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Buying a car in Australia: transfer process, budget and precautions

Some people will consider buying a second-hand car even if they only live abroad for a short time. First, they must checking rego. After all, there are not subways/buses everywhere in foreign countries, such as Canada, Australia and other places. If not in the most popular cities, public transportation The traffic series will be relatively imperfect. Also because local self-driving is so popular, it is not difficult to buy a car and sell a car. This article will introduce in detail the information of buying a car in Australia, the transfer process, the cost budget, and the precautions before buying a car.

Australian car buying network

To buy a car in Australia, you can choose to go to a licensed dealer (Licensed Dealers), or conduct a private sale through a car sales website/auction network. Nowadays, with the development of the Internet, traditional car dealers are gradually transforming to list vehicles for sale on car sales websites. Dealers provide legal coverage, car maintenance, and can make sure the vehicle doesn’t have any outstanding loans. While private sales may be cheaper, there is a certain risk that it is up to the buyer to do their own search to confirm the vehicle’s registrant and debt status.

Here are 4 commonly used Australian car buying and selling sites and their features:

Drive: Australia is the industry’s leading car information website. It not only lists new and used cars, but also publishes the latest car news every day. If you want to buy a new car, you should pay special attention. The website has 24/7 customer service staff. Plus the popular car review section, each written by real users, making it easy for even novice buyers to get started.
Carsales: Over 140,000 cars are listed, 100,000 of which are sold by dealers, most of them are used cars, and you can choose certified vehicles that have been inspected. Provides FACT+ service to view the detailed history of the vehicle, such as registration information, arrears status, real mileage, etc.
Carsguide: As the name suggests, it is to provide a car buying guide. You can find information on different types of cars, including off-road vehicles, family cars, urban cars, and electric cars. There are user reviews and purchase/use guides. If you choose the type of car you like, you can re-screen more than 70,000 cars. Has a mobile app.
Autotrader: Lists more than 60,000 cars, mainly used cars sold by dealers. You can filter by manufacturer, model, state/region, price, color, year of production, etc. Has a mobile app.

Australia car buying process

Here are the complete steps to buy a car in Australia:

  • Conduct data collection, decide which brand and model of car you want to buy, and set a budget.
  • Consider different buying avenues: dealer/private sale, both of which can be found on car sale sites.
  • Consider payment method: lump sum payment/loan/installment.
  • If you choose a loan, get a loan pre-approval from the bank/financial institution first.
  • Find the car you like on a car dealership website and check the details of the car with the seller.
  • Make an appointment for a car inspection and test drive, and conduct a preliminary inspection of the vehicle during the process.
  • Conduct PPSR inspections and car history surveys.
  • Use the price search tool on to estimate the value of the vehicle and then make a quotation.
  • After negotiating the price, a final agreement is reached and the loan is officially approved.
  • Pay the seller for the vehicle and purchase auto insurance.
  • Make final inspection and settlement, and drive away.
  • Complete the car registration (REGO), pay taxes and other procedures within 14 days.

buy car insurance in australia

Third party insurance (CTP) is mandatory for all registered vehicles across Australia, and premiums depend on the type of vehicle, age, performance, and the driving history of the vehicle and owner. In most states, the CTP premium is already included in the car registration fee, but for example, in New South Wales (NSW) where Sydney is located, and Queensland (Queensland) where Brisbane is located, car owners need to insure their vehicles themselves.

Australia’s statutory minimum requirements are only for personal injury protection (CTP), most people will buy additional insurance plans, there are three main types:

  • Comprehensive car insurance (Comprehensive): Comprehensive coverage of natural and man-made disasters, such as floods, snowstorms, theft, vandalism, fire and other accidents.
  • Fire, Theft and Third Party Insurance: For property damage caused by fire and theft.
  • Third Party Liability: For damage to other people’s property in an accident.

Generally speaking, if no claim is made during the policy period, a No Claims Discount (NCD) will be accumulated and used to offset part of the premium. The discount can be as high as 60%.

white and green tram on road during night time
check rego vicroads

How much does it cost to buy a car in Australia?

The following are the taxes and fees involved in buying a car in Australia:

  • Stamp Duty (Stamp Duty): The charges vary from state to state. Take a car with a price of $40,000 as an example. The cheapest is Queensland, which only needs A$800 (hybrid/electric vehicle) or A$1,200 (normal fuel vehicle) . The most expensive is Western Australia, which costs A$2,000.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): If the vehicle is purchased at a dealership, the cost of the vehicle includes GST at a rate of 10%.
  • Luxury Car Tax: If the price of a car purchased exceeds A$68,740 (A$77,565 for a high-efficiency car), it will be paid at a rate of 33%.
  • REGO Transfer Fee: A one-time fee, approximately A$20 – 40.
  • Annual Registration Fee: It varies by state and vehicle size. Taking Queensland as an example, it ranges from A$263 – 870 per year.
  • Compulsory Motor Insurance (CTP): Varies by state, taking Queensland as an example, A$351.6 per year.
  • Other statutory fees: such as the Queensland Transport Improvement Fee, A$58.35 per annum.

Tips for buying a car in Australia

checking rego is required

  1. Installment and loan for buying a car in Australia
    Buying a car in Australia, there are not many buyers who choose to pay in full, most people will consider car loans, or directly use the instalment option provided by the dealer (usually a large brand instalment plan, such as Toyota and Nissan), more commonly used to buy new cars.

Here’s a comparison of auto loan and dealer installment services:

Interest rate: Auto loans are secured by the vehicle, and it is easier for banks to approve low-interest loan programs. And dealers usually offer installment discounts on specific car models for promotions, and interest rates on some expensive cars can be as low as 0%.
Loan Term: Auto loan programs from banks/financial institutions can choose a repayment term of 1 – 7 years, while dealer installments are generally 3 – 4 years.
Amount of repayment: The monthly repayment of a car loan is generally a fixed amount, while the dealer installment is a “Balloon Loan” with a smaller monthly repayment amount.

  1. Buying a car in Australia
    Australia’s car registration system is called REGO. If you buy a second-hand car, you must pay the car registration transfer fee (REGO Transfer Fee) within 14 days. Each state has its own rules. Before buying a car, you should check the website of the transportation department. . Taking New South Wales as an example, if you are not buying a car across the state (no need to change the place of registration), the owner of the car has already completed the Notice of Disposal, and you hold a local license plate, the transfer procedure can be done online. completed on.

As a novice to buy a car in other places, it is recommended to choose a second-hand car in the same state when buying a car in Australia for the first time, so that you can save the procedure of changing the registration place, and you do not need to check the website of the transportation department of multiple states. If you need to send money to Australia to buy a car, you can also use Wise’s money transfer service to save money and time.

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