Can I tour Australia on club rego?

Can you tour around Australia on club rego?” Now that’s a great question. There are two approaches to this – first as an RVer and second, as a non-RVer. Regardless of that, the short answer is yes, but subject to the approval of your club. However, I do not recommend this for RVers. Below are the reasons why.




Is an RVer allowed to travel around Australia on club rego?

In the first place, getting your RV registered under club rego is not economical if your purpose is to tour around Australia on a cheap-registered RV. Also, chances are slim that your RV is eligible for club rego. Unless it’s an old bus converted to a motorhome. But if ever you do succeed, you can travel only on a very limited scale. And I literally mean “very limited”, so overall I do not recommend that you do it. Here are the reasons why:


1.      RVing around Australia on club rego is not the scheme’s purpose

Club regos as created to allow for enthusiasts to drive their classic and vintage vehicles on the road for a limited frequency or mileage per year. Naturally, registration fees for such vehicles are cheaper compared to the regular rego fees. And because of that, some RVers assume they can do it too under the same registration scheme. But the truth is,

Club regos are not intended for RVers looking for a way to travel around Australia on a reduced registration fee.


2.      Club regos are primarily for “old” vehicles only

Only vehicles at least 25 or 30 years old (depending on the Aussie state you’re in) are qualified for club rego. I bet your RV is not even half the eligible age yet. Although street rods fit in this scheme too, it is rare for a vintage vehicle to be modified into an RV.

Street rods by the way are vehicles modified to look like a vintage vehicle. Particularly, to be considered a street rod, the vehicle’s body and frame must have been built before 1949.


3.      You need to secure approval first from your club

Since club regos require vintage owners to be a member first of an approved club, activities you can do with your vehicle are heavily regulated by the club. Specifically speaking,

          • You are allowed to drive your approved vehicle to events hosted by your club (and other approved clubs)
          • You may also drive your vehicle on other agendas such as community events, weddings, maintenance, road tests, and refuelling
          • Any other travels other than those previously mentioned requires approval first from the club you are a member of. And yes, that includes interstate driving.

Based on the above conditions, do you think you’ll be able to maximise touring on your RV under club rego?


4.      Towing and/or carrying goods is generally not allowed on club regos

This last but not the least important reason is a painstaking one. It is a big bummer for RVers to not be able to carry their camping essentials more so tow a trailer, do you agree? Remember that,

The Australian Design Rules consider motorhomes and campervans as “goods vehicles” – and not buses nor passenger vehicles.

Basically, the provision for carrying goods and towing caravans under club rego is the same as that described in reason #3. It is allowed only on club-hosted events and other club-approved travels. However, the Northern Territory and Tasmania transport departments explicitly state that they prohibit club regos from carrying goods and/or towing vehicles or caravans.


What other options do I have?

Now here’s the good news: Club rego is not the only way. There are other options you can use to travel around Australia on your RV under a reduced registration fee. Without further ado, here are your alternate options:

Centrelink Pension Concession Cardholders
Veterans’ Affairs Pension Concession Cardholders
Diplomats and privileged personnel Diplomats and privileged personnel - WA
Gas and electric vehicles
Including Plug-in hybrid vehicles and Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles
Seniors cardholders Seniors cardholders ACT* ~
Restricted areas
Vehicles used solely in a restricted area and garaged in that same area
Seasonal registration
Vehicles used on a specific period of the year
Light vehicle permit
Light vehicles that exceed certain dimensions
Non-compliant vehicles
Vehicles modified for disabled drivers
Caravan/Camper trailers #
Government-owned vehicles
Minister of religion concession
Semi-trailers or trailers with a tare mass greater than 2 tonnes**
Must be driven and garaged only on roads outside the South West Division


* It May be combined with the “gas and electric vehicles” concession to achieve a higher discount
** As per the latest VSB1, gooseneck and fifth wheel caravans are considered semi-trailers
~ For motorised caravans only
^ Not formally considered a concession, but as one with ‘unique’ requirements
# Discount is automatically applied upon registration

There are no suitable alternative options in NSW and NT.


The best alternative option

In summary, South Australians have the best alternative option. Under their seasonal registration scheme, South Australians can register their RVs at a reduced fee. However, they may use their RVs for only a set period (i.e. “season”) of the year – summertime, for example.

That is entirely different from club regos where you get to decide when to drive your vehicle so long as you don’t exceed the annual limit. Although that is the case, the benefits of the seasonal registration scheme far outweigh that of the club rego from an RVer’s point of view.

If you’re a South Australian, well good for you! All you have to do is to contact a service SA customer service centre to formally lodge your application or know more information about the seasonal registration scheme.

On the other hand, non-South Australian RVers are generally most likely able to get concessions too only if they are either seniors, veterans or pensioners. Knowing that Australian RVers are mostly comprised of senior citizens, I recommend that you check this out.


Can I tour around Australia on club rego if my vehicle is eligible?

Okay, so let’s say your vehicle is eligible for club rego and you won’t be carrying goods and the like. Can you travel around Australia? Going back to reason #3 above, you may travel interstate based on the following agenda:

  • You are attending an event hosted by your club, and the event location happens to be outside your state.
  • You are attending an event hosted by another club. Regardless of whether that club is based in the same state as yours or not, it must be one that’s approved.
  • Attending an occasion or community event happening outside your member state
  • Any other travel purposes approved by your club

I’m not saying that the above points are absolute. Provisions still vary per state. Also, formal invitations may be required of you to prove that such events request your participation. The point is, if your travel purpose is not an event hosted by your club – then ask permission first from your club.


Anything else I need to know about club regos?

Let’s say you decide to still push through with a club rego since your RV is at least 25 (or 30) years old. So what’s next? What other considerations should you look after? What are the steps for registration?

A basic answer would be:

  1. Join a club approved by your relevant state.
  2. Prepare all documentation and have them signed by authorised persons (e.g. club official, approved vehicle inspector/certifier, etc.) as applicable. Generally, the documents you will need include are:
      • Evidence of identity – driver’s licence, passport, etc.
      • Vehicle documents – showing important vehicle details such as VIN, engine number, etc.
      • Proof of ownership
      • Compliance certificates – roadworthiness certificates, exemption certificates, etc.
      • Application form
      • Proof that you are a member of an approved club
  3. Personally visit one of your state’s customer service centres to lodge your application. Some states allow online applications too.
  4. Pay the necessary fees and wait for the notice of your approval.
  5. Upon successful registration, you will receive your club rego certificate, number plates, logbook and the like. Where applicable, attach them to or keep them available in your vehicle for ready reference during any sudden inspection.

I have written a separate blog detailing the steps plus other requirements and considerations of having a club rego. Have a read to learn more about club regos.


My two cents on this concern

Again, you can tour around Australia with your club rego vehicle provided that you have secured first approval from the club that you are a member of.

In the case of RVing, I do get that it’s been a long desire of RVers (who travel occasionally) to have a reduced registration fee, and freely tour around Australia on it. And my sentiments go with them. But the thing is, club rego is not the right way for RVers to tour around Australia. You won’t get to enjoy it at all.

The alternative options we currently have available are those I’ve shared with you here. So if you’re eligible for any of those options, well and good. But if not, stick first with the regular registration fees. As people usually say, “there is always room for improvement”. The same goes for our Transport Department. Maybe in due time, they will give occasional RVers also a concession exclusive for them.


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