Buying a Car in Australia

It is possible to buy a cheap second hand car in Australia, however the same caveats apply that would if you were buying a car in the UK. For an economical and reliable first car, consider the Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore which not only cost less to run but can be repaired at a lower cost with spare parts being commonly available across the country.

If you are going to purchase from a private seller then check the vehicle to ensure that it is fully road worthy. As in the UK, as soon as you drive a privately purchased car away, the responsibility for maintaining it is down to you and this can become very expensive should there be significant problems after the event.

All cars in Australia must display a registration sticker in the left side of the windscreen which is renewed annually. This details both the motor and chassis number along with the registration expiry date. The yearly cost of car registration in Australia is approximately AU$550 which can be paid on an annual or six monthly basis, as you can in the UK.

When buying a car privately in Australia it is possible to carry out a motor vehicle search on the registration or serial number with the PPS ( which, for a small fee, will advise you if there is any outstanding finance owed on the vehicle as this would be transferred to you at the point of purchase.

As in the UK, the RAC ( are always on hand to provide a detailed overview of the car should you need some expertise, while a quick check with the police will be able to tell you if the car has been reported lost or stolen.

If you choose to buy your car from a registered car dealer, then you can expect a minimum of three months warranty on most vehicles you buy. When looking at the price of a car, ensure you ask the agent whether tax has been included on the purchase price displayed as this can add further expense to your purchase in the form of stamp duty and luxury car tax for higher end models.

When you collect your car, check that you are provided with a Transfer Form which offers you 14 days to transfer the vehicle registration into your name with the Department of Vehicles for the territory as well as the Roadworthy Certificate which is the equivalent of the UK’s MOT and must be shown in order to transfer vehicle registration.

Please note, transferring a registration from one State to another can be costly and time consuming. Different states have different fees and requirements for registration which makes such a process complex and all cars must be registered in your state of residence. It is therefore always advisable to buy a car in the State in which you live and then to sell such a car back in its own state wherever possible.

Alternatively, if you still have a car in the UK you may want to consider having it shipped directly to Australia, and depending on your budget, it may be much cheaper to do so rather than purchasing a new one. Luckily, we can do that for you. Simply visit our car shipping page for a free quote.

So if you’re thinking of moving to Australia and need a safe, secure reliable international mover to help you, Why not consider using 1st Move International. They have years of experience and expertise in moving families to Australia.