Importing Your Car into Australia

Car in Container

Importing Your Car into Australia

Importing your UK car ?

It won’t just be the cost of shipping……. Don’t forget to check out the cost’s you will incur at this end as well.

  • Import Duty
  • GST
  • Cleaning Costs
  • Safety Checks
  • Conversion costs – speedometer being one example.

It can work out quite expensive, and there is a LOT of paperwork involved. Here are a couple of government links to look at:.

and of course… does your car have air conditioning ? If not, depending on the area you move to, you may almost certainly have to get it installed, for your own comfort. I couldn’t live without air con in a car, to me it is much more important than air con in the house.

HFC Air conditioning may need to be degassed before shipping.
CFC Air Conditioning must be permanently disabled prior to shipment, as it is illegal to import into Australia.

Is your car capable of having it installed in this country ? and at what cost ? Some models of cars are on one of two government lists:

Table of Eligible Vehicle Models for SEVS

Table of Not Eligible Vehicle Models for SEVS

It may be worth checking these lists before anything else. I am not sure if anything can be done about vehicles on the Not Eligible list.

Car in ContainerHere’s another possible useful link:

  • Austrade – Vehicle shipping pages
  • Karman Shipping – UK Based Car Shipping Agents, this site has a calculator to help work out overall costs.

Karman Shipping Ltd, originally established in 1984 by Richard Korge, is a car shipping and forwarding agent specialising in the shipment of motor vehicles from the UK to Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.
Their offices are located in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.



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Thankyou!! The info on the links you have are awesome. I’m thinking as the car I’m wanting to import is a pre 1989 vehicle my task maybe some what easier to arrange. I’m still not sure as to actually purchasing the vehicle. I’m reading that I have to supply registration details and proof of modifications if any etc, but I haven’t actually paid for the vehicle as yet. My concern is that if I purchase the vehicle and have it stored in the Uk, what happens if I cannot manage to import it? Decisions decisions lol.

Hello! I’m a British expat now an Australian citizen. I’ve been living in Brisbane since 2007. I’m wanting to import a pre 1989 Ford Capri 2.8i which I’m thinking of buying over the internet from the UK. The cars Uk value is only £3000. I want to own the car for sentimental reasons and I know the value is not great and will probably not be worth the money and hassle importing it. Nonethe less I would like to try. Any advice would be appreciated.

Just another thing that helps when importing a car from the UK, is that Australia tends to take a lot of ADR regs from the Euro ECE regulations. I found that this helped with getting the old black cab on the road here. Initially if you wanted to import from the UK , you were also required to bring in a 2nd vehicle for crash testing! This stopped around some time ago, due to a lot of ex pat poms moving to Australia & bringing vehicles with them. It was actually the fact that ECE reg cars actually exceeded ADR regs by 3 yrs! This is still the case even now. DOTARS won’t tell a prospective importer that, so if you want to beat the minimum 15 yr age limit, try and get a full report on your UK vehicles spec, download the current ADR regs, match the imports to that, then photocopy the ADR & ECE DOCS, then send to DOTARS as proof of how the UK vehicle is in fact ready to register! You will still need a blue slip, but No Mods to the vehicle should be required. Won’t be easy , but can be done.

I imported a London Taxi into Sydney a few yrs ago. The biggest costs importing were 10%GST, 15% Import duty , 22% sales tax, both calculated on amount paid for the car, $2500 shipping costs from the UK, $8500 customs brokerage fees, $800 blue slip, which included just minor mods for ADR COMPLIANCE, then the usual rego, ins, ctp charges. Did add substantially to the cost of the car. But a pristine condition FX 4 that’s almost in showroom condition should fetch the high $30-35,000 mark. Believe me, it’s far easier to comply a vehicle ex UK or South Africa, than it is from the US or Japan, where things like seatbelts ,windows, lights etc all have to be changed. Then you have the LHD to RHD conversion costs if the vehicle is from the States. At least cars from the UK/SouthAfrica, only minor mods are required. Windows, belts, lights etc all comply with our ADR Regs. It’s only things like child restraint points,the thickness of a doors side intrusion bars, etc,etc. Food for thought when importing from O/S.

What was the total cost all up? My Dad’s looking at doing the same as something to do on the side while he enjoys his retirement. I suggested he get a newer one, less than 10 years old so he can do Uber as well. Uber won’t let you drive with a car over 10 years old. Needless to say those taxis are sort of rare here. Any advice?

