If you live in New South Wales and own a car that’s more than five years old, you’ll most likely need a safety inspection before you can register your car or complete your registration renewal. The safety inspection report is called a Pink Slip.1
Like other tasks that help your car remain roadworthy and protected, such as renewing your car insurance and getting your car serviced, the process can seem less daunting if you know what it can involve, and if you’re aware of ways you can prepare for this check.
We’ve put together a guide to NSW Pink Slip vehicle inspections that will hopefully answer your common questions, so you’ll be all set to pay your registration renewal and stay on the road.
What is a NSW Pink Slip?
Also known as a safety check or an eSafety check, a Pink Slip is a safety inspection report that verifies your car is safe to drive. Most light vehicles more than five years old need to undergo a Pink Slip vehicle inspection before they can be registered, or have their registration renewed, in NSW.1
Your registration renewal notice should tell you whether or not you need a Pink Slip vehicle inspection.
For the purposes of this check, the NSW Government defines light vehicles as:2
- Passenger cars
- Goods-carrying vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 4.5 tonnes or less with no power-operated brakes
- Vehicles used to provide point-to-point transport
- Trailers and caravans with an aggregate trailer mass of 4.5 tonnes or less, including those fitted with breakaway brakes but not including those fitted with air or vacuum breakaway braking systems.2
A Pink Slip vehicle inspection is separate from both Green Slips and Blue Slips. In NSW, you might need to have multiple ‘slips’ at the same time, so it’s important you’re aware of which ones you require in order to legally drive. We explain the differences between a Pink Slip, Blue Slip and Green Slip here.
How do I organise a Pink Slip vehicle inspection?
In order to get a Pink Slip that will be recognised as valid when you renew your registration, you’ll need to book your vehicle in at an authorised inspection station.3 Service NSW has an online database of authorised inspection stations that can help you find one near you, or you can check whether your usual mechanic is accredited by looking out for an Authorised Safety Check sign.2
If it’s inconvenient for you to travel, you might also be able to arrange a mobile Pink Slip vehicle inspection.4 An authorised mobile examiner can come to any location that’s safe and suitable, such as your home or workplace. You don’t even have to be there, though you might want to set clear expectations on access to the vehicle if you won’t be present.4
If you need to get a Pink Slip report outside NSW, you’ll similarly need to find an inspection station that’s accredited.5 Interstate Pink Slip vehicle inspections must be done by either one of the following:
- An inspection station authorised by an interstate authority
- The interstate registering authority
- A member of the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).5
Transport for NSW will only accept an interstate Pink Slip vehicle inspection if you’re more than 50km from the NSW border.5 A database of authorised interstate inspection stations is available via the Service NSW website.
How much does a NSW Pink Slip cost?
The NSW Government sets maximum fees for Pink Slip vehicle inspections.6 As of October 2023, the fees for a NSW Pink Slip are:
- $46 for light vehicles
- $26 for motorcycles
- $24 for a trailer without brakes
- $36 for a trailer with brakes.6
These fees are the same for a mobile safety check, although there may be an additional call-out or travel fee. The examiner must charge this fee separately and let you know the cost before you book.4
How long does a Pink Slip vehicle inspection take and what does the safety check involve?
Generally speaking, a Pink Slip vehicle inspection takes around 30 minutes, and involves the inspector running a variety of tests and checks.7 During the safety check, your car might be assessed for:
- 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.7
What happens after a Pink Slip vehicle inspection and how long does a NSW Pink Slip last?
If your vehicle passes its NSW eSafety check, the inspection provider should send the report to Transport for NSW electronically, leaving you free to renew your registration once you have purchased your CTP Green Slip.1
NSW Pink Slips are valid for six months, which means you’re required to use the report to renew your registration within six months of the safety check for it to be valid.2 If your vehicle is more than five years old, you’ll need to get a Pink Slip vehicle inspection each year.2
What if my vehicle fails a Pink Slip vehicle inspection?
If your vehicle fails its NSW eSafety check, you’ll need to make the required repairs before you can renew your registration.2
If the repairs are made within 14 days, and if you take your car to be reassessed at the same authorised inspection station, you usually shouldn’t have to pay any additional inspection fees. However, if the repairs are made outside the 14-day period, you may need to pay another fee.2
Once the repairs have been made, the safety check has been passed, and everything else that’s required to drive your car legally is in order – such as CTP insurance – you should be all clear to go ahead and get your registration renewal online.2
Note: Information in this article is relevant as of November 2023 and by its nature will change over time. Check relevant Government websites for updates if this information is important to you.
Article by guest writer Annette Sampson
1 Source: NSW Government – Get a safety inspection report (pink slip)
2 Source: NSW Government – Safety checks and vehicle inspections
3 Source: NSW Government – Find a safety inspection provider
4 Source: NSW Government – Find a mobile safety check provider
5 Source: Service NSW – Find an authorised vehicle inspection station outside NSW
6 Source: NSW Government – Vehicle Safety check and inspection fees
7 Source: Finder – Pink Slips – An eSafety inspection report