Every traveler who plans to visit Australia on a working holiday visa has to decide at some point , wether to buy a car or not. Of course there are a lot of reasons to buy one. You could use it for sleeping in and save the money you would spend on a hostel. With a car you are free to go wherever you want. Some jobs even require you to have your own transport. But those are just a few reasons.
So you decided to buy a car for your travels, no matter if it’s a van, 4WD or station wagon, what now? Of course, this is not an instruction on how to buy a car, but I want to give you some advice that is essential to know before buying it. If you keep the following tips in mind when buying a second hand car, the chances are excellent that you will get a reliable, safe car for your roadtrips!
1) Find the vehicle that fits your needs.
What type of vehicle do you need? gas, petrol, diesel? Avoid LPG if you are planing to go to central Australia.
Will the registration cover your whole stay? Registration for your car in another state can be expensive. Check with the states government roads department and the insurance company if the rego and insurance is transferable.
2) Important Questions
Does the vehicle have a service book and history?
Does it have any damage?
Is it due for a service?
Does everything work?
Are the tyres in a good condition?
Is there any money owing on the car?
You should ask these questions on the phone when first contacting the seller. You should even check references about the vehicle and the person, after all you will invest a lot of money in that car.
3) Check the vehicle thoroughly
Take a close look at the vehicle by walking around it at least three times! Some things do not catch your eye at first. Open all doors, check all locks, windows, look underneath the car, check the tyres and rego. Then you should do a test drive for 20 to 30 minutes, going all common speeds. If the condition seems fine after the test drive carry out a PPSR and state rego check, with this you can be sure the car isn’t under finance, stolen, repairable finance write off or under police investigation.
4) Book and carry out a prepurchase vehicle inspection (for example at www.allthingscars.com.au), this is by far the most important thing when buying a used car.
5) If the car comes up as good, buy it! All prices are negotiable in some range. Go by the phrase: It is better to pay more for the best one than less for the worst one!
Another thing you should always keep in mind, don’t spend a fortune on a vehicle just because it’s sold with all the things you need to live in it! Find out what the car itself is worth and pay that. Chances are your getting the camping and kitchen stuff cheap or for free.
Also, if you are buying an older vehicle, it’s imperative to check the water and oil every day! If you are not 100% sure how to do this, find a mechanic and ask him to show you.
Now, that you know the way to get a used car in a good condition, there are some more things I want to let you know before you hit the road.
Always travel with a basic tool kit! “It is always better to have the tools and no idea than no tools and no idea”.
Buy a cooking stove and BBQ-plate, it will be very handy on the road and everyone will join you for a BBQ at the most beautiful locations. What is better than chilling by a beach while having a BBQ with friends?
Get yourself a fishing rod and a surf board. Learning how to surf is fun and catching dinner out of the ocean or a river is tasty and a great way to save some money!
The only thing left to say now is: have the time of your life!
Article written by Sven Roselt from Germany
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