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How To Ship A Car To Australia

How To Ship A Car To Australia

Are you looking to ship your car internationally to Australia? Unfortunately, that process can be more tedious than shipping your car locally. You have to go through international shipping customs, get your car approved to be shipped, and have a lot of paperwork prepared.

Having your car shipped overseas to Australia by a car transportation company is your best bet at having your vehicle arrive safely and securely in its new place. If you have never shipped your car internationally before, here’s your step-by-step guide. 


Get An Import Approval

Before you begin searching for a company to ship your car, you need to get your car approved to be shipped via an Import Approval. This part of the process is completed completely separate from your transportation company. 

You have to go through Australia’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and apply to import your vehicle. There are several options to choose from to determine eligibility depending on the type of vehicle you are importing and its condition. After the eligibility to import your vehicle is approved, that is when you apply for the Vehicle Import Approval. Once your application is approved, you can begin the process of shipping your car to Australia! 



Do you need your car shipped to Australia fast? If so, you need to start your search as soon as you can. There’s the VIA (vehicle import application) to obtain from Australia’s government, a search for the right company, paperwork to gather, and your car to prepare. The overall process of shipping a car to Australia can take months. That’s not even counting the actual shipping time.

Most car transportation companies need a generous head’s up of your situation so they can have the right shipping materials ready for your process. Some containers may be in use or booked up, so as soon as you know you need to ship your car to Australia, the sooner you can find the right company to process your car. If you wait too long, your plans could be severely altered. 


Search For The Right Company

Search For The Right Company

Speaking of search for the right company, budget is not the only factor to consider. For example, when you are shipping a car to Australia, you trust your company to safely transport your vehicle overseas and arrive on time with minimal to no damages. Because of this, you should thoroughly research car transportation companies in your area and pick the one with the highest qualifications.

Here are things to consider when finding the right transportation company:

  • Cost of services - search for the company that has the best price for your budget
  • Experience shipping internationally - they should have a strong background shipping cars out of the country
  • Equipment that is used - trustworthy companies have the right materials for shipping cars overseas 

Investing in shipping your car to Australia is a big deal. You should feel confident that your hired company can get the job done and knows what they’re doing. Preferably, they should have experience shipping cars to Australia or other international locations. 


Gather Paperwork & Inspection

Paperwork will need to be completed before shipment. General paperwork includes:

  • Personal ID/Passport
  • Proof of car ownership
  • Proof of origin from the manufacturer
  • Registration
  • Bill of Landing

Your car also might need to be inspected upon drop-off before it can be shipped, so prepare to add that in your timeline as well possibly. 


Understand Costs & Delivery Time

Understand Costs & Delivery Time

Shipping your car internationally is going to come with a hefty fee. How much you pay, though, can vary depending on time and mileage. If you decide to work with A1 Auto Transport, the average delivery time for shipping a car to Australia is between 7-30 days with an average cost between $1,000-$1,500.

The delivery time does not count paper processing, which is what you should be aware of. If you are working under a time crunch, you should get the ball moving as soon as possible, especially since you need to obtain application approval. Costs can also vary depending on shipment methods and materials. For example, you can save money by having your car shipped to the nearest port and selecting the cheaper shipping containers. Costs can also vary between the companies you consult with. If you are sticking to a specific budget, select the company that fits your finances best. 


Determine Shipping Method & Carrier

Determine Shipping Method & Carrier

After selecting the right company, you will select the shipping and carrier method to deliver your car. To save money, the “RoRo” method (roll-on/roll-off) is typically the cheapest. This means your car is driven onto the boat or plane and secured for travel before being driven off upon delivery. Other carrier methods to choose from are container shipped (enclosed carriers) or lifting services. Again, you can determine the right method by asking your company based on the condition of your car and budget. 


Prepare Your Vehicle

Before your car is shipped overseas, you will need to prepare the vehicle to be transported. Things you can do to prep your vehicle are simple. You first need to empty your car of personal belongings and valuables. This includes CDs, GPS tools, sub-woofers, or other external speakers. If your vehicle has a trunk, remove any items from there as well, like fold-up chairs, blankets, and tools.

You should wash your car before shipping and take photos of the condition for proof if any damages or scuffs appear over the transportation process. The gas tank should be decreased to a quarter or lower, and duplicate keys should be made if you do not already have some since the transporter will need one set of keys. 


Drop-Off Your Car

Once all of the tedious work is over, you can finally drop off your car! This is the easiest part of the process. If you have to drive your car to the company’s office, you should have someone follow you to pick you up after. Most companies have a tracking system that allows you to watch where your car is at all times during the shipping process. This is beneficial for you if your shipment gets delayed or keeps tabs on its location. The great thing about this step is that you get to focus on the moving portion and other things you have going on at the moment. You can take a break from the stress and hassle of shipping your car internationally!


Retrieve Car & Sign Final Paperwork

Retrieve Car & Sign Final Paperwork

When you finally retrieve your car, congratulations! You are almost done! Some companies have extra paperwork and the last round of payment that needs to be made, so be prepared if that is the case with your hired company. The driver will also hand back your set of original keys and the Bill of Landing. 

Before delivery, you should be given a guaranteed date as well as a pick-up location. It is important to the driver who will be transporting your car to know that you will be at the agreed-upon location at the scheduled time. If you need to arrange for someone else to retrieve your car, communicate with your driver beforehand. Otherwise, your car might not be delivered on the guaranteed date. 


Inspect Your Car

When you receive your car at delivery, you should inspect it immediately. If you notice any damages or scuffs that appeared during delivery, you should be able to file a claim with the driver. They should carry the appropriate paperwork or provide instructions on who to relay the problem to.

Most companies have protocols for reporting damages that you find after delivery. Most are within 30 days of delivery. Significant damages should are not common during delivery, but minor scuffs and scratches can happen if the delivery is not shipped in an enclosed container. Most companies are insured and will take care of the damage themselves. After filing the claim, you will be contacted about further steps. It is essential to have proof of damages to win your claim. 

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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