How to import your vehicle into Australia from the UK including a comprehensive FAQ guide

For over 39 years, PSS Removals has been car shipping to Australia. We have a wealth of experience with shipping to popular Australian cities, such as: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and more.

Whether it is shipping your car to Australia, or another country, we always ensure that we provide the very best service for our valued customers. We offer many options for international vehicle transport to Australia. So, whatever your personal car transport needs are, we can tailor your shipment to your needs.
If you need any advice with moving to Australia, or if you want a no-obligation car shipping quote, then call us on 0800 988 3711. You can also see our vehicle shipping FAQ guide below for more information.

Our expert car shippers will work with you to discover the best method of exporting your vehicle to Australia that is most suited to your individual importing needs. You can have your car shipped in a container on its own or with the other household goods you are shipping. We can also offer a roll on/roll off or lift on/lift off method for exporting your car to Australia.

Is it worth shipping your car to Australia?

Cars and other vehicles tend to be much more expensive in Australia – especially European and luxury models. As a general guide if your car is worth £8000 or more then it is certainly worthwhile getting a quote to export it to Australia.

The cost of shipping your vehicle from the United Kingdom is often a lot less than replacing it and when you are moving to Australia you will want to save as much money as you can.

To decide whether it is worth shipping your car to Australia you first need to check if it is allowed under Australian car import rules. Then you need to weigh up the costs of shipping and importing versus the cost of replacing the car in Australia.

Some people advise that it’s not worth considering due to the paperwork involved, but when you have an expert car shipping company such as PSS to guide you, the actual process of shipping your car to Australia is not too difficult.

Why should you trust PSS Removals?

We’re experts in shipping cars to Australia from the UK to all major Australian cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and many more.

You should put your trust in PSS for your car transport to Australia for a plethora of reasons. We are proud members of the FIDI Global Alliance, as well as being accredited by the FAIM Quality Standard for overseas removals. This means that we have been recognised for our ability to provide a professional, expert car shipping service to Australia.

It can bring you comfort to know that we also offer the BAR Advanced Payment Guarantee Scheme, which means any car shipping to Australia costs are protected. We are a leading UK car shipping company so we should be your first choice for shipping your vehicle to Australia.

Shipping your car to Australia is easy with PSS

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STEP 1
Check suitability for importing
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Ensure your vehicle meets requirements & apply for import approval if needed.
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STEP 2
Prepare your vehicle for shipping
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Make sure your car is clean & ready for shipping.
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STEP 3
We collect and ship your vehicle
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We load your car onto container at your address or you deliver it to the port / our depot.
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STEP 4
Arrival & Customs Clearance
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On arrival will take care of customs clearance & arrange for you to collect your vehicle.

Vehicle and Car Shipping to Australia cost calculator

Want to know how it will cost to send your vehicle to Australia? Our free online Cost Calculator will help you estimate the cost.

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How can we help? Call 0800 988 3711

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A FAQ Guide to Shipping Your Vehicle To Australia

How much does it cost to ship a car or vehicle to Australia?

There are a number of costs you need to consider when transporting your car to Australia. To ship a car from London or elsewhere in England to Sydney or other main port in Australia you can expect to pay around £2300 – £2500.

That price includes door-to-door pick and delivery as well as basic customs clearance costs. Costs for Scotland, Wales and Ireland can vary.

There are however a number of other costs you need to consider when importing into Australia. These include:

  • Additional customs and quarantine costs including inspection fees, cleaning, port service fees etc.
  • Taxes and duties – these include the luxury car tax of 33% on vehicles with a value greater than $60,316 ($75,375 for fuel-efficient vehicles) and GST. You’ll also pay duty for the vehicle, which depends on the type and age of the vehicle. A vehicle under 30 years old will incur 5% duty and 10% GST.
  • Compliance and modification costs – if necessary for your vehicle to meet Australian standards and guidelines.
  • Vehicle Registration – you will need to register your vehicle in the relevant state before you can drive on Australian roads.
  • Marine Insurance or Shipment Protection Cover – Your standard motor insurance policy will not cover you for international shipping so you will need to take out additional cover.

 

How long does it take to ship a car to Australia from the UK?

If you are shipping your vehicle as groupage in a shared container it will take about 8-12 weeks.

