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Australia Car Shipping and Import Guide

Our complete guide to shipping your car to Australia

Information on Australian car import duties and taxes (GST) and how Autoshippers unique R-Rak car shipping system works. Get the facts about shipping your car to Australia and know before you go to avoid delays and problems.

We hope the information provided here will assist you in shipping your car to Australia, we also have an experienced team of professionals who will guide you through the process to ensure the safe and secure shipping of your vehicle.

Please feel free to call us on 0800 3890784 for any further information.

Download this Australia Car Shipping guide page as a PDF
Application for Importing a Vehicle to Australia
Australia Government 8 step guide to importing a car into Australia.
Australian Valuation Guide


To import a vehicle into Australia there are regulations with which vehicles must comply. The age and origin of the vehicle (based on original manufacture) along with the status of the importer play an important role in whether a vehicle can be imported into Australia and what documentation may be required.

While Australia has very strict safety and emissions standards and modification work that may be required to bring non-compliant vehicles in line with required standards can be expensive, conversion or modification work is not required for vehicles falling into any one of the below categories:

  •     - Vehicle has been owned and used in the country of origin for a period of more than twelve months by the person importing the vehicle into Australia.
  •     - The vehicle was originally manufactured or sold in Australia and carries the compliance plate fitted at the time of original manufacture.
  •     - The vehicle was newly purchased having been manufactured to comply with Australian safety and emission standards.

Vehicle Import Approval (VIA)

Applications normally take between 4-6 weeks to be processed and returned. Vehicles cannot be shipped from the UK until the import approval has been issued.

Applying for Your VIA

Vehicle Import Approval applications must be made to the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport. The quickest way of submitting your application is by using their online portal that can be found here. When you make your application online you will need to make a payment of AU$50 to cover the application fee and have scanned copies of required documentation to attach to and submit with your application.

Temporary Import

Preparation for Quarantine inspection

Before your vehicle is shipped you should make sure that it is well cleaned. On arrival in Australia all vehicles are inspected by the Australian Department for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) for ‘cleanliness’. Typical areas that are frequently overlooked when cleaning a vehicle for shipment are:

  •     - Wheels/tyres, Wheel arches and Mud guards
  •     - Spare tyre, Spare wheel housing and Boot.

Documentation we need

To ship your vehicle to Australia there are a few things that you will need to provide us with:

  •     - A Copy of the V5 (Licence Document) for your vehicle – we do not need the original.
  •     - A Copy of your Passport Photopage.

We will also require a copy of your VIA to arrange shipment of your vehicle from the UK.

On arrival in Australia

Customs Clearance

When your vehicle arrives at destination there will be a charge payable for customs clearance to the local agent of AUD$150.00.

Destination Charges for R-Rack Service

We have negotiated preferential rates for discharge, and handling in Australia for customers using our R-Rak container services when these are prepaid in the UK as detailed in your quotation.

Destination charges covered are:

  •     - Port handling charges
  •     - Transport to warehouse and container unloading
  •     - Preparation of your vehicle for inspection by Customs and AQIS

Excluded are customs clearance, quarantine intervention and duties, taxes and other charges payable to Australian Authorities.

Duties and Taxes

The table below provides a summary of Duty and GST rates applied by Australian customs:

Import Duty is calculated at the rates shown below based purely on the value placed on your vehicle following it valuation by Australian Authorities.

GST is calculated at the below rate and is based on the Value of the Taxable Importation (VoTI) and this is calculated as: Customs Value + Duty + Shipping and Insurance costs of transporting your vehicle to Australia.

Vehicles over 30 years old and motorcycles 0% 10%
Vehicles up to 30 years old including 4x4, off road vehicles and commercial vehicles 5% 10%

Luxury Car Tax (LCT)


Once a vehicle has been customs cleared into Australia and customs duties and GST have been paid, it must be checked by the State department Motor Vehicle Registration service who will examine the vehicles (similar to an MOT) and issue a road worthiness certificate. This should be presented along with other vehicle documentation at the registration counter who on payment of registration and roadworthy examination fees provide the yearly registration label to be displayed in the vehicles windscreen (similar to a tax disc) and will also provide the Australian number plates assigned to the vehicle. When registering your vehicle, stamp duty fees are payable to the local state registration authorities.

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