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Used Cars

Transferring Registration on a Used Car in NSW

Today’s the big day.

Budget plotted. Appropriate financing secured.

It’s time to drive off the lot behind the wheel of that used car you’ve been saving up for.

The deeds are signed. Keys in hand.

But what a lot of Australian car buyers aren’t aware of is the fact that even when it comes to the purchase of a used car, the Government demands a piece of the action.

That’s right. To transfer the registration on a used vehicle in NSW, wherever you have purchased it from, the motor registry charges a transfer fee and stamp duty.

As of 1 July, 2017, the registration transfer fee in NSW is $32.

If it is made on time. Within 14 days of acquiring the vehicle.

Put it off, and that price leaps to $149.

Stamp duty is more or less a 3% tax that’s calculated at $3 per $100, or part, of the vehicle’s purchase or market price. Whichever is greater.

So, for a car evaluated at $20,000, you’re looking at a stamp duty of $600. On top of the $32 transfer fee.

We like to make sure people are aware of what the Government charges for the transfer of used vehicle registrations. Because it can influence the amount of money you loan from the bank.

Anticipating the transfer fee and stamp duty expense, and factoring that figure into your overall repayment budget, means you’ll know exactly how much to borrow.

A word of warning though, if you have purchased privately, you may be charged more than the above. Some people are entitled to concessional registration (see below in regard to pensioners) and when you transfer the rego into your name, and you are not entitled to the same concession, you will have to pay the pro-rata shortfall on the rego fee.

Now that you’re well aware that a rego transfer is necessary, and know roughly what it’s going to cost, it’s time to answer a couple of other questions surrounding the process.

Because we promise, by the time you’re done reading this, you’ll know everything there is to know about transferring the registration on a used car in NSW.


Where Do I Go To Transfer Registration?

14 days.

That’s all the time you’ve got from date you take possession of your used car to get that rego transferred.

Otherwise, you’re looking at the potential of a hefty late transfer surcharge.

You can either transfer registration online or in person at your local Roads and Maritime Services registry.

Once the seller or dealership lodges a Notice of Disposal, an incredibly simple one-page form that can be submitted quickly and easily online, it’s up to you whether or not to go digital or transfer your rego in person.


Online Registration Transfer

The internet has simplified many tasks that were laborious to accomplish once upon a time.

Transferring your vehicle registration happens to be one of them.

The first step is creating an online MyServiceNSW account with the NSW Roads and Maritime Services. This can be done in a few minutes here:

Once registered within their system, rego transfer is really quite simple.

You’ll need:

  • The vehicle’s NSW registration plate number

  • Vehicle purchase date

  • Purchase or market price of vehicle; whichever is higher

  • Credit card payment for the transfer fee and stamp duty

  • Pensioner details (if applicable)

Once logged in to your MyServiceNSW account, it’s a simple matter of clicking on the “Transfer Online” button, entering the above details, making your payment and printing a receipt.


Transferring Your Registration in Person

If you plan to make your transfer at a registry or service station, the first thing you’ll need to do is complete an Application to Transfer form.

The Application to Transfer form is a simple, four-page document requesting basic information like your name, driver license number, plate number, seller information, etc.

You’ll also need proof of identity.

This could be a NSW photo driver/rider licence or NSW Photo Card that is either current, or has expired within the last two years.

If you’re unable to produce a Photo Card or licence, you’ll need an original copy of one document each from the following two lists:

List 1

  • An Australian full birth certificate showing parental details issued by a Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriage. Historic Certificates issued in 1987 and 1988 are also acceptable.

    • Commemorative certificates are not acceptable. A standard Birth Certificate is issued with a Commemorative Certificate as a package, this is the only certificate accepted.

