Best 4WD to sell after three months?

Submitted: Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 17:11
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Hey guys,

I’m a newbie here.

I’ve unexpectedly got 2.5-3 months of free time to tour Australia before going overseas. I’ve seen a fair bit already (especially on the East Coast and in Tassie), but this time I want to go to some of the more remote / harder to get to places (Cape York is high on the list), camp on beaches and do some outback touring as well. I don’t plan on doing any crazy stuff though.

So I’ve decided that I want to purchase a 4WD! Renting is out of the question, unfortunately – very expensive and too restrictive in terms of where you can actually go.

The question is which one to get. I don’t really have a budget for the actual 4WD. I just want to be sure that I can sell it easily at the end of the trip without losing too much money.

With that in mind, what would you look at? What’s best for a quick sale once I’m done? What's the 4WD everyone wants?

Which brand and model?
Late model vs. older?
Stock vs. already equipped?
High km vs. low km?

I’ve got a bit of money to throw at this, so am definitely not looking to get a banged up backpacker’s car. I don’t want to spend my holidays worrying about or fixing mechanical issues. Again, easy resale without too much depreciation is what I’m looking for.

Let me know what you think!


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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 17:48

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 17:48

Tough one. The one which will be easy to sell in 3 months will be the one everyone wants to buy , and they'll want it now for the same reasons which will increase your buy price. So the buy price minus the sell price remains a guess.

What vehicle will suit your needs for 3 months 4wd touring? Depends just where you want to go, when, how rough you can tolerate, and whether you'll be traveling alone. Our direct experience is limited to our Troopy (Landcruiser Troopcarrier). If travelling alone or as a couple, and if you plan to go into challenging situations, it would be hard to go past a Troopy. A good workhorse without much concession to comfort. Some have been outfitted for camping with raisable roof, inbuilt kitchen and beds, though space is very limited in this configuration. We've done a custom setup on ours (see details here) which you wouldn't be able to do due to time constraints. Unmodified you would find it big enough to carry all the gear for 2 people and if you can throw the gear out into a tent at night, plenty big enough to sleep 2 comfortably. Also, if you can find an older one, it won't depreciate much while in your hands.


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Follow Up By: Dexmoody - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 18:42

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 18:42
Thanks, John.

Troopy is definitely on the list. Would tick a lot of boxes for me, especially because I could sleep in the back and wouldn't have to muck around with an RTT and the like.

Just can't judge how well it would sell after I'm done with it - it always seemed to me as a more exotic vehicle in the urban centers where the biggest markets are.

When you said get an older one - what are you thinking? What type of engine and how old?

Thanks, mate.

PS: Looked at your setup. Love it! But you're right - wouldn't have the time to do something like it!
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 19:34

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 19:34

Ours is an old petrol one, which has a couple of major advantages - If he dies, it isn't a great loss (maybe a couple of thousand $$$) ; he has NO electronic smarts to go wrong - we even carry the full workshop manuals, and they are simple enough for us to rebuild the vehicle starting with just a set of bits! (My wife and I actually did have to do a major engine repair on one occasion when remote.) I realise that's not what you are after, but it does make for a cheap vehicle, and simplicity does have attractions. If you could find a Troopy (preferably diesel, but petrol is fine) at a reasonable price I doubt that you will lose anything like the cost of hiring when you put it back on the market.

If I was in your position I'd be inclined to look for a vehicle of Troopy class with less than (say) 250,000 km and preferably 15+ years experience. The mileage and age will push the buy price down and you can then depreciate from that lower price. Insurance will be lower, so too you resale price, but overall you are dealing with smaller $$$, including lower overall cost of ownership. Beware of overworked or accident damaged vehicles, otherwise an older quality vehicle looks good to me.



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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 08:37

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 08:37

Worth a look through the Exploroz Classifieds - eg, there's a 20 yo petrol Troopy there with less than 300k km on the clock for less than $10k. Something like that would provide you cheaply with wheels and 3 months accommodation and is unlikely to drop a lot in value - might even be worth talking to the seller about a 3 month hire?


