Michael's Australian Travel Tips for Backpackers
Useful hints and tips for backpacker travel in Australia from Michael Keogh - the Manager of Cronulla Beach YHA Hostel in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Backpackers Hostel for Sydney Beaches Budget Accommodation.
Travel Article © Oct 2010.
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Australian Vehicle Registration & Car Insurance:
Registering A Vehicle in Australia ("REGO") - Australia is a federal country and all eight states and territories have independent and differing laws - including licensing and registration rules. Registration ("Rego") is the Australian state government tax allowing you to drive on the roads, each state having differing costs - in the region of $700-$1,000 annually.
Therefore if you have a car registered in New South Wales (NSW) and it expires when you are in another state then be prepared to drive back or pay high fees to have it transferred to that state. This will require the car to be closely examined at a Registry office where they usually find an insurmountable amount of repairs required before the transfer can take place. In practice interstate transfers are so difficult to be not worth consideration.
So the number one thing is to have a long "rego" period left before expiry so it lasts until you get back to the appropriate state. Selling an out-of-state registered car can be difficult to impossible.
Also make sure the car is road worthy enough to have it re-registered, otherwise you might be watching that scrap man take it away. And new buyers will pay more money for the car when you want to sell it.
Very few people buy a car and sell it for the same amount or more so be prepared to lose. I believe if you lose for e.g. $1,500 in six months then the rental you have paid is only $16.66 per day and divided by 2 or 3 passengers then that's a bargain.
Vehicle Insurance - Car registration in Australia includes basic third-party (personal) insurance. So technically you (and anyone else) are legally covered to drive any registered car without additional vehicle insurance. However... any non-personal injury costs are not covered, so you are strongly advised to take out further third-party (vehicle), third party fire & theft, or comprehensive insurance. Costs of this are generally much cheaper here than (e.g.) in the U.K.
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