If you are shipping your vehicle with your belongings in a sole use container (FCL – Full Container Load) it will take around 6-8 weeks.

You will also need to allow additional time for customs clearance and quarantine inspection.

For example you are shipping if you are shipping in sole use container to popular destinations such as Sydney, Mebourne and Perth it will be a lot quicker than shipping in a shared container to remoter destinations such as Darwin and Alice Springs.

 

How do you import a vehicle into Australia from the UK?

There are a number of steps to importing a car or other vehicle to Australia, but they can be done quite simply with the guidance of a shipping company like PSS.

  • Check the viability of importing your car to Australia

You will need to check that your car meets the vehicle import requirements and regulations for Australia and that the value of your vehicle makes the cost of importing it worthwhile.

  • Obtain Vehicle Import Approval
  • Organise your shipping company
  • Get shipping insurance or shipment protection cover
  • Complete shipping forms and gather necessary documentation
  • On arrival arrange customs clearance and quarantine inspection
  • Register your vehicle in Australia
  • Arrange delivery or collect your vehicle

 

What are the car import requirements for Australia?

It is imperative that you understand the requirements for car shipping to Australia. You will need to check with the Australian government before shipment, to ensure you adhere to their strict import requirements. As with every country, you will need to make sure your vehicle meets the safety standards, emissions standards, and vehicle compliance checks relevant to Australia.

You are not allowed to import a vehicle to Australia without first obtaining import approval. If you do not have import approval, your car will not be released from the Department of Home Affairs. The import approval documents will usually be assessed within 20 working days, and it costs $50 for the application process. You will also need to get identification plate approval.

There are various import options for Australia, but you are likely to need the Personal Use option. This option dictates that your vehicle needs to have been owned and used 12 months prior to shipment. Ensure the car goes through a thorough steam clean before shipment, to prevent the spreading of disease, toxins, and pests.

You will need to ensure your car meets all the import approval guidelines. You may need to arrange for modifications to be made to your vehicle (should this be necessary to meet Australia’s import requirements). Testing and evidence for compliance will be obtained here, too, for approval by their authorities. Then lastly, you need to register the vehicle with the appropriate state territory.

View the Australia import requirements checklist and information here on their Government website for more information: https://infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports/ and Australia’s vehicle certification guidelines here: https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/certification/

Take an eligibility test here to ensure your car meets all the appropriate standards: https://infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports/quiz/

If you need any further advice regarding car shipping to Australia, or moving to Australia in general, then please contact one of our friendly moving consultants.

 

How to import a vehicle under the Personal Import Option

The Personal Imports option allows migrants settling in Australia, and expatriate Australian citizens returning permanently to Australia after a long period overseas to bring their personal road vehicle with them, where the vehicle has been owned and used for a period of 12 months or longer. This option is available for individuals only. Companies and / or corporations are not eligible to import a vehicle under this option.

Applicants must have lived in a foreign country (or several foreign countries) throughout the qualifying period of 12 months prior to arriving in Australia. Also, they must now fully intend to become an Australian permanent resident and remain in Australia indefinitely.

To apply for a Vehicle Import Approval under the Personal Imports Option, you need to provide the following documentation:

  • A fully completed application form (include the year, make, model and vehicle identification number (VIN number)
  • $50 non-refundable fee
  • Proof of purchase document for the vehicle in your name
  • A copy of your international or overseas driver’s license
  • A copy of your registration documents
  • A statement of travel
  • A copy of your identity page of your passport
  • A copy of your Australia permanent residence visa if you are not a citizen
  • Additional documents to substantiate your intention to remain in Australia indefinitely.

 

What are the options for shipping your car to Australia?

PSS Removals offers a range of car shipping to Australia options. See below our options, and choose whichever is best for you and your needs. If you are unsure our vehicle shipping experts will be able to advise you.

Option A: Car and household items

It could be a good idea to combine your car shipment and household items together in one load. Our team can bring a shipping container to your home, then carefully secure your vehicle inside for car shipping to Australia. Any remaining space can then be put to use for your household goods and homewares. If you’re moving to Australia and you need to send over a number of items, then this is a great shipment option for you.

