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Sorry more Sydney questions... should we bring the car?

(14 Posts)
SeymoreButts Wed 07-Sep-11 23:36:44

Sorry, I'm getting annoying now I know!

We've got a 40ft shipping container and air freight too. We could ship our car, but we would have to pay AUD10,000+ in duty! So it seems sensible to sell it, but I'm not sure how car prices in Australia compare to the UK. Could we get away without a car? We are staying in Coogee originally and might stick to that area.

Also, what did you do with all your electrical stuff? Did you ship them and then replace the plugs? It seems a bit like financial suicide to sell most of our things and buy everything new when we get there! <strokes dualit toaster>

abithormonal Thu 08-Sep-11 00:50:01

I've not responded before so I'm in no way annoyed.

Personally I don't think it's worth bringing a car, there's a load of other gumpf as well as the duty, cleaning, roadworthy checks and stuff, ways in which everyone makes a little money and and more of your hair turns white. If you really really love your car it is worth investigating how much of an arse it is, even my DH decided it wasn't worth it and cars are more important than life itself to him. have a look here for aus car prices. Move to the inner west, much better transport links.

As for the electrical goods, if you already have the container you may as well fill it, most things are still dearer here and its another load of fuss, especially if you like what you've got already. My handy hint of the day is to buy some four socket extension things (with the overloading cut out thingy switch) and then change the main plug when you get here, thusly changing one plug instead of four. Note though if you bring a printer that you'll not be able to get the right cartridges for them here.

Bubbaluv Thu 08-Sep-11 00:53:10

Unless it's a really unique, special car then it is WAY too much trouble to bring a car. They would also charge you if any modifications need to be made to meet Australian standards. This can include things as minor as moving a seatbelt fitting by a couple of inches, but can take forever and cost a bomb.
Cars are more expensive here - no question, but Sydney's public transport is pretty hit and miss, so you will need a car. Coogee is not brilliantly connected to anywhere. It's not terrible or anything, but you'd be reliant on buses and it can be a bit of a slog.
Coggee's great though - don't get me wrong.
We shipped most our electrical stuff, but we've never got around to changing the plugs, so 2 years on we're still living with a house full of adaptors! Bring UK power boards - they save on adaptors, even if just as an interim measure.
Get a new bikini, a wax, a pedi and a spray tan.

sunnydelight Thu 08-Sep-11 08:13:36

I would have thought the car was WAY too much hassle tbh. If you are looking for second hand cars when you get here you need to head down Parramatta Road, it's full of car dealers. Think very carefully about where you live if you are trying to be car free. A lot of places where you can function happily without a car will offer the kind of accommodation that is fine if you have babies/small children, but not the space that makes life much more pleasant with big kids (unless you have a very big budget of course!). Once mine all leave home I'm retiring to Balmain grin

When we moved four years ago and you got $2.5 to the pound I would have said don't bother with the electrical stuff either, but now it's more like $1.5 it's worth bringing everything you can stuff into a container! I have heard that washing machines and dryers often don't "travel well" but you might as well get as long as you can out of them before they die. If you are buying electrical stuff here "The Good Guys" are one of the best price-wise and don't forget to haggle - it's expected.

billgrangersrisotto Thu 08-Sep-11 08:25:48

My experience is that second hand cars are very expensive (they hold their value well, if you want to look on the positive side!). We therefore bought a brand new car (something I've never dine in the uk as it would be daft) for only a couple if thousand dollars more than a second hand one (1 or 2 year old second hand). Don't take the car, buy a new one and haggle, haggle, haggle at the showroom. You might want an auto for all the Sydney traffic, you'll spend a lot of time queuing. I'm a complete lover if manual cars but autos in Aus are the norm (so worth thinking about for resale of said car anyway) and autos give your clutch foot a break while you're stuck on Victoria Road in rush hour.

Good luck, v exciting!

Ps. Coogee nice but very busy. Have you thought about mosman? Are you renting or buying? If renting, have a look there, it's beautiful, peaceful, nice suburb centre, best cafe in the whole of Sydney in my opinion (avenue) and by the beach. Ferry to the city and amazing views. If you're buying, forget it unless you're a millionaire!

SeymoreButts Thu 08-Sep-11 09:32:25

Thanks everyone, that settles it then, the car is not coming! The duty alone is not far off what we paid to buy the thing. I'm quite pleased really, it's too big and a bugger to park. We'll head to Parramatta Road and I'll let DH do the haggling!

Thanks for all the advice on electrical stuff, I was half considering selling some appliances so it's good to know they'll work fine with adaptors.

We'll be renting so we're quite flexible on area. Apparently we get a "relocation specialist" (Phil Spencer??) to help us with the house and school search. I've heard that rental properties move so quickly you have to your holding deposit and references with you when view a property. I will bear Mosman in mind, thanks!

