How to Import a Car into Australia

  • Posted 17 Jun

How to Import a Car into Australia

In some cases, importing a car into Australia may be your only option, particularly if you have your heart set on a particular make and model.

There are many factors to consider, including costs, whether the car is new, what customs requirements are etc. Whether you choose to import the car from Japan, USA or further afar, the following steps are what you need to complete to make the import successful.

8 Steps to Import a Car to Australia

Step 1 – Research

Before you even consider importing a car, make sure you answer a few of these questions:

  1. Is the car you’re looking to import even eligible to enter Australia?
  2. Which import option can you use?
  3. Do you understand the costs involved? There are many fees from different agencies that you need to factor in, including (but not limited to) customs, taxes, permits, quarantine, shipping and storage.
  4. What type of documentation do you need to complete?
  5. Are any modifications required, particularly applicable if importing a sports car or left-hand drive vehicle?

Complete your research and make sure all your I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.

Step 2 – Apply for Approval

Once you know what import option will work for you, you need to complete an application and apply for it to be approved. Without approval, you cannot begin the importation process.

Make sure you include a regularly checked email on the application form in case the Department needs to get hold of you for further information.

Step 3 – Approval Received

If your import option is approved, you’ll need to wait for the hard copy Vehicle Import Approval to arrive in the mail before taking the next step. There may be some conditions contained in this approval, so make sure you understand them fully.

If you have any queries, contact the Department of Infrastructure and Transport for further details.

Step 4 – Shipping

Before you arrange to have the car shipped, make sure that the dealer has given the car a steam clean inside and out and all materials that could raise a quarantine risk are removed.

Air-conditioning gas should also be removed prior to shipping and any export conditions of the country of origin are met.

Make sure you understand what your obligations are as well then arrange shipping of the car.

Step 5 – Customs Clearance

While the car is in transit, you’ll need to arrange for Customs clearance. You’ll need to lodge an import declaration, pay any Customs duty, GST and luxury car tax if applicable. You can find more details here.

Step 6 – Quarantine

Once the car has arrived into Australia, it will need to pass quarantine requirements. You need to lodge a Quarantine Entry with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service to get this organised.

You may need to be present for this quarantine, so be prepared to travel if needed.

Step 7 – Import Approval Conditions

Once the car has passed through all of the above, you need to ensure that it also meets any import approval conditions placed on it. This could be modification from left-hand drive to right-hand drive etc. You’ll need to produce compliance documents for approval to be met.

You’ll also need to apply for plate approvals as well.

Step 8 – Register Vehicle

Once everything has been sorted above, you’ll need to register the vehicle in the State or Territory that you reside in.

Importing a vehicle is no easy feat; so make sure you are certain that this is a step you wish to take.

If you need help with financing your vehicle importation, Australian Credit and Finance can help you. Contact us on 1300 735 557 today.

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