New 25 Year Rule for Car Imports to Australia

The New 25 Year Rule for Australia commenced on 10 December 2019:

  • Rolling 25 Year Rule (25 years old to month / year at the time of import approval application)

  • Operates in a similar way to the previous “1988 and older” rule

  • Applies to cars, 4WD’s and motorcycles (not buses, trucks or commercial vehicles)

  • Significantly modified vehicles and vehicles with certain modifications newer than 25 years are not allowed

How to apply for an Import Approval under the 25 Year Rule and what is considered significantly modified.

Read more about the new vehicle import regulations

Vehicle Import Regulation changes

Understanding the New 25 Year Rule for Australia (and Concessional Vehicle Imports scheme)

The 25 Year Rule commenced operation on 10 December 2019.

What can be imported under the 25 Year Rule and how to apply for a 25 Year Rule Import Approval

Full details of the New Vehicle Import Regulations 2019

Online Auction Search — start your research on any model by browsing upcoming Japanese auction cars plus 3 months of past auction car sales

Automated Auction Alerts — FREE TRIAL our automated auction alerts system for any model

If you want to import an early 90’s model Japanese or European classic car under the new 25 year rule, we recommend allowing a good budget and sufficient time to source the best condition.

Classic cars have been receiving a lot of attention in recent years and consequently prices for current and future collector cars have jumped significantly over this time with some having increased more than four times in price.

Important — The USA also has a 25 year rule, so Australians compete with US buyers (and their strong dollar) on the same cars. The USA is typically buying up to a year ahead of eligibility age with storage of the vehicles prior to shipping.

This can be seen by the clear market price rises at around 24 years old. So buying in advance of import eligibility is standard practice.

Yes, we can offer storage in Japan and for most collector cars this will end up cheaper than the market price rise over the same period.

The 25 Year Rule is similar to the previous 1988 and older rule, so for most vehicles this will mean relatively low compliance costs of less than $1,000 depending on the model. Additional costs may be incurred depending on whether side intrusion bars and retractable seat belts are required. This is controlled by each State / Territory registration authority at the time of roadworthy inspection.

The Govt. intends to open dialogue with State and Territory registration authorities to make the compliance and checking process consistent across Australia; this is very welcome and would vastly improve the current system, making it easier, cheaper and more reliable.

A range of interesting import options are available under this rule.

You can use our online Auction Search to view upcoming auction cars across Japan and browse 3 months of past auction results to gauge availability and pricing.

The Honda NSX (which is at the top of the list for import under the 25 Year Rule based on the number of enquiries we receive) has been rapidly rising in price over the last few years so you’d better get in quick if you want one.

Click here for the last 3 months of 1991 – 1994 NSX auction results to start your research.

With only limited numbers available, demand will quickly push up prices so we highly recommend advance purchase and storage as the opportunity to buy one of these cars will be fleeting.

Honda NSX (production 1990-2005)

Honda NSX import 25 year rule

Nissan Skyline R32 GTR

Should you import an R32 GTR now or wait for the 25 Year Rule ?

R32 GTR import

Mitsubishi Starion (last production year 1989 models are now possible to import)

Starion import

JZA70 Supra

JZA70 Supra import

Delta Lancia Integrale

Lancia Integrale import

Suzuki Cappuccino


Mazda Cosmo

Mazda Cosmo import

Mazda MX-5

MX-5 import

BMW M3 and others

BMW M3 import

Porsche 944 and others

1985 Porsche 944 25 year rule

Mercedes 190E and others

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E Cosworth Evolution 2 25 year rule

Mitsubishi Cyborg

Mitsubishi Cyborg 25 year rule

Toyota Celica

Celica TA27 25 year rule

Mazda RX-7

1990 Mazda RX-7 25 year rule

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