Ship Your Car To Or From Australia
Typical Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
- For a standard sized car or small truck, it costs $3,500 to $6,000 to import a car into Australia from the United States.
- In some cases, you may be able to find a more affordable option by using a shipping container, but there are additional non-shipping fees like duties and import fees that should be taken into consideration.
Cost & Time Examples For Shipping a Car to Australia
|New York, NY to (New York port) to Brisbane||$275||$2,800||5+35 days|
|Los Angeles to (California port) to Adelaide||$400||$2,000||5+26 days|
|Las Vegas to (California port) to Sydney||$450||$1,500||5+22 days|
|Seattle, WA to (California port) to Melbourne||$550||$1,500||6+22 days|
|Charlotte, NC to (New York port) to Brisbane||$575||$2,800||6+35 days|
|Boston, MA to (New York port) to Fremantle||$575||$2,800||5+41 days|
|Detroit, MI to (New York port) to Fremantle||$575||$2,800||6+41 days|
|Denver, CO to (California port) to Melbourne||$775||$1,500||7+22 days|
|Memphis, TN to (New York port) to Sydney||$800||$2,800||10+35 days|
|Houston, TX to (California port) to Sydney||$1,125||$1,500||8+22 days|
*Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and the type of vehicle.
*Save the ground transport cost by delivering the vehicle to the nearest port.
*Allow an additional 10 days to process the documents.
*Prices are for 1 car in a dedicated 20ft container. This is the safest and most reliable way to transport a vehicle internationally. Other items may be included in the container to help save you money when moving.
*Using the RoRo (roll on, roll off) method is less expensive and shipments can be completed in fewer days. Contact us now for a free RoRo quote.
What You Need to Know When Shipping Your Vehicle from the U.S. To Australia
When considering the shipment of your vehicle to Australia, it is extremely important to work with a shipping carrier that is very knowledgeable about the whole process from end-to-end. Australian regulations are very specific regarding the import/export of vehicles, and only a shipper who is well-versed in these regulations will be able to avoid unpleasant snags in the process.
Australia prides itself on the safety and performance of all the vehicles operating within the country, and any vehicle imported into the country will be subject to the same standards as all other domestic vehicles. To ensure compliance with these standards, it may be necessary to have some modifications and maintenance work done on your vehicle, and you will be liable for the cost of any such maintenance.
Australia is a huge island continent with many port cities, and most of them charge different fees for inbound cargo, so it will require a known shipper to secure the most favorable routes and destination for your shipment.
Other Types Of Vehicles We Transport To Australia
Necessary Steps For Importing
To prepare for shipment of your vehicle, you’ll need to secure some paperwork ahead of time. The first thing you’ll need is a vehicle import permit, which you can apply for at the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. The import process is regulated such that it must be handled either by a RAW (Registered Automotive Workshop) member who is familiar with all necessary requirements or in some cases individuals who secure approval from the Dept. of Infrastructure. Check other requirements with Australian Customs.
There are a number of other steps required, some of which are listed here:
- Upon arrival, file import declaration, pay customs duty, pay all taxes.
- File for quarantine inspection and setup appointment for same.
- If necessary, have modifications applied and test.
- Apply for identification plate approvals and registration to Australia.
Required Documents For Shipping A Vehicle To Australia
- Purchase document.
- International driver’s license.
- Copy of valid registration.
- Identity page of passport.
- Current Australian visa.
A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.
When discussing your shipping needs with a carrier, you’ll want to be prepared to choose either container shipping or RORO shipping (roll-on, roll-off). For container shipping, the car is sealed in a container and is locked for safety; for RORO shipping, the car will be driven on and off the ship via ramp. Container shipping is the more expensive option, but it is not the only factor in determining the cost. The price to have your vehicle shipped will also depend on the time of year, the size of your vehicle, insurance (if desired), and whether you need the vehicle picked up at your home, or you drive it to the exit port.
Prior to Shipping
As might be expected, there are a ton of things to remember with a venture like shipping your automobile to another country. In many cases, your shipping carrier will have a handle on all these things and even do some of them for you, but you would be well-advised to be aware of these issues yourself, so as to ward off any unpleasant complications during the process.
- Make sure car is steam-cleaned inside and outside so it will not be quarantined upon arrival.
- Remove all air-conditioning gases.
- Make sure your vehicle is eligible to be shipped to another country. The exact laws governing eligibility are listed in Title 19 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, but in general, refer to the documentation requirements and rules regarding lienholder permission.
- File with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This is one of those areas that may be handled by your shipper, but be sure and confirm this. Documentation must be submitted to this agency at least 72 hours before the vehicle can be exported.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the popular Australian ports?