We will expertly pack and wrap your items using industry-approved materials and expert handling. They will then be placed in the container alongside the secured vehicle. At your door, we will seal the container with a customs seal before taking it to the UK port terminal for placement on the vessel. From there, the process of household and car transport to Australia will take place.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch for a car shipping quote or any advice on this option (or other options and their car shipping rates).

Option B: Car only

On the other hand, you may need to only send your car abroad. In this case, you can make use of our car-only auto transport option. You will have your very own sole-use container that holds your car (or other vehicle) securely inside for shipment to Australia.

This can be arranged at your place of residence, at a PSS warehouse, or a shipping line container depot – to suit you and your preferences. Then, the car will be loaded onto a vessel for UK to Australia car transport.

Again, if you need a car shipping quote, or further details about our services and moving to Australia, simply give us a call on 0800 988 3711.

Option C: Roll On/ Roll Off (RORO) or Lift On/ Lift Off (LOLO)

This last option is only available at selected ports.

Speak to our team today to see if this is an option for you. It will involve driving your vehicle onto the vessel to then be secured for auto transport to Australia. Then, it is driven off again once it arrives in Australia.

There some disadvantages to this option as your car or vehicle does not receive the same protection it would do if sealed in its own container.

However, this option is useful for larger vehicles such as vans, motorhomes and caravans which may be too wide to fit into a standard shipping container.

Please call us on 0800 988 3711 if you wish to discuss whether this is an option for you.

 

Can you ship your car with personal belongings inside?

It may be possible to ship your car with a few boxes of personal belongings inside. However, it is best to seek advice from one of our international removal consultants first as there are some restrictions.

Remember that all your belongings will be subject to the usual customs requirements and quarantine inspections so don’t think you can cram your car fall.

We do offer very cost effective options for shipping your belongings with your car so please ask us for more details.

 

How to prepare your car for shipping to Australia?

It is important that your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned to ensure all organic material, including mud and dirt, is removed. This is to avoid potential problems with biosecurity and quarantine, in Australia.

We recommend that your car including engine and undercarriage is professionally steam cleaned.

However, we do not recommend that the interior is valeted as this can result in mould and mildew during the voyage.

If your vehicle is required by DAFF Biosecurity to be steam cleaned on arrival, you will be charged cleaning fees and any associated costs.

It is also advisable that your vehicle has a full service and check over before it is shipped.

Your air conditioning system may also need to be degassed (see below).

 

What if my car has air conditioning?

If your vehicle has an air conditioner or a refrigerant system (known as pre-charged equipment) with older refrigerants it may be subject to the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 (OPSGGM Act).

If your system contains these gases it will have to be evacuated (degassed), the gas disposed of and the system either removed or altered to operate with other legal gases. This work must be undertaken by an authorised technician and will be at the importers expense. You can find out more details here: www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/ozone

 

How to ship a motorhome or van to Australia?

The shipping of motorhomes and vans to Australia is very similar to cars. You will need to check that your vehicle meets Australian requirements and obtain Vehicle Import Approval before you begin shipping.

Also, if your vehicle is too wide or tall to fit into a shipping container, then it will need to travel as roll-on / roll-off or lift-on / lift-off.

Motorhomes and vans may also be subject to different rates of tax and duty.

 

How to ship caravans, boats and other vehicles to Australia?

All types of vehicles can be shipped to Australia including caravans, boats, trailers, quad bikes, jet skis and anything else you can think of!

For small vehicles, the best method is to ship them in a container with your other possessions or we can arrange a shared container.

The door sizes of standard shipping containers are about 7’8” (2.28m) wide or 7’5” (2.26m) high. These sizes can vary between shipping companies, but if your vehicle is larger you may need to use RORO or LOLO shipping services.

 

How to ship and import classic cars to Australia?

A lot of people choose to import an older or classic car to Australia. For example, enthusiast, classic or historic motor vehicles that are destined for restoration and hobby use in car clubs.

The Australian has government has a specific import option for cars manufactured before 1989.

This takes account of the fact that these vehicles do not comply with current Australian vehicle standards, and are therefore outside normal certification arrangements.

When shipping valuable cars, you can be sure that our team takes special care to ensure it’s securely and safely packed for its journey.

