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Travellers Auto Barn

Travellers Auto Barn

A Gap Year in Australia? To buy or not to buy, that is the question. Discover the benefits of buying a car to travel around Australia!

If you're planning to travel around Australia on your gap year, there's nothing better than having your own set of wheels. But should you rent or buy? Luckily, we've got some experts in the shape of Travellers Auto Barn to answer that question for you.


You wouldn't buy a car if you only needed it for a few days, and by the same token you wouldn’t rent a car to travel around Australia on a gap year.

So when is buying a Travellers Auto Barn car better than renting a Travellers Auto Barn car, and when is renting better than buying? This can be answered quite simply if we compare the two options purely in economic terms.

Basically, we think that if you're travelling around Australia for 8 weeks or less you should probably rent a car. For a longer trip of 10 weeks or more you buy a car. Have a look at the example below to see just what we mean.

This example is based on the rental of a Ford Falcon Stationwagon with a variable daily rate, and the sale of a Ford Falcon at $3000 with a Guaranteed Buyback of 50%. Added on to the price of the sale car is $195 for Third Party Property Damage Insurance, which is not included in the Guaranteed Buyback Price.

2 Weeks: Rent - $700; Buy - not worth it!
4 Weeks: Rent - $1260; Buy - only if you intend on visiting remote areas of the outback
6 Weeks: Rent - $1680; Buy - 50/50
8 Weeks: Rent - $2400; Buy - once you past 8 weeks: buy it!
10 Weeks: Rent - $2800; Buy - the best option

At 8 weeks you would spend about the same amount of money renting the car as you would if you bought the same car and sold it back to us with a Guaranteed 50% buyback. However, often it's not just about money.

Buying a Car on your gap year in Australia:

  • Total Freedom. The car belongs to you - so you can take it anywhere you want to. Dirt tracks? No problem! As long as you don’t do any damage to the car, your Guaranteed Buyback price is secure.
  • The Guaranteed Buyback means you’ll definitely get some money back at the end of your trip, either to go home with or to continue travelling.
  • Remember that at the end of your gap year you are not obligated to sell to the car back to Travellers Auto Barn. You are free to sell the car to whoever you choose, naturally this is usually the person who makes you the best offer! If you’re a good salesperson, it’s possible to get back more than the 50% we guarantee you by selling to another traveller.

Renting a Car on your gap year in Australia:

  • If you have only limited time to spend travelling on your gap year in Australia, renting not only saves you money but also time. Picking up and dropping off a rental car is much quicker and easier than buying and selling a car. People who buy a car, even with a guaranteed buyback, spend at least a some time (if not days) trying to sell their car on to other travellers.
  • Hassle Free. Should any problems arise during your rental period, they are the responsibility of the rental company. Travellers Auto Barn will make every effort to get you speedily on your way again.
  • You can afford more car for your money when renting in the short term. For 10 weeks buying a $4,500 stationwagon with with a Buyback might be outside your budget, but renting the same car for $25/day is certainly affordable.

Buying a car may mean added responsibilities and potential hassles but also offers complete freedom. Renting is generally more restrictive, but it’s more secure and worry free.


If there's a group of you planning a gap year in Australia together, you may want to consider renting or buying a Campervan.

While Campervans are more expensive than cars, they obviously fetch a much higher Buyback or resale price. The table below will give you a comparison between three options: renting one of our late model Toyota HiAce Hi-Top Campervans, or buying the same van, or buying an older Toyota HiAce Pop-Top Campervan or converted MiniVan adapted for camping.

The table is calculated at an average daily rental rate for the Campervan. The cost of a converted Minivan is averaged to $8,000 and the cost of the HiAce Campervan is $16,500.The Buyback prices are calculated at 50% for the first two months, and 40% between 2-3 months.

Bear in mind that a purpose built Campervan will -if it is well maintained- fetch a much higher resale price if sold privately: so this table should only be considered a guide.

2 Weeks: Rent - $1190; Buy - not worth it!
4 Weeks: Rent - $2240; Buy - cheaper to rent
6 Weeks: Rent - $3375; Buy - almost the same if you buy a mini-van, no way if you need a campervan
8 Weeks: Rent - $3920; Buy - same price for mini-van, cheaper to rent a campervan
10 Weeks: Rent - $4550; Buy a mini-van, rent a campervan (you should only buy a campervan if you are staying longer than 16 weeks!)
Daily rental rates used in this article are examples only and will vary seasonally.