When you’ve got a stunning continent full of gorgeous outback and coral reef beaches to explore, why not enjoy the freedom of your own vehicle and go on a road trip.
Rather than hopping on some of the excruciatingly long buses that take you across Australia’s huge terrain, make the entire journey a fun road trip and enjoy the liberation of being on the open road, going wherever you like.
There’s some amazing routes to take and incredible people to meet too. However Australia’s boiling hot landscape can be unforgiving.
I’ve heard a few stories of backpackers being stranded in the middle of the desert because they bought an unreliable vehicle off some cowboy.
Maybe they got too wrapped up in the moment to ask the right questions and do a bit of research!
An Australian Road trip can also be a perfect way to explore before you start your Work abroad Australia visa.
Rather than see that happen to you, here are some common sense tips about how to find a reliable vehicle for your Aussie road trip.
I hope these tips help you find a worthy wagon for your trip of a lifetime!
1. Sourcing & Selling
There’s pretty much two ways to go about buying a car when you’re a backpacker in Australia. You can go through a dealer, but you often end up paying more than you would than finding a car yourself through a private advert.
The way most backpackers do it is to have a look on Gumtree, I checked out their Toyota Landcruiser listings to write this piece and found some decent deals on there with just a quick scan.
When it comes to swapping out your vehicle or selling it on to end your trip, it’s as easy as getting back on Gumtree and creating a listing! The internet makes these things a lot easier than they used to be that’s for sure.
2. Inspect your vehicle
Once you’ve found a decent looking vehicle and you’re ready to go meet the buyer, you’re going to want to inspect the vehicle carefully yourself before you get to haggling on the price.
Things to look out for include:
– how the car sits on the ground – look out for any sagging or uneven tires.
– test the engine, listen to the sound it makes when you hit the accelerator
– check the tires for any baldness or excessive wear and tear
Use your common sense and take your time. There’s no need to impulse purchase something that you are going to have to trust to carry you safely for hundreds of miles across the outback.
3. Cost + Negotiating
Going through a private advert is definitely the cheaper option, but make sure you’re savvy and sensible when speaking to the owner to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
Here are some essential questions to ask:
– How old is the car?
– Do all the windows and locks work?
– Are there any cracks in the glass?
– When was it last serviced?
– Does it leak any essential fluids like oil or antifreeze?
– Is the tread on the tires within the legal requirement?
When you’re negotiating always be polite, but don’t be afraid to be confident in asking for a good deal.
Every penny will come in handy later when you’re on the road! A smile can go a long way in getting the owner on your side and help you out a little.
4. Plan Your Road trip Around Australia
Now here comes the fun part – planning your route.
There are so many well established roads and routes where you will find it easy to meet other backpacker and go past some beautiful natural landmarks.
My top pick has to include:
Now you’ve found out how to source a car, sell it on, inspect the vehicle and negotiate a good price, all you need now is a map and a travel buddy to share the adventure with.
I hope you enjoy your Aussie road trip and the joy of the open road.