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Follow Up By: Dexmoody - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 10:39

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 10:39
Thanks, Jon. I'll definitely have a look.
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Reply By: Member - Bigred13 - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 17:49

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 17:49
Hi Dex , with a question like that you are going to get a hundred different replies . So I will start off for you
1. Toyota Land Cruiser will be on my list ,parts available easily ,built like the proverbial sh.....h...and has good resale value .
2. Diesel is a must ,available everywhere outback ,stations, trucks fuel depots .
3. If you look on the net ,you will get some idea of value for the different models out there.
4. A 2000 to 2005 Land Cruiser is a good unit ,diesel/ turbo and auto and solid front end is good for off road ,with not too much electronic gadgetry .
5. If you buy one that is already equipped ,ie with the body raised ,you can bet that one has been around the bush, so be careful of them .
6. Unless you are going to bush bash ,all you need is a bull bar ,good tyres and good mechanically ,and a roof rack ,and most of the good ones for sale will have all the goodies on them usually from new ,I bought a 2002 Cruiser LPG/Petrol with 260,000 Ks
and it is a great vehicle .A diesel /turbo the same model and Kilometers was $13,000 more ,so that will give you some idea
Happy Travels
AnswerID: 590094

Follow Up By: Dexmoody - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 18:45

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 18:45
Thanks for your input, mate!

So do you reckon the 2000-2005 models are sought after and would sell easily?

I'm a bit worried because they're obviously more than 10 years old and would probably have high kms...
FollowupID: 858092

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 18:07

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 18:07
Question ..... have you got someone who can handle the sale for you, or do you have to dispose of it before you head O/S ??

Can mean the difference between a quick sale (desperation price) or a good sale (what it's worth).

Would not like to be caught with a $30k plus car that you have to dispose of qucikly, whereas a quality car will get a good price if you're patient.

Just thinking...........
AnswerID: 590095

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 18:11

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 18:11
Mind you - agree with the above - get a Tojo (Landcruiser or Pajero) if you want to turn it around - or a Nissan. LR's can be good vehicles, however it's a more selective market.

The other option may be to get a burner ..... Great Wall for under $10k ?? You won't get much for resale however you wont pay much up front either....
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Follow Up By: Dexmoody - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 18:53

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 18:53
G'day Scott,

Yeah, that might be the problem. I'm not sure if my friends would be comfortable handling the sale - haven't asked them yet tbh.

Preferred scenario would be to sell it before I leave, but I realise that may be difficult. Hence the question.

I'm prepared to lose some depreciation on the car as a rental car for the time frame is >$10k. I'd need to compare it to the following when buying and selling my own:

- Stamp duty for purchase: $1-2k
- Insurance: ~$1.5k
- Maintenance: ~$2.5k
- Depreciation: $???

So there is a bit of a margin for depreciation to break even vs. a hire car, but obviously the less the better...

Not sure if I'd be comfortable with the Great Wall choice. Prefer a more conservative choice...

Thanks for your input though!
FollowupID: 858093

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 19:08

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 19:08
Dex, wasn't really that serious about the Great Wall, however you can pick up a 2nd hand normally aspirated Deisel 80 series for around the $10k mark .... not the fastest, however their built like the proverbial and reliable as ... would not have too much trouble selling one either.

The other thing to consider is your camping set up. Are you going to tent, tow a trailer, have a Roof Top or live in the vehicle? Some vehicle are better for towing whereas a troopy can be set up to live in the vehicle. High centre of gravity might put some people off a RTT. Horses for courses....

Agree with the depreciation route - rental for 3 months would be a killer and you don't see any of it back.

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Follow Up By: Dexmoody - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 19:19

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 19:19
Yeah, the 80 series might be a good pick. They're quite old now obviously, but you seem to think they would still sell easily?

Re: camping setup - I'm prepared to compromise here in favor of getting a vehicle that's easy to sell. I won't be towing a trailer, but RTT, normal tents and sleeping in the vehicle are all options.

If I had my way, I'd choose to sleep in the vehicle, with a tent or an awning annex as a secondary option for those hot and humid nights / locations.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 06:54

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 06:54
Land cruisers require plenty of maintenance and there are plenty around that get driven and sold without any. My opinion is your loss exposure is very high unless you are a mechanic or are buying something which has a known past or you have a thorough mechanical check done on it. I'd be tempted to tie up more money in the initial purchase price to get something just in or out of warranty with a known service history and lower kms. If you are forced to spend good money to get an older vehicle up to speed, or it breaks down on you, you are never going to get it back. You haven't stated a budget though, so this is all a bit loose.
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Follow Up By: Dexmoody - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 10:37

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 10:37
Thanks, gbc!

I don't really have a budget for the car. I saved up a sizeable deposit for a house, so I can spend a fair bit on the car if it makes sense.