And yes I will definitely be needing a spray tan, this summer has been so disappointing, I make Nicola Roberts looked tanned...

mono3 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:53:20

We shipped a car the other way, from Aus to the UK and, to be honest, was a bit if a pain to get all the modifications done and checks before we could use the car here. Don't remember paying duty though. There were also problems as the car was designed to be used in a different climate. Ie the car battery was much smaller so we had problems with the car starting on cold winter mornings in the UK until we had that replaced. It therefore did cost a fair bit more than we had expected. We didn't ship many electrical goods out to Aus as we were there a good while before our container arrived but exchange rate was better then so not so bad to replace things. Took everything back though and only just recently got round to changing the last of the plugs after 4 years!
As sunnydelight says Parramatta Road the place to go for car buying. Lots of choice. We lived in the Inner West and although not right next to beaches, it is a great location with good links into the city with buses and ferries and a lovely area to live in.

Good luck.

redvelvetpoppy Thu 08-Sep-11 13:16:14

Hello! We moved to Sydney about 14w ago from UK....nearly rented in Coogee but are currently in Cronulla instead (lovely south beach area with good rail links). Our shipment has just arrived, we sold the car in the end but did take all electrical goods. The only negatives are (1) our fridge freezer is too tall for the slot in the kitchen and (2) washing machine nearly died in transit.....we should get some compensation for that but I found no engineer would look at it as it is imported which is a shame so we are still renting one for the time being. We're using adapters for everything else which is no bother.
Are you taking any air freight over? I would recommend taking some bedding, I was scandalised at the cost here!! With hindsight I wish we'd had a last minute clothes shop too as it's more expensive here & we actually did an online summer sale shop in Uk & shipped it here and it worked out cheaper than buying (for DS particularly).

ben5 Thu 08-Sep-11 13:21:13

I would bring your white goods and just change your plugs. don't bother with the car.
bring loads of summer clothes with you esp swim wear and like redvelvetpoppy said bring bedding with you.

Bubbaluv Thu 08-Sep-11 23:27:32

With the bedding, remember that mattress sizes are named differently here.
Single, double queen then king.

If you like the idea of the Eastern suburbs and beaches, then I highly reccomend Bronte, Waverly, Queens Park and Randwick (North). We are in Bronte which is just lovely although v $$$. The other suburbs I mentioned are v close and a lot less exy and all have good transport links to the city. Will you/DH be working in the city?
North Bondi, Coogee and Clovelly are nice too, but not so well serviced from a transport pov. Excellent schools in the East too - our local primary is so fab so we will be sending our boys there even though we could afford to send them private.

Let me know if you need any East-side-specific advice.

SeymoreButts Fri 09-Sep-11 11:14:20

redvelvet, apparently we have 1000lb of air freight! I am amazed, we live in a small semi. I'm not sure what DH's company were thinking between that and the 40ft container. I will stuff the air freight full of bedding, clothes and toys. The shipping company have told us to buy anything we need here and get it delivered to them so that they can load it straight on, and we'll get VAT back that way! He also told me that anything we ship must be completely free of dirt or dust, so the hoover, shoes, golf clubs etc will need to be spotless. He told us not to bother with garden stuff because it's impossible to get it completely clean!!

Thanks Bubbaluv, I will add those places to our list of possibles. I might need some school pointers too!

I have just let HMRC know so that they can stop my child benefit. DH is working in the central business district, I'm a SAHM at the moment (have been for a year) but I think I will try to get back to work once we've settled in, my feeling is money is going to be quite tight otherwise!

Bubbaluv Sun 11-Sep-11 04:57:37

Public (state schools?) or private? How old are your DCs?
Bondi, Bronte and Clovelly have great public primary schools and you get in automatically if you're in the area. There are lots of good schools around.

You shouldn't have much trouble finding a job if you want one - unemployment is v low. What do you do?

SeymoreButts Mon 12-Sep-11 10:28:59

We will probably opt for state schools but I am fairly clueless on that front at the moment. All I know is we will have to pay $4500 up front for DD to attend state school.

I worked in IT for an investment bank before, mainly programming, but I have been doing some bookkeeping part time since I stopped work a year ago. Hopefully I will find something!

Bubbaluv Mon 12-Sep-11 11:56:49

SHouldn't think you'll have any trouble finding work at all. Doing some temp work to start off with can be a good starting point, but don't do it for too long or your CV will start to look a bit scatty (ex-recruiter talking).
You will have to pay for state school if you're a non-resident, but it's still a LOT cheaper than private schools (about $12000 per year).
How old is your DD?

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