How to Import a Motor Vehicle to Australia

Are you wondering how to import a motor vehicle? Here are the facts you need to know before getting started.


Asbestos Components on Imported Motor Vehicles Prohibited from 6/3/17

Any imported motor vehicle must be free of Asbestos components including brake linings, clutch linings, gaskets , seals or any other parts of the vehicle. Discuss with us what these implications mean are and how we can assist by giving the correct advice to ensure your vehicle is imported without additional costs be incurred.


Is it difficult importing a motor vehicle from overseas?

If you do not know how to import a motor vehicle or what is required, car imports to Australia can be difficult. We get many “cries for help” from inexperienced people who have decided to import cars to Australia themselves.
Getting the import process, shipping or paperwork wrong can cost you thousands of dollars and months of expensive delay, sometimes to the point of having a vehicle stuck on the wrong side of customs clearance.
There have been cases where people handling their own imports have been forced to sell the vehicle to defray the storage or compliance costs or to re-export it out of Australia.
When you are unsure how to import a motor vehicle yourself, employing a car importer is not an unnecessary expense but an economic advantage.
As vehicle import specialists, we deal with our clients individually; each import situation is unique, we do not use an automated quoting system. We believe the best outcome is achieved by one-on-one attention to detail.
Our team has many years of experience dealing with all types and schemes of vehicle imports.
There is more than one method available when you wish to import a motor vehicle into Australia:
The Personal Import Scheme (PIS)
Vehicles over 25 years old (commenced 10/12/2019)
The Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS)
Rally Vehicles
Off-Road or Farm Vehicles
The Low Volume New Scheme
Temporary Imports (Carnet)

The Personal Import Scheme (PIS)

What is a classed as a personal import?
The Personal Import Scheme (PIS) is designed to allow people migrating to Australia and expatriate Australian citizens returning home permanently after living or working overseas to bring their personal vehicle with them.

Do I meet the PIS requirements?

You must have owned and used the vehicle in a foreign country (outside Australia) for a period of 12 months or longer immediately prior to migrating or returning permanently to Australia. Temporary visitors such as tourists or those on diplomatic or military posting to Australia are not eligible under this scheme.
There are many different types of visa and these are changed from time to time as the Australian Government updates its policies.
To make an enquiry about the Personal Import Scheme and what it means for you, ask our team by phoning or completing the contact form.

Vehicles over 25 years old.

Vehicles that are over 25 years old do not have to be on the SEVS Register (Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme) to be imported. There may be some modifications required before it can be driven on Australian roads. Older vehicle with 12A must be degassed prior to importing. Vehicle with R134A gas no need to degas as allowed to import up to 5 vehicle per importer in one shipment every 2 years Under this scheme, we have helped many people to bring Classic and Vintage cars into Australia, ensuring careful handling to preserve the value of the vehicle.
Contact our team by phone or email for advice about this scheme.

The Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS)

This scheme covers vehicles manufactured AFTER 1989 and allows Australian residents to import certain overseas manufactured vehicles.
Can any vehicle be imported under this scheme?
No, only vehicles that are listed on the Australian SEVS Register (Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme) can be imported.
To find out if the car you want to import from overseas is on the Register, ask our team by phoning or completing the contact form.
Does the vehicle have to be altered before it can be registered for road use in Australia?
Yes, in most cases there will be some modifications required, the cost of these changes will vary with each vehicle.
To ask about the costs involved in getting your import ready for the road, ask our team by phoning or completing the contact form.

Rally Vehicles

It is possible to arrange the permanent import of vehicles to be used solely for the purpose of rallying or motor sport. These would be specialised vehicles not intended for everyday driving.
As these vehicles are rarely “standard”, talk to our team by phone or email about your specific needs.

Off-Road and Farm Vehicles

These are vehicles that will not be registered to drive on public roads. They could be vehicles as varied as dirt bikes, off road motorcycles or fruit harvesters.
This is a specialised area of imports where consideration applies in regard to protecting the Australian manufacture of similar vehicles.
Please contact us by phone or email to see how to import a motor vehicle of this type.

The Low Volume New Scheme

This scheme is for use mainly by car dealers importing a limited amount of vehicles for re-sale to the Australian market. Vehicles imported under this scheme must also be on the Government’s SEVS Register.
If you would like to enquire about the services we can offer to trade customers please contact us by phone.

Temporary Imports (Carnet)

There are a number of reasons you may wish to arrange a temporary import such as a posting to Australia for business, diplomatic or military fixed term contracts. If you are just on an extended touring holiday you may prefer to bring your car or motor home with you. We can and do handle the temporary import of vehicles to help you enjoy your time in Australia.
If you have any further questions, or would like our team to handle your vehicle shipping, contact us today.