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The Do’s and Don’ts when shipping a car to Australia

Are you interested to import a car, car parts or any other vehicle to Australia? If yes, then give a read to the following blog before you start the process:

There are particular terms and conditions and processes that you need to follow before you ship your vehicle into Australia. To make sure that your shipment reaches its destination safe and sound, you must be informed of the customs regulations in force both locally and in Australia before you begin exporting vehicles from the UK to Australia. When transporting cars or car parts to Australia from the UK or anywhere else in the world, there are some specific guidelines that must be followed. We can divide them into DO’s and DON’T’s.


To look after all the aspects and processes for the shipment it’s important to understand the regulations before you purchase and proceed to ship. There are certain Do’s that you need to follow while importing a vehicle to Australia:

In-depth Research:

The very first thing that you can do is In-depth research on the vehicle or parts that you wish to export. Whether or not certain things can be shipped over depends on that country’s taxes and customs regulations. You may be required to pay fees or taxes because of these international customs regulations.

Set up a ROVER account:

After thorough research, you need to set up a ROVER account to determine your vehicle’s eligibility for import into Australia. The Road Vehicle Standards Act of 2018 (RVSA) is administered by a mechanism called ROVER (Road Vehicle Regulator). The Motor Vehicle Standards Act of 1989 is repealed and replaced by this law. ROVER offers a single, integrated system for all authorizations and actions permitted by the legislation governing road vehicles, enabling you to:

  • Submit your application and payment.
  • Track the development of your application.
  • Obtain inquiries regarding your application and respond to them.
  • Receive notification of the application decision.

Import Approval – Register of Approved Vehicles

For a car to be cleared through customs at its point of entry into Australia, import approval must be obtained. Without import approval, vehicles that arrive in Australia typically pay high storage charges while waiting for one to be obtained. It is strongly advised that you wait to export your car to Australia until you have received import approval. You can be charged storage fees by the shipping firm or goods forwarder if you send your car before getting approval and it shows up before your application is finalized. It is illegal to import a vehicle without import approval, thus you can also be subject to prosecution.

Getting ready for a quarantine inspection

You will require quarantine approval from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry when your car is delivered. One needs identity, ownership documentation, proof of current insurance, and documentation of compliance with safety regulations for this phase. Make sure your car is thoroughly cleaned before having it shipped. The Australian Department of Agriculture examines each vehicle upon arrival in Australia for “cleanliness.” Wheels/tyres, Wheel arches, and Mudguards are typical places that are commonly forgotten when cleaning a car for shipping. When arriving in Australia, Biosecurity Officers from the Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment check the hygiene of road vehicles before releasing them from customs control. Please be aware that you are accountable for paying all inspection fees.

Customs Clearance, Import Duty, and Taxes

Almost all automobiles that arrive in Australia are subject to import taxes, the amount of which will vary based on the value, country of origin, and age of the vehicle. While there are few exceptions, the normal Customs Duty rate is 5% of the FOB value. For certain automobiles over 30 years old that meet the following criteria, the main Customs Duty exemption is available:

  • Utility or Pickup, Petrol or Diesel, Vehicles designed for the primary purpose of transporting goods must have a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) not exceeding 3.5t.
  • Passenger motor vehicles are defined as motor cars and other motor vehicles (including station wagons) designed for the primary purpose of carrying two or more persons (including the driver), excluding:

(a) Ambulances
(b) Hearses
(c) Police vans
(d) Amphibious vehicles
(e) Off-road vehicles.

GST (General Sales Tax)

All imported cars in Australia are subject to the General Sales levy (GST), which is a highly widespread levy. GST must be paid at the time of importation and is based on a flat 10% of the landing price in Australia plus customs duty.

LCT, or the luxury car tax

LCT is a tax that applies to passenger cars and is based on the car’s entire price, plus the cost of shipping, insurance, and duty less GST. LCT is computed using more factors than only the car’s actual worth. The tax is applied regardless of the vehicle’s age or period of ownership.

