A Guide to Buying Used Transport Vehicles in Australia

Transportation is a vital part of any business that involves moving goods or people. However, for some small businesses, buying new vehicles can be expensive and may not be a feasible option. This is where buying used transport vehicles comes in handy.

Buying used transport vehicles can be a very cost-effective way of acquiring the vehicles your business needs to operate efficiently.

To help you with this process, in this guide, we will go over the various things you need to consider when buying used transport vehicles in Australia.

Follow these prompts, and you should secure yourself a reliable and safe vehicle without paying over the odds.

What is a Transport Vehicle?

A transport vehicle is a type of vehicle that is specifically designed to move people or cargo from one location to another. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including commercial transportation, public transportation and personal use.

Some examples of transport vehicles include buses, trucks, vans, and trailers. All of these come in a variety of sizes and configurations to accommodate different types of cargo or passenger loads. Some transport vehicles may be specialised for specific purposes, such as refrigerated trucks for transporting perishable goods or buses designed for long-distance travel.

Overall, transport vehicles are essential for the movement of goods and people within and between cities, countries, and continents. They are also used in a wide range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, agriculture, and construction.

Know Your Needs

If you are in the market for a used transport vehicle, the first thing you need to be aware of is the purpose of the vehicle.

You need to ask yourself questions like what type of goods or people will be transported and how often will the vehicle be used.

Once you have identified your needs, it will become easier to narrow down the type of vehicle that will suit your requirements.

Choose the Right Type of Vehicle

There are different types of transport vehicles available in the market, and each type is designed to serve a specific purpose.

Vans, for instance, are suitable for transporting small to medium-sized goods and are often used for courier and delivery services.

Trucks, on the other hand, are ideal for transporting heavy goods. As they come in different sizes, the one you require will depend on the number of goods you intend to transport. In Australia, you can buy trucks and vans with Grays as well as other online car sites.

Other types of transport vehicles include buses, which vary from minibuses to full-sized coaches and are ideal for transporting people. Additionally, trailers are attached to other vehicles, such as trucks and vans, to increase their load-carrying capacity.

Consider Your Budget

Buying a used transport vehicle can save you money. But you need to be careful not to compromise on quality, especially if you are using it for business purposes.

When buying a used vehicle, it is important to have a budget in mind. Your budget will determine the type of vehicle you can afford.

When devising a budget, you should factor in the cost of maintenance and repairs into it as well.

Consider Going Green

Another thing worth considering is buying a greener used transport vehicle.

Not only is it an admirable USP for your company, but it also can help reduce your carbon footprint and therefore contribute to a more sustainable future.

By choosing a vehicle with a lower emissions rating, you can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. In a similar vein, vehicles with lower emissions ratings are often more fuel-efficient, which means you will spend less on fuel over its lifespan.

Additionally, some governments offer incentives and tax credits for purchasing green vehicles, which can further reduce the cost of ownership.

Inspect the Vehicle

Before buying a used transport vehicle, it is important to inspect it thoroughly. Doing this will help you identify any potential problems and assess the condition of the vehicle. Some things to look out for when inspecting a used vehicle include the bodywork, engine, transmission, and brakes.

The bodywork of the vehicle should be inspected for signs of rust and damage. Rust can cause structural damage, while impairment to the bodywork can affect its aerodynamics.

Generally speaking, a well-maintained engine is an indication that the vehicle has been well looked after. So, you should make a point of inspecting it carefully. Doing this should include looking over the oil level, listening for any unusual noises, and searching for signs of leaks.

Another thing to look at is the transmission, which is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels. It is a good idea to give the transmission fluid level the once over and keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear. A faulty transmission can be expensive to repair or replace, so it pays to do your due diligence.

We all know that brakes are crucial for the safety of the vehicle, so you should also test them out to make sure they are working properly. Tell-tale signs of wear and tear to look out for include uneven brake pad wear.

Check the Service History

The service history of a vehicle is a crucial factor to consider when buying a used transport vehicle. It will give you an insight into how well the transport vehicle has been maintained and whether any major repairs have been carried out.

A vehicle with a full-service history is an indication that it has been well looked after. So, you must ask the seller for it. If they do not have it, you should be cautious about buying the vehicle from them.

Take the Vehicle for a Test Drive

Taking the vehicle for a test drive is an important step in the buying process. It will give you a feel for the vehicle and help you identify any potential problems. When taking it for a test drive, there are a few things you should look out for.

Firstly, the engine should start easily and first time. Additionally, the steering should be smooth and responsive because if it feels loose, it might be an indication there is a problem with the steering system.

Likewise, if the brakes feel spongy or take a long time to engage, there may also be an issue with the brake system. Similarly, the suspension should be smooth and not make any unusual clunking noises. The gearbox should change gears smoothly without sticking.

The seats should also be able to be easily adjusted and make sure there are no major signs of rust or scratches in the bodywork.

Check the Vehicle’s Documents

Before finalising the purchase, you should check the vehicle’s documents are all in order. This should include registration papers, insurance papers, and any other relevant documents.