  • An overseas birth certificate showing parental details, provided a passport or an official Australian travel document is also shown

  • A current Australian passport or one that expired within the last two years. Validation with the Australian Passport Office may be required for passports issued within the last two years. Passports that have been cancelled for any reason, are not accepted

  • The following travel documents issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:

    • A current Certificate of Identity

    • A current Document of Identity

    • A current Titre de Voyage

  • A current overseas passport. Passports that have been cancelled for any reason, are not accepted

  • An Australian naturalisation or citizenship document, issued by the Australian Government

  • The following documents issued by the Australian Government:

    • A Visa Evidence Card

    • A Document for Travel to Australia (up to five years from the date of issue on the accompanying visa)

    • Evidence of Immigration Status (EIS) ImmiCard

    • Permanent Resident Evidence (PRE) ImmiCard

    • Residence Determination ImmiCard (RDI)

    • Australian Migration Status (AMS) ImmiCard

  • A Roads and Maritime issued NSW photo driver licence or NSW Photo Card that has been expired more than two years, but less than five years. The licence must display a card number and not have been revoked or reported as lost, stolen or destroyed

  • A current photo driver licence from another Australian state or territory, or one that expired within the last two years. If your interstate licence shows your middle name(s) as initial(s), you’ll require another supporting List 1 or List 2 document that shows your full name

  • A current photo identity card for the NSW Police Force, excluding civilian staff or family

  • A current consular photo identity card, issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


List 2

  • A current green or blue Medicare card, Pensioner Concession Card, Department of Veterans' Affairs entitlement card or any other current entitlement card issued by the Australian Government

  • A current plastic credit card or account card issued by a bank, building society credit union, American Express or Diners Club International, showing your name and signature

  • A passbook or account statement or letter up to 12 months old, issued by a bank, building society, credit union, American Express or Diners Club International, as long as it includes the following:

    • Customer's family name and first given name in full

    • Customer's residential or mailing address

    • Account number or account type

    • Financial institute letterhead or financial institute branch stamp.

  • A telephone (landline only), gas or electricity bill up to 12 months old

  • A water rates, council rates or land valuation notice up to 12 months old

  • A current student identity card displaying your photograph, issued by an Australian secondary school, TAFE or university. Where a student identity card has an issue date but no expiry date, it may be accepted up to two years from the date of issue

  • Evidence of enrolment at an Australian secondary school, TAFE or university up to 12 months old, on the institution's letterhead and showing your name and address

  • A current Mobility Parking Scheme (MPS) permit issued by Roads and Maritime, with or without a photo

  • A current Roads and Maritime issued NSW photo Firearm, Security Industry or Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents operator licence

  • A current photo identity card for the Australian Defence Force, excluding civilian staff or family.


You’re also going to need to show proof of registration entitlement. And that could be any one of the following documents:


  • Certificate of Registration, renewal notice or other registration (NSW, interstate or overseas)

  • Motor dealer warranty form

  • Motor dealer sales contract

  • Proof of purchase; letter, bill of sale, receipt, tax invoice

  • Notice of disposal

  • Financial agreement

  • Termination agreement

  • Court order from finance company

  • Statutory Declaration

  • Proof of Registration Entitlement form

  • Written advice from a solicitor (trusts)

  • Letter from NSW Trustee and Guardian (trusts)

  • Will or Probate document (deceased estates)

  • Letters of Administration (deceased estates)

  • Written advice from the executor of an estate (deceased estates)


With forms and paperwork at the ready, all that’s left to do is make your payment.

This is where those pensioner details come in handy again, as there are certain stamp duty concessions available to eligible customers.

Vehicle registration is a necessary evil. The Government demands their cut.

But the money does go towards the repair and maintenance of our roads. Plus treatment and support services for people injured in transport accidents. So it’s ultimately not that bad a deal.

Yes. It’s money out of pocket.

But now that you know what to expect and when to expect it, hopefully transferring rego on the next used car you buy will be a piece of cake.


A New Car For Sale At Booth's

You Can Afford To Buy a New Car. Yes. You!

Over the years, popular opinion often maintained that it’s more sensible, financially, to hold onto that old clunker you’re driving for a few more years than it is to buy something new right now.

Because that sounds right. On paper.

The Hindenburg safely docking with its mooring mast also sounded right. On paper.

With cars losing somewhere between ten and twenty percent of their value in the first year, the rationale was that it made more sense to shop around for a gently used model with low kilometres. A case where the original owner absorbs the bulk of the vehicle’s depreciation and you got a mostly new car that’s still under warranty.

