Buying a vehicle for your Australian adventure is undoubtedly the best way to see everything that you want to see, at your own pace. If you buy and sell ‘correctly’, it’s also going to work out considerably cheaper than the other options available to you!
However, it’s not all plain sailing! You need to be aware of the perils and pitfalls which await the inexperienced player. Here are our top five things to avoid.
1. DO NOT BUY THE CHEAPEST
Don’t buy the cheapest vehicle you find! It’s cheap for a reason, and sadly those reasons may not be apparent to you until you find out the hard way. In the middle of nowhere! Make sure you compare at least three similar vehicles, so you have a clearer picture.
2. DON’T TRUST AN UNLICENCED MECHANIC
Don’t trust the unlicensed mechanic you’ve seen advertised in the hostel! Any mechanic who offers to ‘come to you’ to inspect the vehicle is probably dodgy. Take the vehicle to a reputable mechanic, with their own workshop. If you’re not sure, ask to see their mechanic’s licence. Remember: if the seller isn’t keen to let you take the vehicle for an inspection, they may have something to hide – walk away!
3. BUY A CAR/VAN THAT SUITS YOUR ITINERARY
Buy something that’s appropriate for your trip! Sure, you may want a 4WD, but do you actually need a 4WD?? Is that old van with half-a-million kilometres the right one for you, if you plan to travel 30,000kms around Australia. Don’t buy with your heart, buy with your head!
4. DON’T BE NAIVE
Don’t believe everything the sellers says! Even if he’s from your country and speaks your language, it’s possible he’s not telling you the complete truth…. remember he wants to sell his vehicle more than you want to buy it!
5. DON’T BUY A CAR/VAN WITHOUT HISTORY
Don’t buy anything without checking its history! If you buy a car with outstanding traffic penalties (Aussies call them Infringements), then you have just inherited those penalties!
If all this sounds a bit much – talk to the guys at Travellers Autobarn, and get your trip off to the right start!
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.