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Car Shipping to Australia

Shipping a Car to Australia from the USA

Destination Ports:
Sydney | Melbourne | Brisbane | Adelaide | Fremantle
Port Kembla | Geelong

Shipping Your Car to Australia? Car Shipping to Australia from the USA starts at a cost of $1,195 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 28 – 50 days, depending on the make and model of the vehicle and whether the origin in the USA is on the east or west coast. Below, our 2021 guide to shipping cars will explore everything you need to know about shipping cars to Australia.

Are you ready to get started shipping a car from the USA to Australia?

Request a free online quote – Quotes are available online with a guaranteed response within 24 hours for car shipping and moving services to Australia, so you can quickly find out how much it will cost. Please do not hesitate to call or email us anytime with any questions.

Contact our experts on car shipping to Australia for more information. We are always just a phone call away!

+1 (310) 639-7725

Domestic Coast-to-Coast
+1 (310) 223-0474

Want more information on car shipping services to Australia from the USA?

Read on below in our guide for our US to Australia Vehicle Shipping Checklist, Vehicle Import Options, US to Australia Car Shipping Costs & Time Frame, US to Australia Vehicle Shipping Options, Ports Served in the US & Australia, and other details on shipping a car to Australia.

Car Shipping to Australia Checklist

Here’s a rough guide breaking down the process you’ll need to go through to ship your car to Australia.
  • Determine your vehicle’s eligibility for import under the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s vehicle import options
  • After you’ve determined that your vehicle is eligible and selected an import option, apply for a Vehicle Import Approval
  • Understand the costs of shipping a vehicle, including:

    • Freight and insurance charges when shipping your vehicle

    • Wharf, transport, storage and delivery charges after your vehicle arrives

    • Duties, taxes and fees, including Australia’s GST (Goods and Services Tax) and LCT (Luxury Car Tax)

    • Cleaning charges (for biosecurity, to prevent introduction of invasive species)

    • Registration and insurance requirements in the relevant Australian State or Territory

    • Other charges such as import processing, customs brokers’, and logistics service provider charges

  • Select an international car shipping company and preferred shipping method to transport your vehicle from the United States to Australia
  • Determine your vehicle’s departure and destination ports
  • If you wish to register your vehicle for road use in Australia, you’ll need to get the vehicle plated

More information on the process of shipping your car to Australia can be found in the Australian government’s guide to car shipping to Australia.

Online Quotes - Guaranteed Response within 24 Hours!

Quotes are available online for domestic and international vehicle shipping services. Depend on us for reliable and expedited vehicle relocation services - Our dedicated team of shipping specialists are always a phone call away to answer any questions you may have.

Australia Vehicle Import Options

As you engage in the vehicle shipping process, some of the most important questions to consider include:

  • Whether you plan to permanently keep the car in Australia or if it’s just a temporary move,
  • Whether the car was manufactured before or after January 1989, and
  • Whether you have been the owner of the car for over 12 months.

These questions and more will determine whether your auto is eligible for shipping to Australia, as well as the import category under which you should apply for a vehicle import approval.

Most cars will fall under one of three options: Vehicles Manufactured before 1989, Personal Import, and Letter of Compliance. However, there are many other options available, and you should never assume your scenario is the same as someone else’s. Some vehicles such as classic cars may have eligibility requirements that differ from those for newer vehicles.

Australia Vehicle Import Approval

Once you have determined the vehicle import option you wish to apply for, you must obtain Vehicle Import Approval. This must be completed before attempting to ship your car, as you will need to submit the valid approval to Australian customs. Fail to do so and your auto might be locked up in quarantine or returned to the USA.

When your vehicle arrives at its final destination, you will have to obtain quarantine clearance from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. You will need to produce identification, proof of ownership, valid insurance and proof that all safety standards have been complied with.

Things to Consider

  • You will need to ensure that your car meets all the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Standard Act of 1989, particularly the regulations pertaining to emission levels and safety standards.
  • Note that air conditioning that emits CFC gases is banned in Australia, so do some research on your car’s air conditioning unit before attempting to ship it.
  • At present, due to quarantine issues arising from a stink bug infestation, all vehicles shipped from the USA to Australia and New Zealand must be fumigated. Please speak with a sales representative for further information.

Car Shipping to Australia Costs & Time Frame

Using a baseline of a compact car being shipped using the roll-on/roll-off method from the Port of Los Angeles to the Port of Sydney, our estimate for Car Shipping from USA to Australia starts at a cost of $1,195 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 28 – 50 days (1-2 months), depending on whether the origin in the USA is on the east or west coast.

However, how much it costs to ship a car to Australia can vary according to factors such as the model and make of your auto, your current location, the nearest departure port in the USA, your shipping method of choice, availability of your chosen services and your final destination. Additionally, you’ll need to consider costs such as storage, cleaning, other vendor fees, and Australian taxes & duties.