But that's my question exactly - what is the right approach here so that I recoup my investment easily and with little risk.

Of course, it 'feels' better to only spend $10-15k on a car - but as you say, how reliable is the car and is there a risk I might lose all of it? And how easy will it be to sell something like that?

Or should I spend $40k or more, get something a lot newer and hope that I can sell it for $3-4k less in three months time?

Would I have a harder time selling a low priced car vs. a newer one? Does it even matter?

FollowupID: 858123

Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Sep 12, 2015 at 13:29

Saturday, Sep 12, 2015 at 13:29
Dex, an experienced car salesman told me many years ago, that a figure of $10,000 was the psychological "killing point" for many sales.

His rationale was that a loan of $10,000 was the limit for many buyers (who had lots of other committments) - and if a car was for sale aat $11,000, it would kill the deal.

I think that magic 5 figure sum is probably a figure that can be adjusted up for today's values - but $15,000 to $20,000 is still a major limit area for many used car buyers.

When a used vehicle gets over $20,000 (unless it was a particularly highly priced vehicle to start with), then many people will start to look at a smaller new vehicle.
The new vehicle comes with a sizeable warranty and finance is usually easier to get on a new vehicle.

In fact, ability to get finance is usually the sticking point in any sale.
For this reason, most car yards and dealers will not touch vehicles over 12 yrs old. It's nearly impossible to finance them.
Finance houses see vehicles older than 12 yrs as a liability they can't sell, if they get repossessed.

So on that basis, the newer your vehicle, the better the chance the potential buyer has of getting finance on it.
There are very few people who have the "readies" to pay the full amount in cash or bank transfer for a vehicle over $20,000.
They nearly all need to finance the whole amount or a sizeable portion of it.

Thus, the auction house idea works better when you need to part with a vehicle, as they will take care of the finance angle and you don't end up with buyer after buyer saying, "Oh, darn, I love your car, and I really want it - but I can't get finance on it!".

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 19:30

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 19:30
Dex - Buy a Toyota in good condition and look after it. You'll have to beat buyers off with a stick when you come to sell it, if it's in good nick.
All other brands are just weeks of hard work and tyre kickers, when it comes to getting rid of them.

Consider buying a good vehicle at auction and selling it again at auction when you've finished with it.
Pick your day (rainy and mid-week), pick your vehicle (good service history), never bid until the hammer is first raised - and you will get a good buy.
Many auctioneers will sell good vehicles at a fixed price rather than send them to auction.
You could probably arrange to do this with the auctioneers when it comes time to sell. They will take a cut - but you will then have no worries, no advertising costs, no dills to deal with - and your money and vehicle are safe.

Cheers, Ron
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Follow Up By: Dexmoody - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 20:49

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 20:49
That's a great idea, Ron - I'll check with the auction houses here in Melbourne and check what their conditions are for private listings.

This could work out quite well because they would obviously handle the process and I wouldn't even need to be here!
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Reply By: Ozi M - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 20:43

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 20:43
I would be looking to rent, there are 4 x 4 companies out there, google and tell them upfront what you want to do.

By the time you buy and sell and possibly repair IMO it would be less hassle to rent and hand it back when going overseas.

I have never used these guys but they are only agents, you actually book with well known firms, why not ask and see how much they want
AnswerID: 590101

Follow Up By: Dexmoody - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 20:53

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 20:53
Thanks for your reply, mate.

I did check some rental outifts and it was still well above $10k for the three months. The other thing that put me off was that:

a) typically you can only travel certain routes and you need to get permission before you do (so there's limited flexibility)

b) Many tracks (even fairly mild ones) are off limits

c) You have to add another $25 per day or so to reduce the excess from $5,000 to below $1,000

I haven't checked this particular website though - maybe they can hook me up with a company that has better terms.

Thanks for the link!
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 06:03

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 06:03
Dex, if you do go down the rental path, NEVER EVER get the excess removal from the rental company.

Get travel insurance and make sure it has the same or higher excess value as the vehicle you are renting. It will cost a couple of hundred for 3 months instead of $25 per day. The only downside is that you may have to take a hit on your credit card for a few weeks if the insurance company processing is slower than the rental car processing if you have an accident.
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Reply By: Dexmoody - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 20:58

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 20:58
Just another follow-up question, guys:

Is it fair to assume that any equipment and modifications I add to the vehicle is essentially money down the drain because I won't recoup it in resale value?

