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Moving Your Vehicle to Australia

Many people relocating to Australia wish to bring their motor vehicle with them.

Australia has very strict regulations on the importation of vehicles and no vehicle can enter the country without an Import Permit. Any vehicle that will be driven on Australian roads must have an Import Permit issued PRIOR to departing your country of origin. This includes, but is not limited to, motor vehicles, motorcycles, boat trailers, road trailers, caravans.

An application for a Vehicle Import Approval, with all necessary supporting documentation will generally be assessed by the Department of Infrastructure within 15 working days of receipt. This is a service target and in unpredictable peak periods, it may not be met. This process will take longer if any further information or clarification is required, if the necessary supporting documentation is not initially provided, or if the original application is incomplete. For further information regarding importing your vehicle please click on the following link to the Department of Infrastructure and Australian Customs and Border Control.

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Australian Car Import Laws 

If you are planning on importing your car or road vehicle into Australia, then it’s important you understand all of the laws and regulations you need to meet during this process. In order to import your vehicle, you will first need to contact the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts to gain the appropriate approval. 

Once you have filled out and sent through your Application for Approval to Import a Vehicle form, you will have to wait for the department to sign off on your submission. There are certain conditions that your vehicle must meet in order to gain approval for entry into the country.

These include: 

  • The vehicle must not have any asbestos inside of it. 
  • It must meet all of the safety and emission standards that are relevant to all Australian vehicles. 
  • If your vehicle fails to meet these standards, then there must be clear arrangements made to modify the vehicle soon after arrival. 

Your vehicle won’t need to be registered in your state’s transport department to clear Australian customs, so long as the vehicle still has a valid registration in its country of origin and you make plans to transfer these details as soon as possible. The vehicle will need to be deemed roadworthy before it can be registered in your new state. 

Finally, there is a period of quarantine your vehicle must go through after being imported to Australia to ensure the eradication of any pests or diseases it may be carrying.

Useful Forms for Australian Car Imports:

The forms on this page are a useful guide to assist you in what is required when relocating to Australia. If you have any questions regarding these forms please do not hesitate to contact our Import Coordinators.

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Australia Vehicle Import: 5 Steps 

If you have decided on bringing your vehicle with you to Australia, what are the actual steps you need to follow to make this a reality? While transporting your car or motorcycle to Australia may feel like an overwhelming task, as long as you follow these 5 steps, you should get through the process with minimal stress: 

Step 1:

Research what you need to do to import your vehicle into Australia. Eligibility requirements are different from vehicle to vehicle and depending on what country you are travelling from. For this reason, you don’t want to be caught off guard if your application isn’t successful because you didn’t do enough research at the start. 

Step 2:

Fill out an application form. This can be done online, which will also require you to supply photo ID and pay the $50AUD application fee. 

Step 3:

Once you receive your successful approval notice from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts, make sure you read it carefully. There may be certain conditions listed that you need to meet before the approval process is finalised. 

Step 4:

To pack and ship your vehicle overseas, make sure you get the assistance of an experienced international moving company

Step 5:

Double and triple check that you have met all of your entry conditions before going on this journey. 

By completing these steps, you should hopefully have a smooth experience moving your vehicle into Australia.

Importing a Vehicle to Australia FAQs

Is it difficult to move your car from the US to Australia?

Shipping a car from the US to Australia can be complex. It involves adhering to Australian regulations, quarantine requirements, and modifications to meet local standards.

Engaging a professional shipping company can simplify the process, ensuring all legal and logistical aspects are handled efficiently.

How expensive is it to move a car to Australia?

Moving a car to Australia can be quite costly. Expenses include shipping fees, import duties, GST, and compliance modifications to meet Australian standards.

Costs often range in the thousands of dollars, depending on the vehicle and shipping method. Engaging a professional can help navigate these costs effectively.

How challenging is it to import your motorcycle to Australia?

Importing a motorcycle to Australia is challenging due to having to meet regulations and quarantine requirements. The process includes obtaining an import permit, ensuring the motorcycle meets Australian standards, and paying import duties and taxes.

Hiring a professional shipping company can streamline the process and help manage the legal and logistical complexities involved.

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