I want to import a 1983 Rover SD1 3500 (massive The Bill fan… lol. My partner’s family made their fortune in shipping, imports/exports etc and are based out of Singapore, with offices in the UK, Australia and around the world, so for me the shipping part will be quite easy. While there are a few around, I could probably buy the car by the end of the week, I just don’t know the physical aspects, like once I find the car, buy it and then what? Some geeza has my car and my money, can I trust him to get it all sorted and take it to a Port? How does that work? argh!!!

Total cost for my FX 4 S back in 2008 drive away $50,000. That included exchange rates, the car , repairs, AC, new Leather seating, Shipping, Customs fees , GST, import duties AQUIS Fees, Port handling charges, Blue Slip, Pink Slip, Rego , Ins & CTP. Not cheap, but worth it. Easier & cheaper for RHD cars & not LHD vehicles.

If you wanted a newer cab , you could buy one & own it for 12 months before importing it here. As long as you can provide any relevant info to DOTARS, Re ownership, UK Rego & compliance date, name of UK vehicle importer & Australian customs broker & shipping company, you should be fine. A relevant MOT inspection & documentation regarding whether the vehicle is rust free etc will also be required by DOTARS here.

The normal method to the import duty is the vehicle should be, the value of the vehicle from the county of origin converted to AUD$ plus freight and insurance. This figure then if it goes over, the luxury car tax will come into play. Be aware there is a new LCT threshold with a fuel economy.
If you are importing into Brisbane get in contact with New Prestige World, PH 07 3207 3300

with any of the above queries, one thing is not clear to me. When Australia calculates the luxury tax (if applicable) is this based on the value you paid in £ (incl duty and GST added) multiplyed by the current exchange rate and not the value of the car if bought in Australia?


Thanks for the link ABCDiamond.

I was wondering if you could kindly put me in the right direction regarding importing a car from the UK to Oz.
The car is a Datsun 240z 1972 Classic.
I am struggling with the import licence and would happily pay an agent to deal with this for me.

Thanking you.

can student visa holder import vehicle from japan?

Im student visa holder,all i want to know am i eligible to import a car from japan? Im not japan citizen also i did not own this car before

Hi Everyone,

So I am in the position whereby the company I am working may be sending me to the UK for a minimum 12 month period from Australia.
So I am looking at purchasing a car there in the 40KGBP price range. So thats Porsche 911 Turbo / Audi R8 price ranges then bringing it back to Australia.

I am looking for maximum return on investment. Any cars you would suggest?
Any other suggestions/Tips/Etc?


Hi I have already imported a Nissan navara to Australia in 2010 .
I sold the car in 2011 as I had to come back to the Uk due to family member getting sick in the UK.this was very profitable .
We are now heading back as we have no ties left but would like to take 2 cars with us my wife’s vw passat estate 2009 and my 2007 Nissan navara I know it is well worth doing!!!! But I’m not shore if I am allowed to take mine as I have already imported a car in the last 5 years can anyone help with this ??

I have read all of the comments on here some are fiction some are are fact.
Heres what it cost me to import 2 cars into queensland.

2002 BMW 530D UK value at the time £5000
2003 Audi TT quattro 225bhp £15000

shipping with insurance with Pickfords £1000 for 2 cars
import duty $2300 for 2 cars
stamp duty $600 for 2 cars
rego 12 months $1200 for 2 cars
blue compliance plates $800 for 2 cars ( i got ripped off here)
cars value landed in Aus Bmw $25000 Audi $35000

Now a few facts.
1/ You must have owned the car for 12 months or more before you can apply.
2/ you have to send the original invoice for the purchase + copys of the previous insurance + copys of the v5 +copys of your passport showing that you have resided in the uk 12 months prior+ a current australian Visa!!!!!

If your not an australian citizen or hold a residency visa for get importing a car its not going to happen. Dont bother if your on a student visa or a sponsored visa or holiday visa.

All this as to submitted to Canbera which takes about 6 weeks when you have been succsessful you get a certificate for shipping and the counterfoil goes to the dock in aus were the cars will land if you dont get the approval theres 2 options ship back to the uk or the crusher!!

