Aussie RV

We decided Australia would be our next RV road trip, and so began the hunt for a motorhome.
There is an option to buy one in NZ (they are cheaper there) and ship it to Australia, but the models are limited to the house door on the left hand side – “suicide” doors not permitted – so the cheaper Euro models cant be used.  A “Carnet” passport is required and a bond of $20,000 must be paid to ensure the vehicle is returned to NZ within 12 months. We had no reply from shipping agents to find out the cost of shipping, and also we wanted to leave the RV in Australia for more than 12 months.  In the future this would allow us to RV swap with owners in other countries, including NZ, for shorter holidays.  One other downside is NZ RV’s generally don’t have airconditioning, and it can get pretty hot in Aussie!
Finding an RV in Australia remotely wasn’t easy either, no one took us seriously because we weren’t there.  One dealer told us there was a 5 month wait for production.  Second hand vehicles incur a 5% stamp duty on registration, adding $5000 to a $100,000 camper – that’s if you are lucky to find one that cheap – they seem to hold their value.  New vehicle sales have stamp duty and annual registration (another $700) included in the drive away price.
So we arrived in Melbourne uncertain if we would find a suitable vehicle and maybe our road trip wouldn’t happen.  We are staying with our daughter for 2 weeks for Christmas, then a house sit for 2 weeks, so plenty of time to look around.  Our first day we visited the local Avan factory, only 10 minutes away.  We had researched quite a few floor plans and picked Avan as our first choice.  I asked the salesman if there was anything to drive away in the next 4 weeks, and after a few phone calls he confirmed there was an Ovation M3 Class C in production for delivery mid January – it must be fate! – so after a short negotiation we paid the deposit!  RV sorted in less than 24 hours!
You do need a physical address to register a vehicle.  Some dealers may let you use their business address if you don’t know a local.  We will register the vehicle in our daughters name so if we want to import it to NZ later we can get around the strict NZ import rules. To get away with not paying GST on imports you have to own the vehicle for more than 12 months, and have resided in Australia for 2 years. The vehicle can not be sold within 12 months.

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