Problems with cars in oz

5 Problems With Australian Cars – How Travelers Can Avoid These Issues

The Problems With Australian cars

The many issues with Australian cars can be found in this post but please remember with every one of my struggles there is a lot of positives like road trips and getting around. I Loved my time driving around in an “old” Subaru Liberty, Drove the whole of the south coast and I would highly recommend getting a car for your time traveling around Australia but make sure you do your research first.

5. Problems with getting a car in Australia

1.Finding a car

This is a problem for many backpackers due to the fact not having a clue what to look for with Australian cars. Like myself, I have no knowledge of car mechanics and I kinda go on the test drive and listen to the engine for usual noises

If in doubt ask if you can take it to a mechanic before purchase, But this can be a real struggle and sometimes you have to just bite the bullet.

If you are anything like myself, I would always do the basic check to see if they have topped up oil, windscreen wash and most importantly coolant. Knowing they have done this shows good care for the car.

Where to find a car for traveling around Australia


Hostel notice boards (you can get a real bargain, If the person is leaving the country soon. To get mates rates, offer to take them to the airport)

Car Garages

Facebook groups


So, you think a car from the 1999’s would be cheap and not cost over $2000 dollars, but it does. This is just a warning for you guys thinking you grab a cheap car and do a road trip across Australia.  

How to get cheaper cars

Last minute buys off other backpackers are the best ways of getting a cheaper car but just remember you won’t be able to get much for the car when you sell it.

Another thing to think about is the more expensive the car the higher tax you will have to pay.

3.Different states different taxes

So, if you are travelling states and your car needs tax, this is a massive f**king inconvenient, so much if it’s an old car it may be worth scraping (like my car). This makes road trips sometimes a little difficult. Before heading off on your road trip make sure you have enough Rego for you to get back to the same state, sell the car or get it registered to another state.

Researching what Rego, requires in your states

Because in certain states its not necessary to get your car checked once a year. Which means you could be buying a piece of shit, or the people are only selling it because it won’t pass its next pink slip! So beware!

 Green slips and other slips

Is insurance necessary? Look this up beforehand (depends on states)  
A green slip is normally the same as 3rd party insurance and will be added on the car as part of its Rego (in Certain states) If you are unsure about anything when it comes down to Rego, Tax or Green slip I would ask a local as many of the things online will confuse you.

4.200,000 is not a lot of km’s

The cars last longer than they do in Europe due to the fact the winters don’t kill the car. So, trying to work a good mileage.
when looking at mileage think 200,000 km is probably the same as 85,000 miles ( The maths doesn’t add up due to the fact I have taken in the fact the car run longer in Australia.)

5.Driving and police

Don’t worry Australia doesn’t have many fixed speed cameras, Just police hiding around every corner trying to find you. They don’t care if you are over by 1 km an hour or 50. You will get fined, just the cost will be higher

Thanks for reading

I hope this gave you a bit more information about Cars in Australia. Please don’t let this put you off getting a car and going on a road trip they are amazing!

I have traveled most of the south of Australia and wrote a book on some of that journey (Backpacks to Beer Taps) as well as wrote a massive Article to help travelers just like you, get around Australia. Australian Working Holiday Visa -Everything You Need To Know

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to smash it.

Australian cars

My car is the one on the left. 1999 Subaru Liberty

Leave a Reply