The price cap for the majority of vehicles is $71,849.00 for the fiscal year running from July 1 to June 30, 2023.

For the same period, the LCT threshold for zero-emission and fuel-efficient automobiles is $84,916.

Each dollar exceeding these limits is subject to the LCT charge of 33%.

Import Duty: Depending on the type and age of the vehicle, the Australian government may impose duty.

The following information on current rates:

Boats, whether new or used, are subject to 5% duty unless they were manufactured in a nation with which the United States has a free trade agreement, except for cars older than 30 years, which are exempt from duty.

When manufactured in a country with a free trade agreement, trailers are subject to a 5% charge. Unless otherwise stated, auto parts are typically subject to a 5% duty.

  • Motorcycles with piston engines and spark plug ignition are subject to a duty tax.

Products from a nation with whom we have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) must be accompanied by documentation that “fits” the requirements of the FTA.

So, it is important to clear your custom taxes in order to complete your shipment process and import your vehicle successfully to Australia. The next step is documentation.


Afterward you will have to register your car and in this process the State Department Motor Vehicle Registration Service will verify the vehicle and perform an examination (akin to a MOT) before issuing a road worthiness certificate after customs clearance into Australia and payment of customs charges and GST. This should be brought in with other vehicle documentation to the registration counter, where upon payment of the registration and roadworthy examination fees, the annual registration label (which looks like a tax disc) for the vehicle’s windscreen will be provided, along with its assigned Australian license plates. Stamp duty fees must be paid to the state registration authority in your area when registering your vehicle.

Finishing your documentation

You will need to provide the following items in order to export your car to Australia:

  • A copy of the V5 document, which is the vehicle registration card;
  • If you want us to arrange for the collection of your vehicle in the UK with an insured driver, a copy of a current MOT certificate will be required. We can provide a collecting service using car transporters or a completely enclosed collection truck if your vehicle doesn’t have a current MOT or if you would just like.

Until you have the VIA set up, we are unable to process any reservations for Australia.



To enter Australia, all vehicles must have current import approval. Until an import approval is acquired, vehicles that arrive in Australia without an import approval typically pay high storage expenses. You will need to either export the car or have it destroyed at your own expense if it doesn’t match the criteria for import approval.


Australia forbids the importation of asbestos. On December 31, 2003, a nationwide prohibition on the production and use of all varieties of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACM) went into force. Unless an exception or exemption applies, it is against Work Health and Safety (WHS) rules in all states and territories to supply, transport, use, or handle asbestos. Vehicles that weren’t made expressly for the Australian market may be thought to contain asbestos.

Before you or your supplier transport your vehicle to Australia, it is your responsibility to make sure it is free of asbestos. Gaskets, brake pads, seals, and clutch linings are typical high-risk parts and components that may be more prevalent in older cars. The Australian Border Force will demand proof that any high-risk elements or components of your car are free of asbestos if it is determined that asbestos is present. You will experience delays and incur charges when the vehicle is kept at the border for the purposes of sampling and testing if sufficient assurance is not given.

Air Conditioning

The Department of Environment regulates air conditioning gases and systems, and those installed in cars or trailers are subject to extremely severe regulations. Australia is highly severe in the implementation of the regulations because it has ratified multiple international accords on ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases. Although this is a technical component of the import procedure, the agency has simply released the following guidelines to facilitate compliance:

Air conditioning systems and their certification have recently become more difficult for importers and are as crucial as the import permit for the actual car. The use of R22-based air conditioning systems, which were installed in many older cars, trucks, and trailers, was outlawed beginning in mid-2010. Their import is prohibited unless they are changed into new, “cleaner” gases, which we can assist with within the UK.

I hope that this information has made the procedures for shipping a vehicle clearer to you. The shipment will go as smoothly as possible if you are prepared and aware of the procedure, which lowers the likelihood of problems or extra costs. Keeping in mind the DO’s and Don’ts of shipping any car to Australia will help you to import your car the way better.

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