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Buying or Hiring a Motor Vehicle

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Self-drives option are one of the many popular ways that tourist use to travel around Australia.

Hiring a Vehicle
Car hire can be a more cost-effective way to travel around our vast continent, as this also gives you the freedom to go where you want, when you want. By shopping around you can find some great deals, that also give you peace of mind, with insurance breakdown cover.

As well as the variety of standard and luxury car hire you can also hire campervans and caravans. These can be a cost effective way of travelling as this also saves money on accommodation.

To hire a vehicle here in Australia, most car rental companies require that the driver is over the age of 25. There may be some variation to this, with some car hire allowing for a lower minimum age requirement, such as between 18 or 21, but often these incur a surcharge. You can check the FAQs or Terms and Conditions from the websites of most national car hire services as to the requirements. Always check these sites when hunting around for a ‘hot deal’.

Buying a Vehicle
One of the cheaper option when planning a long trek around Australia, is to buy a second-hand vehicle. Buying a second-hand vehicle is one of the popular options with backpackers, but this can be fraught with danger and hidden costs. If you don’t know much about vehicles, then it is wise to get a professional to inspect the vehicle before you commit to purchasing it.

One of Australia’s more famous places to pick up a second-hand car is the ‘Kings Cross Car Market’. It is here you can find backpackers trying to sell their vehicle before they leave the country. The buyer may pick up a bargain if the seller is in a hurry ie their flight leaves tomorrow. If you are really lucky, there may even be camping gear thrown in. One of the traditions that have arisen in the Kings Cross Car Market, is the seller will buy a carton of beer to share around with other backpackers in the market who have not yet sold their vehicle.

To sell a vehicle in the Kings Cross Car Market, the backpacker will rent a car space within the car market. If you are not in Sydney, you can advertise your vehicle through the website. Carefully read the information provided in preparing your vehicle for sale. To sell your vehicle will require a Safety Inspection Report / Roadworthy Certificate / MOT / Pink Slip at least one week before you intend to sell. This will then show you what repairs may be required, if any. A safety inspection report will usually mean that you will find it quicker and easier to sell. At the time of writing this it cost $5 a day (if you pay for one week in advance) or $15 per day (this is usually only done, if you feel lucky and think that your vehicle will sell that day).

Registrations and other slips
Each state and territory in Australia have different rules and regulations when it comes to buying or selling a car. When buying a car, some states require an ‘Inspection Report’ before you can transfer the vehicle to your name. All vehicles need to be registered. This is the annual cost for keeping your vehicle on the road, with the registration including the minimum third party insurance.

  • Green Slip or ‘Compulsory Third Party (CTP)Third party insurance is a legal requirement and is called the ‘Green Slip’ ’ insurance. If you intend travelling for some length of time, it is wise to take out additional insurance.
  • Pink SlipThis legal requirement indicates that a vehicle has been passed as roadworthy at time of inspection, it does not mean that the vehicle is reliable.
  • White SlipThese are issued when a vehicle does not pass the roadworthy test and list the faults that need correcting. Buying a vehicle with a white slip may mean that you can get a cheaper price, but if the problems are serious, you may not be allowed to drive the vehicle until the problem is fixed.


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