Not a bad plan. But not the only plan.

For argument’s sake, let’s say the car you drive at the moment is worth $8,000. It won’t be for long. Unfortunately.

In Australia, the average depreciation on a car’s value is 18% a year. That means in five years time, that $8,000 (which would be an awesome deposit on a new midsize hatch) has depreciated to around $2,965.

A new Hyundai Accent, on the other hand, sells for around $15,000 driveaway. Apply that $8,000 to the sticker price, and you’re already a good piece of the way there.

There’s also the price of petrol to consider.

Older cars are also going to drink more fuel and spit back heavier emissions than new ones. So all that money you think you’re saving by holding out could easily be spent, with interest, over the next few years on petrol. And working to meet Australian vehicle emission standards.

On average, your old car will consume 2L more petrol per 100km than something new and more fuel efficient. With the typical Australian logging around 20,000km on the road each year, and fuel sitting at roughly $1.25 a litre, that’s $500 a year more to keep your current car moving than you’d spend at the bowser on a new model.

It’s equally important to weigh the perceived savings of sticking with what you’ve got against what you might have to pay down the line in repairs and servicing. And depending on how old the car is, sourcing replacement parts can be costly and time consuming.

In most cases, buying new today also means an extended, more comprehensive warranty and the capped-price servicing that comes with it.

Buying any car is a real financial commitment. It’s going to affect your budget. So again, where you might be saving some bucks up front holding out, capped-price servicing on a new model means you’ll always know how much your regular servicing is going to cost you.

Up front…. No surprises.

Add up the new set of tyres and brake work that your current car will surely require over the next five years and you’ll begin to see how it might actually end up costing you more in keep up than it would to buy new.

Most modern warranties also include long term cost saving perks like roadside assistance should you ever break down, lose your keys, need a jumpstart or require help with changing a flat tyre.  

As automotive technology advances, cars are becoming more efficient through and through. And at a rapid rate. Even cars that are only a few years old may be missing the latest safety features, gadgets and accessories.

You don’t have to look hard these days to notice living costs steadily on the rise either. Rents, mortgages, the price of food, fuel and other everyday expenses have taken flight over the last two decades.

Cars are the curious outlier to this gloomy trend.   

Thanks to tax reductions, free trade agreements with countries like Thailand, Japan and Korea, advances in technology, improved production approaches and production practices, new car prices have remained shockingly consistent by comparison over the last twenty years.

Many models remain at a similar price point now to where they were in the mid-nineties. Add to that the fact that today’s vehicles boast tech, safety and entertainment features unheard of in those days, and it’s hard to argue the added value attached to a new car today.

Wage growth and falling interest rates have also helped put the average Australian in the best position to buy new since the 1970s.

There’s also the matter of insurance. Odds are you’ll be paying close to, if not exactly, the same amount of money to insure your old car that it would cost to insure a new one. The difference is, that same policy stands to pay out significantly less because of the vehicle’s age and depreciation.

If you’re really looking to stretch those dollars as far as they can go, it can be worth your while to plan for when to buy a new car.

The end of the financial year is always an interesting time to shop for specials and savings. Competition between dealers hits a fever pitch and driveaway prices fall dramatically.

But there are other occasions throughout the year where the ball is definitely in the buyer’s court when it comes to new car shopping.

Public holidays and long weekends are when you’ll often find sales events and promotions on. And the end of the calendar year, when it’s time to clear out current model stock, is another great time to hunt down a bargain.

It’s easy to think that a new car purchase just isn’t a possibility. Initially.

But if you do your homework, shop around, choose the right time of the year to buy and really consider what you’re getting versus what you’re spending, the lasting value of buying new could end up being the more affordable option after all.

An ex demo car for sale at Booth's

Save Thousands On A New Car With This One Trick

New. Used.

The distinction is obvious.

But there’s a third option out there open to anyone shopping for a car. The ex demo.

And if you’re in the market for a car, having a look at ex demo vehicles might be a way to save thousands of dollars on your purchase.

But what exactly is an ex demo vehicle?

