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Selling an old car in Canberra – is it a hassle?

By THECOACH 21 February 2015 29

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So I have a 2001 Lancer that I want to sell. It’s a fairly old car and it’s got a couple of dents  by the previous owner (only one of them by me!) and rego is about to run out and I really don’t think it’s worth us having two cars so I just want to get rid of it.

For me, it’s been a great car – I got it cheap because of the dents and it’s cost me very little in maintenance or running costs. However, I don’t think any car yards or used car dealers will take it and I’ve been told it’s a major hassle trying to sell an old car in Canberra. Is this true? I’ve heard any car older than eight years requires a road worthy and since you need this done at a mechanic, they’ll generally pick up any small thing cause they know you’ll need to pay it to pass the inspection.

So just wondering, can I sell the car without the roadworthy and let the buyer handle it? The car according to Redbook is worth $1700-$3400 – I’d be willing to sell it for lower than that for a quick sale and if I didn’t have to do any work. But if I sold the car, and the car didn’t pass the roadworthy, do I have to refund the buyer or pay to get the car fixed to pass the roadworthy?

I’ve never sold a car – what is the process?


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29 Responses to
Selling an old car in Canberra – is it a hassle?
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zllauh 4:45 pm 24 Jul 15

Hi Mate,

is the car still available ? Looking for one for my MRS !

wildturkeycanoe 5:49 am 05 Mar 15

I have to say it is VERY important you get the purchaser’s license details onto the notice of disposal, even if it is fake. When you get the speeding ticket or parking infringement, you will be able to show you have identified the buyer and it isn’t your responsibility.
I made the mistake of selling a car for $500 with 2 weeks rego on it. Three weeks later I got a speeding ticket from QLD. It took me several letters, phone calls and two statutory declarations to get out of paying. More hassle than putting the details onto a piece of paper.

Affirmative Action Man 1:55 pm 24 Feb 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

There are plenty of older vehicles around that are in good nick and well maintained, and probably have lots of life in them still.

They aren’t worth anything, though.

Anyone who gets around in a car without airbags & ABS is crazy in my opinion. An acquaintance recently had a head on crash down the south coast – result 2 deaths & only the driver with the airbag survived.

dungfungus 12:40 pm 24 Feb 15

rigseismic67 said :

Make sure you get a copy of there licence. I didn’t and ended up with many parking and other fines that required stat decs to void.
When the rego ran out the car was found on cotter road and the government tried to make me pay the tow costs.

Did you send in the notice of disposal when you sold it?

Antagonist 12:24 pm 24 Feb 15

It depends on the model and the condition. The base models (GL and similar) will get bottom of the range prices around 2ish. Models like the GLXi with some of the creature comforts in good condition will get a price closer to $3k. My advice would be to advertise it for $3k and take any cash offer in the range $2k – $2.5k. Push for the higher end if it still has a few months rego on it.

rigseismic67 12:10 pm 24 Feb 15

Make sure you get a copy of there licence. I didn’t and ended up with many parking and other fines that required stat decs to void.
When the rego ran out the car was found on cotter road and the government tried to make me pay the tow costs.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 11:55 am 24 Feb 15

There are plenty of older vehicles around that are in good nick and well maintained, and probably have lots of life in them still.

They aren’t worth anything, though.

Maya123 11:26 am 24 Feb 15

A few years ago now, but when I sold my last car, aged 21, I didn’t have it inspected and was not asked to when I transferred the registration.

watto23, even if a car is over 15 years old, it doesn’t mean they are all about to break down. My 21 year old Ford laser was still going very well, and besides it had a reconditioned motor. In fact it was driving better than when new. A problem it came with when new took a year or two before a motor mechanic was found that could diagnose and fix it (he said it was easy to fix), despite others spending hours on it multiple times. Fortunately I didn’t have to pay for these hours. After that was fixed it ran well.
Some cars are treated better over the years than others.
The previous car to that, a Mazda 1300, I sold at 13 years old. Then I didn’t see it for many years, until unexpectedly I found it parked in my work car park. It would then have been 25 to 30 years old. It was still going, although a little more scratched. This, despite that I tipped the car when it was less than a year old, taking a bend on the old gravel Majura Lane (as it was called then). To make sure I was thoroughly embarrassed, I did this feat in front of two cars full of people parked off plane watching. The car was panel beaten, it’s popped out front window put back in and I drove it for many more years. Then others drove it for many more years.

dungfungus 11:06 am 24 Feb 15

Dreadnaught1905 said :

Not exactly correct, Dungers.

