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CAR SHIPPING TO AUSTRALIA – GUIDE TO SHIPPING

A car is shipped on its own in a sealed 20’ container from our private warehouse near Barking / East London. Ships normally sail every week taking 5–7 weeks in transit to Fremantle (Perth), Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. It can take a further 2 to 4 weeks for clearance and roadworthy testing before a car is ready to be registered to be used on the road.

A booking is made by completing our shipment booking form and can be made up to 3 months or as little as 1 week before shipment. Cars cannot be shipped if there is finance still outstanding.

All vehicles entering Australia require an import approval. The personal import requirements are that Australian residency (a visa allowing work for at least 2 years or that can be upgraded in the future to a permanent visa) or nationality is required and that the car owner can show that they are actually moving to live in Australia. Only 1 car per person is allowed every 5 years and the vehicle must have been owned and used in the UK for a minimum period of 12 months.  If the vehicle is older than 1989 then none of these requirements apply although an import approval is still necessary.

Import approval is obtained by completing an online Australian government (DIT in Canberra) application form and attaching scanned copies of the car and personal papers and it can take 4–6 weeks to obtain. Although the approval is only required once a car arrives at the Australian port it should be obtained before shipment of the vehicle from the UK.

The costs in the UK are for shipping and Lloyds of London marine insurance payable before the day of sailing by UK cheque or bank transfer. In Australia costs are payable for local shipping line, port fees and container unpacking, customs clearance, quarantine inspection and possibly cleaning, road safety preparation and a roadworthy test, as well as annual registration and possibly stamp duty and driving insurance.

The Australian import taxes on most cars are 5% duty and 10% GST. Duty is paid on the customs value and GST is paid on the total of the customs value + duty + cost of shipment. Usually the customs value is based on the Australian ‘as landed’ value which can be as low as half of the actual Australian market value.

Any items or personal / household effects packed inside a car would travel free of charge. An unaccompanied personal effects declaration is required at destination and items would be customs and quarantine cleared separately from the vehicle.

We recommend agents in Australia who liaise with the local port and arrange unpacking, handle all of the arrival custom and quarantine formalities and work with a roadworthy preparation company for testing and registration.

A guide to the costs would be £1,550–1,650 shipping + £100–400 marine insurance in the UK and A$4,500–5,500 in Australia excluding taxes and annual registration and insurance.

Full, printable information covering everything on this website and more, including a guide to prices and useful website and contact addresses, can be found in the Australia Info Pack (PDF).

AU | Key FactsAU | Guide to Shipping
AU | Cost CalculatorAU | Rules & Regulations
AU | Customs ValuationAU | Import Approval
AU | Costs on ArrivalAU | Vehicle Tax Rates
AU | Links & ContactsAU | Info Pack (PDF)

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British International Freight Association