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Buying a Car in Australia - Tips and Advice

The words “Road Trip in Australia” alone make you dream: of endless roads, wild landscapes, rolling hills and tropical coasts. The best way to explore Australia is to have your own vehicle, as it gives you great flexibility and independence. But buying a vehicle has its pitfalls. We'll give you some valuable tips on what to consider when buying a car in Australia.

Own vehicle in Australia

Enjoy beautiful landscapes and complete freedom ?! This is what many backpackers who travel to Australia dream of. The best thing to do is to get a camper, a car, or even an off-road vehicle. You can also rent a vehicle - you can find the advantages and disadvantages in the article “Renting or buying a camper” - but you are also more limited. With your own vehicle you are completely independent and free. However, there are quite a few things to consider when getting one Buy a vehicle in Australia want.

We have one for you detailed instructionsthat will help you find the right vehicle for you.

For people who have not been in Australia for that long and who prefer a reliable vehicle, it makes sense to rent a vehicle. You can find more information in the following articles: Hire a camper in Australia

Buying a vehicle in Australia: pros and cons

There are of course advantages and disadvantages to buying a vehicle. Here are a few to help you make your decision.


  • The longer the trip, the cheaper it will be (rule of thumb: from 2-3 months it is financially worthwhile to buy a car in Australia)
  • Maximum freedom: You can travel wherever you like and are not limited in time
  • You have your home and you can arrange your van as you wish.
  • It feels like you have your own home. You can do almost anything you want in your own car.
  • You are not bound by any contract.


  • In contrast to rental cars, bought used cars are usually in a worse condition: The cars are older, the equipment worse, the mileage higher, etc.
  • If you have an accident or the car breaks down, you are solely responsible for it
  • Depending on when and where you want to sell the car again, it can be relatively difficult to get a fair price
  • Finding a suitable car in Australia can take a long time

Which vehicle is best suited?

There are many different vehicles to choose from. Which vehicle is best for you depends on yours Routes, your Time schedule, your Comfort requirements and your budget from. The choice is yours: off-road vehicle, car or camper.

Buying an off-road vehicle in Australia

You need an off-road vehicle (4 × 4 or 4WD) if you away from the tarred roads are on the go, e.g. if you want to go to the desert, cruise over the beach or cross a small river.

When do you need an off-road vehicle?

Some areas can only be reached by off-road vehicle - especially in the North of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. The most famous areas that can only be reached by 4x4 are: Kimberley, Kakadu National Park, Bungle Bungles and Karijini National Park. So you should opt for an off-road vehicle when you get on adventure stand and remote areas want to explore.

Cost of an off-road vehicle

However, buying an off-road vehicle in Australia is not cheap. You have to go with about 3,000-7,000 AUD calculate. In addition, the Fuel consumption in an off-road vehicle is higher than in a normal car. In addition, off-road vehicles are very spacious. This saves costs for overnight stays. However, if you want to spend the night in the car with more than two people, it can quickly get tight.

Equipment of the off-road vehicle

If you do choose to purchase an SUV, it is often common for you to purchase the complete backpacker equipment buy at the same time. Either with a bed in the back of the car or with a tent on the roof. In addition, many off-road vehicles are equipped with all the equipment you need for cooking or camping. If you don't want that, then you can simply buy an unequipped car to have more space or to set up the car according to your preferences.

The most popular models are: Mitsubishi Pajero, Toyota Landcruiser, Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Explorer, Nissan Terrano, Nissan Patrol, Holden Jackaroo, Jeep Cherokee.

Buy a car in Australia

If you have to watch your money, then buying a car in Australia is definitely the best option. With the car you have a lot of freedom and sometimes it is even easier than with a camper or an off-road vehicle.

Cost of a car

A car is being bought relatively cheap and you also save money, as cars use less fuel than campers or SUVs. The disadvantage is clearly the space! You should definitely get an extra tent that you can sleep in (unless you don't mind sleeping on the seats folded back). One advantage is of course the number of seats. For example, you can Car sharing Use services and take people with you. Which can be pretty fun. You also save money!

If you're looking to buy a car in Australia, consider spending a few extra dollars on one Station wagon to spend. This gives you a lot more space!

The most popular models

The most popular models are: Ford Falcon, Holden, Mitsubishi Lancer, Toyota Camry, Subaru Outback / Liberty.

