Car sellers on Victoria Street ‘are not all backpackers’

Travellers Auto Barn Sydney branch manager Richard Swanton has hit back at claims in today’s Daily Telegraph that backpackers are clogging up Sydney streets trying to sell campervans before leaving Australia.  

He visited Victoria Street in Potts point yesterday – one of the worst-affected areas according to the Tele – and found one man with three vans for sale who was clearly not a backpacker.

Swanton told Thumbrella: “It was a little difficult to get info out of him, however it looks like freelance ‘car sellers’ – I won’t use the word ‘dealer’ – are taking advantage of the fact that Victoria Street and other places have become the new underground car market.”

Travellers Auto Barn has set up a website – – where people can list their car for sale for free.

0 thoughts on “Car sellers on Victoria Street ‘are not all backpackers’

  • March 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Richard is correct there are very few cars here on Victoria Street at the moment. This distracts from the reality of the dozens of cars and vans that would be on the street from September to February. The article is part of a grass roots campaign that has included appearances on radio stations, letters to various levels of government and a petitions signed by many residents and business owners in the area, to find a permanent solution for travellers to sell their cars privately by displaying them in one area. The campaigns’ goal is to find this solution before the chronic problem begins again in September.

    The guy Richard is refering to is probably “David” who has been there for years selling card and vans to backpackers.

  • March 11, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Having been a backpacker, I can think like a backpacker!

    Imagine you are at the end of your trip, you are nearly out of cash and you have time in Asia to look forward to, before you get back to mainstream and looking for a job in Europe!

    All the money you need for the next 6 weeks is tied up in your car / van / 4×4 … but at this point in your life, you are ‘time rich’ and cash poor …
    So if it takes 3 weeks to sell your car, and for three weeks you get to chillax, share stories with other backpackers and plan your Asia trip, it is not the horror story that the mainstream would imagine, the mainstream being ‘time poor’ and cash rich!

    Totally agree, that selling on the street is not desirable, I feel sorry for the coffee shop selling $5 a cup coffee with 6 backpackers brewing coffee on the pavement outside … but where should the sellers go?

    In 2008, I started an on-line “FREE” website for backpackers to advertise their cars on the web.
    The idea being that as soon as a car is bought, it should be advertised immediately with the departure city and month. In that way, the owner maybe able to link with a buyer en-route from Europe.
    Unfortunately, most backpackers are still waiting to the end of their trip to advertise their cars … but our software engine is there to help with the problem.
    The good thing about the web is the buyer does not need to sit with the car in Victoria street, they could chill @ the beach or in the mountains … I think that WILL happen, it is just taking a while to kick in.

    Our site is HCC (holidaycarclub), it is 100% free, no catches, no gotcha’s … from one backpacker to others, it is fun to run the site and good to help.

    Another good option is of course to buy a car with a buy-back, which obviously Peter and Richard would love :-) There are other companies doing this too of course … so HCC has a review section to that good customer service can be measured and rewarded publicly.
    We will re-launch our review on our front page next week, along with a Dutch version and very soon a German version 😉

    Backpackers spend more money that the average tourist, they bring a fortune to Australia and spend the lot … so lets look after them and view them as the national treasure that they are :-)
    Some even stay a bread 😉

    Ivan ex-backpacker, father of two beautiful Australian girls & founder of holidaycarclub

  • March 11, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Could not edit the post above. Before submitting I did not notice Peter is from Great Aussie Backpackers, and not from the same company as Richard … sincere apologies to Peter as I know the two are not linked in any way.


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