Written-off heavy vehicles

The NSW Written-Off Heavy Vehicles Register (WOHVR) improves road safety and reduces the incidence of heavy vehicle theft, re-birthing and related crime.

What is a written-off heavy vehicle?

If your heavy vehicle is assessed as a 'total loss' it must be written-off. A vehicle is a 'total loss' when the cost of repairs plus its value as a damaged vehicle (its salvage value) is higher than its market value.

A written-off heavy vehicle must be classified and recorded in the WOHVR as either a ‘statutory’ or a ‘repairable’ write-off.

What is a ‘statutory’ write-off?

Heavy vehicles that are assessed as a total loss and have suffered damage specified in the statutory write-off assessment criteria are classified as statutory write-offs and cannot be repaired or re-registered.

The vehicle can still be bought and sold, but only used for spare parts and scrap metal. These vehicles also have their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or Chassis Number permanently cancelled.

What is a ‘repairable’ write-off?

A repairable write-off is a vehicle that has been assessed as a total loss and has not suffered damage specified in the statutory write-off assessment criteria. A repairable write-off can be re-registered if it has been repaired and certified by a suitably licensed repairer and meets Transport for NSW inspection and registration requirements.

What vehicles are included in the WOHVR?

The WOHVR applies to heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass including heavy trucks, heavy prime movers, heavy trailers, and heavy buses. Transport for NSW maintains the WOHVR.

Who is responsible for notifying the WOHVR?

Insurers, self-insurers, motor vehicle recyclers and motor dealers each have a responsibility to update the WOHVR. See Written-off vehicle assessors and licensed repairers.

What happens if my heavy vehicle is written-off?

The vehicle’s registration will be cancelled, and it will be recorded in the WOHVR. You'll be notified of this in writing.

A qualified assessor will use statutory write-off assessment criteria to determine if your heavy vehicle should be classified as a 'repairable' or 'statutory' write-off.

If your vehicle is a statutory write-off, it cannot be re-registered and can only be used for scrap metal or dismantled for spare parts.

If your vehicle is a repairable write-off, it may be repaired and certified by a suitably licensed repairer who will issue a Heavy Vehicle Certificate of Compliance.

What is a 'hail damaged' heavy vehicle?

NSW registered heavy vehicles written-off solely due to hail damage and retained by the registered operator are known as written-off hail damaged heavy vehicles and are treated differently to other written-off heavy vehicles.

The registration of the vehicle is not cancelled and no restrictions are placed on the registration. However, the Certificate of Registration shows that the vehicle was written-off.

How should a damaged heavy vehicle be assessed?

If a damaged heavy vehicle is assessed to be a total loss, then the Damage Assessment Criteria for the classification of Heavy Vehicle Statutory Write-Offs published by Austroads must be applied.

Heavy vehicle damage must be assessed by a person who is qualified to do the job. See Written-off vehicle assessors and licensed repairers.

Re-registering a written-off heavy vehicle

Transport for NSW can only re-register a written-off heavy vehicle when it has been assessed as ‘repairable’ and has been repaired by a suitably licensed repairer who will issue a Heavy Vehicle Certificate of Compliance.

The Heavy Vehicle Certificate of Compliance contains a declaration that damage affecting the vehicle’s structural integrity and safety has been repaired according to the manufacturer's repair guidelines or according to standards accepted by industry.

Once the repairs are completed and certified, you'll need to have the vehicle inspected at a Heavy Vehicle Authorised Inspection Scheme (HVAIS) station.

Once your vehicle has met Transport for NSW inspection requirements, you'll need to bring all the documentation related to the vehicle repairs to the service centre, including:

Transport for NSW recommends that you keep all information to do with the repair process, including invoices and receipts for parts.


If you have a heavy vehicle registered for business use and do not have an insurance policy covering its loss or damage, you are known as a 'self-insurer'. If you choose to have your damaged heavy vehicle assessed, you are responsible for having it properly assessed and notifying the WOHVR. If you choose to dispose of the vehicle to a motor vehicle recycler, you are also responsible for notifying the WOHVR.

Insurers, self-insurers, vehicle recyclers and dealers

Insurers, self-insurers, motor vehicle recyclers and motor dealers (collectively known as ‘assessors’) must be qualified and assess and classify written-off heavy vehicles using the statutory write-off assessment criteria.

Licensed repairers

Only suitably licensed repairers may repair and certify repairable written-off heavy vehicles.

A suitably licensed repairer is a person who holds a motor vehicle repairer's licence issued by NSW Fair Trading or an interstate repairer who holds, or employs a person who holds, the relevant qualifications set out in clause 36 of the Motor Dealers and Repairers Regulation 2014.

For more information visit www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Certificates of Compliance:


Road Transport Act 2013 and the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2017.

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