If you come from a developing country, you may be looking forward to your new life as an Australian immigrant, even though this may be something of a culture shock based on your previous home. You may already have somewhere to live, and you're beginning to settle in there, but you do need reliable transportation to get around this sprawling country. Be prepared for some extra culture shocks here as the rules set down by government regulators may be very different to what you may be used to. How should you proceed as you buy a new vehicle and make sure that it is ready to hit the road?
Firstly, you need to be streetwise and always smart when you buy from a private source. It can often be cheaper to do so, and you may well be able to pick up a bargain, but don't take anything at face value and always do your research.
What to Watch for
Remember, you won't get a guarantee from a private seller and may only have limited recourse if something goes wrong. Consequently, you should ideally get a vehicle that's been well looked after and has a full service history attached, with only a reasonable amount of kilometres on the clock.
You may not be aware, but in Australia, each vehicle has to have a roadworthy certificate before it can be legally driven on the road. You may not be able to register your vehicle in your name without this type of certificate but understand that requirements do differ between the states and territories and you should research the requirement in your jurisdiction.
A lot of places understand how difficult it is for a new arrival and may give you a certain amount of leeway in order to get your affairs straight. However, it's likely that you will have to get this roadworthiness check done as soon as possible before you can become fully legal behind the wheel.
To make it easier for yourself, try and buy a car that has been registered in the state that you intend to live. If you can, you will avoid unnecessary work and additional expenditure linked with interstate transfer fees and different license plates.
Getting That Test
Some people seek out the assistance of a mechanic to help them look over any candidate vehicle. It's a good idea for you to strike up a relationship with a competent and licensed venue anyway so that they can help to perform your roadworthiness test and issue you with a roadworthy certificate.