Driving Licences and conversion from foreign licences. 

 As a general rule, you are given a 3 month grace period to use your foreign licence before you must covert it to an Australian licence. 

Again, each state has slightly different rules on the conversion of your foreign licence. Remarkably, the process when converting a New Zealand or other foreign licence to a QLD licence is an easy process which will be detailed below. For conversion to other Australian States click on the links below (very similar easy process). 

If you are from one of the following countries then you will most likely NOT have to sit knowledge or practical driving exams in any Australian State. 

  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malta (licences issued or renewed since 2 January 2004)
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand, (except for paper licences)
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Top tip – get your medicare card first and finish opening your bank account before you start progressing your drivers licence transfer. Your medicare card and issued bank card are great forms of identification which need to be provided at all Australian service centers for the issue of drivers licences.

Transferring to a Queensland licence

You will need to:

Transferring to a New South Wales (NSW) licence – click here

Transferring to a Victorian (VIC) licence – click here

Transferring to a South Australian (SA) licence – click here

Transferring to a Western Australian licence – click here

Transferring to an Australian Capital Territory licence – click here

Transferring to a Northern Territory (NT) licence – click here

Transferring to a Tasmanian (TAS) licence – click here

Buying a car in Australia –

Carsales.com.au seems to be the most used website. I bought our 2 cars from this site – one turned out to be from a dealer and the other a private sale. Both very good buys. If you buy a car privately the seller will need to arrange a ‘roadworthy certificate’ which is completed by a certified vehicle inspector. If it the car does not come with one, do not buy it.

You could also try gumtree.com.au as a free advertiser for sellers. This website comes in handy for finding all sorts of stuff which you will need to replace from leaving it back at your original country.

Attain a written receipt from the seller for the purchase price as this will be used to register the vehicle.

Once you buy the vehicle after your due diligence then it will need to be registered. Different Australian States have differing amounts of ‘stamp duty’ to be paid on top of the registration cost. Stamp duty is an additional tax on purchasing a vehicle privately.

Stamp duty on a $10,000 (4 cyclinder) car in QLD for example attracts a $300 stamp duty tax.  Use this calculator to get an idea of the extra money you will outlay when buying a car privately. When you purchase from a dealer the price usually includes this stamp duty tax. 

Different Australian states have different rules on getting your car checked at certain intervals in order to check its road-worthiness. Once you have purchased a car in QLD for example, you never need to get it checked, however, if you get pulled over by the police and your car is not in a roadworthy condition (tyres for example) then you will be fined. Other states require your car to be checked at certain intervals.

Car Insurance – 

Compulsory third party insurance (CTP) or ‘greenslip’, as it’s most commonly known as in NSW, is something all vehicles are required to be covered by in all states within Australia.It provides the driver cover for any legal liability for injury and death as a result of an accident for which the insured is responsible – be it for other drivers, passengers, pedestrians or cyclists.

In most states, CTP is included in your registration fees and you don’t need to worry about it too much. If you’re from QLD, ACT or NSW, you have the option of choosing your insurer but in most cases when you pay for your registration you just leave the CTP insurer as is.

You then need to think about full insurance if you want it.

Again, the most efficient way is to use a comparison website such as iselect.com.au