international car shipping

Depending on your circumstances, Taurus Logistics uses two main shipping methods: Roll-on/roll-off (RORO), or by container. We ship to and import from locations across Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA. With over 40 years of experience behind us, Taurus Logistics knows how to deal with even the most difficult jobs. We’re proud to offer a highly personalised service and a seamless shipping experience to each of our customers. No hassle. No hidden agendas. No problem.

80% receive a quote in 30 seconds! More complex jobs will receive a response within 24 hours.

Different Methods for Shipping a Car

Roll-on/roll-off (RORO)

Roll-on/roll-off, or “RORO”, is considered the cheapest and most simple option for shipping your car overseas. The cargo is “rolled on” the vessel at the port of loading, and “rolled off” again at the point of destination.

It’s important to note that you cannot ship personal effects while using RORO; any inner cargo will not be accepted on board. For more information on how to prepare your car for RORO transport, consult our RORO preparation page.

Taurus Logistics generally recommends RORO over container shipping. For more details about why we recommend this option, refer to our RORO recommendation page.

Container Shipping

In this method, container ships are used to carry your cargo overseas in large intermodal containers. This option tends to be more expensive but can be ideal if you have extra items to ship along with your vehicle.

When choosing container shipping, it’s important to remember that all extra items must be accounted for and any boxes marked clearly. Providing us with a list of contents will ensure no items are missed when emptied for Quarantine/during inspection at Customs. For more details about this method, consult our Container Shipping page.

How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car?

While it’s not possible to list the shipping times for every route Taurus Logistics offers, below are a few of our most popular routes. These are indicative transit times, and do not include all shipping lines, containers, or part container options. Please contact us to discuss container sailing dates, or for roll on roll off please refer to our RORO Sailing Schedule.

Shipping to Oceania

  • Europe to Australia / New Zealand – 50 days Approx.
  • USA to Australia / New Zealand – 45 days Approx.

Shipping from Oceania

  • Australia / New Zealand to Europe – 80 days Approx.
  • Australia / New Zealand to USA – 50 days Approx.


  • Australia to New Zealand – 10 days Approx.
  • New Zealand to Australia – 30 days Approx.

What's Involved in Shipping My Car?

This depends upon where you want to ship your car because regulations on importing and exporting cars are different for each country. However, there are certainly some common procedures in vehicle shipping.

  • Make sure your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned inside and out, ideally with a steam cleaner, to ensure all dirt and contaminants from the underside and engine bay are removed. If you don’t want to do this we offer the service in select locations.
  • When shipping on a RORO vessel personal items must not be left in the vehicle or the vehicle will not be accepted on board. If you would like to ship some personal belongings then we can load the car into a container but this is normally a more expensive option.
  • If you’re taking out Marine Insurance which we highly recommend, then you need to make sure you have a pre-inspection report completed by an independent insurance assessor.

Once your car shipment arrives at its destination our office or agent will contact you to discuss any additional details they may need for Customs Clearance.

Costs to Consider When Shipping a Car

When arranging international car shipping, there are several costs you need to factor in to determine if it’s worth the time and money. More importantly in some countries, import permits and vehicle standards such as impact and emissions are pre-requisites for entry.

Items you need to consider for car shipping include:

  • How much will it cost to ship my car to the destination?
  • What taxes, duties, GST, or VAT will be applicable to pay at the destination country?
  • What are the on road compliance charges?

Generally we advise that if your car is worth around NZ$7,000 / AUD$ 5,600 / US$4,600, it’s worth looking into vehicle shipping.

What if I haven’t bought the car yet?

If you haven’t bought your car yet then we advise you to talk to us first. We can give you a ballpark figure for car shipping costs and look into any compliance issues you may face. Different countries have different rules and regulations about importing/exporting vehicles and we can point you in the right direction, so talk to us today!

Frequently Asked Questions

We just love shipping cars. Whether you've found your dream car and need to ship her home, or you're relocating the family station wagon across the ditch, we would love to help. These are some of our most popular questions which we hope you find helpful.

How long after the ship arrives will I receive my car?

On arrival all cars must clear Customs and Quarantine. Although we aim to pre-clear your car with Customs before arrival, we must wait for the quarantine inspection to determine if any cleaning is required.
  • In New Zealand allow 3-5 business days from arrival for clearance at Port and delivery to your chosen compliance center.
  • In Australia allow 5-7 business days.

Do you have a vehicle pick-up service?

Yes, we can provide a cost to pick up vehicles from almost anywhere, just supply an address with zip/postcode.

How much would it cost to insure my vehicle?

Marine insurance is calculated on the value of the vehicle, plus the shipping costs, plus 10%(Extra Expense Percentage). The “extra expense percentage” is a requirement of the insurer to cover any additional expenses incurred by you in the event of total loss.
i.e. ((Car value + Shipping costs) x 10%) x insurance rate = Insured Value. Current rates are 1.14% for RORO and 0.72% for cars in a container.
Get an instant Marine Insurance Quote online. Takes less than 30 seconds. Find out more about Marine Insurance and what it covers.

Is RORO the cheapest, or is there another transportation method? What if I have more than one car?

RORO is usually the cheapest method for a single car, but if you are considering multiple cars we can load and lash in a container. Find out why shipping RORO is best.

How far in advance would you recommend I make the booking?

Anything more than a week before you want it to sail to guarantee that all the paperwork for export can be completed and that you can deliver the vehicle before the cut-off date.

Can a car that still has a loan on it be shipped?

That would be a question to ask your loan company, but in general no you need to pay it off in full first. You may encounter issues with Customs and getting on-road compliance if the car is not fully paid for before shipping.

Does it matter if my car is dirty?

Your vehicle must be thoroughly steam cleaned and vacuumed before shipment.

Can I leave personal effects in the car?

When shipping on a RORO vessel, personal items must not be left in the vehicle as the vehicle will not be accepted on board the vessel. If you have some household goods to ship, but not a house load, we have container solutions. Find out more about shipping a car in a container.

What is the first thing I need to do before considering importing vehicles to Australia?

Before purchasing a car, or shipping the car you already own, we strongly recommend you read our article on Car Shipping & Import to Australia

What do I need to know before importing a car to New Zealand?

There are no restrictions on importing cars to New Zealand, but you “may” have GST to pay, and you need to check the on-road regulations. Find out more on car shipping & import to New Zealand.

Does my car have to be warranted even though it is exported out of New Zealand?

Vehicles must have a current Warrant of Fitness (WOF) to leave New Zealand on a RORO (car carrier) vessel.

80% receive a quote in 30 seconds! More complex jobs will receive a response within 24 hours.