We're trialling ways to get old, unsafe cars off our roads and help young drivers into newer, safer vehicles - starting in Ballarat and Bendigo regions.

About unsafe2safe

The safety of your car makes a difference in the event of a crash and may even help avoid one altogether. But many young drivers cannot afford to buy a newer, safer car right now. Sadly, those young drivers are over-represented in serious road crashes.

That's why we're rolling out a targeted trial that will incentivise young regional Victorians to scrap their old, unsafe vehicles and replace them with newer, safer cars. 

The unsafe2safe trial will offer a subsidy of $5000 for up to 1,000 young drivers to replace their older vehicles with newer vehicles with modern safety features.  

We will start the trial in Ballarat and Bendigo to help us test concepts, ensure administrative processes work, and provide feedback before opening the trial to other areas in Regional Victoria next year. 

Applications for the first phase of this trial have now closed.

If you are interested in participating in the next phase.

Sign up for updates and to participate in the future

Unsafe2safe Fact sheet [PDF 194 Kb]


How does the trail work?


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1. Express your interest, and we’ll randomly select people to take part in the unsafe2safe trial. Applications have closed for this phase. Click here to be kept informed of future phases  Register Now.

2. Selected participants will receive a letter/email from VicRoads inviting them to scrap their current older, unsafe vehicle and purchase a newer, safer car.

3. Take your older, unsafe car to a participating dealer.

4. Choose a newer, safer car from the dealership.


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5. Pay the difference between the price the dealer is asking for and the $5000 subsidy.  

6. The dealer arranges to have the vehicle taken away to be scrapped.

7. The unsafe vehicle is scrapped at an auto parts recycler. Scrapping removes the car from the fleet, so the crash risk is not transferred to another person.

Who can participate?


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How do I register for the trial?

Registration for the first phase of the trial has now closed.  Up to 50 participants from Ballarat and Bendigo will help us test concepts and provide feedback before we roll the trial out across regional Victoria.

How do I know if my car is old and unsafe?

You can check the safety rating of your vehicle by visiting howsafeisyourcar.com.au 

You can search for your vehicle by make, model and year of your car or by entering your number plate.

The results will display a Used Car Safety Rating out of 5 stars plus additional details about your car's safety features.

To be eligible to participate, your vehicle must:

  • be aged 16 years or older and
  • have a Used Car Safety Rating of 1 or 2 stars or be unrated

What kind of vehicles can be purchased?

The newer, safer vehicle must

be aged ten years or less

have a five-star ANCAP with a date-stamp of no more than six years old, or a Used Car Safety rating of four or five stars

have never been registered as a repairable write-off in the Written-Off Vehicle Register (WOVR)

for drivers with a P-plate driver licence, the replacement vehicle must not be a prohibited vehicle for P-plate drivers.

A list of qualifying vehicles will be made available here before the trial starts.

Meanwhile, you can check the star rating of a vehicle at howsafeisyourcar.com.au 

Find more information about safety ratings

Do I need to purchase a new vehicle to get the subsidy?

No, you can purchase either a new or a second-hand vehicle from the dealer.

However, it must meet the criteria outlined above.

How will I receive the subsidy?

The subsidy will not be provided directly to the purchaser. It will be deducted from the price of the vehicle paid to the dealer.  

After the participant purchases a newer, safer vehicle and the old vehicle is scrapped, the dealer will claim the subsidy back from VicRoads.

What does the subsidy cover?

The subsidy is a fixed amount of $5000 that you can use to purchase an eligible newer, safer vehicle.

If the vehicle's asking price is above $5000, you will be responsible for covering the difference.

You will need to pay any additional costs associated with purchasing a vehicle that are not included in the purchase price.

Does the subsidy payment include transfer and registration fees?

No. Participants will need to pay any additional costs associated with purchasing a vehicle, such as motor vehicle duty, transfer fees and registration fees.

Can I use the balance amount towards the registration or transfer fee if I purchase a vehicle under $5000? 

No. The $5000 can only be used as a discount on the purchase price of the vehicle.

Why is the trial limited to young people in regional Victoria?

The eligibility criteria were carefully designed according to results of crash data analysis. It ensures that those at most risk of being involved in a serious crash are prioritised to participate.

Young drivers in regional Victoria are over-represented in road trauma.

Recent research has indicated that young regional Victorians driving old, unsafe cars are 15 times more likely to be killed in crashes than the state average. Transitioning them to newer, safer cars will significantly reduce their crash risk.

Why is the trial currently limited to Ballarat and Bendigo regions?

Having an initial testing phase allows us to try out the concepts before embarking on a wider trial with more participants.

Initially, up to 50 participants in and around Bendigo and Ballarat will have a chance to participate. We will connect participants with local participating dealers and work closely with them to understand what’s working and what could be improved.

Ballarat and Bendigo were chosen due to being major regional centres, with sufficient likely participants and availability of suitable vehicles.

I have an old vehicle, but I don’t live in Bendigo or Ballarat. Can I participate?

Not at this stage. But the trial will be extended to other areas in regional Victoria in the future. 

If you're interested in future opportunities, register your details. 

Register Now

I drive an old car, but it is not registered under my name. Can I participate?

No. The car must be registered under the applicant's name. Vehicles registered under the name of a parent or any other person are not eligible to participate.

If I transfer an old car to my name now, will that make me eligible to participate?

No. The car must have been registered under the applicant's name before the Expression of Interest started on 21 September 2021.

Transferring an old car to your name after that date will not make you eligible to participate.

I do not meet the whole eligibility criteria, but I wish to participate. Can you make an exception for me?

Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions to the eligibility criteria. 

The trial is limited to 1,000 vehicles, and the eligibility criteria were carefully designed to ensure that those with the highest crash risk can transition to a safer car.

If the eligibility criteria are expanded in the future, we will update this page to reflect it.

Do I have to re-apply if I have not been selected in this phase of the trial?

No, you do not need to re-apply.

If you have expressed your interest but were not selected to participate in the first phase, you will automatically be considered for future phases of the trial.

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