There is so much to consider when arriving in a new country. Do I have somewhere to stay? How do I move around?

Where is anything? Where is everything?

After the initial excitement and flurry, it’s time to consider the next steps like Medicare, Bank Accounts and all the minutiae of life. One of these will be mode of transport and it’s likely a vehicle of some kind would be top of mind especially in a country as big as Australia.

When I first bought a car in Australia, I got caught out a few different ways and I hope my experiences highlighted in this article will give you an idea of what to expect.

In Western Australia, the transfer ownership fee on a second-hand car is reasonably high. I had been used to paying a transfer of around $30.00 (paid by the seller). You can imagine my surprise when a bill arrived for nearly $900.00 (paid by the buyer)… Yeh! The transfer fee is high. The WA car dealers may include the transfer in the purchase price you see on the window or the advertisement. In other words, a drive away no more to pay. However, like car dealers everywhere they will take every opportunity to increase their profit if they can. Use the transfer fee as part of the negotiation. If you negotiate well the dealer will usually pick up the transfer fee as part of the deal.

That wasn’t the only surprise.

Cars in Western Australia don’t display a sticker showing the expiry of their registration. In its place the licensing department issues a slip of paper. This is supposed to be in the vehicle however is often lost or misplaced. Fortunately, there are several ways online to check on the registration expiry date. See the link below to car licensing. In addition, in Australia there is a registry of finance held against second-hand vehicles. This is very cheap to access, don’t pay a high fee to online scalpers.

Before proceeding with purchasing a second hand motor vehicle go to this site and enter the required details, pay the small fee and the report will tell you if there are any issues to be aware of.

For more information on buying a car and licencing in Western Australia, you can refer to the links below

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