Buy a camper in Australia

The camper is the absolute Classic for road trips in Australia! It is quite comfortable to travel with a camper and it is quite suitable for long journeys.

Cost of a camper

For the purchase you should have about 3,000-6,000 AUD calculate. The price depends on the equipment, the age of the vehicle and the number of kilometers.

Camper as accommodation

A camper is more suitable for couples or friends. The camper is less worthwhile for other passengers, as there are no extra seats in the back of the car.

If you want to work on a farm, then a camper can be an advantage, as many employers require “own accommodation”. However, it is good that you are exposed to less high temperatures in a camper compared to a car.

In cities, however, it can sometimes be relatively difficult to find a suitable parking space, as the campers take up a lot of space.

Different campers

There are different types: the classic camper, then the so-called "Poptops"Where you can open the roof by hand to get more space and the so-called"Hitops”With a high roof for an extra bed in the upper part of the car.

The most popular models are: Toyota Hiace, Mitsubishi Express, Mazda E2000, Ford Econovan, Nissan, Toyota Townace, Nissan Urvan

Checklist for Buying a Car in Australia

Keep your eyes open when buying a vehicle. This also applies in Australia. Because as in every country, there are also one or the other black sheep among the car dealers or private individuals. So that you know what is important when making a purchase, we have created a checklist for you: Checklist for buying a vehicle in Australia


To keep it simple and avoid unpleasant surprises during your trip, you have to check everything! Starting with the external condition of the vehicle: Does it show signs of rust? Paint stains that could camouflage the fact that the vehicle had an accident? It is important to check the condition of the tires and the engine (is there any residue, traces of leaks around the engine?). Check that the doors and windows open and close properly, the wipers and indicators are working properly. The presence of a bull bar can also be a plus.

Also pay attention in the vehicle: Check or / and test the electrical system, if one or two batteries are present, and their function. Check to see if you have a spare wheel or jack (and if it's suitable). Don't hesitate to turn on the ignition and test the radio, ventilation, etc.

Test the vehicle

Avoid buying a vehicle that you can't at any cost try out could. If you ride it, even if it doesn't take long, you can tell if there is an unusual noise and try out the brakes, clutch and handling. Before buying, check that the papers are in order and that the registration has not expired. If the owner refuses, be careful.


The Vehicle registration is an important indicator. All vehicles in circulation must be registered in an Australian state. You have to check that the vehicle is in good condition (valid Rego)

Note that every state has different regulations. This is an extremely important point as some states require a technical inspection every year and before a vehicle is sold on. In this case, the technical inspection must be carried out in the state when it is registered (which makes resale more complicated).

If that Rego is still valid and comes from a state that requires a technical inspection, you know that your vehicle was classified as “safe” less than a year ago.

If it is no longer valid, remember that there is an additional budget to plan and that you need to pass a technical control. Schedule any repairs requested after the technical inspection.

It is also an important criterion by which you can judge whether the price of your camper / 4 × 4 / car is justified or not. An already “expensive” vehicle that has expired is not necessarily a good plan.

For a classic camper, calculate with 350 to 600 AUDr per year for registration.

Registration also includes a Liability insurance. So if you want more comprehensive insurance with all risks, plan an additional budget.

When and where to buy a car in Australia

When to buy a car in Australia

Your best bet is to buy a car in the Low season (between April and September). During this time the The largest selection, as many backpackers leave and therefore the supply is greater than the demand. In addition, many backpackers do not plan enough time to sell the car and are forced to charge a lower price because they do not want to miss their flight. So if you are in no hurry, then you should wait until the off-season and then take your time to look at the offers and wait for the right deal.

Where to Buy a Vehicle in Australia

In big cities like Sydney or Melbourne you can usually find trustworthy sellers. There is also the largest selection there. However, it also makes sense in your luck smaller cities like Cairns or Adelaide to try. Of course, there are fewer offers here, but also fewer buyers, which is why the chances are good to negotiate a good deal - especially for campers and equipped SUVs.

The best website to check for great deals is Gumtree! Make sure, however, that the offer doesn't sound too tempting to be true, because then it could also be fraud. In any case, only buy the vehicle after you have personally inspected it.

So-called "Car Markets”Are also always a good place to go, especially if you are looking for a campervan. You can then look at several vehicles at once without having to click through a number of pictures and drive to the corresponding locations. You can also speak directly to the seller there, who is also very familiar with vehicles.