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Car options on arrival


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Hi we arrive at the beginning of September and the use of a car is going to be handy from day 1.

We are looking at what options we have and we see some go for normal car hire short term, others buy second hand and some buy new. My employer has offered novated leasing but from what I have read it seems to be 50% good and 50% bad. What are the factors we need to consider for novated leasing? Is it the salary? How long we intend on keeping it or miles expected to travel? Are we better hiring first?

Any thoughts are welcomed.



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Its a problem we have all faced.


Whatever you choose, you will need to hire a car for the first week or two. EVERYTHING will be easier if you do that. After that, how many cars do you need? I needed 2, a main family / do everything car and a smaller car for my wife to get to work. The main car was not so urgent and could wait for a couple of months so I bought a 2 year old small car from a main dealer. No doubt I paid over the odds and was a bit green in haggling. Two months later I bought the main car. It was cheaper to buy in the Melbourne - so much cheaper that the saving paid for a weeks road trip inc hotels and spending money to Vic and back. I was fortunate in that I could buy the 2 cars outright. Buying the main car second gives you the chance to look around without being in a frantic rush. You may also find that whilst you planned to buy for example a medium estate car, actually what you need is a bomb proof 4x4 or an all wheel drive SUV rather than a people carrier. Cars hold their value here and whilst there are deals around, like many things here, those deals are done by the importers rather than the shops / dealers.


I am now looking at selling the main car and buying a replacement. I have looked at novated leasing and there are many benefits as the car + fuel, and running costs come out of your pre tax earnings. On paper it all makes sense especially if you are a high rate tax payer and there are significant savings. The downer is that it looks really expensive per fortnight when a big chuck of money is leaving your account whereas if you pay the running costs as and when it doesn't look so bad (although it is really). Whenever I have looked at novated lease quotes it all looked great until I saw the costs were per fortnight and not per month! The novated lease is based on the value of the car, duration of lease and mileage. I think, but you'd need to check, if you want out of the lease half way though you will be penalised much like cancelling a mobile phone contract.



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What are the requirements/documents needed for us to buy a car in Melbourne? We're arriving at the end of September, and still deciding whether to land in Adelaide or Melbourne. We will be staying in Adelaide for the first 2 years, but will need to go to Melbourne within the first month to visit and pick up our quarantined cats, so if buying a car is cheaper in Melbourne, we may just fly in directly and buy a car there. Advice appreciated :)

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To nearly all intents and purposes, Victoria is a different country. The car I bought was a year old but I think the process is the same whether its new or old. New cars have to be advertised as a drive away price (inc all on road costs for the state inwhich its sold), 2nd hand cars are not so you have to add stamp duty, transfers fees and rego onto of the sale price. You can get these costs from the Rego website.

If buying used you just pay the cost of the car with no on road fees. The dealer will have to get you a form that allows you to drive the vehicle for 14 days with no number plate. There is a fee for this but I don't remember it being much. Whilst driving with no plates do not do anything wrong as you will get pulled by the police at least once a day for driving with no lates. Flashing the said form quickly takes the smile of their faces.


When you get back to SA you will enter the world of interstate beaurocracy. In my case the car I bought was a Ford, made in Australia and came with all its documents including the old Vic rego but I still had go to the local police station for them to check it was SA legal - namely a VIN check. The resulting form was taken to the local rego office where I paid for SA number plates, transfer fees, rego and stamp duty. Its not hard but its annoying to queue for ages to then be told you have the wrong form, wrong queue, etc but in my case the savings were well worth the limited hassle. I can't recall if it made any difference but I did have my SA driving licence. You'll obviously need proof of address.


My assumption has always been that cars are cheaper in Vic as theres a greater population hence more cars hence more competition. Even if you were in SA and buying in Vic its not that expensive to get the car trailered over to Adelaide.

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