Should You Import a Car to Australia?

While there are a wide variety of new and used cars available in Australia, you may have your heart set on a particular vehicle that you would actually need to import into the country; this might be a classic muscle car, or rare vintage car, for example. You might also be new to the country yourself, and have a car back home that you would like to bring to your new residence. Whatever your particular case, there are legal requirements and restrictions on bringing cars into the country, and costs you may not be expecting. Note a few considerations to keep in mind if you're thinking of importing a car for yourself.

Storage costs

Don't assume you can just pick up your car the minute it arrives at the border, as customs may need to inspect the vehicle itself, and not just your paperwork. Customs officers may have many vehicles and other items to inspect at the same time, so your vehicle may need to sit in a storage facility at a dock or other location and wait.

One way to ensure you don't pay too much for storage is to use a customs broker who works with freight forwarders in the country, as they can ensure your paperwork is in order, meaning less risk of delays at customs. They may also be able to provide you with recommendations for affordable storage facilities you can use while you wait for customs to inspect the vehicle.


In Australia, vehicles that are more than a few years old typically need to go through roadworthy inspections before they can be legally driven on the road. The requirements for a vehicle to pass this inspection might be different in Australia than in the country of origin for the vehicle; for example, a vehicle typically needs shoulder harnesses for the front seatbelt to be legally driven on the roads. An older vehicle especially may not have shoulder harnesses for the seatbelts, and may only have lap belts. In turn, you would need to have the vehicle modified with new seatbelts before it could be legally driven on Australian roads.

If you're planning on driving an imported vehicle and not just showing it, check with your local licensing agency about roadworthy certificates and what would be needed, depending on your state, and what is inspected for that certificate. You can then note if your car would pass this inspection as is, or would need some modifications before it can actually be driven.

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About Me

Top Auto Advice The car was probably the most successful invention of the modern era. There are now billions of cars in use around the globe. Unfortunately, not all of these cars are properly maintained. In this blog, I plan to give you the inside track on buying, modifying and accessorising your car. My name is Damian and although I don't work in an auto repair shop, I spend most of my free time in my garage working on my cars. Over the years, I have learnt an awful lot of stuff about every aspect of automobile ownership so I would like to share some of my wisdom with you.




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