You don’t need a Certificate of Inspection to sell a car (or buy a car, for that matter).
You may need one to transfer the registration (depending on the age of the car, etc). Transfer of the registration is the responsibility of the purchaser, not the vendor (for private sales).

It’s worth noting that transfer of registration and the sale of the vehicle are entirely separate issues.

Info here:

http://www.rego.act.gov.au/registration/acquiring-or-disposing-of-a-vehicle/selling-an-act-registered-vehicle

The OP referred to the assumption the new buyer would be would be transferring the registration and that was the context of my response.
I am aware that sale and registration are two separate issues and I have alluded to that in post #2 on this thread.

watto23 11:00 am 24 Feb 15

Solidarity said :

Guess it depends on your point of view, my car was born in the 70’s and I drive it every day. 2000 era cars seem like a space capsules, something i’m not interested in.

Which is fine, but you really shouldn’t be surprised that you’d be in the minority. That said newer cars will be far safer than anything made in the 70’s. My current car is approaching 13 yrs old! I’m starting to think a replacement is due, but spending money of a new car is depressing when the money can be spent on more enjoyable things.

Dreadnaught1905 10:06 am 24 Feb 15

Not exactly correct, Dungers.

You don’t need a Certificate of Inspection to sell a car (or buy a car, for that matter).
You may need one to transfer the registration (depending on the age of the car, etc). Transfer of the registration is the responsibility of the purchaser, not the vendor (for private sales).

It’s worth noting that transfer of registration and the sale of the vehicle are entirely separate issues.

Info here:

http://www.rego.act.gov.au/registration/acquiring-or-disposing-of-a-vehicle/selling-an-act-registered-vehicle

dungfungus 9:29 am 24 Feb 15

Acton said :

Over the years I have sold a few cars privately and recently advertised and sold a 2001 Corolla for a relative.
One ad was placed in AllClassified and received only suspicious messages written in poor English.
The second ad was placed in carsales.com.au and received two responses, but both serious and one was from the eventual buyer.
http://www.carsales.com.au/sell-your-car/

The first thing to do is check out other 2001 Lancers on the site so that you can work out the market price for your vehicle. Asking price for a private sale on a 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer in the ACT is around $2000. Ask a lower price if you have higher than average kilometres or want a quick sale, or ask more if your car has lower than average kilometres.
To place your ad, follow the prompts on the site, load on some photos of your car looking its best and pay the fee.
Buyers will contact you to inspect the car and take it for a test drive.
Expect to compromise on the price and accept a fair offer (say 10% off your asking price).
Buyers usually ask what is the lowest price you will accept. Turn it around by asking them what price they would be happy to pay for the vehicle.
I would only accept cash or a bank cheque, but you might be ok with a direct deposit.
Never, never, never deal with people who say they work on an oil rig, want to buy a car for their father, have an agent to collect it and make an offer higher than what you are asking. Scammers.
To complete the sale you just fill out the back of the blue car registration papers, send your bit to the government advising of disposal and price and give the buyer the signed copy so that they can register the car in their name.
You don’t need a roadworthy certificate to sell a car in the ACT. Your car doesn’t sell with a warranty if sold privately, so any mechanical problems after sale are not yours.
It is no hassle to sell privately in the ACT. You’ll be fine.

