Are you looking to get a new paint job for your car? Well, hold on a minute. If this is your first time, there are a few things you'll want to know beforehand. You see, a car colour change isn't as straightforward and easy like you may have seen in video games; you can't just drive into a garage and leave with a totally new paint job.
For one, you should put a bit more thought into it before you choose a new colour. To change the car colour is almost like getting a tattoo. It's an investment and a long-term commitment, so you'll want to know all your options so you can choose what's best.
After you get that done, then comes the paperwork. Relax, it sounds worse than it actually is. But the fact is that once you get your car repainted, you'll need to change car details with your local transport authority.
I hope you don't feel like I'm raining on your parade. Changing your car's colour is supposed to be a happy time for any car guy or girl. But in this article, you're going to learn what you need to know as quickly as possible so that you can get to the fun part of choosing a new colour for your car.
In this article, we're going to divide the entire process into two: before the colour change and after the colour change. Before the colour change is all the fun stuff; choosing what colours and finishes you want for your car.
Then, the boring (yeah!) section looks at what paperwork you need in Australia to make that colour change official. And yes, you do need to make it official.
So, let's get to it.
Before The Colour Change
The 'before' stage of changing the colour of your vehicle is the fun part. You get to feel like a kid in a candy store, absolutely spoilt for choice.
Firstly, you'll want to decide whether to get a new paint job or get your car wrapped with vinyl. Then, you'll choose the correct colour and finish to make your vehicle a true expression of your individuality.
Car Paint Vs Vinyl Car Wrap
These days you can choose between a costly car paint job and a more affordable vinyl car wrap. Both will change the colour of your car but in different ways. Each also has its pros and cons.
Simply put, paint is permanent. It's also more reliable, but it can also suffer from wear and tear over the years like cracking, fading, and rusting.
A vinyl wrap, on the other hand, involves wrapping the entire car with vinyl in the colour of your choosing. It's not a permanent colour change, though. So you can physically rip the vinyl wrap off if you wanted to go back to your previous colour. That would be a significant waste of your money, but it is possible to do unlike with paint.
Choose The Right Colour
Choosing the right colour for your car is a personal decision. Sometimes it can be overwhelming looking at all the virtually unlimited colour options at your disposal.
My only advice? Pick your favourite primary colour (red, blue, green – you get the drift), and then start your search there. So, if you like blue, check out all of the many hues of blue that they have on offer.
It'll narrow down your choice and make it much easier for you overall.
Choose The Right Finish
Car colours also come in many different finishes. You could get a solid, metallic, pearlescent or matte finish, and special paints.
The core difference between each of those options is how shiny they look, so you'll need to find a colour/finish combination that suits your tastes.
After The Colour Change
Once you get your car back from the shop all painted in brand new colours, you'll have a certain number of days to notify your local transport authority about the change. Some states require you to do that within 14 days of the change, but Australia being what it is, different states have their own rules.
Notify Your Local Transport Authority
Notifying your local transport authority is easy. All you need to do is get a copy of the form to change car details on your vehicle's records. These forms are available online from the transport authority of your state.
Once you've filled up the form, you might have to bring your car in for an inspection so they can confirm the colour change. Again, you should check with your local transport authority to see whether this step is compulsory or not.
For example, inspection is not required in Western Australia, and it is also not needed in Victoria. Still, those rules might change or be different elsewhere, so be sure to give them a call to be sure.
Paperwork You'll Need
Generally, no matter where you are in Australia, the basic set of necessary paperwork includes:
- Proof of your identity
- Current certificate of registration for the vehicle
- The earlier-mentioned Change of Records form
Bear in mind that the exact name of the form might differ slightly, but they all serve the same purpose. For example, VicRoads in Victoria calls it the Change of Vehicle Details Form, while in New South Wales, it's called the Change of Records Form.
Check With Your Auto Insurer
Once you've notified your local transport authority, it would also be a good idea to check with your auto insurer. Your insurance policy records your car's VIN and chassis number, but more often than not, it also states the colour of your vehicle.
To make sure that you're not violating any of the insurer's rules or regulations, it's best to let them know that you've changed the colour of your vehicle.
What Happens If You Don't Register The Colour Change Of Your Car?
If you check online forums, many people claim that nothing bad has ever happened from not registering the change of their vehicle colour. Of course, this is not something that you should take for granted.
Typically, if your vehicle details (i.e. your colour) doesn't match what's on the record, you could face a fine. Whether it's big or small, a fine is an unnecessary headache, so do yourself a favour and fill in the paperwork.
After all, you just have to fill up one form; it won't take long.
If you'd like to learn more about car life in Australia, be sure to check out the Blog at Carpart.com.au. You'll find new articles coming out with everything you need to know, from car colour change to plenty more!
By Ray Hasbollah