It is worth the effort to ship the right type of cars forget your focus or fiesta or vectra Mid range bmw, audi, are the best cause they are 3or 4 times the price here in Australia. The marque cars like rage rovers and x5 porche and the likes are worth the effort but you will be slapped with luxury car tax on top.
You should only import a car here if you plan on keeping it for a few years dont try and make a profit its not worth the effort.
As for insurance theres loads of companys who insure imported cars i pay less than my wife for her autsralian car!!

I have been here for nearly 5 years now and one thing i have learned is that the Australian Goverment RIP OFF !! there own people with the price of cars its unbelivable the only thing that is cheaper in Australia is Petrol and thats it!!!!!!!! i hope this helps

Is it true that a UK car has to have its seat belt system changed to be legal for caring children and this is a requirement whether you do or not. I have been quoted $500.

This is for New South Wales district

Does anyone if you have to own the vehicle in the UK for 12months before it can be imported?

So I understand I have to have owned the car for 12 months, with insurance etc, but do i need to be in the country for the whole 12 months? I want to buy something now, insure it, go to work/live in oz in approx 3 months leaving the car here, then come back here and get the car after I have owned it for 12 months to import to oz. Is that OK?

thanks for the reply, but im still confused… when would my stay be classed as permanent? would it be when i start work on a employer sponsored visa? or after i have applied for residency? (all going well!)… i have also done more research and someone told me that they will ask how many days i have spent out of the country in the last year… i need to know if i buy the car today, go to work in oz in 3 months time and live 9 months of the year out of country, will they let me import it?

I’m afraid that anyone on here stating that importing a luxury car to Australia is just not worth it is deluded!
We bought an X5 new in UK for 45K GBP. we had to keep if for a year before shipping (2.5K GBP). Import taxes and rego, (we had it detailed before it left UK and Australian Customs DID NOT steam clean it). I took the trouble of putting new tyres on and wrapping them in clingfilm: Customs saw the effort we’d put in and passed it straight through.
All up the import costs were about $10K AUD. Add that to the new price UK (exchange rate 1.5 GBP to AUD ) and we’re looking at 75K AUD to bring a one year old BMW X5 in and road legal. The same car in a local dealer is 130K AUD. Our car is exactly the same as the Aus model.
Regarding old cars, don’t believe anyone who says costs are close!! I had to buy a “stand in” vehicle whilst the X5 was en route to Oz. A 2005 Mtsubishi Triton (Ute) cost 23K AUD on the road – Over 16K GBP!!!! You can buy those for less than 5K GBP (7.5K AUD) in the UK.
Australia is a total rip off at all levels and price brackets when it comes to cars.
I would guess that some here are car dealers or have a business interest in cars to post anything else!!

What company did u ship with?

I am looking to take my Volvo c30 r design 2010 to oz , I will be migrating and have employment , my concern lies with the fact my car was a cat D insurance right off which is the lowest level, it was just panel damage but too high in price to repair, will I be able to take it with me I intend to keep the car not sell

Thanks Martyn

Hi Guys.

Can anyone help me here.

2003 Landcruiser Diesel, which has done 90,000 km’s in the UK is up for sale for 2795 pounds, which is approx $4500 dollars.

The equivalent car over here is going for $35k

So in the UK = $4500

In Oz = $35k

Would it be worth importing this car from the UK and if so do you know roughly how much I would pay to get it on the road in Oz…?

I appreciate your help 🙂

Hi Jeremy,

Sounds like good advice after all the research I have done . I’m looking to import a €20k pre1989 , 911. All up , I guess $8k aus costs. And keeping and improving it as a hobby.

I have looked at tauras logistics , whom claim to take care of everything, any advice on these guys or a similar company. I have some one in either ireland or England to sort that side, thanks for the help in advance, cheers t

Hi guys,

I’m reading comments from a few of you saying ‘do your research’, but it seems there’s an absence of this all round. So as to clear up some of the misconceptions….. (nb. I have imported hundreds of cars to aus from Japan, us and Europe since 1998……)

1. You pay 5% duty on purchase cost only. Gst is levied at 10% of landed cost.
2. You must have owned the car in your name for 12 months at least. No ifs or buts.
3. Depreciation is not considered. Your taxes are levied at your original purchase price.
4. Luxury car tax applies at 33% for the excess over $60K AUD landed cost. Some exemptions are possible, however limited.
5. You can’t get approval to import if on a holiday. Well, not an approval that allows you to sell…car must be repatriated with you in these cases. You must provide evidence that you are coming as a resident, most likely with employment pre-arranged.
6. Those who talk of the high prices for selling cars in aus are dreamers with no actual experience. Trust me on this, when you have a car without australian delivery heritage, you get far, far less. Let’s take your 400k lamborghini example…. One of these may ask for 400k, but actually sells for 360. If non Australian delivered, you won’t get 300. Simple fact of the market guys…overseas imports must be priced at a discount to sell.
7. You’ll also find more procedural on costs and bureaucracy than you first think.