I'm thinking things like:

- Bull bar
- Suspension Lift
- Roof Rack
- Drawer system
- Roof top tent
- Fridge
- Double-battery system
- Additional lighting

I guess some of the less permanently-attached items I could try and sell separately, but I'm not sure if I'll have the time and it'll be even more things to take care of!

So probably best to go for a vehicle that has most of the fruit already on it?
AnswerID: 590102

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 21:57

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 21:57
Dex, given your time-frame - short answer .... Yes. The moment you install new kit you're effectively at least halving the re-sale price straight away unless it's unused - even then you'll take a hit. Some kit holds its value, mainly due to it being desirable and not much on the 2nd hand market - quality fridges fall into this category and some high end camper trailers, but most 4wd kit will shed $$$ like the Greek stock-market once 2nd hand.

There's possibly two ways of avoiding this, viz:

1. buy 2nd hand kit - however you need time and patience

2. look at buying a older vehicle with some of the kit on it. It's not unusable to find older vehicles (like 80 series and early 70 series) with all the lollies (winches / dual tanks and battery systems / roof racks / bull-bars etc.) left on to make them more attractive for resale or they're not upward compatible for the next vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 22:07

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 22:07
Dex, example of what you can get with all the fruit from a search on carsales....

actually, not a bad bit of kit that one.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 22:11

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 22:11
looking at it - Turbo Deisel with all the trimmings & extras - you'd easily get over $20k after your trip on resale....
FollowupID: 858112

Follow Up By: Dexmoody - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 10:45

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 10:45
Hey Scott,

Thanks for taking the time to look through carsales.

It sure looks like a very well set up vehicle. What do you think about the price though? I'm just amazed that a 20 year old vehicle with $360k could fetch $25k.

Will it be easy to resell?

In contrast, I found something like this:

Of course, it's not a Toyota, but it's a lot newer and with considerably less kms - but also has most of the important modifications on it.

What would be easier to resell?
FollowupID: 858126

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 11:15

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 11:15
Dex, I was really using it as an example of what can be found with the goodies on it. Personally, given the mileage, I would probably offer less ($2-3k), however the turbo models are more popular than non-turbo models. I suspect the asking price is because of all the 'extras' on it. What you need to ask is how many of things are 'essential' for your trip. Certainly Long range fuel tanks, water capacity, bull-bar etc. would be desirable for most 4wd enthusiasts - whether you would use the winch is debatable.

Nothing wrong the Nissan. It has less goodies, however keep in mind any $$ you spend on mods you are not likely to get much back on resale. Most owners who spend money on expensive mods/kits are usualy looking to get value back over a longer term ( 3 or more years) - so your 3 month timeframe leaves you somewhat exposed on this front. Best thing to decide is what is essential and what is not. For example:
- is additional water capacity essential (most would say yes) and can you live with jerries or is some other arrangement preferable?
- do you really need a winch or certain recovery gear?
- what's your preferred sleeping arrangement?

The real secret here is to do your research - pick a few models you like (70 / 80 / GQ etc.) that you like and follow the prices on carsales and see what sells quickly and what doesn't. gbc's advice that newer models sell quicker and lose less is possibly/probably true ....
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Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 22:02

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 22:02
Asking $24.500 for a 20 year old cruiser even if it is " just run in " is not a recipe for a quick sale. Definitely an enthusiasts only prospect for a sale.
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Reply By: Sir Kev - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 11:24

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 11:24
What about a Dual Cab Landcruiser ;)

Only selling due to upgrading. Check out the Vehicle Classifieds for more info

Cheers Kev
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Reply By: TomH - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 15:51

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 15:51
These guys may be worth a look

I have used brokers overseas and got far better deals than going direct to the original hiring company EG got a car in USA for half what it would have cost direct from the supplying company and a free upgrade 2 levels cos they had run out of the size I ordered..
2nd time got similar with a free upgrade for 53 days with nil excess and no one way fees.
AnswerID: 590140

Reply By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 16:04

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 16:04
Have a look at the Jackaroo 3.5 V6 (1998 on). Might not be as easy to sell but at $4-7K there's not much to lose.
AnswerID: 590141

Reply By: GREG T11 - Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 21:36

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2015 at 21:36
Why is everyone going the wagon route, and big at that. No towing involved, one person what is the point? A vehicle like a Hilux with canopy would meet the criteria and opens up a massive range of options. 4 cyl rego and being a ute the market is not limited to family orientated buyers only.
Yes there are bucketloads for sale but you aren't investing in a overly specialised niche. 20 Grand can get low Ks and reasonable age units, and as someone else said the less you outlay the better your depreciation looks!
AnswerID: 590161

Reply By: Candace S. - Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015 at 04:09

Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015 at 04:09
Sounds like you're set against renting due to the cost of the hire, but be sure to consider all the angles.

