Travellers Autobarn has over 20 years of experience selling cars to travellers on a budget. To make your life and easier we have created a top 5 of frequently asked questions before buying a vehicle.

Sean W., manager at the Travellers Autobarn Showroom in Sydney says ‘Before you buy a vehicle it makes sense to do some research before you make your decision. Bear in mind how much you want to spend and how long you are looking to travel. Decide if it’s more cost effective to rent or buy a vehicle for the roadtrip you have got planned. Many customers have never bought a car before so we make sure no one leaves with any questions.’


1. ‘I’m going to the “outback”, do I need a 4WD?’

We hear this a lot. Buyers tend to assume that anywhere inland that isn’t Sydney to Cairns requires a 4WD. This simply isn’t true. You can get to pretty much anywhere in Australia using a 2WD vehicle on sealed roads. And there’s ALOT of sealed roads. The most common places where travellers think they’ll need a 4WD are Adelaide to Perth, Perth to Darwin or the Stuart Hwy (the road that runs from Adelaide to Darwin passing through Alice springs/Uluru.) All of these places can be reached using a station wagon or campervan.

The two most common places that where you will need a 4WD are Fraser Island and the Kimberley region. Fraser Island is the most common place but backpackers will often take a day trip which is usually more fun and safer. You’ll be with experts that know the island and know 4WD’s. The Kimberley region is in the north west part of the country. Backpackers who aren’t travelling from Perth to Darwin won’t need to worry about it but if you are going, there’s also a 2WD alternative route.

Yes, of course a 4WD will give you more freedom to travel where ever when ever but it isn’t always required. Backpackers that buy a 4WD usually have specific trips planned.

Please note: off roading isn’t for the faint of heart! If you’ve never done it before we strongly recommend taking a 4WD course to learn the basics before you set off into the wilderness.


 4WD driving down a sand dune in Lucky Bay, Australia.
Photo source: 2001 LimeWave – Anki Knutsson & Lars Andersson

2. What’s your cheapest car’

Although we do our best to keep the costs of vehicles down, we focus on selling reliable vehicles with less chance of a breakdown. More often than not cheap and reliable don’t go hand in hand. Of course we can’t guarantee all our vehicles travelling a country the size of Europe will never have an issue. BUT we can reduce the risk. And that’s exactly what we specialize in. Before all of our vehicles drive away they have been fully serviced, test driven, have a valid roadworthy certificate and come with roadside assistance and an on road warranty. The chances of our vehicles having an issue compared to the car you’ve found on Gumtree will be significantly lower AND if you do have an issue while travelling we are there to support you and get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Even though price will be a huge factor when choosing your vehicle. Try to stay away from the cheapest. If you’ve found your ‘dream car’ on Gumtree and its looking to be a steal. More often than not there will be a catch. Approach with caution. Remember: ‘If you buy cheap you buy twice.’


3. ‘I want to travel from Sydney to Cairns in 7 days…’

Is it possible? Well, yes. Is it going to be an enjoyable trip of a lifetime? Simply put, No!

I understand some people may be on a tight schedule but the last thing you want to do is rush a trip that you’ve been thinking about for probably months.

The minimum time we suggest travelling from Sydney to Cairns would be 14 days but the longer the better. Take your time. There’s so much to see that you won’t find written on a website.

Have a rough trip planned but don’t go planning every day. That’s no fun!


4. ‘I need a van that seats 5 people..’

Sorry people, unless you want to rent our Hi5 camper, sales campervans seat a maximum of 3 people. If you want a vehicle that seats up to 5 you’ll have to take a wagon or 4WD and take a few tents.

P.S – If you think 5 people (including luggage) can sleep inside a camper then you’re kidding yourself.


5. ‘Why should I buy from you’

What customers want to hear –  “We are going to sell you the cheapest car you will find and it will never have a breakdown while you are on the road”

The honest answer – “We’ve been doing this for a while now. 20 years, in fact. We specialize in selling cars to backpackers travelling Australia. We sell vehicles that are renowned for durability and capable of doing the trip you’ve planned. All of our vehicles are fully serviced and test driven by qualified mechanics. All of our vehicles come with a number of on road warranties and guarantees so if something does go wrong. We’ll be there to help. You’ll have access to over 500 mechanics around the country and Travellers Autobarn after-sale support. We’ll even pack it full of camping equipment and buy the vehicle back from you when you’re done!

Thinking of buying a vehicle at Travellers Autobarn?

We have branches in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Perth. Start planning the best road trip ever and rent or buy one of our vehicles please call 1800 674 374. 

We’ve got many more Buying and Selling Campervan and Car articles for you, come and explore.

About the Author

Bastian Graf

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.

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