6 Tips for Buying a Car in Australia as a Tourist – 2024 Guide

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Buying a car as a tourist can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know anyone in the country. When it comes to the beautiful country of Australia, one of the main reasons to visit it is its magnificent nature and wildlife. To fully experience it, one needs to have a vehicle at hand. This is why many tourists choose to buy a car and then maybe resell it afterward.

Still, there are a couple of things you should know if you’re planning to purchase a car in Australia.

In this article, we will give you the best tips for buying a car while you’re visiting Australia.

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

Determine the type of car

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Knowing what type of car will fit your needs the best is of utmost importance. It all depends on the landscape you’ll be driving through. You should always ask for advice and learn about the places you plan to visit to be able to determine the type of car that’s best for you. There is a huge difference between driving through natural trails or taking a trip through the high way.

So yes, determining the appropriate model will make the process of purchasing a car much easier. Don’t forget to inform yourself about all the places you’ll be visiting, so you know what kind of car will best fit your needs.

Check for registration

As a tourist, you can only buy a car that’s properly registered. So make sure to check for all the important paperwork before rushing to make a purchase. If the car is not registered, you won’t legally be allowed to drive it around.

Other than that, keep in mind that every state has its own regulations, and you should learn about those in advance. Having all the necessary paperwork is of the utmost importance when it comes to buying a car as a foreigner, so make sure you properly inform yourself beforehand.

Where to buy the car?

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This is an extremely important factor to consider when purchasing your car in Australia. Finding a reliable seller is what can make a difference between a good and a bad purchase. The best way to find a trustworthy car seller is through online research. There are many great places for that like Kev’s Best where you can find useful reviews and detailed lists about the topic. Also, if you know somebody from the area, asking them for advice is the best possible option. Of course, if you don’t know anyone there, you could ask on different forums frequented by the locals. It’s super easy and quick to do, and you’ll be able to worry less and make a better decision for yourself.

Also, opt for bigger cities as there are more options to consider there.

Whatever you do, don’t rush into a decision until you determined that the seller is reliable enough and that you’ll be getting what you paid for.

Visual inspection of the car

When you go to purchase the car make sure to inspect its condition thoroughly. If your car happens to break down in the middle of nowhere then your trip to the outback, your whole experience can be ruined. So, make sure to carefully inspect both the interior and the exterior of the car.

Ask about the previous maintenance documentation, and make sure the car is completely functional before buying. If you know a lot about cars, this won’t be a problem at all, but if you’re not sure and you want to minimize the risks, you could ask for professional assessment before finalizing the purchase.

Other than that, go for a test drive before you buy the vehicle. If the owner won’t let you do it, then there might be something wrong with the car. So if that happens, politely decline the offer and look for a more reliable seller.

Make sure the price is in an acceptable range

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Like always, this will require some background research. You should inform yourself about the usual price range of the cars in the area, so you don’t end up paying more than it’s actually worth. Also, consider things like mileage and registration before making your decision.

Another thing is, to consider the period in which you’re planning to buy the said vehicle. If you can, you should opt for the low season (April to September) as the prices are usually much lower in this period.

You should come in with clear expectations and if those are not fulfilled, then you should try reaching out to another seller. The price you pay must be fair and overpaying the car could leave your budget without the funds for exploring Australia like you originally planned to. So do your research and be mindful of the general price range for that type of car in the area.

Ask the important questions

Don’t hesitate to ask the seller all the important questions like when was the car last serviced? What kind of repairs were done on the vehicle? Why? Is the car registered? How much does the maintenance cost? Why is the car being sold? How did the seller arrive at this price? What’s the ownership history? Was the vehicle ever involved in any accidents? Is it possible to take a look at the service records?

A trustworthy seller will be able to answer all of these questions and they won’t be afraid to start a conversation with you. You want to find out as many details as possible, to make sure you get the best possible results. Rely on your intuition and decide if the seller is trustworthy or not based on their answers to your questions.

The takeaway

Buying a car in Australia is the same as buying it anywhere else. The important things to be aware of are the local and state regulations when it comes to vehicle registration, the trustability of the seller, the type of car you’ll need, and the local price range for that type of vehicle.

All in all, just make sure to do some research, ask a lot of questions, and you won’t have anything to worry about.