I was there, 3000 years ago – basic unleaded was 49c/ltr and I was mad that I had to pay 50c/ltr. That was 1999 – how times have changed.

Cars are up at least 40% in the used car market and anything that is popular or wanted is basically “name your price”! In Australia, we have dealerships selling used STI’s for nearly AUD$200,000 and this (see photo below)  fantastic delivery kilometres at a whopping AUD$230,000. Apart from being the first of the last petrol STI’s to ever be made, there really is nothing special about them, in my opinion. No rally victories or fantastic speed or amazing tech and..dare I say it…it’s kind of boring and a tad ugly.

Yet it will most likely get near enough the $230,000 the owner is asking. Some collector will hide it in a container or shed and the poor little car won’t get driven at all. The 1999 GC8 has some pedigree that is worth looking into but again…$250,000? I have a GC8 WRX in blue, gold wheels, sunroof and STI interior. I paid $7000. I still have it. I won’t sell it.

One of the most popular segments is the ever busy 4×4 market. Who is to blame for this? YouTube? Probably. Instagram? Probably too. Maybe it’s just life in general has gotten so busy, fast paced & constrained. Work/life balance is so skewed to work at near 90% that people realised that there has to be more to life. Has to be, right?

The primal nomad has been awakened after 2 year of lockdowns and restrictions that people need to unplug & get away from it all. Watching people on Insta & YouTube getting out & about in adventure rigs, exploring the big backyard, got people wanting that exact escape.

Australians have always loved a road trip. As far back as anyone can remember, a right of passage when finishing year 12 is for an end of year roadtrip. One mate always had a car & if not the parents could lend the group one. Packed up your gear & off you went to the holiday sites. Caravan Parks were king back then as they were cheap. $10 would get you a powered site with full amenities…but now: Hotels, Motels, Backpackers and Air BnB and starting at an easy $100/night.

Road trips are part of an Australian way of life but since the spicy flu arrived & some states being locked away, it’s exactly what everyone needed… to get away. So we all bought a 4×4…..and every aftermarket crap we could get our hands on! Just looking at what new companies and existing companies have emerged and flourished in the last couple years definitely shows where the money is going. With that high demand comes the price increases.

I bought a Front Runner roof rack for my Touareg back in 2019 and that same roof rack today costs an extra $500! That’s an amazing increase. Is it pure profit or is it a combination of every component that goes into making that has also gone up? I think a combination of both but more 60/40 towards profit. Our local ARB store has gone from a small shop to this mega shop and I live in a relatively small town.

Monkey Mia 2006

Did I get something? Hell yeah. 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser – 50,000km & fully kitted out with everything to get started with off-roading and overlanding. So how much was it? $38,000. Pretty expensive according to Redbook but looking at the current crop of available rigs it’s a bargain. Nothing like this below $50,000 in the condition or miles. Will that price continue to go up? Hard to say. Probably not while the fuel prices keep skyrocketing but who knows. My gut says this particular model will stay expensive for a while to come.


So, we suddenly all want to get a 4×4 and become off-roaders and overlanders. This demand is so high it drove a 105 series asking price over $3.6million! Ok so we know it has to be a typo, so let’s take off the last two digits and that would still demand $36K for a car that has 339000km built in 2004 and those miles will not be a friendly grocery getter miles. So who are these people willing to spend this amount of money on a car that would normally sell for $15K? Also what bank/credit union is letting people borrow that kind of money on a car that old?

2004 Toyota Landcruiser GXL Manual 4x4 on Carsales 25/04/2022

Nobody has been allowed to fly for the past two years, so we drive. The holiday fund has been put into a 4×4 & caravan or a loan. Then the supply chain backlog creates other problems and we end up paying for stuff or waiting a long time to get it. Took me 6 months to get a long range fuel tank for the FJ in the hope that we can get out and drive to the mainland or at least explore the state. But then accommodation skyrockets. Can’t win. So how where too from here?

Everything is going up. Cost of living is at the highest it’s ever been. Do we stop living because it’s too expensive? We just need to find a way to keep living at a less glamorous way where possible. Don’t chase those YouTubers and Insta people as it’s not doable. Our grandparents did it on a shoe string budget, so maybe we are a bit spoied and need to chill out and grab that tent and just live.

Meander Valley, Tasmania