As one of the most developed countries in the world, Australia has attracted many international students and new immigrants with its advanced education system, fast-growing economy, attractive immigration policy and beautiful living environment. However, Australia is a sparsely populated country, and its infrastructure construction is not particularly perfect. That’s why cars are a must-have for every Australian. Australian Car Network (AUCN) is a professional new and used car trading service provider. As a part of our premium services, we have complied a series of issues that consumers need to pay attention to when buying and selling cars, hoping that every consumer is able to purchase the car of their dreams.

Car Guide - Considerations when purchasing a new car:

If you wish to purchase a car for basic transportation, the first thing to consider is whether to buy a new car or a used car. If you are buying a new car, AUCN is in partnership with many 4S (Sales, Service, Spare parts and Surveys) dealerships. You can browser for your next new car on our website and go directly to the dealership to inspect the car yourselves.

In addition to the car being brand new and having guaranteed quality, another major advantage of purchasing a new car is that major auto manufacturers generally provide a warranty of 3 years or more. During this time, most of the problems that occur in your vehicle are covered by manufacturer’s warranty. But it is worth noting that the said warranty is often accompanied by a series of conditions, such as the need to service at a designated 4S dealership. If the consumer does not fulfil the conditions during the term, the warranty may be voided. 

There are two types of prices a new car may have at a 4S dealership, Drive-away price and Retail Recommended Price (RRP). The drive-away price includes all costs of the new car, which may include the manufacturer listed price, options and on-road costs. On-road costs usually include the charges that are mandatory, such as the third-party compulsory insurance (CTP), rego fee, stamp duty and dealer delivery charges. If the vehicle is a luxury car, it will also include the luxury car tax. If you are confused with the process, then it is easiest to let the 4S dealership help you handle it. The RRP is a guide price given by the car manufacturer, and does not include on-road costs, options and the other costs. It is suggested that consumers include an estimate of those in their budget.

The disadvantages of purchasing a new car are high prices, fast depreciation, and 4S dealerships in different regions at different times may have different discounts for the same car, consumers need make the choice carefully. If consumers are not particularly concerned about the price, then buying a new car is the most worry-free way.

Car Guide - Considerations when purchasing a used car

In Australia, the volume of used cars being traded is higher than that of new cars every year. The relatively mature market environment has created a boom in the used car market in Australia. Used cars can be divided into those sold by car dealers and private sellers, and the former can also be divided into 4S dealership used cars (manufacturers used cars) and ordinary car dealers used cars. No matter what type of used car you are looking for, you can quickly and easily filter your choices, select and inspect your next dream car on AUCN.

The biggest advantage of buying a used car is to save money. For the majority of international students and some groups who just wish to buy a car for basic transportation, used cars are undoubtedly more cost-effective than new cars. However, the problem with second-hand cars is that every car has their unique conditions, even professional assessor may make mistakes when appraising used cars, let alone ordinary consumers. Although the used car trading market in Australia is relatively mature, there may still be sellers who lie about the condition of their car, in an attempt to increase its value.

According to the AUCN, 6.25% of the registered vehicles have cancellation records, 25% have potential risks during the transaction, 18% have not yet repaid the loans during the transaction, and 10% are at risk of recall. If you buy a problematic car, the average repair cost will be higher than $2000. The best way to avoid these risks is to browse cars that have the AUCN Car Report. Our report will check the historical conditions of the car in details. The data comes directly from the Australian government database, the state road bureaus and many third-party partners.

The comprehensiveness and trustworthiness of the data are guaranteed. Most of our reports are purchased by the car dealers or individual sellers, allowing buyers to view them directly on the website. If you fancy a certain car, but the seller does not provide a report on the platform, you can also purchase a separate copy through the AUCN vehicle report webpage before making a purchase, spend very little money for yourself to eliminate the bigger hidden dangers.

If you like a certain car, you can contact the seller via the seller information provided on our website and go inspect it yourself at your convenience. If it is a used car from a dealer or a 4S dealership, it will be safer than a privately sold car. Car dealers are subject to the supervision of relevant government departments, and some states in Australia will require car dealers to provide their used cars with a warranty of three months or more (depending on the vehicle year and mileage).

Additionally, if the dealer has a physical store, it is easier and more convenient for buyers to protect their rights once problems arise. If it is a certified second-hand car at a 4S dealership, it can often enjoy the same benefits of a new car, such as extended warranty, but at the expense of higher price. At the same time, 4S stores will also have a lot of demo car for sale. If you think new cars are too expensive, but used cars are also too old, demo cars are also a good choice. Car dealers generally provide roadworthy certificate, commonly known as the RWC (different states may call it differently, for example, in NSW, it is called the pink slip). This is a certificate that is mandatory when transferring the ownership at a road bureau. It is a proof that the condition of your car has reached the legal minimum standards. Most car repair shops can issue the RWC, with the validity period of one month.

If you are buying from a private seller, we recommend that you examine the car with the AUCN Car report, because conditions of a privately sold car are more complicated in general, increasing the risks in purchasing the car, despite the price being lower. Hence, if you do not know the car well, it is recommended to negotiate with the seller and find a repair shop for a service/examination. It is also recommended to ask the seller to complete the RWC and sign the transfer certificate (at the back of the vehicle’s rego is the official contract). It should be noted that once the transfer certificate arise signed and the cash transaction completed, the buyer has essentially accepted all known and unknown conditions of the car.

The transfer certificate has legal effects, and problems that the buyer fail to identify beforehand cannot be used as the reason to request a refund. If the seller does not provide an RWC and problems with the car arise when the buyer tries to obtain one themselves, then all risks will be borne by the buyer.

