Immobilisers greatly reduce the chance of having your car stolen. It is compulsory to fit a Government approved immobiliser when you apply to license (register) or transfer a vehicle in WA. Find out if you require an immobiliser and how to get one fitted.

  Definition of an approved immobiliser

The following are classified as approved immobilisers.

An immobiliser:

  • That is factory fitted (e.g. fitted at the time of manufacture). The vehicle manufacturer's handbook should be able to confirm this.
  • Fitted to a vehicle before 1 July 1999 that is self-arming and immobilisers the engine either by interrupting the fuel, ignition, starter or engine management system.
  • That complies with Part III of ECE 97 Vehicle Alarm Systems published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
  • Fitted to a vehicle as an integral part of an alarm system complying with AS/NZS 3749.1:1997 Intruder alarm systems, Road vehicles, jointly published by Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand.
  • That complies with AS/NZS 4601:1999 Vehicle immobilisers, jointly published by Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand.
  • A device known as the GT2000 Gearlock Auto-armed Pinlock, manufactured by Grip-Tech (Pty) Ltd, that is fitted to a vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

An immobiliser fitted to a vehicle before 01/01/2001 that complies with Specifications for Vehicle Immobiliser published by the Department of Transport on 04/08/2000 and available from its Vehicle Safety Branch at:

Street address Postal address Telephone Fax Email
  Department of Transport,
Vehicle Safety Branch,
34 Gillam Drive,
Kelmscott WA 6111
  (08) 9216 3899 Email

  Why immobilisers are so important

Motor vehicle theft costs the community millions of dollars each year in medical expenses, police time and energy, insurance costs and repairs to damaged vehicles and property.

  • Innocent people have been injured, or even killed, when thieves steal, then crash, stolen vehicles.
  • More than 5,000 cars are stolen in Western Australia each year, and less than 80% are recovered.
  • As the number of cars protected by immobilisers in WA increases, the rate of WA car thefts drop.

You can reduce the chances of your older car becoming a statistic by installing an immobiliser. Ask your insurance company if they offer a reduced premium when an approved immobiliser is fitted.

  Vehicles that require an immobiliser

The following vehicles are required to have an immobiliser fitted:

  • 4WD vehicles
  • Corporate cars
  • Family cars
  • Mini-buses
  • Station wagons
  • Taxis
  • Utilities

If you already have a licensed vehicle in your name, you are not required to fit an immobiliser, unless:

  • The vehicle licence expires by more than three months. If the renewal period has been exceeded, you will be required to have the vehicle inspected before it can be re-licensed.
  • Ownership of the vehicle is being transferred. In this circumstance it is the purchaser's responsibility to ensure that an approved immobiliser is fitted to the vehicle

When does a vehicle require an immobiliser to be fitted?

  • On the grant of a vehicle licence.
  • When transferring the ownership of a vehicle.

  Which vehicles are exempt from the fitment of an immobiliser?

The following vehicles are not required to have an immobiliser fitted:

  • All vehicles used for emergency purposes (as defined in the Road Traffic Code 2000).
  • A transfer which is subject to a Court Order.
  • A transfer due to a bequest from a deceased estate.
  • Caravans.
  • Mopeds and motorcycles.
  • Factory new light goods vehicles with a GVM not greater than 4,500 kg that are being licensed for the first time (these are essentially vehicles which fall into the Australian Design Rule Category NA and NB1).
  • Trailers.
  • Vehicles that have a tare weight over 3,000 kg or a GVM or aggregate weight over 4,500 kg.
  • Vehicles which are licensed as farm vehicles under regulation 8 of the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014.
  • Vehicles which are more than 25 years old.
  • Vehicles which are transferred to used car dealers for stock intended for resale.

  Who is responsible for ensuring an immobiliser is fitted to your vehicle?

When transferring vehicle ownership, the buyer is responsible for ensuring the vehicle has an approved immobiliser, unless exempt. As the buyer, you will need to apply for the transfer of the vehicle licence within 14 days of the purchase (refer to Buy, sell or trade a vehicle).

  Where to get an immobiliser installed

There are many immobilisers to choose from. It's a good idea to shop around for one which best suits your needs and to ask for a demonstration before you buy. Make sure it is Government approved (see above).

In Western Australia, the Government no longer 'authorises' installers of immobilisers. There are numerous businesses in WA where you can purchase immobilisers and arrange for them to be fitted.

  Find out if your car is at high risk of theft

Find out how many car thefts are reported in your suburb each week and if your vehicle is classified as 'safe'.

Visit the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council's Car-Safe website.

Opens in a new window Car Safe

  Applicable legislation (immobilisers)

Legislation and standards relating to immobilisers can be found in the Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014.

Information concerning the exemption from the requirement to fit an immobiliser may be found in the WA Government Gazette - Number 205, Dated 22 November 2002. Please refer to page 5563.

Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014
Opens in a new window Department of Premier and Cabinet: Western Australian Government Gazette
Page last updated: Mon Aug 15 2022 3:28:38 PM