I’m not saying its not worth it, but I am stating that it is more expensive, more problematic, more time consuming and less profitable than you think. There’s also a forex risk that perhaps few of you are aware of too..


Thanks for a very factual reply.
I am just contemplating buying and importing a new porsche boxster and haven’t done the maths yet but if the standard car can be had duty free but designed to suit aus compliance I have the ability to keep it in Europe for 12 months to satisfy this ruling:( I am retired and with Italian residency as well as uk and aus passports)
a)will value landed be based upon duty free price plus import costs?
b)assuming that Aus compliance plates can be had if built for australia?
c) even allowing for some luxury car tax over $60k the new standard car is 37.5k pounds x 1.5=$56k less vat of approx 20% the base price landed should be about 60- 70 $k so if then adding aus 5% duty the figure is much lower than aus$ price of about $115k.
I am slightly familiar with the process as I imported a 911 in mid 70’s with no duty at that time.
Am I being over optimistic and have I covered the important bases of compliance and approx costs?

Hi all,

further to my original comment (importing an A7) I’ve since changed my mind, based mostly on limited avail cash at the moment!
I was very close to buying the A7, but wanted to check some more details. I called a couple of Audi dealers in Australia to ask about a potential future trade in (say, 2015). They said as a rule, they can’t take a personal import as trade in due to potential differences between local and imported models (true for the A7, which is only avail as a quattro in Oz, while my intended car was 2WD).

I was left with the option of either keeping a nice car for the life of the vehicle (a good prospect), or trying to sell privately (which may be more difficult). As such, I suggest importing if you plan to keep the car for a long time for your own enjoyment, not really as a money-making venture.

Same. I’m looking at importing a Porsche 911 (cost £30k) with me when I return to Australia. Oz valuation is $90-100k. Surely some money to be made there? But a bit of a risk nonetheless. Anyone done this succesfully yet?

I was looking at buying a Lamborghini for around the 150.000 to 200.000 pound mark from the UK and shipping it to Victoria in Australia. I was just seeing if it would be worth it because the Lamborghini im looking at now is 450.000 dollars and i would like to know how the shipping prices works and taxes for Australia

im trying to import a brand new porsche 911 turbo from uk to aus would i save money if i just buy it in aus

I am considering buying a demonstrator Audi A7 here in the UK – about 35k pounds. They cost a fortune back home in Australia – about A$140k. I will hold on to it for the year I’m in the UK for work and then return it home.

I’m not sure how the Aust govt will value the car in order to assess the duties. I wonder what the car will be worth after a year’s depreciation? Any thoughts from the folks here?


I have pretty much the same issue. I want to buy an Audi A5 in the UK and ship it back Aus in 12mths. And further to your question, is there perhaps a specialist agent in the UK that can handle or this for a fee?

Very helpful comments. My conclusion is that there may be some financial benefit in importing from the UK -> AUS but there are risks and it’s probably not worth the hassle.

I am going on holiday to Oz for 3 months, considering staying there longer if it goes well.

I have been considering taking my car over there, possibly selling it as its getting old now. Will need to get myself a nice new one when i come back…

I have a few questions for you folks.

I have read that if I sell my car while out there, i will pay GST and Duty etc. Which I have worked out is worth it…

Problems is conflicting references. If anyone has any advice, I would be very grateful.

see below

section 162


I read that you are only allowed to import cars that you have own for at least 12 mths into Australia? Is that correct? If so how do I buy a car off the internet or ebay?