Another important document for the vehicle is the vehicle maintenance manual (Log book). Generally, as long as the vehicle is serviced at a certified repair shop, then all services are recorded in the log book, including the maintenance time, odometer and the maintenance items. If the log book is complete and mostly stamped at large repair shops, the condition of the car will generally be better. If there are many missing maintenance records or the log book is lost, then it is suspicious how the previous owner took care of the car. Here, AUCN still recommends that you try to buy a car with a Log book and complete records.

Car Guide - Considerations for vehicle transfer:

After selecting the car on AUCN, and getting in touch with the seller to inspect the car and make a purchase, the next step is to transfer the car to your name. The transfer document of the vehicle mainly includes the transfer certificate (rego can be torn from it, after signing at the back, one copy is kept by the seller and another is given to the buyer to transfer the car) and the vehicle’s RWC. Some states require the vehicle to have purchased CTP, and the transfer of the car also requires the buyer to bring their license and a letter proving their identity and address to each state road bureau.

When buying and selling privately, the transaction amount can be filled in according to one’s needs and the negotiation between buyer and seller. Because the transfer fee is a percentage of the transaction amount, higher transaction amount will lead to higher tax. Since some states require the transfer to be completed within 14 days of signing the transfer certificate, and the RWC is only valid for a month, we recommend that you process it as soon as possible after the transaction. Buying from a car dealer is similar, but with one difference. If it is the driver-away service that the dealer provides, the buyer can drive away the car after completing the transaction as the Drive-away fee already includes everything for on-road and safety testing.

Car Guide - Considerations for Car loan

The auto loan market in Australia is prosperous. Most Australians loan when buying a car. In addition to large banks and financial institutions, loan providers also include small financial institutions. Consumers need to make comparison to achieve the lowest loan interest rate. If you are a citizen or permanent resident, you must provide the relevant proof of income for at least 3 months for a loan to be granted. If the job is part-time and has been ongoing for less than 6 months, a proof (such as an employment contract) will be required to show that the job will be for at least another 12 months. Casual workers, short-term contractor, self-employed workers and sub-contractor must have sufficient materials to prove (such as tax returns, etc.) that they have been engaged in this profession for more than 12 months. The repayment period of the loan must be between 12 months and 7 years. As of now, the government does not allow loans to be granted to student visas. Some short-term work visas can be loaned but the period must be within the validity period of the visa.

Car Guide - Considerations for Insurance:

In Australia, car insurance is divided into the following categories:

CTP (Compulsory Third Party) Green Slip Insurance: CTP is an insurance that every car on the road with a legal license must have and is purchased with the vehicle’s rego. CTP is mainly to protect the lives of drivers, passengers or pedestrians, that is, when an accident occurs, compensation will be made for losses caused by the accident.

Third Party Property Damage Car Insurance: This insurance will compensate property damage caused by a third party after the accident, but it is not responsible for the cost of its own repairs. For example, if a car is rear-ended, the car behind is at fault and when there is third party insurance, the insurance company will compensate the loss of the front car but will not make any compensation for the rear car.

Third Party Fire & Theft Car Insurance: This type of insurance is generally an addition to the third party insurance to help the financial losses due to fire, spontaneous combustion, theft, etc.

Comprehensive Car Insurance: This covers all financial losses of the third-party and insured vehicles. It can also cover losses caused by fires, theft, major natural disasters, etc., but the rules between different insurance companies vary, there may be cases where some components of the vehicle are not covered.

Comprehensive Plus Car Insurance: It is basically an all-inclusive insurance. In addition to the compensation items included in the comprehensive insurance mentioned above, the components that are not covered will be compensated. At the same time, the rights of renting a car during repairs or theft, 24-hour emergency assistance, etc. are also included.

There are also a lot of insurance companies in Australia. The insurance provided by each company will be more or less different in their terms. Almost all insurance companies provide discounts for purchasing insurance online. Customers can go to the website and fill in the relevant information of the vehicle and its owner, so as to obtain the corresponding quote and purchase the insurance online. It is recommended that consumers go to the official websites of different insurance companies to compare the prices and choose the insurance that is the most suitable for them.

It is worth noting that vehicle insurance generally has age restrictions on the driver, because drivers under 25 years of age have a greater risk of claims. If you are a driver over 25 years of age, many insurance companies offer a certain amount of discount on premiums. Hence, the more experienced the driver, the more affordable the premium. If you apply for a loan to purchase the car, the bank or financial institution will often require the car buyer to insure the car with comprehensive insurance during the loan period. Consumers can also choose to reduce the insurance premiums by increasing the excess fees.

Car Guide - Considerations when selling a car:

AUCN is committed to providing sellers with a more affordable and efficient car sales experience. You can follow the instructions on our website to advertise your car on AUCN. If you want your car to sell faster and you are more confident with the conditions of your car, we strongly recommend that you also buy an AUCN car report. This will make your advertisement more visible, and buyers will also feel more secure, to help accelerate the speed of transaction. If you don’t know how much to sell your car for, then the vehicle valuation on the AUCN Car Report will also be helpful.

In the case of urgent sales, car dealers generally provide the trade-in service. You only need to drive the car to different car dealers to get a few quotes, choose a higher one and sell the car directly to the car dealer. The AUCN vehicle report also has a trade-in valuation, which can help you sell for a good price. It is worth noting that the trade-in price will generally be significantly lower than the private sale price. It is recommended that if you are not particularly urgent to sell the car or trading in for a new car with the same dealer, then use AUCN to achieve a more attractive selling price.