Important Shortcuts for Auto Service and Repairs

Landed in Australia? How to Buy A Car

by Emilia Latvala

When you first set foot in a foreign land with the intention of making it your new home, you've got a lot on your plate. You have to fit in as soon as possible, may have to learn the language and may need to get used to all of those different customs and inconsistencies. If you're lucky enough to have landed in Australia, you've also got to sort out some transportation as this is a big land with some huge distances in between towns and cities. What do you need to know about buying a vehicle here, so that you conform with all the correct laws and don't fall foul of the regulations?

Where to Look

If you're an independent kind of person and believe in saving money wherever you can, you may choose to buy your vehicle from an independent source. After all, there are often good bargains to be had, but you've got to be careful at the same time. You can scour the postings found on a number of classified sites online to see if something catches your eye, and then you need to size up the vehicle before you buy.

Vehicle Condition

If you're not mechanically minded, you may need to ask a local technician to have a look at the vehicle you're considering, so that you get an independent opinion about its condition. Of course, you will have to pay them for the service, but you may save a lot of money if they make you aware of an issue.


When it comes to payment, most private sellers will look for a cash transaction, so you need to be sure that you can access that type of money through your bank network before you start looking.


Once you have agreed to a purchase, you will then need to register the vehicle so that it can be used on Australian roads. This is a little tricky, as each territory has different regulations, some of which are more onerous than others. You should go online and visit the state or territory website to get a handle on what's needed.


Usually, you will need to present some form of identification such as a passport, your driver's license and a proof of purchase provided by the seller.

Safety Certificate

Often, you will have to provide a safety certificate that tells the authority that this vehicle conforms with Australian environmental and safety guidelines. This certificate is compulsory in certain states and territories, so if you don't have a roadworthy certificate you will need to book the vehicle in to a licensed service centre in order to get it.

Updating Your Licence

Remember, while you can register a car with your overseas licence and may then drive on domestic roads (as long as the license features the English language), you will have to apply for an Australian driver's card within a maximum of three months from this date.