I currently have a Troopy bushcamper booked with this outfit:
Travel Car Centre

For 50 days (11 May thru 29 June 2016), the rental charge will be $8750, plus I have to post a $2000 bond. That is with $1000 excess while on the bitumen, $2000 while on the dirt.

That $8750 may seem like a lot, but consider that if I have a breakdown, I just call them and they organize towing, repair, etc. If you are driving your own vehicle, obviously you are on your own, especially once you're on the 4WD tracks.

They also include (at no cost) camping and 4WD recovery equipment.

I've looked through this thread and it sounds like you are expecting to spend a lot of money on equipment for the vehicle. Add to that the amount of depreciation, especially if you have to sell quickly, and you're talking about a considerable sum of money anyway. And that's for a vehicle that may be 5-10 years old, maybe older?

As for limitations on where I can go, that vehicle is allowed on 4WD tracks except the CSR , Fraser Island & Old Telegraph Road. In your case, you may want to go off-track, or to one of those destinations. But in my case this vehicle can go anywhere I was thinking of visiting.

Also, I don't know exactly when you plan to travel...if it's soon, the good hire vehicles are probably already booked. Plus the rates vary depending on the time of year.
AnswerID: 590167

Reply By: Member - Journey into Unknown - Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015 at 15:34

Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015 at 15:34
Hello Dex,

As you would see everybody has an opinion and none are wrong.

For me the really name of the game is simplicity - you want reliability, comfort and capability.

We looked at many vehicles this past year and settled on an older Prado with a history of performance and maintenance - under bonnet shower, dual batteries supporting fridge in rear and other electronic items, snorkel, diff breathers (for the inevitable water crossings), quality shocks and suspension, bull bar, winch, driving lights, UHF radio, entertainment system (as the kilometres out there are long and continuous), fire extinguisher just in case, battery and tyre monitoring, air conditioning, drawers and fridge supporting life in the bush, recovery gear, spare parts including air filters particularly, quality rubber all around, capability to carry additional water and fuel so roof rack, definitely an external awning to provide some form of shade, carrying capacity for gas for cooking.

Our old girl was just over $10k and has proven bullet proof - sure we have maintained the regime to ensure that when we want to go we can, which even in the three month period you are looking to be away will be essential.

As was mentioned in a prior post, the lack of electronics has proven beneficial given that general capability of bush mechanics to assist and I would always travel with a repair manual along with all of the other suggestions in this forum.

Happy to sell her to you if you are keen - lol
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AnswerID: 590186

Reply By: PeterInSa - Sunday, Sep 13, 2015 at 16:53

Sunday, Sep 13, 2015 at 16:53

My understanding is that early 1996 80Series Landcruisers can be updated to tow 3500Kg with 350Kg on the towball of a compliant tow bar, after approval by a certified engineer in Vic and SA ( and relevant Gov Transport Dept in SA and in Vic?)

The engineer would need to check the vehicle and fill out the necessary paperwork. Probably cost $500 ( looked into this for a friend some years ago). Follow up with the Lcool Landcruiser forum to confirm this.

To me if the vehicle had the higher towing capacity it would be a lot easier to sell to someone wanting to tow a large tandem van.

To me the Turbo Diesels sell at a premium, friends Petrol/LPG similar age was purchased some years ago for under $10k.

AnswerID: 590311

Reply By: The Landy - Sunday, Sep 13, 2015 at 17:39

Sunday, Sep 13, 2015 at 17:39
As someone else has said, there won't be any wrong answers, but in reality the right answer will be very specific to you.

Given your time frames, and departure overseas, you appear to be placing a lot of stress on yourself in terms of worrying about resale. Who knows what it will be, too many factors will come into play, how much you pay for it, what you spend on it,and your expectations on buyers.

For my tip, I would go with Candice's post above.

You know what you will be up for right from the get-go and you can budget that and head off on a trip of a lifetime without worrying...


Baz - The Landy

AnswerID: 590315

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