Road trip in Australia, how to save money?

In this post, you will read how we managed to travel for a month in Australia with only spending $1200 ( EUR 800) each. Australia is definitely not cheap but with these tips and tricks, you can save money during your road trip.

Buying a car for your road trip

If you are planning a road trip, start on time to search for your perfect car. Make a list of things which are important for you and for what you are going to need the car. There are plenty of Facebook groups whereby people are trying to sell their car. We used the Facebook groups: Backpacker cars Australia,  Australia backpackers and Melbourne backpacker. As we were going to do the outback, we really wanted to have a 4WD where we could sleep in. After a bit of searching, we found the perfect 4WD in good condition for only $1750.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Buy a car from someone who has to leave the country soon. As they need to get rid of the car as soon as possible, you will be able to get the car really cheap.
  • Of course, it is important that the car is in good condition so always make sure you bring someone with you who knows something about cars.
  • Buy a car with a rego in West Australia. This is the only state whereby you can change the owner online and WA is the cheapest of all states. It would be a lot easier to sell your car if it is registered in WA.
  • Make sure the car is serviced recently and that they have all the papers of the check.

road trip

How to make your car road trip proof?

When we bought our car, there was hardly any equipment in there as the girl we bought it from only did a 2 weeks road trip. We bought most of our camping equipment in the K-Mart and via Gumtree. Lot’s of people need to get rid of their camping equipment so we got everything for pretty cheap.

Important things to pack:

  • 2x Spare fuel tanks (20 L + 10 L)
  • 2x Water Jerrycans (20 L + 15 L)
  • Car radio / CD player and MP3 (you can connect your phone or iPod)
  • 4 charge points + extra USB adapters (so you can charge your phone, fridge, gps etc at the same time)
  • Inverter (so you can charge your laptop/camera while driving)
  • Spare tyre, jump leads
  • Ropes, tape etc.
  • Phone holder
  • Double bed (foldable so you can seat 5 persons and fold it into a double bed in the night) and bedding. • Curtains
  • Mosquito net
  • 2 sleeping bags
  • 2 person tent
  • 2 camping mats
  • Sun and rain cover to attach to the car
  • Table and 2 chairs
  • 2 head Fly Nets
  • Solar shower
  • 2 gas stoves
  • electric fridge (so you can have a cold beer at any time)
  • Plates, bowls, cutlery for 4 persons, 2 wine glasses.

road trip

Tips & Tricks to save during the road trip

  • Our biggest saving during our road trip was probably our fuel consumption. By driving 80 km/hr the highest gear instead of 120 km/hr our fuel tank lasted much longer. We could drive 600 km with 1 full tank
  • Bring spare fuel tanks with you and fill these in places where the fuel is cheaper (bigger cities). For example fuel around Uluru is really expensive so by using our spare tanks we didn’t have to fill the car with expensive fuel
  • Download the app Wikicamps and try to camp for free as much as possible. If there isn’t any free camp spot around, wake up before the rangers starting with working (before 7 am). We have only spent $30 on accommodation (campsite) during our road trip. You can also find free public showers with the Wikicamps app.
  • Cook your own food! Make sure you have all the basic ingredients with you so you can easily make cheap and tasty food. I will write a post later on with our favourite road trip meals.


What we have spend during the road trip

The total amount  we spend with driving KM 12300 in 5 weeks:

Fuel: $1480.00
Groceries: $317.00
Going out for dinner/drinks: $ 293.00
Campsites: $ 33.00
Entrance fees/activities: $ 550.00

Total car costs:

Buying the car: $ 1750.00
Equipment: $ 512
Services: $ 594

We sold the car for $4000 at the end so we covered all our car expenses.


The following two tabs change content below.

Leave a Reply