I also had fantasies of cycling around (which came true, but it has limitations). So, I never really budgeted for a car. But when I arrived, not only did I realise I need a car because the buses take forever to get anywhere, which isn’t good for you when you’re trying to get to work (especially out of the city) but you need a car to get certain jobs.
For example – want to be a cleaner? You need a car.
Want to work in Aged care? You better have wheels.
That situation frustrated the hell out of me. I need a job to get money to buy a car, but I need to have a car to get the job that will give me money! Talk about Catch 22! Fortunately, I got a job two months after landing in Adelaide and it enabled me to get myself a little Barina for $2100k from a friend.
Where to shop for used cars
A friend said that cars sold by private sellers are often inflated, so check Drive.com to determine the actual worth of the car.
Once you’ve picked a car, what next?
Seriously, buying a car in Australia is like buying a laptop. You know in Malaysia how we have to do all kinds of paperwork and then get our cars checked out by Puspakom? Well, things are simpler here.
What happened with me was I met up with the seller (in this case my friend), and she handed me a form to fill. It’s to a transfer the car registration to you.
Then you give the money. Don’t be surprised if the seller demands cash instead of a bank transfer, especially if they are selling the car on Gumtree etc. This is because of fraud cases and since you’re a stranger they’d much rather have hard cash. A friend of mine had to give her seller $10k in cash for her car!
Once you have signed the form, you must keep the document. You can either mail it or bring it to Service SA . I chose to bring it there. There’s a payment – I can’t remember how much. I think about $20 to $50.
Getting car insurance
You can actually drive a car around without insurance, but I won’t advise it. Because if you knock into someone you’d have to fork out lots of money to repair their car or won’t get money to repair yours. If you end up hitting a Porsche, mati lah you ...
What you do is go online and check out the various car insurances out there: Allianz, RAA, SGIC, Ian Berry or Bupa. There are more, so google for them. Then, go get the online quotes from each of them.
In the end I settled with RAA – third party insurance for $15 a month.
There are many other ways to get a car of course – you can even purchase yours online and have it waiting for you at the airport!
But if there’s anything more certain is this: You do need a car in Adelaide.Photo by V_Dean