Buying or Selling a backpacker van in Sydney


If you’ve just arrived in Australia and you want a vehicle for your road trip, then get to Kings Cross and check out the Sydney Traveller’s Car Market. It’s a bit hard to find if you don’t know where you’re going: It’s on Level 2 of the Wilson’s Multi-storey car park (underground), on Ward Avenue, just behind Kings Cross Police Station.

On Level 2 you’ll find any number of backpackers selling their cars and vans. All of the vehicles have to have a New South Wales Roadworthy inspection before they are accepted into the car market, and will display either a pink or a white piece of paper (known as pink or white slips).

A Pink Slip is a Pass, but a roadworthy inspection doesn’t check everything about a vehicle, so getting a mechanic to do a full “pre-purchase inspection” is still a good idea, and would be money well spent to make sure you get a good vehicle. There are loads of Garages around the Kings Cross area who can do pre-purchase inspections. It’s cost you about $120 but that’s cheap compared to repairs of a dodgy vehicle.

A White Slip is a Fail, but it should say on it why it has failed, and you can get a quote from a mechanic for the repair costs before you buy the vehicle. Definitely do a pre-purchase inspection on White Slip vehicles.

The nice staff in the STCM office will help you and the seller with the paperwork if you buy anything, and can even sort out insurance for you too!


If your selling a vehicle it’s a great place to go. There are too many backpacker hostels around to count, so in the high season Kings Cross is overwhelmed with backpackers.

Remember to get a NSW roadworthy done. The STCM have links with a mechanic in Kings Cross, but if your coming from outside Sydney it will be a couple of Dollars cheaper out of the city. We paid about $35 for ours.

It costs $60 per week with a Pink Slip, or $100 (I think) with a white slip. You can leave your vehicle there permanently from 9am Monday morning to 5pm Friday night, but you have to find somewhere else to park it Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. It’s open again during the day at the weekend too.

Life in the car market can be quite fun. There are always new people to talk to, other people’s vans to look around, and the excitement of showing potential buyers round your vehicle, hopeful that this couple will just love your van…

However, it can be cold 3 levels under the street, so bring a jumper, and something to keep you entertained, as it can be hours at a time of just sitting, playing the waiting game.

We sold our van with Sydney Travellers’ Car Market, and thoroughly recommend them to anyone, buying or selling. Check them out on the web at: or better still, go and have a look: Level 2, Ward Avenue Car Park Kings Cross, Sydney

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