Personal Car Import to Australia from any country

2021 UPDATE. Please Note – for personally imported vehicles we can only assist with shipment / import if you are returning from either Japan or New Zealand to Australia. We no longer handle shipments from other countries such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, UK or the USA.

Personal Car Import Specialists — Complete logistics from shipping through to Australian registration for all States of Australia

We make the personal car import process simple and worry free if you are relocating to or moving back to Australia and want to bring your personal vehicle with you.

We also provide expert car valuations for Australian Customs valuation purposes and will beat any written professional quote.

If you use our service for your personal import, we will provide your car valuation free of charge.

The requirements of the Personal Import Scheme (PIS) are explained in detail below. Please review these carefully and if you qualify to use this option you are welcome to contact us for an obligation free quote for your personal car import to Australia.

You will need to include the make, model and year of the vehicle, your location, timeframe, your residency / visa situation and any other relevant considerations so we can best advise you.

Importing a car to Australia is no small thing and can be a complicated process particularly if you choose the personal import method.

The Australian Personal Import Scheme (PIS) allows the import of one vehicle per person every 5 years.

The PIS 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.

The personal import option only covers individuals (who are old enough to obtain an Australian driver’s license). Companies and/or corporations are not eligible to import a vehicle under the PIS.


Applicants must satisfy ALL of the following ownership requirements. You must:

  • own the vehicle when submitting the application; and

  • have acquired ownership of the vehicle while overseas; and

  • have owned the vehicle while overseas for a continuous period of at least 12 months. This is the “qualifying period”. The qualifying period must have occurred immediately before you (permanently) arrived in Australia.

Use of the Vehicle

The vehicle must have been available to you for use as transport. This means that the vehicle must have been available to be driven by you, at all times during the 12 month qualifying period.

Evidence would include that the vehicle is registered (in your name) and was garaged (proximate to your residence) throughout the 12 month qualifying period, so that you could drive the vehicle. In addition, evidence that you held an appropriate licence to drive the vehicle overseas would assist in confirming the vehicle was available for use.

Citizenship and Visa Requirements

You must meet one of the following:

  • be an Australian citizen; or

  • have applied to become an Australian citizen; or

  • be an Australian permanent resident (e.g. hold a permanent visa); or

  • have applied to become an Australian permanent resident (e.g. applied for a permanent visa); or

  • hold a visa that allows you to apply to become an Australian permanent resident (e.g. hold a temporary visa that allows you to apply for a permanent visa); or

  • otherwise be entitled to remain in Australia indefinitely (e.g. you are a New Zealand citizen).

Date of Application for Import Approval

Applications may be made before you arrive in Australia OR up to six months after you arrive in Australia.

Visit the Australian Govt. website for full details of the Personal Import Scheme and import approval application information.

Importing a vehicle is much more than just shipping it from one country to another.

There are many things to consider before getting started, the most important being how to obtain a Vehicle Import Approval and which import method to use.

With over 20 years experience in personal vehicle imports, we can advise you on the best and most cost effective vehicle import option to suit your needs:

  • Personal Import Scheme (PIS)

  • normal road use (SEVS and personal car import schemes)

  • race / rally

  • vintage or classic (1988 and older)

  • off road and farm vehicles

We manage and guide you throughout the entire process from start to finish providing complete logistics from import approval application to having your car on the road in Australia.

Whether you are importing a car from Japan, the United States (USA), England (UK), Ireland, Europe, Hong Kong (HK), Singapore, New Zealand (NZ), South Africa or any other country to Australia, it is critical to ensure the process is carried out correctly.

We arrange / advise on shipping, personal car import approval applications, air conditioning and asbestos regulations, valuations, Customs and Quarantine clearance, compliance and registration.

The cost and process of personal car import to Australia varies depending on the type of vehicle and the best vehicle import method for your situation.

Personal car imports require a considerable amount of paperwork before and after shipping. This can be daunting for someone who has never imported a car before and there are many pitfalls to avoid.

Like any new undertaking, the risk of inexperienced vehicle importers being overcharged or making an expensive mistake on procedure / paperwork is high.

This is where the experience of good vehicle import agent (car broker) can really help. Best of all, reduced shipping and compliance rates available to our clients will usually cover most or all of our fee.

Japan for example requires several official pieces of paperwork before your car can be exported. We assist you with everything you require to speed up the process in Japan and avoid any confusion. We also organise the transport within Japan, shipping to Australia and clearance through Australian Customs and Quarantine, leaving you to focus on the move itself.

Note that personal effects (household items) inside vehicles are often not accepted by shipping companies (and loose items present a security risk), so if you have a large number of items to ship back with you it is likely to be more cost effective to ship your car in a container rather than roll on / roll off (roro) car carrying ship.

In terms of total cost, we also need to consider which country you are shipping from, and where you are located within that country relative to the nearest Port.

In addition to shipping and agent fees, there are of course import taxes and registration costs to consider.

Sometimes when you work it all out, the final cost may not be worth the end value of the vehicle in Australia. This will mostly affect vehicles with a relatively low cost. We are happy to advise you on the likely costs to help you decide whether it is worth importing your vehicle to Australia.

Contact us for an obligation free quote for your personal car import to Australia.

So we can best advise you – please provide the make, model and year of the vehicle, your location, timeframe, and any other relevant considerations.

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