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Shipping a car to Australia


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Car Shipping to Australia - Overview

When importing cars to Australia, it’s so important to ensure you can legally import your car before you purchase or decide to ship. Australia is highly regulated and has strict laws in place to stop as much car importing as possible.

But.... there are exceptions under the “Personal Import Scheme”, and “Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme”. See below to find out more about car shipping to Australia.

Instant Quote

15-30 second response for 80% of quotes assessed using our automated system. For more complex jobs, one of our team will email you a quote within 24hours.

Is it worth shipping my car to Australia?

We ship cars to all main Australian ports including Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle. From these ports we can ship your car on a truck or car carrier right to your home. Taurus Logistics make it easy, offering a wide range of services including steam cleaning, pick up & delivery while looking after Customs, Department of Agriculture, and port authorities.

If you're planning to import your car to Australia it should be worth over $7,000 AUD or have special value to the owner. Otherwise its not really worthwhile.

Given the research we've done, many people choose to export their car given the expense to purchase a car in Australia, others prefer to export their vehicles to Australia because of the sentimental attachment.

Information on importing your car into Australia

When importing a car, motorhome or motorcycle into Australia, the first requirement is that you’re an Australian permanent resident or plan to be. For example if you’re in New Zealand and moving to Australia, they will not give you final import approval until you're in Australia and have the immigration stamp in your passport.

To qualify for a Personal Import Approval the following restrictions apply:
  • 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.

You need to apply for an import permit before the car leaves the country at a cost of $50 AUD.

If your car is being exported from New Zealand by way of a RORO vessel it must have a current Warrant of Fitness (WOF), this ensures the safety of the ship and handling staff when cars are driven on and off the ship.


All used vehicles are inspected by Department of Agriculture on arrival, and only after this inspection is the cleanliness condition known. Allow AU$250 as an estimated to cover potential cleaning, and or vacuuming.

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Do I have to pay an import tax or GST when importing cars to Australia?

The rates payable to the Australian Customs Service are:

  • Vehicles up to 30 years old including forward control vehicles: 5% Duty + 10% GST
  • Vehicles over 30 years old: 0% Duty + 10% GST
  • 4wd 'off road' vehicles and commercial vehicles: 5% Duty + 10% GST
  • Motorcycles: 0% Duty + 10% GST

The Duty is levied on the 'Customs value' only, GST is levied on the 'Customs value' + the Duty + the total cost of shipping cars to Australia.

Are there conditions importing a new car to Australia?

Cars with CFC gas will have to be degassed and decommissioned with a certificate supplied. If not degassed/decommissioned the vehicle will be required to have this done prior to release from port in Australia.

  • Vehicles manufactured after 1998 will be assumed to have HFC
  • Vehicles manufactured earlier than 1998 will require evidence of the gas in use.

What is the luxury car tax for Australian car imports?

Luxury Car Tax (LCT) - is an additional tax levied at a rate of 33% on all vehicles (except motorcycles and some commercial vehicles) with a current GST inclusive value in excess of $57,009 AUD. LCT is only payable on the amount in excess of the GST inclusive 'break point', cars with a Customs value over £18,000/AU$43,000/NZ$54,000.

What are the Australian design standards?

Converting a car to full Australian Safety and Emission Control Standards is very difficult and too costly but is not required if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The vehicle has been 'owned and used' for a minimum period of 12 months prior to shipment from the originating country
  • The car was manufactured prior to 1 January 1989
  • The car was purchased new and manufactured to Australian specification/standards
  • The vehicle was originally manufactured or sold in Australia and still has its Australian compliance plate fitted.

If in doubt just phone or email we are happy to help.

What our customers say

  • Alex WebsterWe were really worried about our much loved Shelby GT350 being damaged in loading and shipping. However, your company was fantastic.

    Alex Webster
  • Cary CavellRichard car has arrived and is everything I expected. The only trouble is getting my old bones in the car!

    Cary Cavell Brisbane, Australia
  • Alan SuttonNot only did Taurus offer me a very competitive car shipping quotation but the team could not have been more helpful

    Alan Sutton Queenstown
Read more customer stories

Taurus Logistics Ltd
Unit 4, 245 St Asaph St,
Christchurch, 8011, New Zealand


+64 3 358 5154
+64 3 358 4895
info@tauruslogistics.co.nz

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