Australia is an important country when it comes to international shipping, primarily due to its South Pacific location. The country is also well known for its high regard for Maritime Security and strict environmental conservation standards. There are some well-known ports found in Australia, and here are some of the most popular ones:
- Port of Brisbane – this is the largest seaport in the state of Queensland, and the third busiest for all of Australia. The port is responsible for a high frequency of cargo and ships, ranking Level 1 for Maritime Security.
- Port of Sydney (Botany) – this port is also called Port of Botany and is the second-largest container port in the country. It was originally located in Sydney Harbor but was expanded over time to include building multiple ports, including the Port of Botany.
- Port of Fremantle – this port is considered the busiest port in all of Western Australia and handles over 35 tons of cargo each year, as well as maritime and navy cruises 24/7. The busy port contributes to the country’s economy by providing employment for a large number of residents.
- Port of Melbourne – one of Australia’s most important shipping ports, the Port of Melbourne is the fourth-largest container port in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Port of Adelaide – the largest port in Southern Australia, and also the most significant one. It handles over 100 million tons of cargo per year as well as maritime cruises for tourists.
What is the process for importing a vehicle into Australia?
To import a car into Australia, there is a step-by-step process that must be completed. If you choose to use a professional shipping company for your shipment, they will help you with most of the requirements for shipping and importing into Australia.
- Conduct Research – the first step is to do the necessary research
- Is your vehicle eligible to enter Australia?
- Which approval should be applied for?
- What are the costs that will be involved? (shipping, storage, approval application, taxes, customs duties, etc.)
- What time frame is involved in getting the approval and completing other necessary arrangements?
- What documentation is necessary for importation?
- What do the government agencies require?
- Is there a necessity for a broker?
- Do modifications need to be made to the vehicle prior to importation?
- What risks are involved with importing a vehicle?
- Apply for approval for the importation of a vehicle
- Create a ROVER account
- Complete the online application
- Pay the application fee
- Receive the approval to import the vehicle
- You will receive an email with the approval for importing the vehicle attached
- The approval may contain specific conditions for using the vehicle
- Government agency: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications
- Arrange shipment of the vehicle
- Before shipping, ensure that the vehicle is steam cleaned to reduce the risk of quarantine
- Remove all air conditioning gas, if necessary
- Arrange for asbestos testing and removal
- Government agencies: Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment, and the Department of Home Affairs
- Get Customs Clearance
- Lodge import declaration
- Pay customs duty
- Pay goods and services tax
- Pay luxury car tax, if applicable
- Ensure there is no asbestos
- Government agency: Department of Home Affairs
- Meet the Australian quarantine requirements
- Lodge a Quarantine Entry with the Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment
- Arrange an inspection appointment (car owner or broker needs to be present)
- Government agency: Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment
- Meet the approval conditions
- Arrange for vehicle modification, if necessary
- Conduct testing and develop evidence of compliance, if required
- Apply for entry on the Register of Approval Vehicles (RAV), if necessary
- Register the vehicle
- Apply for registration of the vehicle in the state or territory where you intend to use it
- Government agency: State Road and Transport Authorities
What is an Import Approval (VIA)?
A Vehicle Import Approval is a document that is issued by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications that allows road vehicles to be imported into the country. The document is also required to clear the vehicle from customs control. To apply, you must complete the application and submit the necessary documents to the government agency and is generally reviewed within 20 days of receipt of the necessary paperwork and documents.
Will I incur additional storage charges by shipping my car to Australia?
There are cases where storage charges will be applied to the shipping costs of a car being imported into Australia. The most common scenario is when the vehicle reaches customs prior to the approval of the VIA. In these circumstances, the vehicle is stored until the owner and vehicle meet the required qualifications.
What are the documents needed to import a car into Australia?
When it comes to shipping and importing a car into Australia, a lot is dependent on the type of stay you are planning. If you are planning on a temporary stay, you can import the car under the assumption that it will not be used for longer than 12 months. After the year has passed, you will be required to export the car. If you plan on moving permanently, importing a car from another country is possible, but it is a lengthy process that requires the utmost organization to achieve stress-free results.
It is possible and recommended to use a shipping company or broker when importing a vehicle into another country, like Australia. When doing this, you will want to double-check to ensure that the documents and customs requirements are being addressed. If not, it is your responsibility to take care of it prior to shipping.
So if you aren’t coming for a temporary stay, what is required to move your car to Australia? The Visa and Citizenship requirements for shipping a car to Australia require the car owner to fall into one of the following categories:
- An Australian citizen or has applied to become an Australian citizen,
- An Australian permanent resident with a valid permanent residency Visa or has recently applied for the Visa and is awaiting approval,
- Has a Visa that allows the car owner the ability to apply for a permanent residency Visa such as a 309 Partner Visa or a 482 TSS Visa, or
- The applicant is a New Zealand citizen
The documents that you will be required to produce to import your car into Australia permanently are handled on a point system. Under the Personal Imports Option, a total of 100 points must be obtained, with one document from the primary document category and enough secondary documents to make up the rest of the point total to equal 100.
