Planning To Import A Car Into Australia? Here Is What You Should Know

Planning To Import A Car Into Australia? Here Is What You Should Know

Planning To Import A Car Into Australia? Here Is What You Should Know

If you are planning to import a car into Australia, whether you are planning to live there or even if you are just visiting, there are certain things you should know. Australia is quite strict when it comes to importing vehicles, and the information we are going to give you will help you get a better understanding of what you need to do.

Who can import a vehicle into Australia?

What is great about importing motor vehicles into Australia is that, in theory, anyone can do it. However, before you can actually do it, you will need to get permission from the Vehicle Safety Standards Breach, which will ensure that your vehicle meets all the safety requirements.

When importing a car into Australia, even if you do it through someone like Import Direct Car Sales, you will have to be subject to the rates of customs duty and the GST ( Goods and Services Tax). If you are importing a vehicle that falls under the LCT (Luxury Car Tax), there will be additional fees.


Importing a car is quite a breeze if you do the correct research

Customs valuation

The customs duty is based on the value of the vehicle you are importing, and it is calculated in Australian dollars. In case you can show that the vehicle was purchased to be exported to Australia for personal use, the customs are based on the price you already paid.

However, if there is unreliable information about the purchase, the customs price will be based on the assessment of a qualified motor vehicle valuer. Sometimes this can actually make the customs price lower, but your vehicle will usually be estimated as higher value than it actually is.

How does it work for tourists and temporary residents?

Both tourists and temporary residents may bring a vehicle, a motorcycle, as well as an attached trailer or caravan to Australia. Provided that they are exported from Australia, you will not have to pay taxes for a period of up to 12 months.

In order to apply for this concession, you will need one of the two things:

  • A Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) is issued by an organization overseas that has an arrangement with the RAC
  • Bank or cash security that is equal to the amount of duty and GST, and also LCT if it is applicable to the vehicle you are importing.

Another very important thing to know about driving vehicles on the Australian road is that all vehicles must have Third Party Insurance. If your vehicle happens to be stolen, damaged, or even destroyed while you are visiting Australia, notifying the customs is something you should do as soon as possible.


In order to prevent noxious weeds, insects, or some kind of disease in Australia, it will be necessary for your vehicle to go through a quarantine inspection by the authorities. If you are importing a car from America, it is suggested to get a helping hand for the American car imports offered by Import Direct Car Sales, as they will make this process much easier.

If you decide to do it without the help of a car importing company, make sure that you clean the car as thoroughly as possible. This means that you should remove all soil and any other matter from the vehicle, which means you might finally have to get that steam cleaning for your car.


Make sure your American car is allowed in Australia before trying to import it

Australian made vehicles

One great thing about importing vehicles into Australia is that if they are Australian-manufactured, you will not have to pay duty on them. Of course, this is under the conditions that you can provide information that you owned and used the vehicle overseas while the vehicle also has no duties, taxes, or some kind of charges on it.

Safety standards

It is an offense to import any new or second-hand vehicle due to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 unless it meets the safety and emissions when you apply to use it on the Australian road or If there are arrangements in place to modify the vehicle to meet the requirements after its arrival in Australia.

Contact the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch so you can be assured that you can import your vehicle to Australia, as they are the only body that can issue permits to import motor vehicles overseas. We already mentioned this at the beginning, but it is very important.

Final word

After you successfully import the vehicle and pay all the customs fees, you will actually have to register your vehicle. It is good advice to contact the Department of Transport for registration requirements before you actually decide to import the vehicle.