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Cars &
Drive License
in Austrália

 It is possible to buy cheap, used cars in Australia in good condition for around AU$ 2000. But make sure the vehicle is registered and in roadworthy condition, without rust and balding tires, otherwise you will have to spend your precious dollars fixing all the problems before it is considered roadworthy. If you are buying a car privately, it's a good idea to get an opinion from a mechanic. They only charge around A$ 30 to check the car but it is money well spent because they will tell you what is wrong with the car. This is much safer and cheaper than having to throw away your motor or gear box later. Another important tip, is to have a check on REVS (Register of Encumbered Vehicles). You will spend another AU$ 10 and it can be made over the phone if you have a credit card. (In Queensland the phone number is 32461599). 

The police will be your last call to check if the vehicle has been reported stolen or not. If buying from a registered car dealer, they are obligated to provide a warranty for the vehicle for three months after purchase, and provide details of the car for you. These documents are for you to take home as proof that everything that is written corresponds to the car you've got. The documents you need to conclude the deal are the "Roadworthy Certificate" (obligation of the seller to provide) and a "Transfer Form" from the department of Vehicles from your State. After the deal is concluded, you have 14 days to transfer the vehicle to your name.

Note: Drive Licences from other countries should have an official translation or an International Drive Licence.

All vehicles in Australia must have a registration sticker glued onto the left internal side of windscreen which shows the Motor and Chassis numbers. It also has a big number which means the month your registration will expire. For example, if the number is 3, it means the registration will expire in March. (don't forget to check the year). You can choose to pay the registration annually (cheaper) or every 6 months. The annual registration costs around A$ 550. Conclusion: When buying a car in Australia, besides everything explained above, the best thing to do is buy a car which has a long registration.

Driving in Australia If you have never driven a car in the "English Hand" (driver's seat is at the right side of the car), it is worthwhile going to a driving school to practice a little bit. It costs about AU$ 30 per hour but you will get things so fast you won't believe it. Another tip is to buy a manual that tells you about Signs and Traffic Rules. In Queensland this booklet is called "Your Keys to driving in Queensland", and it is sold for AU$ 8.95 in any Newsagency. All newsagents have maps of urban streets for sale for around AU$ 6.95. If you don't want to spend too much on maps, you can get a very similar one from the Yellow Pages telephone directory of your city. Other less detailed maps are given for free from any Australian Tourist Information Centre.

In Queensland, the speed limit in Urban areas is 50 Km/h and 110 Km/h on Motorways (freeways). All other speed limits are indicated by a sign. The use of seat belts is compulsory, calling a AU$ 120 fine and 3 demerit points (out of 10) from your drivers license for anyone not wearing it. An international driving license is preferred, but you your own is valid for a period of 6 months. (If not in English, an official translation may be required). All States in Australia have severe fines for speeding.

Driving vehicles and boats in Australia under the effect of alcohol is an serious offence punishable with heavy fines and even jail. The limit is 0.5 mg of alcohol per litre of blood which means about 2 glasses of beer, 1 glass of wine, or a small dose of spirits. The offender will be heard by a judge in court and may have their license confiscated for a number of months depending on the gravity of the offence. Breathalyser tests are conducted by police anywhere, anytime. Note: Insurance Companies don't pay anything if you caused an accident under the influence of ANY quantity of alcohol. It is very common in Australia for people going out to parties or to drink with friends to go by taxi, or someone is appointed as the dry driver for that night.

Selling a car in Australia that was purchased in another State may be a big problem. Transferring registration requires a great deal of money, and many people prefer not to do it. The only solution is lose money and sell it cheaply, or return to the State of origin to sell it back there. If your car has a low value, the best way to sell it is by placing an ad on cardboard and sticking it on the side window of the car. Also, backpacker hostels are excellent places to leave ads, and finally the newspapers, especially those that are free!

State Vehicle Registration Offices:

  • Queensland - (07) 32534700

  • Canberra    - (02) 62077000

  • New South Wales - 132213

  • Northern Territory - (08) 89993111

  • South Australia - 131084

  • Tasmania - (03) 62335201

  • Victoria - Free phone - 1800814762

  • Western Australia - 131156

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