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Specialist and enthusiast vehicles

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What are specialist and enthusiast vehicles?

An objective of the Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation is to provide consumers in Australia with a choice of road vehicles, including specialist and enthusiast vehicles (SEVs).

SEVs have certain features such as high performance, low emissions or accessibility features but are not otherwise provided to the Australian market. The RVS legislation provides a pathway for SEVs to be imported into and/or provided in Australia. The first step on that pathway is to have the vehicle assessed to determine whether it meets the SEVs eligibility criteria.

Vehicles that meet the relevant SEVs criteria (either at the make and model level, or as a variant of a model of the road vehicle) are entered on to the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles Register (SEVs Register).

What is the SEVs Register?

The SEVs Register is a publicly available database of specialist and enthusiast road vehicles that have been assessed as meeting the eligibility criteria in section 129 of the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (the Rules). The eligibility criteria broaden previous restrictions on SEVs and balance the demand for SEVs vehicles with the investment made by the original vehicle manufacturers.

Having a vehicle on the SEVs Register is the first step on the pathway to import or provide that vehicle in Australia. You will need to apply for, and be granted, a concessional Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV) entry approval (under the vehicles to be modified by an approved registered automotive workshop (RAW) eligibility criterion) before a vehicle can be imported. To meet this eligibility criterion:

  • the vehicle must be covered by an entry on the SEVs Register,
  • the applicant must be owner, or the intended owner, of the vehicle, and
  • the applicant must have, or have access to, an approved Model Report for the vehicle.

Once a concessional RAV entry approval is granted, any modifications on the vehicle that are required for it to meet relevant national road vehicle standards must be undertaken in accordance with the Work Instructions in an approved Model Report, and must be checked by an approved authorised vehicle verifier (AVV).   

An entry on the SEVs Register does not guarantee the vehicle will be able to be modified to comply with the applicable national road vehicle standards, or that a concessional RAV entry approval will be granted in relation to each individual vehicle. People wanting to purchase a vehicle listed on the SEVs Register should check a Model Report has also been approved for the vehicle, and should discuss the potential purchase with a RAW to ensure any other requirements can be fulfilled.

What is the Register of Approved Vehicles?

Note: Most vehicles 25 years and older do not need to be entered on the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles Register. They can apply for entry on the Register of Approved Vehicles as a single road vehicle via the concessional RAV entry approval pathway under the 'older vehicles' criterion.

The Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV), is an online publicly searchable database of vehicles that have met the requirements of the RVS legislation and are approved for provision to the Australian market. 

In the case of SEVs, the AVV will enter the vehicle on the RAV once they are satisfied the vehicle has been modified by a RAW approval holder in accordance with an approved Model Report.

All vehicles must be entered on the RAV before they can be presented for state or territory registration. 

What are the transitional arrangements and the Interim SEVs list?

Provision of vehicles on the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA) Register of SEVs is available for approved MVSA RAW Scheme who continue to access the RAWS portal and operate under the conditions of their approved schedule of vehicles. More information is available in the overview document Operating a RAW during the transition to the RVS legislation. These transitional arrangements will end on 30 June 2023.

Vehicles assessed under SEV interim arrangements as eligible for discretionary approvals can be entered on the RVS SEVs Register if a SEVs Register entry application is submitted. No fee will be charged for this application. Applicants should complete our online enquiry form and provide details of the Interim SEVs List entry and RVS SEVs application so the application fee can be waived.

From 1 July 2023 only RVS SEVs Register vehicles that have met the eligibility criteria for a concessional RAV entry approval (to be modified by a RAW) and successfully entered on the RAV can be provided to the Australian market.

Who can apply to enter a road vehicle on the SEVs Register?

You (an individual or organisation) may apply for one or more variants of a model, or make and model, of a road vehicle to be entered on the SEVs Register.

How do I apply to enter a vehicle on the SEVs Register?

All applications must be submitted through ROVER, the department's applications and approvals portal.

Before accessing the application to apply for an entry on the SEVs Register you and/or the organisation will need to create a ROVER account and have your identity checked.

If you are an agent or representative of the organisation, you will also need to establish an authority to act on behalf of the applicant in ROVER.

What are the eligibility criteria for entering a vehicle on the SEVs Register?

A road vehicle model or variant is eligible to be entered on the SEVs Register if it meets all of the criteria in section 129 of the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (the Rules), summarised below.

The vehicle has not been made available to consumers in Australia as a new vehicle under either the current RVS legislation or the previous MVSA.

