Simon's Clubman Site

Building a Kitcar in Australia

This page is intended to help all who are contemplating building a Locost. I plan to provide a resource that covers all the areas to be covered in the planning and plotting stage.

Legal Matters:

In Australia we have to comply to all ADRs (Australian Design Requirements) that apply to a new car with the exception of the crash tests. The important points here for Locost builders are:

  • Engineering Inspections of the car as it is being constructed, and at the end of the project to ensure it meets all ADRs.

  • Chassis Test, the rolling chassis has to be tested for linear and torsional strength in most Australian states, although the type of test and the stage it's taken at varies. The standard chassis build as directed in the book will not pass the torsional test, so some reinforcement is advised. Particular attention should be paid to the engine bay.

  • Emissions, the engine must comply to ADR37-01. There are two ways to achieve this, the first is by using an engine produced since 1997 in Australia with all the original emissions control equipment, and the other is to use any engine you like and pay the $2500 for the emissions test and hope you pass. That said, the decision of whether to pass an engine without an expensive emissions test is at the discretion of your engineer. For now, LPG is exempt from emissions regulations, but only in LPG only installations, and there is rumor of regulation changes to cover LPG on the horizon. This will also vary from state to state, with NSW being the most difficult and expensive to comply with.

  • Lights, must meet the relevant ADR, which means AS(Aust Standard) marked. This includes all lights, brakes, indicators, side repeators etc.

This is my view, and it may be very flawed. Also this will vary greatly depending on your engineer, some will go by the book, some will go beyond the book, and some might just pass stuff that doesn't meet the book (emissions maybe, safety never).

The process to gain Engineering approval is to select an independent Automotive Engineer, who is certified by your state's automotive licensing authority. In South Australia, Tonkin Engineering (Stuart Croser) and Doug Potts are two such Engineers.