Buying a New Car in Australia

Information on the paperwork and processes involved when buying a new car in Australia...

In Australia regulations concerning the buying and selling of cars and car registration are defined by local governments. Each state/territory has slightly different requirements.

All cars purchased in Australia should have registration papers, and registration must be renewed annually. Car number plates include the state in which the vehicle is registered and the registration sticker on the windscreen indicates how long the current registration is valid for.

  • For further information about renewing vehicle registration in each state and territory: Click here

General information for people interested in buying or selling a car in Australia, including independent tests and reviews, can be found in dedicated car magazines. Most major newspapers also include a weekly car or motoring guide.

Buying a New Car

New cars can be bought from car dealerships. The price of a particular model can vary significantly, so it is worth looking at several dealers. When buying from a dealer, protection is provided by a state-administered fund should the dealer not meet their legal obligations.

  • For more information on consumer protection and fair trading authorities in each state and territory: Click here

When purchasing a new car most dealers will accept a trade-in on a current vehicle. The amount offered can vary between dealers and it is worth checking with several dealers before making a choice.

New cars generally come with a warranty of at least 12 months; although some dealers may extend this significantly. The dealer should arrange registration and compulsory third party insurance in the buyer's name.

Test drives

Test driving is helpful prior to buying a car. It is important to check liability with the dealer before deciding to do so. Substantial insurance claims could be made against the driver should they be involved in an accident during a test drive. This applies to both new and used cars being purchased from a licensed dealer.