Importing A Car From The USA

Benefits of importing a car from the USA

At first glance importing a car from the USA to Australia may seem like a giant pile of paperwork and approvals.  It’s true that there are a few hoops to jump through. This is only to ensure the road safety of your vehicle and to protect you and other drivers out on the road. The Australian government wants to ensure legal fuel and gas emissions are met. They want to reduce accidents as much as they can.

There are certainly some benefits to importing a vehicle from the USA.  For a start, their cars and campervans are iconic and well made. Some of them are as famous as Hollywood movie stars.  The Hummer, the Mustang and the Camero to name a few. Newer models are cost effective, larger than life, and if you love American muscle cars, nothing else will do.

Before you buy

Yes, you can go through an American dealership, but importing on your own can actually be cheaper for you. It just takes a little time and extra paperwork. The world is getting smaller and vehicle imports are becoming more efficient.  As cars advance in performance and design, so does vehicle transportation and options. But there are still some key points to consider when importing an American car to Australia:-

  • Firstly, check the government import list for American vehicles and make sure yours is there
  • American air-conditioning and gas units are likely to have to be modified for Australian legislation before being released from customs. Make sure you are aware of any modification costs prior to import
  • There is a pre and post 1989 agreement for US car importation. Double check which process matches your chosen vehicle
  • Your car will need to pass through customs. Australian customs are notorious for being tough, so be honest. Make sure your car is prepared and have all your paperwork together
  • If your car is deemed not roadworthy it can be at risk of being shipped back to the USA, or worse crushed. You need to ensure your vehicle, whatever its make, model or year is fully appraised in the U.S.A before it makes its journey to you
  • Modern cars have different requirements. Investigate all options before committing to the import
  • You will need to pay for plate approval and go through a RAWS (Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme) to bring your vehicle into Australia
  • If you are an American citizen, you can possibly bring in your vehicle via a personal import process


Bet on experience

Importing a car from the USA and making sure you have all the paperwork together can seem stressful if you are a first time importer. It pays to seek out a shipping company that has experience in these kinds of imports and that can help you every step of the way.  You can also take the hassle out of searching for a specific company by posting your ad on a car shipping website, where the experts can come and find you and send you a quote.

By following the rules and having some patience, you can have not only your dream car, but one that no-one else in the town has. Prepare yourself to become a head turner behind the wheel!