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Shipping Your Car to Australia: Everything You Need to Know

By June 2, 2023September 21st, 2023No Comments
Car Shipping to Australia

Shipping a Car to Australia:

What You Need to Know Before Moving

If you’re planning to move from the United States to Australia, one of the things you might need to consider is how to transport your vehicle. Shipping a car overseas can seem like a daunting task. With the right information and help, it can be a smooth process. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of what you need to know when shipping a car from the US to Australia.

These include the regulations, costs, and options available. 

So, whether you’re relocating for work or exploring the Land Down Under, read on to find out how to get your vehicle to your new home safely and efficiently.


A Disclaimer About Driving in Australia 

Before we dive into the details of shipping your car to Australia, it’s important to note that driving in Australia is quite different from driving in the United States. Australian roads are often narrower and more winding. These require drivers to be comfortable driving on the left-hand side of the road.

shipping car to australia

The Australian government has strict regulations for importing cars, so it’s crucial to understand these rules before shipping your vehicle.

Cost of Shipping a Car from the US to Australia

The cost of shipping a car from the United States to Australia can vary depending on many factors. These include the type of vehicle, the shipping method, and the port of departure. As a rough estimate, you can expect to pay between $2,500 and $5,000 for shipping a car from the US to Australia.

Here are some more specific cost estimates based on the three most common departure ports in the US:

  • From Los Angeles: Shipping a car from Los Angeles to Australia can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $3,500, depending on the size and weight of the vehicle and the shipping method.
  • From Chicago: Shipping a car from Chicago to Australia can cost between $3,000 and $4,500, depending on the abovementioned factors.
  • From New York: Shipping a car from New York to Australia is typically the most expensive option, ranging from $3,500 to $5,000. This is due to the distance between New York and the West Coast departure ports, which can add to the shipping costs.

It’s worth noting that these estimates are just a rough guide. The final cost will depend on the specific details of your shipment. In addition to the shipping costs, you’ll need to factor in any taxes, duties, and fees associated with importing the car into Australia.

Read more: The cheapest way to ship your car abroad in 2023.

Top  Car Shipping Companies to Australia

Here is a table of the top Car Shipping Companies to Australia from the US. Ratings are based on Years in Business, Reputation, and Customer Reviews.

Best Overall

Corporate Relocation

Great Reputation

Ad-on Services



Preparing Your Vehicle before shipping to Australia

Before shipping your car from the US to Australia, there are a few important steps you’ll need to take to ensure that your vehicle is ready for transport. 

Cleaning and Inspecting the Vehicle

Before shipping your car, it must be thoroughly cleaned and inspected for damage or issues. First, it helps to ensure your vehicle will be cleared for import by Australian customs officials. Second, it allows you to document any pre-existing damage, which can be helpful in the event of an insurance claim.

car shipping regulations to Australia

When cleaning your car, be sure to pay special attention to the undercarriage, wheels, tires, interior, and exterior. Remove any personal belongings from the car, and make a note of any existing damage, such as dents, scratches, or other cosmetic issues.

Completing the Documentation

In addition to cleaning and inspecting your car, you’ll need to complete various documentation before your vehicle can be shipped to Australia. This includes:

  • Vehicle Title: You’ll need to provide the original title or a certified copy of the title for your vehicle.
  • Bill of Sale: You’ll also need to provide a bill of sale or a commercial invoice that lists the car’s value.
  • Export Declaration: You’ll need to file an export declaration with the US Customs and Border Protection agency. This is to declare your intent to ship the vehicle overseas.
  • Import Permit: Before your vehicle can be imported into Australia, you’ll need to obtain an import permit from the Australian government.
  • Shipping Contract: Finally, you’ll need to sign a shipping contract with your chosen carrier that outlines the terms and conditions of the shipment.
shipping car to australia from the US

By completing all of the necessary documentation and preparing your vehicle for transport, you can ensure that your car will be ready for safe and legal shipment to Australia.

After Arrival in Australia

Once your car arrives in Australia, there are a few additional steps you’ll need to take before you can legally drive it on Australian roads.

When your car arrives in Australia, it will need to be cleared by Australian customs officials. This process can take several days, and you’ll need to provide various documentation to complete the clearance process. This may include:

  • Original Bill of Lading: This document serves as proof of vehicle ownership.
  • Import Permit: You’ll need to present your import permit to customs officials.
  • Evidence of Compliance: You may need to provide evidence that your car complies with Australian safety and environmental standards.
  • Payment of Taxes and Duties: You’ll be required to pay any applicable taxes and duties associated with importing your vehicle into Australia.

