My partner and I are thinking of buying a van or car in Sydney to travel round OZ for a few months. I'd appreciate some advice on things to look out for and also what's the deal with registration etc? Do you have to re-register cars/vans in different states?
Sounds like a fun adventure! I'm more up to speed on what happens in victoria, but it should be pretty similar for most states. There is a different Road Authority in every state and territory.
Firstly - buying a vehicle. You'll need to fill out a Vehicle Transfer form and send it to the relevant Road Authority within a couple of weeks. You'll need an international driver's licence (and may, depending on the Road Authority, even need to get a local driver's licence - but it's a short test and doesn't cost that much!) You'll also need to ensure that the vehicle has a Certificate of Roadworthiness - make sure whoever you buy the vehicle from can provide this.
Here is some info from the VicRoads site for Victorian Registation -
A vehicle can only be registered in a single private name or in the name of an incorporated body. It cannot be registered in:
a business or trading name
the names of more than one person
the name of an unincorporated group
The minimum age to have a vehicle registered in a private name will vary depending on the type of vehicle:
light vehicle or trailer (4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass or less) - 17 years
motorcycle - 17 years and 9 months
heavy vehicle or trailer (Over 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass) - 18 years
You will need to provide an acceptable address for the vehicle to be registered in Victoria. This may be:
Victorian residential address
interstate or overseas residential address plus a Victorian garage address (the place where the vehicle is normally kept). In this case you must provide secondary evidence of identity connecting you with the garage address.
postal address if different to the Victorian residential address
a Victorian RSD or RMB is only acceptable if the residence cannot be identified by street or road name or any other reasonable means
Registration : There's a good chance that, if you're buying a second-hand car, it may have a few months of registration left on it. So you'll be able to drive it around until that rego expires and then re-register it in whatever state you happen to be in at the time, if you can provide a 'garage address' for the vehicle. You do not need to re-register your vehicle between different states.
It's worth being aware that petrol is pretty expensive in Australia at the moment, especially considering the long distances you may be driving. A diesel car/van is well worth considering. You'll also need to obtain compulsory third-party insurance (this is a pretty good idea anyway - try http://www.justcar.com.au for good cheap insurance).
As for buying a car, try http://www.carsales.com.au or http://www.tradingpost.com.au - these are both good resources.
Hope this helps!
Wonderful coverage by Emmie for you. Only thing I would add is that if you do buy second hand (used) which you probably will, try and make sure it will last for the few months and not fall to bits. That way you can travel state to state without having to stop, get it fixed or sell. Bear in mind also that the police do have the right to stop a vehicle if they think it is unroadworthy. They would do this if the vehicle looks to be a wreck on four wheels (has obvious faults). In that case they would make you take it off the road and have it fixed before you can travel again. There are also different road laws in some States and different speeds for certain sections of road. Try and brush up on some of the rules. Have fun otherwise and remember Australia is the biggest island in the world and in land mass is probably the equivelent of the US.
Thanks so much for your replies...sooo looking forward to the road trip!!!