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Australia Car Shipping and Import

Our complete guide to shipping your car to Australia

Get the facts about shipping your car to Australia and know before you go to avoid delays and problems, including details of which Vehicle Type Approval you will need to apply for.

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
Car Shipping Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Importing a motor vehicle (
Australia Application for Importing a Vehicle via ROVER
8 steps to import a vehicle into Australia (
Guide to The Valuation of Imported Road Vehicles
Car Shipping Checklist


To import a vehicle into Australia you must obtain an approval from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts. There are different options, depending on the age and origin of the vehicle (based on original manufacture) along with the status of the importer. These details play an important role in whether a vehicle can be imported into Australia and what documentation may be required.

Road vehicle type approvals were introduced for the importation of vehicles into Australia in July 2021. This is to ensure that vehicles available in the Australian market are safe, secure and environmentally friendly.

Before road vehicles can be used on the roads in Australia, they must be entered onto the Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV) which is an online list of vehicles that have met the requirements of the legislation and approved for the Australian market.

To be entered onto the register, a vehicle must either be granted a vehicle type approval or a concessional RAV entry approval.

A vehicle type approval can be applied for by an individual or a company, through the RVS departments online application portal, called ROVER. There is an application fee to pay once you have completed the online application.

For certain types of vehicles, you may be able to be granted a Concessional RAV entry approval.

Concessional RAV Entry Approvals

If importing either one vehicle or a small number of vehicles, a single road vehicle option should be used, and you would require a separate application for each vehicle that is being imported.

Certain types of road vehicle can be imported with a Concessional RAV entry approval. Vehicles that may be eligible for import under this approval type include;

  • Vehicles that are to be modified by a registered automotive workshop
  • Vehicles that are more than 25 years old
  • Vehicles imported when the owner is moving to Australia

If you are unsure if your vehicle meets the requirements of the Concessional RAV entry approval, you can undergo an Eligibility Assessment on the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport website. This should help you to find the correct approval to apply for.

Non-RAV Entry Import Approvals

In come circumstances, you may be able to apply for a non-RAV entry import approval. This is for vehicles that aren’t for use on Australian roads, for example;

  • Races or rallies
  • Exhibition
  • Film, TV or advertising use
  • Testing

This may also be used for vehicles being temporarily imported, or for some modified vehicles.

Reimportation Import Approvals

If a vehicle has previously been exported from Australia, and then re-imported may be eligible for a reimportation import approval, but the vehicle must either be on the Register of Approved Vehicles or have approval under the previous legislation (MVSA).

All applications need to be made through the ROVER online system, and we are not able to make a booking with a shipping line until you have the correct approval in place. Vehicles take between 10-14 days to be processed on average.

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 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.

Before release from customs control, Biosecurity Officers from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment inspect road vehicles for cleanliness on arrival in Australia. Please note that you are responsible for all inspection charges.

More detailed information about quarantine regulations along with contact details can be obtained from the DAFF web site here.

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 confirmation of Vehicle Type Approval.

Shortly after departure from the UK, we will provide you with copy shipping documentation (the Bill of Lading) covering transport of your vehicle to Australia along with anticipated arrival date and contact details for our agents. Our agents will be in contact with you prior to your vehicle’s arrival to make arrangements for completion of local import formalities.

When your vehicle arrives in Australia there are some standard costs you should expect to pay in relation to fees levied by the port and local agent in respect of handling your vehicle at the port and for the completion of customs Clearance formalities. We have negotiated preferential rates for discharge, and handling in Australia for our customers and are pleased to provide an indication of these costs below:

Car Import Charges in Australia

Details of Service RoRo Costs Shared Container Costs
Port service charges container trucking, container unpacking, 1st AQIS inspection n/a Car AU$ 1050
SUV AU$ 1400
Port service charges and handling Car AU$ 220 n/a
SUV AU$ 265
Valuation fee AU$ 330 AU$ 320
Customs Clearance AU$ 220 AU$ 250
Declaration processing fee n/a AU$ 210
Quarantine fee AU$ 140 AU$ 239
AQIS attendance fee AU$ 120 AU$ 110
Sea cargo automation AU$ 45 AU$ 55
Delivery order fee AU$ 85 AU$ 65
Personal effects surcharge (if effects in vehicle) n/a AU$ 90
(R-Rak total excl. personal effects surcharge)
Car AU$ 1160 Car AU$ 2299
SUV AU$ 1205 SUV AU$ 2649
Charges correct at the time of publishing based on an average vehicle size.

Please note that the above charges are excluding of GST or Duty, see below, and are up to first AQIS Inspection only.Additional charges might apply if the cargo fails the AQIS inspection. Customs cleaning and re-inspection will then be necessary and additional charges apply.

Destination charges aside, if you'd like more information on car shipping costs to Australia, see 'how much does it cost to ship a car to Australia' for a breakdown.

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.

Duty GST
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)

Most of the information including calculations is available on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.


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.

Cars (and other equipment such as boats and caravans) equipped with an air-conditioner or a refrigeration system might require an import licence for ozone depleting substances (ODS) and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGG).

Before importing a road vehicle with an air-conditioner or refrigeration system, you must find out the type and quantity of gas contained in the equipment (if gassed) so that you can complete licensing and reporting requirements.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website provide more information about Importing vehicles, boats, caravans or and other equipment that may contain refrigerant gas into Australia, including how to apply for a licence and exceptions.

The importation of asbestos into Australia is strictly prohibited. You must ensure your vehicle does not contain any asbestos before you ship it to Australia.

If the Australian Border Force (ABF) decide that your vehicle is a risk of containing asbestos, they will require assurances that parts or components do not contain asbestos. If adequate assurance is not provided, you could face delays and will be responsible for costs incurred if the vehicle is held at the border for the purposes of sampling and testing.

Please find more information regarding asbestos here and the ABF have a factsheet “Managing the risk of asbestos when importing a motor vehicle” with further information regarding asbestos when importing vehicles

Tourists or temporary residents can import road vehicles into Australia on a temporary basis without the requirement to pay duty and taxes, provided certain conditions are met. The temporary import is possible for a period of 12 months, and if you temporarily import your vehicle using a CPD carnet you do not require a VIA.

Please find more information on temporary imports here.

If you are a member of a “visiting force” that is subject to a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) then you do not need to apply for a VIA to import your vehicle.

You may also be able to claim a preferential rate for customs duty and taxes, again provided certain conditions are met. This would be under item 11 of schedule 4 to the customs tariff act.

Please contact us on 0800 389 0784 for any further information

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