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Car Shipping - FAQ

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 pre-clear your car prior to arrival, we must wait for the quarantine inspection to determine if any cleaning is required.
  • In New Zealand allow 3-5 business days before deliver to your compliance centre.
  • In Australia allow 5-7 business days.

Do you have a vehicle pick-up service?

Yes, we are able to provide a cost to pick up vehicles from almost anywhere, just supply an address with zip/post code.

How much would it cost to insure my vehicle?

The insurance is calculated on the value of the vehicle and the method used to ship. i.e. RORO or in a container. Please request a quotation.

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.

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 are able to 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.

Does it matter if my car is dirty?

Your vehicle must be thoroughly steam cleaned and vacuumed prior to 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.

Shipping a car to Australia

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

You will need to obtain a Vehicle Import Approval (VIA) from the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Infrastructure). See Application for Approval to Import a Vehicle.

Do I have to have owned my car for 12 months before importing into Australia?

Yes, you 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. Anyone can import a vehicle built before 1989.

What are the restrictions on importing cars into Australia?

Check to see if your vehicle meets Australia’s Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (OPSGGM Act). Further details can be obtained at http://www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/ozone/

Will I have to pay an import tax and or GST on the value of my vehicle for importing to Australia?

The rates, payable to the Australian Customs Service, at the Australian entry port, are:
  • Vehicles up to 30 years old including Forward Control Vehicles: 5% Duty + 10% GST
  • 4wd 'Off Road' vehicles and commercial vehicles: 5% Duty + 10% GST
  • Vehicles over 30 years old and motorcycles: 0% Duty + 10% GST
The duty is levied on the 'customs value' only. The GST is levied on the 'customs value' + the duty + the total ‘cost of shipment’ to Australia figure.

Is there a way to get out of paying GST on imports into Australia?

Depreciation Allowances - only applies to originating country Purchase Price valuation method and if a vehicle was purchased before 2nd March 1998. The maximum allowance of 76% is for cars owned over 6 years.

Can you please tell me what luxury car tax is for imports into Australia?

Luxury Car Tax (LCT) - This is an additional tax and is levied at a rate of 33% on all vehicles, except motorcycles and some commercial vehicles, with a current GST inclusive value in excess of $57,180 AUD (figure set annually by the Australian Taxation Office). LCT is only payable on the amount in excess of a GST inclusive 'break point' and will only be levied in very few instances as the 'break point' only relates to cars with a customs value over about £18,000/AU$43,000/NZ$54,000

I have read that my car has to be compliant to Australian Design Standards, what does this mean?

Compliance to or exemption from Australian design rules - converting a vehicle 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 twelve calendar months prior to shipment from the originating country
  • The vehicle was manufactured prior to 1 January 1989
  • The vehicle to be imported was purchased new and was manufactured to the full Australian specification/standards
  • The vehicle was originally manufactured or sold in Australia and still has its Australian compliance plate fitted.

Shipping a car to New Zealand

How can I find out info on what the Duty/GST costs will be for importing into New Zealand?

GST is payable at 15% on the landed value, which is the value of the vehicle, plus freight, plus insurance. Otherwise known as the CIF (Cost + Insurance + Freight) price.

If you are to be exempt from paying GST you need to meet the following conditions:

  • Be a first time immigrant or a returning New Zealand citizen.
  • If a returning citizen, you must have been out of New Zealand for over 21 months.
  • Be prepared to sign a deed where you agree not to sell the vehicle for at least 2 years.
  • The vehicle must have been owned and used for the last 12 months.

Where can I find out information on New Zealand road compliance?

Visit the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Are there any restrictions on the import of this particular vehicle?

Check to see if your vehicle meets New Zealand’s emissions requirements.

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

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

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

+64 3 358 5154
+64 3 358 4895

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