Selling the car

Following Byron Bay we drove back down to Sydney, mainly for the purpose of selling our Mazda Tribute. We advertised it on Gumtree (a webpage where you can sell all sort of stuff), and printed out ads which we put up in fifteen hostels in our neighbourhood here in Sydney. That was our way of marketing it, cheap and pretty good reach.


When we were in Melbourne, we gave it an oil change. As we went up the coast we started noticing that the car was jerking a bit. This made us a little worried that there could be something wrong with the transmission, but after googling the symptoms we decided it might be related to the spark plugs. So we went ahead and bought six new ones, a toolkit, and replaced them ourselves in a parking lot. The result was striking, not only did the car start again, it instantly ran smooth. Success! 🙂


When buying and selling a car in Australia, there are quite a few forms, rules, and regulations to deal with. What’s more, the rules from one state to another varies a great deal. Our car has license plates from Western Australia, which means that you must have a residential address and a garaging address in Western Australia. The postal address can be in a different state though. So what we had to do, like most backpackers, is to use the address of a hostel we stayed at in Western Australia to complete the form. It seems to be an accepted loophole.

Furthermore, when buying a car, it’s common to ask for a “Pink Slip”. This is a form that states that the vehicle is in good condition. The Pink Slip for a Western Australian car can only be obtained at certain mechanics here in New South Wales, but we found one close to Bondi Junction. So we booked it in, and it turned out we needed to replace the brake pipes in the front to get it approved, plus a faulty parking light. Selling a car with such defects would not be easy, so we had no choice, we had to make the repairs. It cost us $472 including the Pink Slip itself, pictured below:


The first to have a look at our car was a group of French guys and an American girl. They were definitely interested, but ended up going for a different one. Bummer, as we were running out of time here! At home we could hold the car for a couple of months without selling it, it’d be no worries, but here we only have a couple of weeks to sell it, so we started to get a little concerned we might have to dump the price.

Then this German girl came along, a backpacker like ourselves. After a short inspection and a test drive she took it off our hands for the asking price, $4.000,-


As you might remember, we bought the car for $5.000,- at a dealer in Perth, which was good as he helped us with the necessary paperwork back then. Nevertheless, we dropped the price by 20% which is a bit, so I reckon the new owner got a pretty good deal. And adding the repair costs we came out with about $1600 in total loss, so $800 each. However, it’s been a comfortable car to drive, and we’ve put almost 12.000 km on it in two and a half month. Besides, things could have been a lot worse, it didn’t break down and we didn’t crash it 🙂 In addition, the currency-rate worked in our favour, we bought the car when the Australian dollar was worth 6 Norwegian kr, and sold it again when the dollar was worth 6,2 Norwegian kr. So we benefitted with a few hundred kr that way.

Compared to renting a similar car for the same period of time would have cost us more than $6.000,- So buying instead of renting a car in Australia is a no-brainer, if you’re going to be here for a while.

Feels mighty good to have completed the sale at an acceptable price!

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