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Buying A Vehicle in Australia - A Guide

Finding A Car

There is a wide variety of cars available in Australia. If you intend to buy a new car, the options and procedures are quite similar to other places around the world. Most new migrants, however, start off by buying a second-hand car.

Australia has a wide variety of second-hand cars available and they are extremely well priced. There are several options available when looking for a car, depending upon the type of car you want, how much money you are willing to spend and how much you know about cars. Also there are important differences in the way you go about buying a new or used car in each State or Territory.

Purchasing A Car

If you are buying a new car you have to go through a dealership. By buying from a dealer you are covered by all the State and Territory laws that dealers have to operate under. You also get all the benefits of a full dealer warranty and the security of knowing where you can take your car if you do have a problem.

If you buy a used car it is advisable to check that there is no money oweing on it and that the person selling the car actually owns it. In most States and Territories you check a register of encumbered vehicles (REV's) to confirm some of the history of the car and to make sure there is nothing owing on it.

When buying a used car privately the seller should show you a current registration certificate and a certificate of vehicle safety. If purchasing at an auction, the auction house must give you a safety check report which is less than one month old, unless the car has been registered within the last month.


When you buy a car, state governments levy taxes on the purchase price. These taxes are as follows and are often referred to as Rego (abbreviation of registration):

1. The Registration Transfer Fee
2. Stamp Duty
3. Motor Vehicle Tax - this is paid annually on all vehicles. If it's due on the vehicle you buy, you will need to renew it.
4. Compulsory Third Party Insurance - This is, as its name suggests, compulsory and covers injuries you may cause to other people.

Luxury Car Tax - if you buy a car from a dealer at a premium value, in addition to the Stamp Duty, you will also have to pay Luxury Car Tax. No Luxury Car Tax is due if you buy a car from a private individual.

For more information, visit www.autotrader.com.au   

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