Please note: If any documents are not in English, they must be translated by an accredited agency before being submitted.
|Primary Documents (Must have at least 1)||Point Value|
|Proof of Australian Employment (letter from employer)||50 points|
|Recent sale or cancellation of overseas residential property||50 points|
|Resignation letter from your overseas employer||50 points|
|Australian residency details (copies of property purchase, rental documents, etc.)||50 points|
|Secondary Documents||Point Value|
|Copies of shipping documents of household goods to Australia||20 points|
|Copies of other residential documents (telephone, electric accounts, etc.)||10 points|
|Proof that you have applied for an Australian Tax File Number||25 points|
|Evidence that you have applied for an Australian bank account||25 points|
|Evidence that you have registered with Medicare||25 points|
|Evidence that you have applied for Australian medical insurance||25 points|
|Proof that you have applied for your Australian driver’s license||25 points|
In addition to these documents, you will need to prove that the vehicle in question is yours. To do this, you can:
- Provide proof that you are a licensed driver in your country of origin (driver’s license)
- Provide copies of the bill of sale for the car or the proper documentation that shows you are allowed to transport it if it is leased
- You will need to show when the vehicle was first registered in your name and provide the registration papers for the previous 12 months
- If any international travel has been done during the 12-month qualifying period, you will need to provide a travel statement. This doesn’t apply to “long trips,” if you have maintained your residency while traveling, you won’t need to provide this.
- If you are required to provide a travel statement, it needs to include:
- An itemized list of travel dates and destinations – all international travel information will be required
- Date and country where you purchased the car – the date should match the proof of purchase you include in your documents
- Date of the registration – which will again need to line up with your other documents
- The date of pickup for the car and when it will be shipped – include that date because it is part of the 12 months of continuous use
- The date you anticipate leaving for Australia
- If you are required to provide a travel statement, it needs to include:
- You will likely need to provide proof that the car has been insured. This can also help expedite the process in some cases.
- Maintenance records are also a good document to show that regular and routine care has been taken with the vehicle in question.
What is the qualifying period for shipping a car to Australia?
If you plan to ship your car to Australia, you need to meet the following qualifying period requirements:
- You have lived in one or more foreign countries for at least 12 months before arrival in Australia, and
- You have owned and had access to legally drive the car you wish to import for at least 12 months, uninterrupted.
Can I import more than one car into Australia?
The rule is only one vehicle per applicant per five-year period. So what do you do when you and your spouse both have vehicles to import? It is possible for each of you to import your own vehicle, but it will require additional considerations.
You and your spouse will have to provide proof of your relationship; in most circumstances, a marriage certificate works fine. Next, each applicant has to meet all of the requirements for personal importation. The addresses that are listed on the applications will need to match all of the documentation as well. The information for each vehicle and each applicant must sync up for importation to occur.
Can a classic or collector car be imported into Australia?
It is possible to have a classic or collector car imported into Australia – and there are two options for this. One is for cars manufactured before January 1, 1989 and the other is for cars at least 25 years old. The most common problem with importing these types of cars into the country is asbestos. Australia banned asbestos in late 2003, so any cars that have car parts that obtain asbestos must be replaced before entering the country.
Australia will test these cars coming into the country for asbestos, and some of the most common car parts where asbestos was used include:
- Brake pads
- Brake shoes
- Bonnet (hood of the car)
- Valve rings
- Air conditioner housings
- And more
How long does it take for an imported car to clear Australian customs?
Depending on where you are shipping your car from, it can take 40+ days (give or take) to reach an Australian port – and that is from the day it leaves the port of origin. Then, once your car reaches the port, it will have to go through customs. Once it enters customs, you can expect about a two-week turnaround time before your car is released. You will also be required to pay the fees for the quarantine and cleaning process as well. A separate fee is also required for inspection.
What fees and charges may be assessed when I ship my car to Australia?
Here is a list of fees that you may or may not end up required to pay when shipping your car to Australia:
- Shipping Costs
- Marine Shipping Insurance
- Vehicle Import Approval - $50 non-refundable
- Origin Port Fees
- Australian Port Charges
- Australian Duty and Entry Fees
- Transport Fees for Container to Depot
- Container Unpacking and Depot Charges
- Quarantine Inspection
- Quarantine Cleaning
- Customs Valuation
- Customs Clearance Fee
- GST in Australia
- Luxury Car Tax
- Personal Import Plate
- Additional Transportation
- Road Ready Changes
- Safety Test Before Registration
- Blue Slip if Registering in New South Wales
- Annual Car Registration
- Driver’s License
- Vehicle Plates
- Stamp Duty
- Delivery to Car Owner
And those are all conditional fees, there may be some required that are not listed, and some of these may not be required of your car shipment. Speak to your car shipping company for more details.
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