“You don’t need a roadworthy certificate to sell a car in the ACT.”
Wrong!
If the vehicle (car) is more than 6 years old a valid Certificate of Inspection must be presented at the time of registration transfer.
This costs about $60 at an authorised inspection station + any repairs that are required to make the vehicle compliant. This can be hundreds of dollars (cracked windscreen for example).
If the car has interstate rego it has to goo over the pits at the RTA. More time and expense.

crackerpants 8:55 am 24 Feb 15

We were in a similar situation with a car the same age. Despite it being a large car with everything that opened and shut, selling it just wasn’t viable – after paying rego and other expenses to make it saleable, we would have lost money. The perfect solution for us was to give it away (for a token sum). Because the new owners live interstate, they paid interstate prices and got rego, insurance, new tyres and a full service for less than half what it would have cost us in Canberra. Perfect solution all round.

I don’t think I could in good conscience sell a car that I knew had deficits – like possibly not passing a roadworthy. So do your sums, test the market, but perhaps consider other options.

Solidarity 10:47 am 23 Feb 15

Guess it depends on your point of view, my car was born in the 70’s and I drive it every day. 2000 era cars seem like a space capsules, something i’m not interested in.

watto23 10:19 am 23 Feb 15

Solidarity said :

2001 is considered old?

Man…

Its always been the case that once a car approaches 15 odd years of age, its old. My first car as a student was a 1977 corolla. It was 15 yrs old and lasted only just til I finished uni. Also the cheap new cars means you can get a 5 yr old small car for not much money these days.

Solidarity 9:46 am 23 Feb 15

2001 is considered old?

Man…

tooltime 10:50 pm 22 Feb 15

Always try & have 3-6 months rego on it at time of sale. If it takes a while to sell it, that’s your market feedback right there. I’ve always left a bit of value on the table for the buyer… You create a bit of goodwill that way & you get to feel good knowing you’ve given someone a good deal and that your miles ahead of the scammers, lowballers & time wasters out there…you’ll soon meet plenty of these people if you go to sell & don’t have your roadworthy….let us all know how you got on…

Affirmative Action Man 8:30 pm 22 Feb 15

John Moulis said :

Don’t go anywhere near Gumtree. Allclassifieds is much better. It’s where I bought my car.

I had a 2002 Prado advertised on all Classifieds, Car Sales & Gumtree (free) received 2 query’s from all Classifieds none from Car sales & 8 from Gumtree.

About 12 months later I put my 2001 Subaru Liberty Wagon for sale & the same thing 1 response from Car Sales, a couple from All Classifieds & 6 from Gumtree which ironically was free whereas Carsales was abt $65 & All Classifieds maybe $25. The person that bought the Subaru had seen it on All Classified and Gumtree.

astrojax 4:15 pm 22 Feb 15

or insure it, take it to a deserted place with a tin of flammable liquid and transport home, then…

Acton 3:24 pm 22 Feb 15

Over the years I have sold a few cars privately and recently advertised and sold a 2001 Corolla for a relative.
One ad was placed in AllClassified and received only suspicious messages written in poor English.
The second ad was placed in carsales.com.au and received two responses, but both serious and one was from the eventual buyer.
http://www.carsales.com.au/sell-your-car/

The first thing to do is check out other 2001 Lancers on the site so that you can work out the market price for your vehicle. Asking price for a private sale on a 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer in the ACT is around $2000. Ask a lower price if you have higher than average kilometres or want a quick sale, or ask more if your car has lower than average kilometres.
To place your ad, follow the prompts on the site, load on some photos of your car looking its best and pay the fee.
Buyers will contact you to inspect the car and take it for a test drive.
Expect to compromise on the price and accept a fair offer (say 10% off your asking price).
Buyers usually ask what is the lowest price you will accept. Turn it around by asking them what price they would be happy to pay for the vehicle.
I would only accept cash or a bank cheque, but you might be ok with a direct deposit.
Never, never, never deal with people who say they work on an oil rig, want to buy a car for their father, have an agent to collect it and make an offer higher than what you are asking. Scammers.
To complete the sale you just fill out the back of the blue car registration papers, send your bit to the government advising of disposal and price and give the buyer the signed copy so that they can register the car in their name.
You don’t need a roadworthy certificate to sell a car in the ACT. Your car doesn’t sell with a warranty if sold privately, so any mechanical problems after sale are not yours.
It is no hassle to sell privately in the ACT. You’ll be fine.

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