Australia’s Guide to Buying a Car or Motorhome
Having your own car or motorhome is one of the best ways to see Australia, but do your research before parting with all your money, writes Roger Brancher.
So you’ve arrived in Australia, and maybe the first thing you realized was that you landed on a continent almost as big as North America. With its seven thousand five hundred square kilometers, it may be the smallest landmass, but it is the largest island in the world, and with a population of 22 million people, 85% of whom live along its 26,000 kilometers of coastline it could have You also came to your mind that there must be a lot of Australia that is uninhabited. This is where you have to ask, is my pogo plan sticking it around this little old country wise?
Obviously, if you want to get around Oz, you will need a bit of planning and transportation. Biking is a possibility, but you’re unlikely to have the time or inclination to sweat, huff, roast, and possibly die in the ruthless backcountry. So what are your options?
An airplane brings you quickly, but leaves a significant carbon footprint. Sometimes the plane can be the cheapest way to travel, thanks to Australia’s highly competitive domestic market, especially if you only have time for a few destinations. But air travel takes you off the trip and takes you away from any adventure. You didn’t come here to wander around in an air-conditioned bubble. You want the wind in your hair and the kangaroos hopping in your path. A bus puts you on the ground, seeing the sights, but only stops where it wants to stop, never venturing into the unknown to explore.
It seems the obvious choice is your own wheels. You can hire one, but it can get very expensive if you want to travel long term. Alternatively, a used car or van can be bought inexpensively, with most backpackers paying somewhere between $ 1,000 and $ 4,000. Now it’s clear that kind of a price is at the low end of the market, so you need to have your cool to avoid buying yourself a death trap (and a huge mechanic’s bill).
However, if you choose well, the rewards will be fantastic. You can sleep there to save more money, and you have complete freedom to stop and go, when and where you want. Plus, you could get most, if not all, of your money back when you sell it at the end of your trip.
There are two main purchasing options available. Buy a lot of used cars or from a private seller. Dealers will give you more peace of mind, but at a higher price. You will usually get some protection from them with a warranty, and they may be able to help you register the vehicle. Additionally, some dealerships even specialize in backpacker vehicles and have buy-back offers, where they agree to pick up the vehicle from you after your trip, hassle-free, but for less than what you paid for it.
But the dealers are in the business to make money, not to help you. You will get the cheapest price from a private seller. The best deals come from other backpackers who have completed their trip and are motivated to sell quickly before leaving the country. If you can feel the despair
from someone with one foot in the airport, who knows how lucky you will be with a ridiculous offer.