- Posted 12 Oct
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Australia is a very large country but is sparsely populated in many areas, so a vehicle is important to getting around. If you live in a city centre with good public transportation you may be able to get away with not driving, but most residents find they want a car for work and recreation. If you are an expat or have never purchased a car in Australia, there are a few things you’ll want to know. Check out these tips to make sure your car-buying process is as smooth as possible.
Dealers vs. private sellers
If you haven’t bought a car in Australia before, you may feel more comfortable working with a dealership. While a private seller may offer a better price on a used vehicle, a dealer offers protections that you won’t get from an individual.
First, dealers often include a warranty with the car so you can make sure you are getting a reliable vehicle. They will also handle all the paperwork you’ll need to legally drive away. They will provide you with a roadworthy certificate and help you complete the registration paperwork to transfer the title.
If you do decide to work with a private seller, ask for maintenance records and consider hiring a mechanic to inspect the vehicle. Find out the car’s VIN number and run a Carhistory.com search. This will tell you if the car was ever in an accident, reported stolen, or has an outstanding loan against the title. Finally, get a roadworthy certificate, registration paperwork, and a sales receipt stating the seller’s address and the amount you paid.
The car buying process
While it is more expensive to buy a car in Australia than in some other countries, you can definitely negotiate to try to lower the price. Whether you are buying from a private seller or a dealership, start by offering 10 to 15 per cent lower than the original asking price.
Check out Redbook to research car values. This site provides a good starting price point for new and used vehicles and is invaluable to the car buying process. Before heading to a dealership, print out a copy of their online price, as this is sometimes lower than the price listed at the lot. Dealers are likely to offer optional add-ons to make a sale, so if you have your eye on a sunroof or luggage rack, don’t be afraid to ask.
In addition to the sales price, you’ll pay a stamp duty on any new or used vehicle you buy. This government tax varies depending on the price of the car and where you buy it. You’ll also pay a registration transfer fee when buying from a dealer. If you buy from a private seller you’ll need to handle the registration paperwork yourself. Regardless of where you buy the vehicle, you’ll need to register it in the state where you live.
Every driver is required to have the minimum third party insurance, which covers medical costs and vehicle repair for other drivers in a crash. If you want a comprehensive policy that will pay for your vehicle repairs, it will likely cost between $600 and $1000 per year.
Australian Credit and Finance helps thousands of satisfied customers with car loans each year. If you are searching for your next vehicle, contact our loan experts to find a great rate today.