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Car Hire and Purchase

Cars play an important role in the lives of most Australians. If you need to travel to work, to the shops, to transport children to school and activities or just to ‘get around’, you may decide on buying a car. Victoria is more compact than other states, so your running costs may be less.

Costs of running a car

Purchasing costs

On top of the purchase price of the car, you will need to budget for:

  • insurance
  • registration
  • stamp duty – a Government tax (new cars only)
  • roadworthy certificate (used cars only)
  • transfer fees – Government taxes (used cars with registration plates).

For more information, see Driving in Victoria

Running costs

Australians often drive quite long distances, so running costs in Australia can be different from those in other countries.

To find out what it costs to run different cars, visit the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) website

Buying a car

Melbourne and regional Victoria have many car dealers selling new cars. Car dealers in Victoria must be licensed.

Used (second hand) cars can be purchased through a car dealer or directly through private sale or auction. Used cars in Australia are often in good condition, without the rust common in countries with snow.

There are many car websites available:

Buying a used car

If you are buying a used car in Victoria, it must have a roadworthy certificate. Also, you need to transfer the ownership of the car within two weeks of purchase through the Victorian Government’s traffic authority, VicRoads

Hiring a car

You can hire a car from one of the large number of car hire firms in Victoria. You can pick up your rental car from the airport or any of their offices in Melbourne or regional cities. You can also rent four wheel drive vehicles, motorhomes or caravans for exploring, although there may be restrictions on where you can drive these.

Costs of hiring

Car hire costs are usually calculated by the type of car and the number of days you hire for. Sometimes the distance you drive is also a factor. There are normally additional costs for:

  • younger drivers (between 21 and 25 years)
  • returning the car to a different location from where you picked it up (‘one way’ rental).

You will need a credit card to pay the security bond when you pick up the car.


The costs of insurance are normally included in the rental costs. Everyone who intends to drive the car must present their driving licence at the car hire depot and only these drivers are covered by insurance.

Terms and conditions

All drivers must be fully licensed and obey the road rules. Each car hire firm will also have a list of terms and conditions which you should check carefully before booking your hire car.

The information or services, and the views expressed that may appear on any linked websites are not necessarily endorsed by the Skilled and Business Migration Program and the Victorian Government. It is recommended that you make your own inquiries as to the appropriateness and suitability of the information on this site for your particular circumstances.