Left Hand Drive Car Registration in Australia & the 25 Year Rule

Left Hand Drive Car Registration in Australia

With the new 25 Year Rule for car imports to Australia comes the next issue – what about left hand drive car registration in Australia ?

Well, this is handled differently by each Australian State and Territory

So… the age at which a left hand drive vehicle can be legally registered in Australia varies from 0 to 30 years depending on where you live, and the registration conditions also vary.

This means that in some places you can legally import a LHD vehicle, but won’t be able to register it right away, and in other places you can. Confused ?

The minimum age for left hand drive car registration and links to each registration authority for further details are listed below:

QLD – 30 years

NSW – 30 years

ACT – 30 years

VIC – 30 years OR 25 years with a club permit:

Club permits

Left hand drive vehicles more than 25 years old may be issued with a permit authorised by an approved motoring club, under the club permit scheme. This will allow the vehicle to be used on the road when participating in club sponsored or authorised events.

In addition to normal club permit conditions if the vehicle does not have dipping headlamps suitable for right hand drive then it must not be used on the road at night.

Note: Only clubs which are members of an approved motoring association or federation are permitted to authorise applications for permits for left hand drive vehicles.

WA – 15 years

SA – 0 years, ie. no age restriction. SA has a 90 day conditional registration scheme for Historic, Left Hand Drive and Street Rod vehicles. Check out the link for more details.

NT – 0 years

TAS – 0 years, conditional registration

To confuse things further, for vehicles newer than 25 years, conversion to RHD will depend on how it was imported as explained below, but the same registration requirements above will still apply.

Personal imports (brought back with you after living overseas for more than 12 months) can be imported and remain LHD, and the above criteria will apply to registration depending on where you live.

Mainstream / common vehicle models (e.g. Chevrolet Corvette, Toyota Tundra, Dodge Ram, Challenger) imported under SEVS must be converted to RHD at the same time as the usual compliance work.

Rare models with very low production numbers can be imported under SEVS without RHD conversion. But this will only apply to rare / expensive vehicles.

Read about the New Vehicle Import Regulations for Australia here

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