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Shipping your Car to Australia – How to Import a Car to Australia

Shipping your car to Australia can be tedious and complicated, but if you have the right car, it can be very rewarding. You must make sure that you not only have enough money for the necessary storage and transportation, but can cover the cost of duties and taxes. There are many ways that you can simplify the process, and it begins with knowing the correct legal procedures.

Before shipping your vehicle, it is imperative that you get a Vehicle Import Approval (VIA) from the Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, who can be contacted at

As implied by its name, the VIA will give you permission to ship your new car into Australia. Obtaining a VIA is absolutely essential, and failure to do so may result in the car being exported or destroyed at your expense. Next, make sure that you pay the necessary duties and taxes, including the Goods and Service Tax and the Luxury Car Tax (should this apply to your car). Once this step is completed, you can begin transporting the vehicle.

The next step is to make sure that you have declared your car to customs. You can either obtain the necessary documents online or at a Customs counter. If you plan on declaring your vehicle online, go to the (Australian Tax Office) website. Once all the necessary fees have been paid (including, but not limited to duties and taxes,) you will be issued an authority to deal (ATD) which will allow you to use the car for home consumption.

Your car will be put in quarantine while it is being inspected. To find out more about this process, go to Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) website and contact the port that the car is being shipped to. AQIS will arrange an inspection to make sure that your car is clean & does not violate any terms of the Australian import rules (you will have to pay for any cleaning that the vehicle might require.)

Before importing your car, make sure you get an insurance quote. You can even buy imported car insurance; before shipping to ensure that the vehicle has all the necessary documents for use. Having proper insurance is essential, and you should make sure that you find imported car insurance that is both affordable and reliable.

Author: Ted Brumby

Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia.
Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assitance, Getting Down Under.

If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Forums

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