You should make sure the seller has all the necessary documents and that they are up to date. If they don’t, then it could be an indication that the vehicle is not roadworthy or worse has been stolen.

For further peace of mind, it is also worth doing a used car or vehicle search to see if the motor you intend to buy has been recorded as stolen, written off or debt free.

Get a Professional Inspection

Even if you know a bit about cars, it is worth booking them for a professional inspection. Doing this will give you a comprehensive report on the condition of the vehicle.

The inspection will cover all the major components of the vehicle, including the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, and bodywork. The inspector will also check the vehicle’s history and documents for you.

While getting a professional inspection may cost you some money initially, it can save you a tidy sum in the long run. It can help you to identify potential problems and avoid buying a vehicle that may need expensive repairs.


Buying a used transport vehicle can save you money, but it is important to do your research and thoroughly inspect the vehicle before making a purchase.

By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that you buy a used transport vehicle that meets your requirements and is in good condition.

Remember to take your time when buying a used vehicle, and do not rush into making a purchase. A well-maintained used vehicle can provide many years of reliable service and help your business grow. So, it is a very important decision for you to come to.

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Customer Success Story

Why Car Transport Services Exists Today!

When I had to move my car from Melbourne to Perth, the journey of finding the right transportation service felt almost as daunting as the 3,400 km drive itself. Through trial and error, a bit of luck, and a few missteps, I learned a great deal about how to select the best service for such a task. Here’s my experience, and I hope it can guide you smoothly through your own process.

Start with Research

The first thing I learned was the importance of research. Initially, I made the rookie mistake of choosing the first service that popped up in my Google search results. Big mistake. The company had hidden fees I hadn’t anticipated, and the service was far from satisfactory. What I learned was to dig deeper. Read reviews on multiple platforms, ask for recommendations from friends or family who’ve undertaken similar moves, and don’t skip on checking the forums where real customers discuss their experiences.

Check for Licensing and Insurance

One good decision I made was ensuring the company was licensed and insured. Insurance is important. Transporting a vehicle across such a long distance has its risks, and you want to ensure that your car is covered in case of any mishaps. Verify the transporter's accreditation with transport authorities and ensure they have valid insurance that covers your vehicle during the transit. This gave me peace of mind, knowing my car was in safe hands.

Compare Quotes

Getting multiple quotes was another area where I initially faltered. I assumed all prices would be roughly the same and didn’t bother shopping around. However, after a pricey quote from the first company, I decided to get several more. The price differences were significant, and some companies offered more comprehensive services at lower costs. Always compare quotes from at least three to five companies. This not only gives you a better idea of the price range but also allows you to negotiate better terms.

Understand the Service Types

I wasn’t aware initially, but there are different types of car transport services: door-to-door, terminal-to-terminal, open carrier, and enclosed carrier. Each has its pros and cons. I chose an open carrier for its cost-effectiveness, but in retrospect, considering the long journey across Australia, an enclosed carrier would have been better to protect my car from the elements. Understanding these options beforehand helps in making a more informed decision based on your needs and budget.

Communication is Key

One of the best decisions I made was selecting a company that had excellent communication practices. They provided updates at every major juncture of the journey, which eased my anxiety. Ensure that the company you choose has a point of contact who is reachable and willing to update you throughout the process. This is vital for peace of mind and to ensure that any issues are quickly addressed.

Timing and Flexibility

I learned the hard way that flexibility is key when transporting a car such a long distance. The initial service I chose promised a delivery within a week, but it ended up taking more than two weeks, which disrupted my plans significantly. Ask about the expected delivery times and check if the company can offer guarantees or compensation if they exceed the estimated delivery times.

Avoid Rush Decisions

A bad decision I made was rushing into booking without fully understanding the terms and conditions. This led to unexpected charges for additional services I wasn’t aware I had agreed to. Take your time to read the fine print or have someone else review it. Make sure you understand every aspect of the service contract.

What I Wish I Knew

If I knew then what I know now, I would have placed more emphasis on checking customer feedback about their post-service experience, especially regarding how companies handle damage claims and disputes. Knowing a company's track record in these areas can save you from potential headaches if something goes wrong.

Open vs Enclosed Car Transport

Open car carrier with new vehicles

Open Car Transport

Open car transport involves shipping vehicles in an open-air trailer, exposing them to weather and road conditions.

This method is cost-effective and widely available, making it a popular choice for transporting vehicles quickly and economically.

The main benefits include lower costs due to multiple vehicles being transported simultaneously and quicker delivery times. However, the downside is the potential risk of damage from environmental elements and road debris.

moving cars in an enclosed car carrier

Enclosed Car Transport

Enclosed car transport uses fully enclosed trailers to provide maximum protection for vehicles against weather, theft, and damage during transit.

This method is preferable for high-value, classic, or luxury vehicles requiring extra security. Enclosed transport is more expensive and less readily available but offers higher insurance coverage and peace of mind.

Specialised services include GPS tracking and expert handling, ensuring vehicles are delivered safely and discretely.

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