Importing Cars To Australia – Our Services

Car Import Australia specialises in privately imported and exported vehicles (all we do is vehicle shipping and customs clearance for vehicles). Due to this fact, from both a price perspective and service outcome, we are able to provide you with the best overall result.

Importing Cars to AustraliaYou will find that many of the more mainstream customs brokers and shipping companies will only provide you with general information about customs clearance and the associated costs.

Because our mainstream business is car shipping alone, we can offer specifics with regards to importing cars to Australia.

We are able to assist you with the importing of cars, motorcycles, boats, trailers, motor homes and caravans to Australia. We do not provide services for shipping any other form of commodities.

We can provide you with as much or as little assistance as you wish when importing your car to Australia, including advice on obtaining an import approval, full costings on importing the car, valuations for Duty / GST and LCT, and referral to specialist mechanics for compliancing. These areas are covered in more detail below.

The team at Car Import Australia can co-ordinate every aspect of importing your car to Australia. For an instant comprehensive quotation via email, simply click the button below ..

Import Approval

An import approval is required for all vehicles permanently imported into Australia. Approval can be granted as either ..

i. A Personal Import
ii. Pre 1989 Build

It is an offence to import a vehicle without an import approval. The penalties for this offence include a substantial fine in addition to having to re-export or scrap the vehicle. Import approval will not be granted once the vehicle has arrived at an Australian port.

Personal Import

In order to qualify for a personal import approval, there are very strict regulations in place. The restrictions that apply follow:

  • Only one car per person.
  • Vehicle owners must have long term residency.
  • The vehicle must have been owned and used in the overseas country for a minimum period of 12 consecutive months immediately before the applicant(s) arrive in Australia.
  • The application must be made within 6 months of the applicants arrival in Australia.

Pre 1989 Build

If the vehicle was built prior to the 1st January, 1989 there are no restrictions relating to importing the car to Australia.

Cost of Importing Cars to Australia

Once you are sure that your car fits into one of the above categories, the next step is to determine the cost of importing the car to Australia. Our quoting system can provide a comprehensive costing immediately by email for all costs up to delivery.

Our quotation also provides the contact details of the mechanics we recommend for compliancing.

Duty / GST

Duty / GST are applicable to vehicles imported to Australia, excluding re-imports by the original owner and, in some circumstances, vehicles obtained by way of settlement of a deceased estate.

Our vehicle valuations for Customs Clearance will ensure that you never pay too much in Customs Duty, GST or Luxury Car Tax (where applicable).

Duty is applicable if the car is less than 30 years old. Vehicles greater than 30 years old are Duty Free.

The GST that is payable to Customs is at the rate of 10% of the landed cost of the vehicle including Duty if any. The way the landed cost is calculated is by applying the purchase price of the vehicle (or current valuation if the vehicle is not a recent acquisition) plus all of the costs to get the vehicle to Australia.


You may be required to modify your car to “acceptable standard” if you intend to register your vehicle. Requirements vary from state to state.

Most modern cars do not require expensive modifications to bring them up to an ‘Acceptable Standard’ and it is normally more cost effective to have the modifications carried out in Australia.

Common modifications required are seat belts, child safety restraints, windscreens, head restraints, alarm immobilisers, rear vision mirrors and speedometers but these are becoming less of an issue with cars built since 2000.

The specialist mechanics that we recommend for compliancing will be able to answer any compliance questions you may have relating to the particular make & model of your car. Our preferred mechanics will bring your car to Australian registration requirements with a minimum of fuss and expense.

Please note – the vehicle may be kept unregistered indefinitely, however you will be unable to drive it without Australian registration (unless it is on a carnet and has valid current registration in the country of origin).

Cars to Import to Australia

Here at Car Import Australia, one of the most common questions get asked is “which cars are most worthwhile to import to Australia”.

Prestige cars that are rust free and air-conditioned (for example; Saab, Volvo, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar and Audi) and are still in great condition, are most worthwhile financially when considering shipping, as are many European models that have significantly depreciated within the country of origin.

Motor caravans are also often worthwhile importing from the UK as they are very expensive and tend to be of a lesser quality in Australia.

Available Routes

The specific shipping routes that are offered will change occasionally depending on the particular services that the various carriers are offering at the time.

If you have any questions relating to importing cars to Australia, please phone or email us for further details. If you would simply like to get an instant quotation via email, click the button below ..

Contact Car Import Australia

Disclaimer: Please Note – The above information is correct at the time of publishing. However, the Australian Government is continually updating the rules, regulations and duty rates for car imports. It is important that confirmation of any information or procedures is checked with the appropriate Authority in Australia.