buying a car in australia

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific buying a car in australia

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1. Posted by stannard (Budding Member 7 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

im planning on going travelling for about 7 months next year and im gonna spend about 8 to 10 weeks in australia moving south down from cairns to melbourne. if anyone could give me information on how easy it is to buy and then sell on camper vans or cars it would be much appreciated as this is an option im considering, is it really as easy as people make out?

2. Posted by Peter (Admin 6919 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi Stannard,
8-10 weeks isn't really a long period to consider buying a car, but it certainly can be done.

Hostels will often have notice boards where travellers are trying to sell their car and that can be a good option. Make sure the car has a roadworthy certificate before buying it though, because without one you won't be able to transfer ownership. You will also need to get one at the end of your trip if you plan to sell it again, so make sure you leave two weeks or so where you're located in one spot to do this.

Some car dealers also cater specifically to backpackers and will offer a buy-back guarantee - the price you get probably won't be worth much, but will save you the hassle of looking for someone to sell it to and chances are you will be in a rush! Check the fine print when signing though, because they may require a roadworthy to buy it back, which isn't actually an easy feat considering the amount of KMs you're likely to have clocked on it

Other costs associated are registration (rego) which can cost a few hundred dollars. Often you will be sold the car with registration remaining on it - I would try finding one with enough registration left on it for your trip. Also, you will have to pay a stamp-duty for the transferral of the car.

Another option you may want to consider is getting in touch with other backpackers and travelling together - there are plenty around who are likely to be in the country for a lot longer and would be willing to take someone on board if they pay their share of the expenses. You could start by posting in the Travel Companions forum here.

Good luck with your trip. If you're heading to melbourne at all, let me know if you want any tips on that. Eitherway, let us know how the trip goes

3. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi Stannard,

For that period, I don't think it will be worth it to buy a car. Problem is the reselling more than anything else although Cairns isn't the ideal location to purchase either. Sydney is the definitely the city it is easiest and cheapest to buy a car so if you are selling, that is the HARDEST place to get rid of it...

As Pete mentioned, there are some nationwide buy back schemes specifically aimed at backpackers. Check out this website; they also have a Cairns office and a nice cost structure buying opposed to renting. As you can see, you are on the border; 8 weeks is where they say buying/selling can be better....

Enjoy your time down under!


4. Posted by aussieguy (Budding Member 11 posts) 16y Star this if you like it!

if you want to buy a car for that amount of time then the best place to buy is adelaide
cars do not have to have a roadworthy test each year and most of the cars from sydney that arnt going to pass a roadworthy end up in adelaide
i personally would hire a small car if you are travelling alone or with one other person
you can get a mitsubishi lancer for about $40aud a day if you hire for 7 days or more and you do not have to worry about breakdowns or resale
you will however have a relocation fee of $200aud
i dont think you will find a decent care for $2800aud that id be driving that distance without worrying about getting stuck in the middle of whoop whoop