Pubished on February 11, 2015 | Import Cars From Japan, Import Cars From UK

Car Imports Australia

Import permits are mandatory for all road vehicles imported to Australia. There are a variety  of different import permits available for different types of cars, unfortunately not all cars can be imported to Australia. Below is a list of the Vehicle Import Permits available, please read carefully before you make any purchase and prior to shipping your car to Australia.

The two most common schemes used are to assist people who are migrating to Australia to bring their vehicle, and also for classic historicial manufactured prior to 1989.

Vehicle Import Permits available in Australia

Classic cars – Vehicles manufactured prior to 1989 which do not have any major modifications can be imported under the pre-1989 scheme. Any modifications should be reported to the department of infrastructure to determine if approval will be granted

Migrating to Australia – if you are migrating to Australia the government has put in place an Import permit specific for your situation. As long as you have lived overseas and owned your car for more than 12 months to be eligible under the Personal Import Scheme and you can only import one vehicle every 5 years.

Enthusiast Cars – SEVS permits is for Enthusiast cars, only certain cars are approved on the SEVS list which you can find out if your vehicle is already approved on the RAWS Australia website. If its not approved already you can apply to the RVCS to have make & model of the vehicle you are wanting to import to Australia added to the list.

New cars and any vehicle manufactured post 1989 – Any vehicle manufactured after 1989 which is not eligable for one of the other import permits available is required to get  complied to Australian standard by a RAWS approved workshop. The RAWS Workshop must issue you the Import permit and handle the conversation to Australian Standards.

Race Cars – Vehicles non designed for public road use and specifically for racing have there on permit. Vehicles entering Australia for a race must provide the details of the race and driver to gain approval 

Off Road Vehicles – Vehicles not designed to go on public roads still require a permit for Australian Customs to gain clearance into Australia. The vehicle must be for designed for off road use and can never be registered for use on public roads in Australia.

Temporary Imports – For Temporary Importation you must have a Carnet de Passages. The car must not be sold in Australia and must be re-exported back to the originating country within 12 months. You will also have you pay a bond or have a bank guarantee covering the import taxes for Customs.

Additional Import Permits – There are also several other discretionary vehicle import permits for exhibitions, military forces, special purpose vehicles and repairs available. Please contact us for any further advice or information.

Air Conditioning – All air conditioning units must also get a seperate CFC Permit or have the gases removed from the unit prior to Shipping to Australia & then declared to customs

Left Hand Drive Vehicles –  The same Import Permit schemes above apply to left hand drive cars as for right hand drive cars but only cars older than 30 years can generally be registered as a left hand drive vehicle in most states of Australia.

What Happens if I Import a Car Without Approval?

Importing a vehicle is an offence without a valid import approval. Penalties for this offence can be a fine of up to A$13,200. You cannot gain customs clearance in Australia without a Vehicle Import Permit, Customs bond storage is expensive is you best

What Import taxes apply to cars Imported into Australia?

Import Duty 5%:

Import Duty is applicable on vehicles that do not comply with Schedule 4 or any of the Free trade Agreements we have in place

Vehicles that are 30 years or older are duty free as per the following item from Schedule 4(please note that the vehicle must comply with the following):

SCHEDULE 4: Item 41D 941 (* )

Vehicles of an age of 30 years or more, being:
(a) utilities or pick-ups, having a g.v.w. not exceeding 3.5 tonnes classified under 8704.21.10 or 8704.31.10 of Schedule 3; or
(b) passenger motor vehicles

RATE: Free

Luxury Car Tax:

Applies on vehicles that exceed the allowable Luxury Car Tax threshold which is currently A$60,316 based on the vehicle sell price less duty, GST or LCT. Luxury Car Tax is payable at 33%

Import GST

10% GST applies on all imported vehicles

The only exemption is vehicles that are solely designed for people with a disability.

Does quarantine need to inspect my vehicle?

All used cars and vehicles are subject to a mandatory Australian Quarantine Inspections. All vehicles must be clean and free of quarantine risk material prior to arrival in Australia to avoid quarantine cleaning upon arrival.

Common quarantine problem with vehicles

  1. Soil around wheels, muffler, guards, mud guards
  2. Spare tyres and boot
  3. Engine bay and/or radiator
  4. Dirt underneath of the car or vehicle
  5. Leaves seeds and soil in the Interior of the car or vehicle

If your import car or vehicle is found to have quarantine matter by the quarantine officer it will be directed to quarantine cleaning. This can involve steam cleaning/high pressure cleaning, disinfecting and vacuuming which is all at the importers cost.

Below are some links for further information. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Information Brochure Pre 1989 Scheme

Examples of Converted Vehicles 


  • Paul Vaccarella | December 28, 2015 | Reply

    Hi I’ve found a car in Illinois USA and want to import it to Sydney. What would be the cost of this. It’s a 1968 Dodge Charger project. All the parts are not on the car also. Kind regards Paul.

    • Daryl McIntyre | December 29, 2015 | Reply

      Hi Paul, we’ll get back to you with the quote soon, thank you for your patience!

  • Adam | February 25, 2016 | Reply

    Hi, I would like to purchase a used motorhome (2013) in the UK and import it to Australia for personal use. Am I permitted to do this?

    • Daryl McIntyre | April 5, 2016 | Reply

      Hi Adam, let us get back to you shortly to this question!

    • Daryl McIntyre | April 12, 2016 | Reply

      Hi Adam, some motorhomes are possible to import from the UK, other are not and we need to know the make / model to confirm it is eligible for import.
      Please email us: sales at

  • Capri Parmar | April 8, 2016 | Reply

    I am looking at purchasing the 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby 350GT R. Do you think I could import this car to Australia without major hassles and what might shipping costs by from California.

    Thanking you

    • Daryl McIntyre | April 12, 2016 | Reply


      The shipping is easy we have an all in rate depot to depot for $2950 + government taxes + Cleaning if required. the main cost will be in the compliance. I recommend you contact some RAWS workshops and get this pricing before you purchase so you have the conversation costs and confirm its eligible for import. I will also send you an email directly with more information

      Regards Daryl

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