That is the hunt for a used car. Over the last weeks I thought a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of buying a car. On the pro side is the increased flexibility when it comes to travel as well as the possibility to save money by being able to avoid planes and buses but also by carrying a tent and thus cheaper accommodation. The big con is the cost of the investment as well as maintenance and possibly repairs.
In the end I decided that having a car could massively enrich my oz experience. I like travelling on my own pace, stopping at places that I like whenever I want. Also I plan to do voluntary work for at least a couple of weeks. Voluntary work means working on farms, resorts or even for families in exchange for food and accommodation. The places where this kind of work can be done are often at some distance from the cities and bus routes.
With 1.95m I don’t intend to sleep in a car so I don’t need a camper van or big station wagon. I’m aiming for an older Toyota Corolla or Camry or maybe a Mitsubishi Magna. Especially the Toyotas are known for good quality and little trouble. My budget is around $2000 – $2500 which should get me a sedan from the early 90s with around 250,000km on the ODO. Sounds quite a lot and I probably wouldn’t buy a car like that in Germany but as written earlier cars can do way more km here in Australia compared to Europe.
During the decision making progress I talked to some locals and was told that a Toyota, when taken good care of, can easily do 400,000km in his lifetime. One with a mileage of 100,000 to 150,000 is considered a baby at the beginning of it’s life.
When a car is sold here in Queensland it needs to have a so called Road Worthy Certificate (RWC). Such a certificate can be issued by qualified garages for about $60 and states that the car is in a good and save condition. It’s intention is to protect the buyer and to make sure that the cars on the road aren’t wrecks without decent brakes.
My main resources for the search are the classifieds in the local newspaper and a website called gumtree where people can sell everything from a used fridge to a yacht. The market here in Cairns is not too big unfortunately and in yesterdays issue of the newspaper there was just one car that met my criteria. It was a red ’93 Camry with 280,000km for $1700. Unfortunately without a RWC. I told the guy that I’d be interested in buying it if he could supply the roadworthy. He told me he’d think about it and maybe I’ll hear back from him during the week.