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When importing a vehicle into Australia, the first requirement is that you're either a permanent resident or plan to be. For example, if you're in New Zealand and moving to Australia, they will not give you final import approval until you're in Australia and have the immigration stamp in your passport.

To qualify for a personal import approval, the follow restrictions apply:

  1. Only one car per person
  2. The owners must have long term residency
  3. The vehicle must be owned and used for a minimum of 12 months before arrival
  4. The applications must be made within 6 months of the applicants arrival in Australia

You need to apply for an import permit before the car leaves the county at a cost of $50 AUD, please see below link for details.


Do I have to pay import tax when importing a car to Australia?

The applicable rates are as per below:

  • Vehicles up to 30 years old including forward control vehicles: 5% Duty + 10% GST
  • Vehicles over 30 years old: 0% Duty + 10% GST
  • 4wd 'off road' vehicles and commercial vehicles: 5% Duty + 10% GST
  • Motorcycles: 0% Duty + 10% GST

The Duty is levied on the 'Customs value' only, GST is levied on the 'Customs value' + the Duty + the total cost of shipping cars to Australia.

Are there conditions importing a new car to Australia?

Cars with CFC gas will have to be degassed and decommissioned with a certificate supplied. If not degassed/decommissioned the vehicle will be required to have this done prior to release from port in Australia.

  • Vehicles manufactured after 1998 will be assumed to have HFC
  • Vehicles manufactured earlier than 1998 will require evidence of the gas in use.

What is the luxury car tax for Australian car imports?

Luxury Car Tax (LCT) - is an additional tax levied at a rate of 33% on all vehicles (except motorcycles and some commercial vehicles) with a current GST inclusive value in excess of $57,009 AUD. LCT is only payable on the amount in excess of the GST inclusive 'break point', cars with a Customs value over £18,000/AU$43,000/NZ$54,000.

What are the Australian design standards?

Converting a car to full Australian Safety and Emission Control Standards is very difficult and too costly but is not required if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The vehicle has been 'owned and used' for a minimum period of 12 months prior to shipment from the originating country
  • The car was manufactured prior to 1 January 1989
  • The car was purchased new and manufactured to Australian specification/standards
  • The vehicle was originally manufactured or sold in Australia and still has its Australian compliance plate fitted.
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