First Time Car Buyer with Budget $3k to $5k

19 year old, international licence, doesn't need anything fancy should just do the work

Currently I am using public transport for my commute from college to home which takes me around 1h 30m, if I get my private vehicle the time will be reduced by 1h and also way more comfort.

Looking for something that is cheap and reliable to run being an international student. Doesn't really matter if it's manual or automatic.
It would be great if someone could give me an estimate of how much does it take to run a car; i.e., the services, insurance, rego, etc.

Also, I had been thinking to get a second hand motor-cycle instead, but people had been saying it isn't really safe and isn't practical considering Melbourne weather; plus the fact that I can get a car in that much price too. What's your thoughts on that?

Requirements: 3 days travel to and fro from home to uni -25kms one way might also start with some delivery job if it offers good mileage




      checked it out, and had been thinking a lot regarding whether it's really worth to get one or not but considering the facts, VIC is pretty big; public transport is not reliable and own transportation opens the door for more employment; it might be worth it.

  • +8 votes

    Get a Corolla or Echo/Yaris.

  • +2 votes


    • +1 vote

      Fresh Off the Goat..?

      But in all seriousness, I would recommend a hatchback that's low-maintenance/cost, like a Hyundai i30 or Toyota Corolla. Get something Auto (easier to sell), in good condition (low risk), with newer build date (usually 8-11 years is the mark), and lowish Km (80,000-170,000). All cars will break down, but you either want something easy to fix OR cheap to write-off.

  • +7 votes

    2011'ish Hyundai Getz 1600cc, buy with < 100k km.
    Not fun or fancy but 5.5L/100km, 100% reliable, zippy, depreciation is normal.
    I have same model 2006, great practical tough boring car.

  • +1 vote

    Remember to add parking costs, they can be very expensive or free depending on where you go to college.

  • +2 votes

    get third party car insurance.

    • -5 votes

      Why ?

      Assumed only people need to be concerned are those with strong assets .

      Someone buying this price range car I would think is much smarter avoiding it .

      • +1 vote



        You think someone buying a $5k car has the cash to cover crashing into a $30k Mazda, let alone a $500,000 Ferrari?


          Getting third party property insurance will save money over a comprehensive policy. Likely quite a lot of saving over comprehensive, but, and it is a big but … if you crash at fault you get nothing for your car or if someone else crashes into you, you will probably need to chase the other party for repair costs yourself.

  • +1 vote

    Registration will be about $20 per week (in round figures). Insurance, given your age, will cost almost as much as the car for comprehensive, not sure about third party only, perhaps $8-$10 per week?

    Service costs maybe $10-$20 per week over a typical year. Fuel maybe $40 per week. Factor in parking costs and perhaps a parking fine and/or traffic camera fine, too.

    Probably at least $10 a day in total, every day of the year? Basically, the purchase price of the car is the least of your costs!


    I had been thinking to get a second hand motor-cycle instead

    A pain in the rain / cold but some cheap wet weathers will get you through short commutes fine. Parking will be a breeze. I expect for $1-2K you can get a great little runabout. Factor in cost of helmet and maybe a gear rack/sack. Easy and cheap to service yourself - will cost peanuts to keep a simple bike running. Rego and insurance will be cheaper than a car too. Take it easy on the road, don't mingle too much with the traffic, be alert and you should have a safe run. I rode to uni and it was great, even rode on campus between lectures when I was super lazy. Great for cheap summer weekend outings too.

  • +1 vote

    Honda Civic


    Hyundai Getz

  • -2 votes

    Sorry guys the people that don’t understand risk/reward are the suckers making some insurance agencies rich lol.

    Sheet I’ve saved so much not paying for silly insurances I’m in the position I need to worry about asset protection now .


      Sure, do your own analysis but the number of threads here about ‘I crashed no insurance’ indicate it is a worthwhile thing to have - especially for an inexperienced driver.

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