Shipping Your Car To Australia, Buy Cars Online - Auction Export

Shipping Cars to Australia

We take all the hassles out for you if you wish to ship your car to Australia. We not only give you a detailed information about everything which needs to be done but personalized quotes from various top line shipping companies are made available to you. All this is totally FREE of cost.

There are many things to be understood if you are considering shipping your car to Australia and we will take them up one by one:

Before the shipping-

While considering shipping your car to Australia it is important that you familiarize yourself with all matters or problems which can arise when the car reaches Australia. This will prepare you for all the formalities and reduce the stress. Prior to the actual shipment of the car you must know whether the car needs any physical modifications to meet the local standards and all the taxes which must be paid. The latter may help you decide whether taking the car all the way to Australia is worthwhile or not. Your total car shipment expenditure will include customs duties, freight, insurance, entry processing charges, steam cleaning for quarantine purposes, state or territory registration charges and other miscellaneous transport and wharf charges.

Importing your car-

Prior to being able to drive in Australia, your car will have to be cleared through customs, quarantined and registered and a Vehicle Import Approval given. Valid car insurance and meeting safety requirements are a must. You can get hold of a copy of the “Guide to the Importation of Privately Owned Motor Vehicles or Motor Cycle" which gives you full information and also tells you the valuation category in which your car falls.

The first step-

The Vehicle Import Approval which is given by the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch of the Department of Transport and Regional Services has to be first procured. A visitor visa and the original overseas registration are necessary for the approval. As the permit may take up to 21 days of processing it is advisable to begin the procedure fairly early much before the actual shipment of the car. The only exception to this rule is if the car was brought back to Australia and the owner was the same at the time of export and import. A form can be got at this address:

The Administrator of Vehicle Standards
ACT Federal Office of Road Safety
GPO Box 1553
Canberra Australia 2601

Customs Clearance-

Customs duty is in accordance with the type of vehicle. Goods and Service Tax is applied and sometimes a LCT or Luxury Car Tax is also levied. A special $12000 duty is imposed if no Vehicle Import Approval is forthcoming.

Transaction value method-

Customs duty is based on the transaction value which is the real cost of the vehicle. This has to be proved by the bill of payment in case the vehicle was bought for the sole purpose of importing to Australia. Some freight and insurance reduction is permitted but if no proof of the bill of payment is available then the transaction method is not allowed.

Alternate method of Evaluation- Fall Back technique

In case the transaction method is inapplicable other methods are applied wherein qualified people assess the landed value. Necessary reductions are made by the customs to arrive at the actual customs value.

Import of a car manufactured in Australia-

Eliminating customs duty is possible if the car has been owned and used by you overseas and no taxes in Australia are pending. The GST and LCT have to be paid wherever applicable.

Temporary Import-

It is possible for a temporary resident or tourist to import a car for up to a year without shelling out for customs duty. But you need to have any of the following:

  1. Any organization of your country which has an agreement with the Automobile Association of Australia has to issue a Carnet de Passages de Douanes which contains all the details of the vehicle. It is like a car passport and contains its registration number, model, make, color, seating arrangement, engine capacity, value and the owner’s name. Proof of identity (EOI) of the person who is bringing in the car is necessary if the carnet is being used.
  2. Under Section 162 of the Customs Act, a bank or cash security including the duty, GST and LCT (where applicable) for payment at Customs is required for cars over 15 years of age or vehicles which meet the design needs. The Customs and Department of Transport has to give permission to release the vehicle and the car has to fulfill the regional service requirements.

Loss of your car -

If your car gets lost in Australia it must be reported at the original port of arrival.

A point to note-

If exported, all the items present in the car at the time of import should also be present in the car at the time of export.

Disposal of car-

You cannot dispose of your car or even lend it unless all the criteria are met and special permission is granted. Similarly, mortgage, selling or exchange is also not possible.


Steam cleaning of all imported vehicles is done and the vehicle inspected thoroughly for any poisonous insects, weeds or illnesses.


It is advisable to choose a good car insurance plan and for yourself too. Insurance is normally in the form of third party insurance.

The Motor Vehicles Standards Act of 1989

For a motor to be permitted within Australia the vehicle must comply with all the safety and emission standards of the country or modifications must be made at a prescribed center.

Safety standards

Safety conditions include working headlights and tail lights, indicator lights for the brake and for changing directions, effective brakes, windscreen wipers in good working condition, seat belts(if fitted) and child restraints(if fitted). No oil leaks will be tolerated and the tires should have the minimum tread depth.Under new regulations, the R12 or the air conditioning CFC gas is banned and HCFC gas or R134A may be imported with a license. A ‘no CFC gas’ certificate from an air conditioning or refrigeration company on their letterhead may prove to be useful.

Vehicle Registration

For vehicle registration the customs has no authority. The Motor Vehicle Registration authorities of your state of residence will have to be consulted to understand the requirements before importing your vehicle. For this, you will need the current registration papers, passport and visa, driver’s license, international driving permit, insurance and Carnet or Vehicle Import Approval (VIA).

Shipping -

Many companies are shipping cars to Australia and you can choose the one whose quotes suits you the best. The actual transport service is either door-to-door service or port-to- port in Australia. The former will let you hand over the car very near your residence and the collection will be similar in Australia. It is the more expensive of the two.For shipping your car to Australia you have the option of a trailer service or a container service. For these services to be possible the roads to your house have to be broad and without ant overhanging branches or low bridges. This is so that large trailers and hauling vans can pass the roads. The container service transports your car safely within a container and is saved from foul weather conditions till it reaches its Australian destination. You can also avail of a system called the RORO service in which your car is rolled into and off the ship directly into ships which transports only cars.It is possible to track your car online; so make it a point to know the pertinent website. Phone numbers of the shipping company must be noted down for contact in case a crisis or any doubts arise. If your representative is delivering or collecting your car, a photo id should be carried by that person for identification by the company.Certain expenditure including customs clearance and transport insurance are presented in the bill at the beginning of the shipping itself and payment has to be made in full. The company takes acre of the customs clearance and the insurance is for possible theft, damage, fire and loss.

When you hand over –

The car must be absolutely spick and span. Any soil under the car has to be cleaned off totally as Australia is very particular about this. Any insecure items in the car must be removed, the antenna must be retracted and the vehicle should have undergone necessary safety modifications. The fuel tank should contain only enough fuel to drive to a fuel station and all alarm systems should be disabled.Copies of all the relevant documents and duplicates of car keys should be handed over to the company.If the height of the car is less than 7 feet, the company must be informed. If ground clearance is less than 6 inches, the shipping company again should be informed.The car has to be in good driving condition and the car tires must possess the medium tread which is required in Australia. Windscreen wipers should be working properly, spare tire must be secured, no leaks are permissible and lights have to be standardized.Take your first step to shipping a car to Australia; fill in our online estimate form with full details and you will hear from us very soon with customized quotes from topnotch shipping companies. All that is left for you to do is then simply choose the company for shipping your car to Australia and we will take care of the rest for you.

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