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The potential hassle involved in buying a vehicle interstate is enough to put some people off a car altogether, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Use our comprehensive guide to know what you'll need to do and what to look out for if you're purchasing a car interstate.
Yes, you can purchase a vehicle from a different state, but it can be more complicated than buying from the same state. You will need to arrange for the car to be transported and also have the registration transferred into your name and state.
Aside from the purchase price of the car and the cost of transporting the vehicle, there are a few extra costs you need to consider when buying a vehicle interstate:
There are a few options available when buying a car interstate:
The Internet is invaluable when you’re researching cars for sale interstate. While it’s not the same as kicking the tyres yourself, doing some online legwork can help you find a huge range of useful information about a car’s condition, features, service history and warranty.
However, when you’re buying a used car interstate, it’s highly recommended that you make sure the vehicle gets a proper inspection before you buy. There are two options for this:
In some cases you may be tempted to buy a car sight unseen, but this is an extremely risky option and not recommended. Even if you know and trust the seller, there’s no way of knowing for sure if the vehicle is in good condition or if you’re getting a fair price. If the car you buy is not what you expected, you could end up significantly out of pocket.
When buying a used car from interstate, just as you would when buying from a seller down the road, you should always conduct a full check of the vehicle’s history. This allows you to determine the following:
There are specialist companies that can conduct a full car history check for you, and many of them offer discounted prices to members of state and territory motorist organisations.
Alternatively, you can conduct all the necessary checks yourself through databases like the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) and through the roads and transport department in the relevant state or territory.
The next issue to look at is registering the vehicle, and there are a few factors to consider here. If the car is registered, the seller will typically not be able to transfer the Australian Vehicle Registration and Car Insurance (rego) for their home state over to you, unless you can provide a garage address in the same state.
This means the seller will usually cancel their rego once they sell the car, so if you want to drive it home, you’ll need to apply for an unregistered vehicle permit. This permit is only for a limited period, but it allows you to move an unregistered vehicle by road from one place to another, provided the vehicle is in a safe condition.
In some cases the seller might agree to let the rego remain in place on the vehicle for a limited period, as long as you provide a statutory declaration accepting liability for any fines or damage. Just remember that you’ll be required to transfer the interstate registration into your name within 14 days.
However, the good news is that if you buy a car with a period of interstate registration still remaining, you can apply to the roads and transport department in that state or territory to have the unused registration costs refunded.
The final factor you need to consider is how you will get your new vehicle home. There are a few options available:
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You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.69% p.a.
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