Have you ever imagined me checking the car’s engine?! Ha! Me neither! But I did it. Before purchasing my van, I had no idea about cars. I never possessed one. And I have never been interested in the mechanic stuff. But believe me, it is not that difficult to buy a campervan in Australia. Just watch some youtube videos, see few cars, talk to people and you will be quickly able to make a pre-purchase vehicle check on your own! Here I have some tips and tricks for buying a campervan in Australia.
Where to start?
Download a guide from here. This guide not only contains useful information about how to purchase a car but also many other useful tips.
How much does a van cost?
For buying a campervan in Australia you will need between $5000 and $8000. If you want to convert the van by yourself, instead of purchasing a fully equipped one, it will be cheaper! I decided to buy an equipped one because it was just a more comfortable option for me.
You will need to make sure that the registration is done. Car registration costs about $700 per year. Some people sell their car with a valid registration, which is cool.
Add road assistance and extra insurance to your costs. Since my car has a Western Australian registration, I have signed up with RAC (http://rac.com.au). It is $11 per month for the road assistance and $18 per month for the third party insurance. It was worth it. I had to tow my car in the first week, and I paid nothing for it.
Calculate some extras – maybe you want to buy new camping equipment or change somethings in your interior. I bought a second battery and a few other things before I started the roadtrip, which took me around $700 out of my wallet.
Where to look for a campervan?
I used following sources:
How to inspect the car?
If you have no idea about cars, just open Youtube and watch some videos. There are a few really good videos that will show you how to inspect a vehicle before purchasing it. Take a checklist with you every time you go to see a car and compare cars according to the points listed in your checklist! I used the following checklist (You can find it in the backpackers guide), and I modified it slightly according to my needs.
This is easy. You will just need to send a letter (Notification of Change of Ownership) to the department of transport. It took me 10 minutes. Usually, the seller will take care of all the documents.
Do not send any money to someone before you actually get the car. Paypal offers a secure payment option and if this doesn’t work for you, just pay by cash and get your keys at the same time.
I bought a Mitsubishi Express, the year 2006 with 260.000 km for $7000 cash. The registration was valid for 6 months, and all the mechanic checks have been done just before I got it. My van is equipped with a kitchen and bed and has all the stuff I need to travel. I just got a second battery, because I wanted to be able to charge my fridge and other things during my camping times.
Read more tips for a roadtrip in australia here.