefits to an owner of an uninsured motor vehicle injured in a transport accident on private land.

However, owners in Victoria have a 28 day grace period from the date on which the motor vehicle's registration and transport accident charge expired, to pay the transport accident charge. 
Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.109(4)

Is a person entitled to TAC benefits in relation to an accident involving an unregistered vehicle on private land?

The TAC will not pay benefits to any person (whether they are the owner of the vehicle or not) injured as a result of a transport accident involving an unregistered motor vehicle on private land where no transport accident charge has been paid. 
Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.41A(1)

Will the transport accident charge need to be paid for unregistered and uninsured vehicles that will be used on private land only and not on a highway?

Yes, the transport accident charge will need to be paid for vehicles on private land. This is referred to as TAC cover for non registered vehicles (NRV cover). This covers vehicles such as tractors and recreational trail bikes that can only be used on private land, eg. farms.

Recreational vehicles including recreational motorcycles can be conditionally registered and insured.

Unless the transport accident charge is paid for the vehicle, it is possible that the TAC could seek financial recovery of any compensation paid (exclusions may apply, see above).

If an unregistered and/or uninsured vehicle needs to be driven on a highway as a one off event, an unregistered vehicle permit (UVP) will need to be obtained from VicRoads, eg. driving the vehicle to your nearest VicRoads office to be inspected and registered.  The UVP includes a payment for the TAC Charge which ensures you are covered by the TAC in the event of an accident.  Refer to the TAC website for further information on the TAC Charge

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.3 'registered motor vehicle' (c)

Further information on vehicle registrations can be obtained by clicking on the link to the VicRoads home page.