Going Overseas for a Year - What to Do with The Car?

Hi all,

As the title suggested, I need to move overseas for a year and not too sure what to do with my current car. It's just over 4 years old with low KM (around 35k) and perfect condition. I have a few options but unsure about the potential associated issues and costs. I'll be back to Australia after a year and still intend to keep driving this car. I'm a bit skeptical to rent my car out to complete strangers (i.e. Car Next Door, car share scheme) as I'm afraid they'll trash the car and I won't be around to take care of it if there's any problem.

Option 1: Sell the car and buy another car when I'm back. However, I'll need to go through the process of getting RWC, listing, transferring…etc. Plus I really like this car and keeping it will be ideal. I most likely won't have budget to buy a brand new car if I was to replace it and buying a second hand car is tricky too.

Option 2: Get a friend/family to start & drive the car every now and then. But then I'll still need to pay for the cost of rego & insurance for a year even though I'm not driving it.

Option 3: Leave the car in the garage but take out the battery. This is probably the most cost effective way as I don't have to pay for insurance/rego. But I'm unsure if this option is viable and if the car will still operate ok if I leave it idle for a year?

If anyone has any other ideas, please feel free to comment below!

Thank you all in advance.

Poll Options

  • 14
    Option 1
  • 7
    Option 2
  • 42
    Option 3


  • +1 vote

    Sell it.

  • +1 vote

    what if your house burnt down, unlikely but possible

  • +8 votes

    Your car will be worth a lot less after a year. Even if you are not using it. Why waste 1 year of depreciation? Just sell it and get another car when you're back.

    • +1 vote

      Thanks for the feedback. Yeah depreciation of the car is gonna be an issue. But at least I know the condition of my car if I just keep it. Buying a used/second hand car is always risky and I've seen enough Ozbargain posts about people that bought used cars turned out to be dodgy/faulty.

      I guess if you buy from genuine dealers or trust worthy sellers who provide warranty and history will mitigate the risk, but then that'll increase the price of the car too.

  • +1 vote

    Option 1: Sell the car and buy another car when I'm back. However, I'll need to go through the process of getting RWC, listing, transferring…etc

    Unless you intend to hold onto this car for the rest of it's life or eventually give it away for free to a family member, this is an inevitable process you will have to go through when you do sell the car in the future.

  • +5 votes

    Leave the car idling for a year to stop the pipes from freezing.

  • +2 votes

    Option 2. You won't need insurance if your family just starts the engine in the garage. I don't believe you can put rego on hold. Even if you pick option 3 you still have to pay the rego. You will lose the most money with option 1 unless you are happy to buy a second hand car when you get back.

  • +6 votes

    Sell it

    Otherwise someone else will: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/511230

  • +4 votes

    Option 3. A year isn’t a long time, so long as the car has a safe place to stay., out of the weather and the elements. And if you’re going to be leaving it, take the rego off it and get it registered on your return. If you are keeping it in a garage, you can connect a battery tender/minder/trickle charger to it and it will keep the battery charged. Just get a family member to start it every now and then and let it run for 5 mins.


      With the exception that you should check your local rego rules. In NSW it would require an additional blue slip inspection to re-register. Depending on the vehicle might be easier to maintain the rego.

      • +2 votes

        It would be a blue slip instead of a pink slip (not "as well"). And it's a lot cheaper to get a new blue slip than it would be to pay for a years registration that you won't be using.

        And unless OP is getting a 50cc moped registered, I doubt that paying $900+ for a year of unused registration would be cheaper than $63 for a new blue slip.

      • +2 votes

        Its 4 years old low KMs, a blue slip which isnt expensive is easy to get given age and kms. In NSW you dont even need a pink slip for a car under 5 years, so even the govt reaiises they dont normally deteriate that much. 20 Years and 300Kms different story.

        Edit - Yep Pegaxs beat me too it, while I was looking at the costs (except the cost of the pink slip which is $0 for a 4/5year old car - ie its not required)


          Fair enough. But knowing what you are getting into first is important. I’ve not needed to do it, but knew there was additional inspection required if the rego is expired.

  • +2 votes

    If you decide to store it for a year, here's a few things you can do:

    1. Make sure you have a full tank of petrol as it will keep the seals from drying out.
    2. Put it on jacks or blocks of wood to avoid flat spots on the tyres.
    3. Take it off the hand break.

    Option 3

    For 1 year, still pay the rego, otherwise you have to go through all the hoops and checks of getting it registered again. More hassle than any cost savings. As for insurance, well it 'depends' how safe is the storage area?

    You also might want to look at adding a fuel stabilizer to the tank, so the fuel doesn't go bad.


    I'd sell it


    What car is it?

  • +4 votes

    Put it on aibnb as a tiny house

  • +1 vote

    I'd be careful leaving it uninsured via option 3. Obviously if someone steals it or if it's damaged whilst left there, you could be up for significant costs on your return.

    I've left the country for 9-12 months before when my wife and I visited her family in Poland but I just left the car sitting in the garage with the battery disconnected. I was too lazy to deal with blue slips etc on my return.


    Just sell it. Save the money for when you get back and buy same car back at lower price

  • +3 votes

    I moved overseas for work and sold my car before leaving. 1 year turned into 5 years.
    Not having bills/liabilities back home while you are overseas is the way to go.

    I dont think I'll be living in Australia again for another 5 years at least now, and getting a car again or rego is the least of my concerns.


    sell it, depreciation aside, like above said you never know what you situation will be in a year, you might end up staying overseas longer, make sure you dont have hassles behind you at home.

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