Traditionally, the term ‘ex demo’ referred to the near-new vehicles a dealership used as showroom display models. Cars driven exclusively by dealer staff for a period. Or cars used for the purpose of customer test drives.

Car manufacturers contract with dealerships to run a set number of demonstrator vehicles every year. And offer a subsidy on each of these cars, which in turn are registered by the dealership.

When the time comes to eventually sell these cars, these subsidies represent the first layer of savings inherent to the purchase of an ex demo vehicle.

Because these cars were meant to be display models, intended for use as test drive cars, or earmarked for personal use, they often come outfitted with higher specs, top of the line features and the best systems already equipped.

And they’re typically without any flaws. Well maintained. And kept in pristine condition, because it’s the flagship. It’s easy to trust that the owner of a dealership would take the best possible care of a car that they, or a family member, would be personally driving.

But in recent years, the ex demo designation has evolved. The classification now extends to include other near-new cars on the lot. Cars with different backstories.

Like the factory executive car. These are vehicles reserved for the use of dealership employees. Often as a part of their salary package.

Happening across one of these factory exec cars as an ex demo can be a real stroke of luck.

Since they were previously driven by dealership staff, that likely live local, there’s likely to be low kilometres on the odometer.

And because these cars are employee driven, it’s only reasonable to expect that they’ve received the best possible maintenance and servicing.

The fact that these factory executive cars often come with some unique extra features or in flash colour combinations is the cherry on top of a great deal.

Special orders for new cars get cancelled all the time. But if a car is already on its way to the showroom, the dealer will need to do something with it. Even if the intended buyer is no longer interested in taking possession.

In cases like this, it’s not uncommon for cars in this situation to become demonstrators.

Regardless of how a particular vehicle achieves their ex demo status, the end result for bargain-hunters shopping for a new car is the same - savings.

And depending on how flexible the buyer is willing to be, those savings can be huge.

If someone is dead set on driving away from their nearest Hyundai dealership in a brand new, Phantom Black, 1.6L turbo i30 with twin tip exhaust and tinted windows, going the ex demo route is going to be tricky.

It’s good to have a general sense of what you’re looking for. But expecting to strike gold on such a specific make and model is the next level in optimism.     

Saving thousands on a barely used ex demo is not a gimme.

Call around. Or better yet, make plans to visit a couple of dealerships that aren’t local or familiar to you, as they may have the specific model you’re looking for.

Because car sellers are keen to sell demonstrators within 60 days of their arrival, in order to ensure a healthy chunk of their registration and warranty are still in play for their customers, most dealerships will have plenty available.

And they’ll be eager to work out the best price possible.  

The same applies to specifics like colour, trim and the absence/presence of certain features.

If you’re not overly fussed about driving a red car, and don’t insist on a panoramic glass sunroof, the more likely you are to find a substantial deal on a vehicle that suits you.

Another beauty of buying ex demo is that you’re able to drive away in the car without delay.

Because these cars are already licensed and registered to the dealership, it’s an easy process to transfer ownership on the spot. So you’re not waiting weeks or even months to drive your new car.

It also compounds the money you’ll save on the car since the price is all inclusive.

With ex demo vehicles, there are no additional registration, dealer delivery or insurance charges.

Using the i30 from before as an example, here’s a breakdown of fees you’ll pay for a brand new model. On top of the recommended retail price:

  • Dealer delivery - $1,995

  • Stamp duty - $690

  • Transfer costs - $32

  • Registration and CTP - $900

That’s a savings of $3,617 in fees and taxes right off the top.

And because these vehicles, for one reason or another, cannot be sold as ‘new’, you won’t be paying full retail for them regardless.

Given the dealership’s strong incentive to move these vehicles as quickly as possible, ex demo sales events and special offers are quite common.

All up, when you take into consideration that most ex demo cars are essentially new, upper-spec models with very low kms on the clock that are deeply discounted and will cost you nothing additional in taxes or fees, it makes perfect sense to explore the ex demo option if you’re shopping around anyways.

Ultimately, the car you end up with may not be the same one you came to see. But it may very well end up being the one you fall madly in love with. And for thousands of dollars less, to boot.