Australia is a nation of immigrants, and you may be one of its latest additions. If so, welcome "down under", and one of the first things that you need to do is to sort out your transportation. You may have noticed how big this country is, so you will need your own car to function properly on a daily basis, but what do you need to know about the buying process here so that you don't make any mistakes?
Knowing What to Look For
Firstly, always remember the golden rule of "caveat emptor," or buyer beware. You can certainly find some bargains by buying your car privately through ads in the newspaper, but be careful when you try to save money this way, and if you can, take a mechanic with you.
Checking the History
Even though you may be in search of something relatively cheap, always ensure that you check out the service history of the vehicle to see if it's been maintained properly and in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. Some private sellers may have overlooked this important consideration and not had the car serviced regularly. Any vehicle with a large number of kilometres on the odometer and little or no paperwork in this respect could be challenging.
The All-Important "Rego"
Next, you need to focus on the Australian registration system, which is called "rego" for short. You can't drive a vehicle in this country without one of these documents, and it proves that the car has been determined to be roadworthy by the authorities.
The rules related to rego inspections differ from state to state, with some calling for a roadworthy certificate to be issued each year following a test. In addition, some states will only issue temporary registration certificates for owners considered to be transient. In all cases, you will need to make sure that the registration certificate is valid and present whenever you buy a car, and if not, it will need to be inspected first.
Change of Ownership
You also have to take in the registration slip that was given to you when you purchased the car to the nearest motor-vehicle registry. This is different to the registration certificate or "rego," and it details the ownership rather than the condition of the vehicle. Sometimes, you will buy a car that has a few months of this annual registration left, but if not, you will have to budget for this as part of your overall purchase cost.
The officials will provide you with your title in return for your money, and you should be almost ready to go. However, if you buy a car that was registered in a different state, it's likely that you'll have to pay additional fees, including an interstate transfer and brand-new license plates.
Happy hunting and welcome to your new world!