Is it legal to drive with a damaged bumper?

If you put a mark on your vehicle, your first reaction is probably not wondering whether or not your car is still roadworthy.

After all, you’ll probably have a combination of frustration, trying to work out how to fix it, and how much it will set you back, before thinking about whether or not you should be even driving it.

But car safety is always a priority, and the roadworthiness of a vehicle is something that police and other authorities take very seriously.

This means you can face possible fines and loss of demerit points for driving an unfit car. Worse still, you can be putting your safety and that of other road users in jeopardy.

To help you out with this, we’ve come up with a quick rundown of whether your car is legal to drive or not. 

When is it illegal to drive with a damaged bumper?

Let’s start out when it is illegal to drive a car – it all comes down to the safety of the vehicle.

Take for example if you have an accident and your front bumper falls off. The NSW government (and this information differs from state to state) would deem your car unsafe to drive. This is because it believes you must have a working front and rear bumper for your own safety.

According to the  NSW Roads & Maritime Services, you need to have both bumpers. It states that front and rear bumpers positioned at the correct heights are part of the minimum design features that “safeguard persons travelling in the vehicle in the event of it crashing”. They also protect occupants in other vehicles involved in a crash.

As such, you can assume that you could be fined and lose demerit points should you drive without a bumper. The same rules apply to anything that is deemed unsafe.

If you have a bumper that has fallen off, chances are it is illegal to drive without it.

When is legal?

On the flipside, not all damage needs to be fixed legally.

If it is minor damage – such as a dent, a scratch or a ding on your bumper – and in no way affects the road worthiness of the vehicle, it is  usually safe to drive. Even if the vehicle isn’t looking in pristine condition. 

But, like always, if you are unsure, it is better not to drive and seek advice from professionals including the NSW Roads and Maritime Service or your local mechanic.

After all, while these rules can be frustrating, driving an unfit vehicle can put yourself and others in harm’s way.

What can you do if you have damaged the car?

Regardless of whether or not your car is road worthy, you’ll probably want to get your car fixed. When it comes to fixing bumpers, the friendly team at Bumpertek can help you out. 

In some instances, you’ll need a complete replacement.In others you can get it repaired. Our founder recently answered a few common questions, similar to this about whether a part needs replacing or can be fixed.

“First and foremost, I need to see the damage to determine if it can be fixed, which means I need to either see a clear image of the area or I schedule a consultation to view it personally. From there, I can make a quick assessment as to whether it’s a suitable repair or if it needs to be replaced – in which case I can refer the customer on to a panel beater.”

To see the full interview with Bumpertek’s founder click here. And to get a free, no-obligation quote on your car bumper repair, contact Bumpertek today.