Duties are levied by Australian Customs before your auto is delivered; if you are staying in Australia on a tourist or temporary visa and importing a auto, you are permitted to import a car for up to 12 months without having to pay customs duty. However, even if you do not pay customs duty, the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and LCT (Luxury Car Tax) will apply regardless of the length of your stay.

Vehicles over 30 years old

  • Duty 0%
  • GST 10%

New and used vehicles up to 30 years old

  • Duty 10%
  • GST 10%

Four wheel drive off road or commercial vehicle

  • Duty 5%
  • GST 10%
To obtain an estimate of the cost to ship a car to Australia, fill out our free quick quote form.

Online Quotes - Guaranteed Response within 24 Hours!

Quotes are available online for domestic and international vehicle shipping services. Depend on us for reliable and expedited vehicle relocation services - Our dedicated team of shipping specialists are always a phone call away to answer any questions you may have.

Car Shipping to Australia Options

Car shipping to Australia can be performed using a shared container, a sole container or a roll-on/roll-off service.


Roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) – This option tends to be one of the more affordable ones as you only must pay port charges and customs clearance charges in addition to the shipping charge. Your auto will be loaded into the holding area of a large vessel, one which resembles a big parking garage. This method is suitable for shipping and handling bulkier vehicles like work trucks, which are quite commonplace due to Australia’s large mining industry.

Transits tend to be faster than with the RoRo service as the containers depart on a weekly basis.


Shared container service – Several vehicles are shipped using one single container. The container must be processed, so more fees are involved than with the roll-on/roll-off method, however they are shared between several clients. Fees include customs clearance, trucking charge, terminal handling charge and a charge for unloading the vehicles at a bonded warehouse.

You may be required to wait for a longer period before your auto can be shipped as the container can only depart with a full load thanks to other clients.


Full container load – This method to ship your car is the same as the shared container load, except that one auto occupies the entire container and the fees, which are like those for shared containers, are borne by you alone.

Container shipping offers the benefit of added security. When the auto is received, photographs are taken of the auto itself as well as the loading process, after which the container door is locked and the auto is kept safe. The auto is only released when the container arrives at the destination, and an agent once again takes photographs of the uploading process. The car is kept secure, so clients may transport other items inside the auto, although they are advised to pack with care as we are not liable for any loss or damage sustained.

We choose not to use wood ramps to load cars like other companies but instead employ a steel loading system, which is more effective in preventing loss and damage – ideal for shipping cars that you may want more secure on their journey from the USA to Australia like muscle cars, classic cars, exotic cars, and more.

Additional Australia Car Shipping Services


Sourcing vehicles – Our long list of car buyers enables us to find and buy vehicles for purchasers located overseas for a commission or additional fee to be paid to the car buyer.


Other services – Some of the auto transport services we offer in overseas territories include domestic pickup of cars, vehicle importing assistance, tracking of your shipment, customs clearance in the USA and a full vehicle inspection report.

Ports Served in the US and Australia

Departure Ports – United States

The location your car will depart from depends on the method of car shipping to Australia, where your car is located, your budget and which services the nearest port offers. We have multiple departure locations in the USA, including Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Miami, Savannah and more.

Destination Ports – Australia

Here are the Australian entry ports that we can ship your car to.

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Adelaide
  • Fremantle
  • Port Kembla
  • Geelong

Cleaning Your Car of Biosecurity Concerns

If you are shipping your vehicle to Australia, it is your responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is clean and free of biosecurity concern. The Australian government is very serious about preventing the introduction of damaging non-native pests, plants and diseases to the continent.

Upon arrival in Australia, your vehicle will be subject to biosecurity control. Biosecurity officers may inspect your vehicle, and if contamination is found during inspection, it will need to be cleaned or fumigated. The officers may even require the quarantine, export or destruction of the goods.

As such, you must clean your vehicle before export, ensuring that it is free of contamination.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in Australia, such contamination includes, but is not limited to, “live insects, seeds, soil, mud, clay, animal feces, animal material, and plant material, such as straw, twigs, leaves, roots, and bark.”

Plating Your Car in Australia

If you intend to operate your vehicle on Australian roads, you’ll need to have the vehicle registered for road use. This is separate from your visa or driver’s license.

This requires you to fill out and submit an Endorsement of Compliance Certificate and register the vehicle in the appropriate State or Territory.

Visit the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development for more information about plating your vehicle in Australia.

Other Australia/US Shipping Options

Online Quotes - Guaranteed Response within 24 Hours!

Quotes are available online for domestic and international vehicle shipping services. Depend on us for reliable and expedited vehicle relocation services - Our dedicated team of shipping specialists are always a phone call away to answer any questions you may have.

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