OR it has been made available to consumers in Australia and one of the following applies:

  • the applicant:

    • holds a road vehicle type approval granted under the Rules to provide the new vehicle, or
    • is authorised to apply for entry of the vehicle on the SEVs Register by the person who holds the vehicle type approval to provide the new vehicle.
  • the road vehicle has been made available to consumers in Australia as a new vehicle, but the vehicle is either:
    • no longer genuinely available to consumers in Australia as a new vehicle, or
    • was not genuinely available to consumers in Australia as a new vehicle, and
    • the period covered by the build date range the applicant has specified in their application falls wholly within the period in which the vehicle was not genuinely available to consumers in Australia, or
  • the applicant:
    • has or had approval to supply the vehicle as a new vehicle under the MVSA, or
    • is authorised to apply for entry of the vehicle on the SEVs Register by the person who holds or held approval to supply the vehicle as a new vehicle under the MVSA, and
    • the vehicle has not been made available to consumers in Australia under a vehicle type approval.

AND, The vehicle was first made available in an overseas market at least 3 months ago.

AND, The vehicle meets one of the following criteria: 

  • performance—high performance vehicles with specifications significantly superior to mainstream vehicles in Australia
  • environmental—vehicles that meet or exceed the current applicable emissions standards in Australia
  • mobility—vehicles manufactured with, or modified to include, special features to assist people with a disability
  • left-hand drive—vehicles originally manufactured as left-hand drive, of which right-hand drive versions are not available in any other country or, if available, were not originally manufactured in right-hand drive for that country
  • campervans and motorhomes—vehicles that have been originally manufactured as a campervan or motorhome, or capable of conversion to a campervan or motorhome
  • rarity—vehicles of which only small quantities are produced.

Before making an application to enter a vehicle on the SEVs Register, read the Guide to specialist and enthusiast vehicles on the full legislative requirements and guidance on making an application.

Clarification of eligibility terms

To assist applicants, the following eligibility terms have been further defined, noting that each vehicle will have its own unique circumstances that will also be considered for eligibility.

More detailed information is in the Guide to specialist and enthusiast vehicles and the guidance note: Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles Register—policy position when a vehicle is genuinely available to consumers in Australia (see Resources below).

What is a variant?

Variant of a model of a road vehicle means the design characteristics are significantly different to those of other vehicles of that model. Section 128 of the Rules details differences in design characteristics that are taken to be significantly different and also differences in design characteristics that are not significant to constitute a variant of a model.

What does made available mean?

Made available to consumers in Australia at a particular time means:

  • consumers had the opportunity to purchase the variant of a model, or make and model, of a road vehicle, and
  • the opportunity to purchase existed even if the vehicle was not physically delivered to consumers in Australia at that time.

What does genuinely available mean?

Genuinely available to consumers in Australia will depend on the specific circumstances and broad context of the availability of the variant of a model, or make and model, of a road vehicle during the relevant period of time. Each vehicle will have its own unique circumstances or context that will be considered.

How do I correct errors on the SEVs Register?

Entries on the SEVs Register cover a particular make and model, or one or more variants of a model, of a road vehicle. The department can vary or remove an entry on the SEVs Register to correct errors in the entry. An error may occur in a SEVs Register entry for various reasons. For example:

  • a typo was made when a make and model, or one or more variants of a model, of a road vehicle was entered on the SEVs Register
  • because there was an error in the information originally provided in the application for a make and model, or relevant variants, of road vehicle to be entered on the SEVs Register
  • because new information is available about the extent to which the make and model, or a relevant variant, meets the applicable eligibility criteria for entry on the SEVs Register.

If you believe there is an error in a SEVs Register entry, you can request it be corrected.

For example, you may believe:

  • the entry has a typo
  • the entry includes the wrong vehicle category
  • the build date range in the entry needs to be varied. For example, you have new information that the build date range needs to be corrected so the relevant variant, or make and model, meets the applicable eligibility criteria for entry on the SEVs Register.

If, based on the available evidence, the department is satisfied there is an error in a SEVs Register entry, it can:

  • remove the entry covering the make and model, or relevant variants, of road vehicle, or
  • vary the entry covering the make and model, or relevant variants.

The process for correcting errors on the SEVs Register cannot be used to increase the scope of a SEVs Register entry beyond the scope of the its original application. For example, you will need to make a new application if you want to:

  • have an additional make and model, or additional variants of a model, of a road vehicle entered on the SEVs Register, or
  • broaden the build date range for a relevant variant, or make and model, entered on the SEVs Register, or
  • have a particular make and model, or variants of a model, entered on the SEVs Register in relation to the environmental criterion where that make and model, or variants, are already entered on the SEVs Register in relation to the performance criterion.

The Guide to Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles includes details of how to request an error on the SEVs Register be corrected though ROVER.

Resources