Getting your wheels down in WA: How to get or move a vehicle to Western Australia

In the event that you do have to move to WA, just what do you do for wheels? Do you move your pride and joy or do you sell up and find a new dream? We compare the options!

Whether you are a car lover or not, there is inescapable moments in modern life where we will need access to transport. Usually this is in the form of personal transport like cars, motorbikes and even scooters. If you are moving from another state, or you live here now and need to source some wheels, where do you start? Do you buy or do you move your existing vehicle with you? We debate the merits of both here…

Moving a car to WA

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Depending on your needs, budget, and timeframe, moving a car to WA can be a long and expensive exercise. Or it can be a short and very expensive exercise. If you haven’t looked at a map lately, do! Western Australia, and Perth in particular, is a long way from any other major cities. As a result, there is a lot of kilometres to cover to move a car to Western Australia. The cost of the exercise itself needs to be weighed against a few factors:

  • How much do you love the car?
  • How hard it is to get another one?
  • Do you really want to go through the process of bringing it to this side of the country?

There are car transport companies who can give you a door-to-door cost for transporting your car from one property to another, just like removalists will do with your other belongings. Sourcing quotes for this is a service we at New in Town offer to clients.

However, thanks to the WA government’s licensing regulations, that isn’t the only place the costs are! The WA Government provide an overview of the processes on their website here:

This will help you determine if you need to take your vehicle “over the pits” for an examination of road worthiness. If this is required there are fees, as well as duties and registration costs.

If you have weighed up all these options and still see it worth bringing your car here rather than selling or storing it, congratulations! You will enjoy your pride and joy and will have a little piece of home with you as you cruise the west coast streets. However, if economically and timeframe wise it is not going to suit you, you will need to look at an alternative.

Buying a Car in WA

The business of buying cars in WA isn’t much different to any other state. If you have ever owned a car before you are probably aware of all the places that you can search for another one! If you are in need of a little extra assistance, another service that New in Town provides is getting a consultant to accompany you to a reputable dealer in Perth who takes care of all our clientele. 

Outside of the traditional car yards with sales people and private sellers, all relying on your haggling skills to get a good deal, there is a range of different ways you can source and purchase a car. We have summarised some of those alternative options here.

Car Auctions  - Outlets such as Pickles, Manheim and various independent auction houses, will hold regular auctions where you can see listings and quality reports online before the auction is held. Cars are available to be taken on the day and provide a great option for people who are ready to get what they want and are willing to bid on a few versions to get it. This is a particularly good option for the mechanically savvy person who can do their own checks on the car beforehand. If not, there are independent mechanics you can hire outside of this to review cars for you.

Many of the vehicles you will see come through the larger auction houses will be ex-fleet cars used as corporate lease vehicles and almost all Utes and SUVs that are sold are ex-mining or local government vehicles. This means that they will have mandated service histories but their owners may not have given them the care and attention they deserve. Another drawback is that sales are final and you will need to check the fine print. Auctions are also held on set dates so you will probably need to organise your transport needs around these dates.

Car Wholesalers - There is a rising trend amongst car yards in Perth to provide a “wholesale to the public” approach to vehicle sales.  This is where the yards themselves purchase direct trade-in vehicles or fleet vehicles and then sell them in warehouses or large yards where they service both business customers and general consumers. You can usually spot them by the large number of base model cars and utility vehicles they have on site and the dead give-away is the signs above the sales offices that say “Please don’t negotiate, all prices are fixed.” Their sales pitch on this is that all prices are the lowest they can go and so you can compare vehicles easier. Many of them provide warranty and maintenance services that are less demanding than an average car yard, they are very competitive in their pricing and they have a large turnover of vehicles making it easy to keep checking a few key yards until you find the vehicle you are after!

New Cars - If you are looking for new cars you can go directly to any number of dealerships throughout Perth. New Vehicle purchasing is rumoured to be moving into a time where prices will be fixed, state-wide. Purchasing may also become territorial, meaning that if you live in one area, your local dealer will be the one to sell you the new vehicle of your choice. This is reducing competition between dealerships. But this may just be for a few manufacturers and not all! So it is worth checking between dealerships if you have your heart set on one car and want the best deal.

Second hand Cars - When searching for second hand cars, many dealers use the nationwide online car sales sites, but many are also moving to classifieds such as Gumtree and their own websites to list vehicles also. This is a good way to catch onto their pricing strategies. Multiple prices may appear on the one vehicle as it is listed for sale on different platforms. A simple search of its number plate should reveal all the places it is for sale and sometimes what it has even sold for in the past!

Buyer Beware! - When purchasing a vehicle second hand through any channel, it is important to do a check to see if there is any outstanding finance on the vehicle. You can get REVS checks done on vehicles Australia wide for a fee. They will provide you with a certificate that will clear the vehicle you are looking at and ensure that no repossession-agents will come and take your car away! If you do have any issues regarding a vehicle you have purchased you can investigate what buyer protections there are related to the way you purchased also. In WA the Department of Commerce handle consumer protection enquiries.  

Once you have your wheels all set, the only thing left to do is start exploring this awesome state of Western Australia! So where are you going to drive first!?

If you are transporting a car boat or motorcycle to Perth we can provide assistance.  If you are purchasing a new or used car on arrival here in Perth and don't know where to start, our consultants will accompany you to a reputable dealer. Contact New In Town on 1300 912 112.