Yes, I would – despite all the risk and all the trouble and stress I had with the car I would do it again. The freedom and possibilities you got with the car are worth far more then the risk, and if everything runs smoothly, you can even save a lot of money when you buy a car.
So many limitations to your travels without a car
Taking a bus to drive around Australia will limit your possibilities extremely, and it is even more expensive as you are forced to sleep in overpriced Hostels. With your car, you can sleep on free campsites, and you can stop anywhere you want not just on the tourist spots. Some or nearly all of the hikes I did are inaccessible without a car an for a few of them you even need a 4WD vehicle. A lot of the beaches are also unavailable without a car, and so you have to spend your days on crowded mainstream beaches. Also, it’s so much cooler to drive your car instead of sitting in a bus for hours and hours.
Buying the car
The tricky part is to buy the car. There are a ton of essential things you have to pay attention to and making the right decisions and inform yourself can help you to save a lot of money. Mistakes did while buying a car can ruin your budget and even your travels. I highly recommend reading this blog about my process of purchasing the vehicle and a lot of other blogs and articles. Be prepared, be better prepared than the person selling you the car – that’s the recipe to make a good deal and don’t buy a shit car. Think also about selling the vehicle before you buy it. I knew that I would travel from Melbourne (Victoria) to Cairns (Queensland) and that I best buy a car registered in West Australia as this is the only state where you do everything online or per post. The couple who bought my car took it merely because it is from WA and it’s easy to change the ownership.
In the end, I have to admit that I was fortunate, and I spend only a total of 1351 AUD on the car, and that includes the Gas as well. This might have been luck, but a big part is also thanks to a proper preparation beforehand. As I mentioned it before, I bought the car with a WA registration and saved money on the fees for ownership, I sold the car for only 100 dollars less then I bought it, and I bought the car with a Rego valid for another four months. As I just had the car for two months, I didn’t need to renew the Rego. I was lucky that the car had no breakdowns and because it had a mechanics check before I didn’t need to pay money for another inspection.
The freedom I had because of the car
Maybe one of the best things about being a car owner is that you can do whatever YOU want. After my best friend left back to Germany, I asked on Facebook for someone traveling with me from Brisbane to Cairns. However, after a few days, only I realized that it’s not working out with the person I took in. We didn’t have much in common, nothing to talk about and different rhythms. Besides, I felt unhappy in Australia and wanted to move up to Cairns faster than planned. Because it was my car, I took the decision that I could no longer travel with her and asked her to book a hostel in the next city where I dropped her and went by myself again.
This might sound rude, BUT why should I stay in a situation where I’m not happy and don’t enjoy my time? And as I bought the car, I have the freedom to make that move. I don’t say you shouldn’t take someone in anymore – sometimes it can be the best time, and you get best friends – but if this is not the case and you feel unhappy the one who has the car has the advantage of choosing. As freedom is very important for me, it was worth to buy the car only for that purpose.
In the end, everything went right for me, I sold the car for a solid price, didn’t make many losses and had no problems on the way up. It was very stressful to buy the car and also to sell it, but I’m happy that I did it. In the end, I saved a fortune and saw a lot more places than with the bus. I avoided Hostels as good as possible and camped instead
- Total countries I visited until now: 35
- Planes: 11
- Busses: 39
- Trains: 18
- Boats: 20
- Km driving: 7000
- Km running: 2005