Once your car has been cleared by customs, you’ll be able to take possession of it and make arrangements for registration.

driving car in Australia

To legally drive your car on Australian roads, you’ll need to register it with the appropriate state or territory authorities. This involves providing proof of ownership and complying with Australian safety and environmental standards. You’ll also need to pay registration fees and any applicable taxes or levies.

It’s important to note that each state and territory in Australia has its own registration requirements and fees. It is important to research the specific requirements for your location. You may also need to obtain a roadworthiness certificate before registering your car.

Read Here: How much does it cost to move to Australia from the US

By following the necessary customs clearance and registration steps, you can ensure that your car is legally imported and ready for safe driving on Australian roads.

moving quote

Reasons to Ship a Car to Australia from the US

If you’re considering shipping your car from the United States to Australia, you might be wondering why it’s worth the effort and expense. While there are certainly some challenges involved, there are also some great reasons to consider bringing your vehicle with you.

Here are a few of the most compelling reasons to ship your car to Australia:

  • Cost-savings. While shipping your car to Australia does come with a cost, it can still be more affordable than purchasing a new vehicle once you arrive. You’ll also avoid the expenses associated with selling your car in the US, such as advertising fees and potential depreciation.
  • Familiarity. If you’re attached to your current car, shipping it to Australia means you can continue driving a vehicle you’re comfortable with rather than adapting to a new car and driving habits.
  • Practicality. Having your own car in Australia can be a major convenience. Especially if you plan to live outside a major city. It can also be helpful for exploring the country at your own pace, without relying on public transportation or rental cars.
Know More: What’s the cost of living in Australia

If you’re a classic car enthusiast who owns a vintage car that’s not available in Australia or is extremely rare, then shipping your car from the US to Australia could be the best way to bring your prized possession with you. In addition, you could be attached to your car and want to keep it as close to its original condition as possible.

For you, shipping it from the US to Australia would be a good option.

Furthermore, if you’re planning on staying in Australia for an extended period, shipping your car from the US to Australia could be a more economical option. It is better than buying a new car in Australia or renting one for an extended period. This is especially true if you’re moving to a more rural or remote area where owning a car is essential and public transportation options are limited.

Save Money When Moving Overseas

Did you know? IVL has been rated as the best International Mover. Click to read reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I ship any type of vehicle to Australia?

No, not all vehicles are eligible for import into Australia. The Australian government has strict regulations on the types of vehicles that can be imported, including safety and environmental standards. It’s important to check these regulations before deciding to ship your vehicle.

Read Here: The best way to ship car overseas

How much does it cost to import a car to Australia?

The cost of importing a car to Australia can vary depending on several factors, including the type of vehicle, the shipping method, and any taxes or fees associated with the import process.

As mentioned earlier, you can expect to pay between $2,500 and $5,000 for shipping a car from the US to Australia. Additional costs will be associated with customs clearance & registration. Any necessary modifications to comply with Australian safety and environmental standards will be extra.

Know More Here: Tips for Relocating your expensive car

Can I ship personal belongings in my car?

While it’s possible to ship personal belongings in your car, it’s generally not recommended. Many shipping companies have restrictions on the types of items that can be shipped with a vehicle. Any items in the car may be subject to inspection by customs officials upon arrival. Removing all personal belongings from the car before shipment is generally best.

car shipping cost to Australia


Shipping Your Car to Australia with International Van Lines

Shipping your car from the US to Australia can seem like a daunting process. With the right information and help, it can be a smooth and stress-free experience.

At International Van Lines, we specialize in international relocation and car shipping services. We can help you navigate the complex process of importing your vehicle into Australia.

Our team of experienced professionals can provide you with a comprehensive range of services. They include vehicle inspection, documentation assistance, and door-to-door transport.

We also offer full insurance coverage for your shipment. We can assist you with any necessary customs clearance and registration processes upon arrival in Australia.

Read Here: All about International Auto Transport Quotes

Plan to ship your car to Australia? Consider International Van Lines as your trusted partner for international relocation services.

Contact us today to learn more about our auto transport services and how we can help you with your move.

 More about International Van Lines

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