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Process For Selling A Car In Australia

process for selling a car

The process of selling a car in Australia typically involves steps like preparing the vehicle, researching its market value, gathering necessary paperwork, finding a buyer, or choosing a dealership.

Best Way to Sell a Car In Australia

Selling your car involves navigating various options and steps to ensure a smooth and secure transaction. 

Whether opting for trade-ins, private sales, auctions, or engaging with auto recyclers, here’s a detailed breakdown of the process:

Trading in Your Vehicle

  • Convenience vs Value

Trading your car with a dealer for a new or used vehicle can be simpler, eliminating the need to find buyers. However, this convenience may come with a trade-off in value compared to selling privately.

  • Clarity on Total Costs: 

If considering a trade-in, request a comprehensive breakdown from the trader of the total amount required to drive away in the new vehicle, encompassing all aspects of the transaction.

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Private Sales:

  • Potential for Higher Returns: 

Selling your car privately might yield higher returns compared to trade-ins. However, it demands time, effort, and possible advertising expenses.

  • Determining Market Value: 

Research similar models in similar conditions to gauge your car’s market value. Utilize internet advertisements, newspapers, and used car magazines for price comparisons.

  • Roadworthiness Certificate: 

For a registered vehicle, provide a Certificate of Roadworthiness less than 30 days old to the buyer as a general safety check.


  • Consider Auction Houses: Public auctions can be an option, but keep in mind that auction houses might charge commission fees for selling your vehicle.

Auto Parts Recyclers:

  • For Poor Condition Cars: In the case of extremely poor-conditioned vehicles, selling to an auto recycler or wrecker might be viable. Opt for licensed motor car traders for a secure sale.

Roadworthy Certification and Transfer:

  • Roadworthy Certificate Validity: 

A roadworthy certificate, valid for 30 days from the date of issue, is necessary for registered vehicles.

  •    Transfer of Registration: 

Upon sale, ensure the transfer of ownership by signing a ‘transfer of registration’ form with the buyer. 

This should be submitted to the appropriate authorities, such as VicRoads, within 14 days of the sale to avoid any liabilities associated with the buyer.

Notification to VicRoads: 

To alleviate concerns about the transfer, notifying VicRoads in writing with a copy of the transfer form can provide an added layer of assurance


Selling your car in Australia involves multiple avenues, each with its pros and cons.

Whether opting for the convenience of trade-ins, the potential higher returns of private sales, or exploring alternatives like auctions and auto recyclers, understanding the process is crucial for a successful transaction.

Remember, trading in offers convenience but may not fetch the highest value. Conversely, selling privately demands effort but can yield better returns. 

Auctions and auto recyclers serve specific conditions and preferences, requiring consideration of associated fees and services.

Prioritize providing essential documentation, including roadworthy certificates, and ensure a smooth transfer of ownership to mitigate any liabilities after the sale. 

By comprehensively navigating these steps, you can sell your vehicle securely and effectively, finding the best fit for your needs and preferences.