Every state has specific rules around selling cars. While the basics are much the same, the Sunshine State has a few unique requirements you need to know about.

Here’s what you need to know about selling a car in Queensland.how to sell a car in queensland

How to sell a car in Queensland

There are four steps to selling a car in Queensland: Preparing the car for sale; Listing the car for sale; Making a deal; and Transferring registration.

We’ll cover these in detail later, but there’s one point we need to cover first. In Queensland, there are different processes depending on whether your car is registered or not.

Selling a registered car in Queensland

For registered cars, you’ll need a Queensland safety certificate. To get one, your car undergoes a basic inspection, checking things like tyres, brakes, steering, windscreen, and lights. The cost of a safety certificate for a normal car is currently $84.70 and is valid for 2 months or 2,000km – whichever comes first. You can get one from an Approved Inspection Station.

If your certificate is handwritten, display it in the window of your car when you list it for sale. Certificates issued electronically don’t need to be displayed, but must be shown to potential buyers.

Remember, the certificate only lasts 2 months, so you’ll need a new one if your car is on the market longer than that. If your car has LPG you’ll also need a gas certificate from an authorised gas installer – these are valid for 3 months.

If your car is under finance, make sure you know how to sell a car under finance.

Selling an unregistered car in Queensland

If your car is unregistered, you don’t need a safety certificate. If you haven’t already, remove the plates and hand them in at a Department of Transport and Main Roads, along with a cancellation of registration form.

When selling your unregistered car, you still need to document the sale. A simple contract or receipt is fine, but make sure it includes:

  • Your name and signature;
  • The buyer’s name and signature;
  • The car’s VIN, chassis number, or engine number;
  • The make and model of the car; and
  • The date the sale took place.

If you plan to move your car, you need to apply for an unregistered vehicle permit. This lets you drive your unregistered car on Queensland roads, but not interstate. If the car is not driveable, you’ll need to hire a tow truck.

Now that’s out of the way, on to the four steps to selling a car in Queensland.

  1. Prepare your car for sale

While not essential, there are things you can do to make your car a little more attractive to a potential buyer.

  • Consider getting your car serviced and detailed
  • Have your car’s service book available to show any potential buyers
  • Wash your car, and vacuum the interior
  • Remove personalisations like bumper stickers or fuzzy dice
  1. List your car for sale

The easiest way to list your car for sale is online. Start with Car Sales, Simply Cars, and Auto Trader. Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are free alternatives.

With so many cars listed online, how do you make yours stand out? Make sure your ad is simple and easy to read, and avoid gimmicky language. Make sure you include all relevant details, like:

  • The make, model, year, colour, and body style (eg hatchback, sedan)
  • The number of kilometres travelled
  • The engine and transmission type
  • Accessories like air conditioning, audio, power steering etc
  • The registration expiry date, or if the car is unregistered
  • Details on condition and upkeep (eg one owner, kept in a garage, service history)
  • The asking price and your contact information
  • Lots of good photos from different angles, including interior shots.

Your local newspaper or classifieds might also still run print ads, and you can still put a sign on the car itself. Be careful though – some Queensland councils have made roadside car sales illegal.

If you’re not sure what price to ask, check RedBook for current market value.

  1. Make a deal

Reaching a deal with a buyer is a much bigger topic than we have space for, but here are some tips:

  • Some buyers want a mechanic to check the car. The RACQ offers a call out service for this, and the buyer is responsible for paying
  • Decide on your lowest price ahead of time, and don’t give in to bullies
  • Meet potential buyers in a neutral location
  • Keep a record of all agreements
  1. Transfer registration

After you sell your car, it is usually the buyer’s responsibility to transfer the registration, though the seller can also do the transfer online.

If your buyer is doing the transfer, they’ll need to take the safety certificate and a receipt from you (keep copies) as well as a transfer form completed by both of you into Queensland Transport and Main Roads. If you transfer your rego online, you’ll need to have gotten an electronic safety certificate. You can complete the transfer on the Queensland Government website.

If you currently pay your rego by automatic payment, make sure you cancel it so you’re not charged after you’ve sold the car. You’ll also want to cancel any insurance.how to sell a car in queensland

Life after selling your car

So you’ve sold your car – congratulations! Now you have to decide – is buying another car worth it for you? Maintenance, rego and insurance, and even the process of buying and selling a car is a huge hassle, and a massive financial expense. Most cars cost upwards of $7,000 a year!

GoGet makes owning a car optional. Instead of buying a car, GoGet members have access to over 3,500 cars across Australia, which they can use by the hour or the day. It’s more convenient, less hassle, and generally much cheaper than owning your own car.

About Tim Beau Bennett

Tim is an ex-journalist and radio presenter, and has been a professional writer for over a decade. He regularly writes about technology, lifestyle, and smart cities, and has written for news site including the ABC, SBS, and Australian Financial Review.