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
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 Slip • This 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 Slip • These 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.