 

How to ship a motorcycle to Australia?

To ship a motorbike to Australia you will need to follow a similar Import Approval process as for cars.

For the actual shipping, your bike would be secured in a shipping container, often in a wooden crate to ensure it is fully protected during transportation.

Your motorcycle or quad bike can be sent in a sole use container with your other possessions or in a shared container with other people’s belongings.

 

Customs and Quarantine for Your vehicle

As mentioned before, you will need to gain authorisation from the import authority in Australia before car shipment, otherwise your vehicle will not make it through Australian customs. Upon arrival, your car will go through a thorough inspection by the Australian authorities (DAFF Biosecurity). This inspection aims to limit and prevent the spread of diseases, asbestos, noxious weeds, and pests from entering Australia. If anything is found, your car may be seized and you may be fined. So, you must put your car through a thorough steam clean and remove all unnecessary clutter and instruments.

In order to clear Australian customs, you will need to lodge an import declaration with them. You will also need to pay customs duty fees, goods and services taxes, and luxury car tax (if appropriate). Australia’s quarantine requirements are just as strict. You will need to lodge a quarantine entry with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Then, arrange an inspection (as mentioned above).

You will need to follow Australia’s customs clearance guidelines. Plus, we advise that you check over their government guidelines for importing a vehicle to Australia. Lastly, you can find added information here with this step by step process for importing a car to Australia: https://infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports/process_overview.aspx

Alternatively, you can simply give us a call or fill out our form to obtain a car shipping quote and get all the necessary advice on Australian customs and import requirements. Call us on 0800 988 3711 today.

 

What are Customs Duty and Taxes when importing vehicles into Australia?

Unlike for importing removal goods and personal effects, there are no duty/GST free concessions available when importing vehicles to Australia. This means that all vehicles will be subject to duty at 5% and/or GST at 10%, which will be calculated on the value of the vehicle.

Also for high value vehicles there is an additional Luxury Car Tax. Currently the threshold is AUD 60,316 and the rate is 33% on the GST.

The “Customs Value” on which duty/tax is assessed differently depending on whether the vehicle was purchased. To make it even more complicated different customs values are needed to calculate “Customs Duty” and GST. To do this, two separate Customs values are used, one of which will be to calculate the duty and the other the GST.

 

Delivery and Collection of Your car

Once your car arrives after international car transport to Australia, you will be contacted by our team. We will then handle all the customs paperwork with you or on your behalf. Since Australia has such strict guidelines for customs clearance and import requirements, though, we do recommend that you be at hand to ensure the process runs smoothly. Re-read the guidelines that we listed above about customs clearance and registration, as they are incredibly important and should be firmly followed.

Once all is done, we will make reservations with you to give your car back safely.

 

Where in Australia do you ship cars to?

We do vehicle shipping from anywhere in the UK (including London, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) to all destinations in Australia including:

Australian Capital Territory

  • Canberra

New South Wales

  • Sydney

Victoria

  • Melbourne

South Australia

  • Adelaide

Queensland

  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast

Western Australia

  • Perth
  • Fremantle

Northern Territories

  • Darwin

Tasmania

  • Hobart

 

Do I need shipping insurance or shipment protection cover?

We try to do everything we can to protect your vehicle before, during and after car transport to Australia. As industry professionals, we’re proud to say that there are never any major issues. However, it is always a good idea to be protected in case anything does happen.

Your usual motor insurance policy will not cover you for international vehicle transportation. This is why we have a carefully designed Shipment Protection cover to protect your vehicle in case of loss or damage.

Our Shipment Protection cover is backed by Basil Fry and Company and is based on the conditions recommended by the British Association of Removers. This means your car is in safe hands during the whole process. Rest assured that your protection starts as soon as your car is with our team.

For this reason, you can trust PSS Removals with your car shipping to Australia and support throughout the entire process. So, the process is made easy when you opt to ship your car to Australia with us.

 

How to ship your car from Australia to the UK?

We can also arrange for your car or other vehicle to be transported from Australia to the UK. Similar shipping options apply and it can be cost effective to ship your vehicle with your other possessions.

Contact us at our UK office and we’ll put you in contact with our team in Australia who will be able to advise you on the whole process and give you a cost effective quote.