I looked into bringing my BMW over, as they seem very expensive in Australia compared to the UK. On the face of it, it looks like a good idea, but don’t forget that the resale value of the car may not be as good as an Australian spec car, and people cant check the history of the car as easily either.
I didn’t bother in the end, because there wouldn’t be much financial benefit in my situation. Also, you get to go and look for a new car when you arrive which is always fun!

can you please advise me to the costs involved in importing a car from essex uk to perth western australia please…thanks

£2000 shipping don’t bother having it steam cleaned because you will still have to have it done in OZ
cost $550
£120 for the car to be picked up from you home.
import duty and GST depends on the valuation here ours is a Vauxhall Vectra 2007 valuation in UK £3500 here $9000 we had to pay $1550.15
Inspection $90
Import plate $86
car plates $24
Rego (this depends on the weight of the car) our is about $600
Imported cars. The only company I can find to insure it is Just Cars and it is $750

Importing your UK car to Oz – unless it is a really special model – dont bother. Prices of cars here and the deals possible (new or second hand) you will win hands down buying here.

one quick search of ebay destroys your argument!

Search a Range Rover in the UK versus in Aus – 40-50% cheaper in the UK…

& importing a vehicle prior to Jan 1st 1989 where the laws are much more favourable is even cheaper still.

do some research.


I would say it all depends on the exchange rate – and with the rate right now, for more expensive cars, buying in australia with uk pounds you take over with you is financially daft – ie, take your uk car with you.

Absolute rubbish, I’m just importing my Audi A4 which is a 2009 model and I can sell it in Australia and get more money than i orginally paid out for it even after paying GST/import and shipping! The price of luxury cars here is ludicrous! $120,000 for an A5 convertible which costs you £40,000 in the UK! do some research. You can even buy an old Audi TT for circa £3000 and the equivalent costs you $15,000 here

Right on the money. The so called luxury car market in Australia is out of control. Look at any model BMW 2007 and older and you pay approximately 40% more in Australia. Recent example – same KMs, same average stats on a Z4 coupe – $49,000 here in Australia; in the UK – with exchange rate at January 29 2012 – $17,700. Do the maths – once you pay approximately $10k in all fees – you are still $22,000 ahead……..

I tend to agree with you,this is why they call it the Lucky Country ,for rip off’s merchants ,nothing is cheap here.Cars over seas are a lot cheaper it is about time for the Australian public got a fair deal on imported goods.

It’s not worth it, it’s a nightmare. We are just going through it now, just got the car after 20 weeks, but this did include 7 weeks waiting for an import licence.
Nothing but trouble and EXTRA expence from day one.
If shipping company tell you the import duty is one the valuation of the car in the UK it’s not true, the valuation is on the value that they decide here, which in our case was double!!!
Also when you get it here and have it inspected and passed you then have to send off for an import plate before you can get it register and at this time you can’t get in insured because it is not registered in Australia.
As I say AGAIN don’t do it, just get what you can in the UK and buy another on here.

You said the tax is a percentage of the Australian value of the car not the uk price
Does this not mean that when you eventually got the car changed over its worth had doubled?
Surely worth bringing it to Oz then?

I’m sorry you are wrong. I am a customs approved valuer. When I vehicle is imported into Australia & you do not have a receipt or you have owned the vehicle for a period of time overseas, the vehicle is valued as the Australian Landed Value, this means what I / valuer believes the unit is worth in the country of origin PLUS the freight & insurance costs. Let’s say I value your car at $10,000 & freight & insurance costs say $2,500 = $12,500 australian Landed Value you will pay 5% duty on $10,000 = $500 add this to you Australian Landed Value of $12,500 plus your duty $500 = $13,000 x 10% GST = $1,300 so duty & GST = $1,800. Regards Kevin London Automotive Valuation Services of Australia brisbane

HI Kevin
if you could email that would be great,just want some general advice..
I Have owned a car in the uk for only a few months and would like to bring it over to QLD…
is you equation the same regardless of how much you value the car for.. value it at $50000,do i pay 5% and then 10% on that?then obviously shipping costs.
Thanks Dean

Hi Dean, I am the new owner of AVSA and Bring my car to Australia. Yes the equation is still the same until you go over the luxury car tax. However that does change now if the vehicle is a fuel efficient model. If it has a combined fuel consumption of 7lts per hundred klms or less
the tax raises to over $70K.We can help you with Valuation for customs, compliance and registration of your vehicle. Please have a look at our web sight and it has a lot of information and our contact details. Thanks Kent.

I’ve been told if you import a car into Brisbane you need to have a Qld license before you can register it. Does anyone know if this is true?

Hi James, you need either a CRN (customer reference number) or a QLD drivers license before you can register the vehicle in QLD. Kent

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