The Playbook For The Modern Man

Industry Insider ‘Breaks Down’ The Risks Of Buying A Second-Hand Car In Australia Right Now

You want to save money, right?

Buying a car right now may, to many at least, be way, way down on a list of priorities. It’s fair enough, an awful lot of Australians are out of work right now – so forking out for a new (or used) motor may not be feasible.

But on the contrary, used car expert and owner of Melbourne’s MOTORbiz Luke Lalor says “it’s a great time to buy a car right now” because dealers will be wanting to offload stock and so will be reducing the price of cars to reflect it. You shouldn’t, however, try and haggle when you get to the showroom because you’ll likely be shown the door.

Another thing you should really try and avoid, according to Luke, is buying a car from another state. We can understand why you may want to look further afield than the suburbs near your home. You may be able to find unobtainable models, or you’ll see something more affordable or in the colour, you’ve longed for.

But Luke’s advice, “Don’t go interstate if you can avoid it.”

Why? “There will always be cheaper cars if you look to other states, of course there will. The car you’ve been looking for maybe $5k cheaper for example.”


“But once you factor in getting there, the rego costs, the freight costs and making it roadworthy, you’re going to spend more than if you looked closer to home.”

To expand on Luke’s words, and for the uninitiated, when you buy a car from another state, you will then need to pay to have the registration transferred over to your home state. Not to mention the cost of simply transferring the vehicle into your name.

And if you’re transferring a vehicle from any state into NSW, you’ll need to pay for compulsory green slip insurance before you can even think about registering the vehicle. The cost of compulsory insurance will vary depending on the vehicle you’re looking to insure. Add to that a truckload of paperwork and unnecessary hassle and you may soon start to regret that long-distance purchase.

There can, however, according to Luke at least, be instances where buying interstate can be acceptable.

“Unless you’re buying something exotic where you could be saving somewhere in the region of $10k, compared to a similar model closer to home, once you add on the costs involved in getting it back, you’ll still end up with a deal.”

Given his opposing stance to buying interstate, we asked Luke what he believes to be the benefits of sourcing a new car closer to home.

“You know, or can at least find out, its local history and dealers should even give you some sort of warranty should anything go wrong.”

“If you buy from another state this won’t be such a viable option as you’re not going to drive it several thousand kilometres just to get something fixed under warranty.”

So next time you decide to visit Carsales, unless you’re looking for something particularly noteworthy or rare, stick to your home turf. You’ll save yourself a fortune.

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  • PizzaHutPete

    “You shouldn’t, however, try and haggle when you get to the showroom because you’ll likely be shown the door.”

    And you walk out that door into the next dealership.

  • slg848wwg010

    Do you really think so. I don’t because they have to make ends Meet selling for profit not a loss.

  • Dieseled

    Probably definitely not a great time to purchase any vehicle, though if you can pay cash outright, then yep its a good chance. If you need to finance it, you probably don’t need it .

  • sam

    Lol, what a load of crap, the only extra costs associated with interstate purchase are in getting the vehicle home. Registration transfers have to be done either way, and any remaining rego can be refunded and thus the cost is almost the same and not $5k as he pretends it to be. One should NEVER pay what a dealer is asking for, no matter the timing, if you do it you are a fool, period!

  • Lee

    Clearly no research was done before this went up online.

    Transport is really the only additional cost and perhaps an Unregistered Vehicle Permit or UVP. In NSW the green slip plus the registration fee, in most cases, is equal to the cost of registration in other states where the insurance is part of that fee.


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