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Car Shipping to Australia from the USA

When shipping a car to Australia from the USA, it’s important to know about the process before you begin. Begin by researching international car shippers, obtaining quotes, and making travel arrangements. Car shipping to Australia is simple once you have the right information to move forward.

Read our guide on how to ship a car to Australia from the USA below and get a quote to start your shipment today!

How to Ship a Car to Australia with Schumacher

Schumacher Cargo Logistics is the premier car shipping service to Australia since 1977. We ship thousands of cars here and make the process easy. However Australia has specific import laws, so we need to understand how they affect your vehicle before we begin.

Some questions to consider before you ship a car to Australia.

  • Are you importing your car permanently or temporarily?
  • Was your car made before or after January 1989?
  • Have you owned it for more than 12 months?

These are just a few of the questions that will determine the eligibility and import category when applying for a Australian vehicle import approval. Not every scenario will be the same. For example those shipping classic cars to Australia have different eligibility requirements than for a newer car.

Without supplying Australian customs with the import approval, it can result in your car being held in quarantine or worse. In the worst case, the car is sent back to the US. That’s why it’s important to use an experienced international car shipping company when transporting a car to Australia. This eliminates any surprise you may encounter upon arrival.

With over 40 years experience shipping cars to Australia and assisting clients with customs clearance and documentation, we’ll make sure the entire process goes smoothly whether you want to ship vehicles via air, containers or roll on roll off.

Our overseas auto transport services offer:

  • Domestic pickup
  • Shipment tracking
  • Vehicle import assistance
  • US customs clearance
  • Full vehicle inspection report

Shipping Cars to Australia from the USA

We operate from five U.S. departure locations including Los Angeles, Houston, Savannah, Miami and New York. When shipping cars from the USA to Australia, we can organize the transport of your vehicle to the nearest port.

Which location you use depends on the method of car shipping to Australia, the location of your vehicle, budget and which services are offered at the nearest port. Below is a table of the different territories in Australia with their respective ports for entry that we service.

Western Australia


New South Wales


South Australia

Shipping Car to Australia Sydney Opera House Panoramic

Understanding the Cost to Ship A Car to Australia:

You can ship autos with us using a shared container, sole container, or roll-on roll-off. To find out the cost to ship a car to Australia using one of these shipping methods, fill out our free quick quote.

Rates will depend on your destination, departure and vehicle information. For example, shipping a car to Australia from LA will have a different price than from NY. Because rates vary, our representatives create custom quotes for each customer on their cost to ship a car to Australia. 

The roll-on roll-off method is an alternative option when moving vehicles overseas. Not all departure ports offer the service, so options may be slightly more limited. This is an option when handling larger vehicles such as work trucks, which is common due to Australia’s mining industry. With roro, nothing else is allowed inside the vehicle. The other way to ship a vehicle to Australia is via container. In some cases, this allows you to bring additional items inside your car. 

Importing Vehicles In Australia

While importing cars to Australia, it is important to follow all of the necessary steps in order to ship successfully. Shipping a car to Australia is simple on the US side, but you’ll need to follow stricter guidelines to complete the import. Listed below are many of the rules to keep in mind when deciding to ship a car to Australia.

Vehicle Import Approval

To import vehicles to Australia, you must obtain an Import Approval, or VIA, prior to shipping your vehicles. If your car import to Australia finishes before the VIA, you may incur storage and other charges. For those reasons, we advise that you don’t make any plans to ship your automobile, or purchase a new one, until approval has been issued.

Motor Vehicles Standard Act of 1989

All cars must meet all safety standards and emission levels required by Australia under its Motor Vehicles Standard Act of 1989. This act makes it an offence to import vehicles to the Australian market unless they comply to all of the country’s standards. Certain vehicles are exempt from this rule such as classic cars in which they don’t need to be modified.

Visit the ADRs Page for more info on the standards required to import a car to Australia

No Shipping Cars to Australia with Asbestos

On Dec 31 2003, Australia banned all forms of production and use of asbestos. This means that before you ship a vehicle to Australia you need to make sure all asbestos is removed. With this in mind we can arrange your asbestos examination and removal at one of our warehouses.

Attached is the PDF with all of the Asbestos Risks for Import Vehicles

Stink Bug Fumigation

Stink bug infestation season needs to be accounted for, we fumigate vehicles shipped from the USA to Australia and New Zealand. All containers and RORO cargo from Sept 1st 2019 through end of April 2020 have to be fumigated within 72 hours prior to loading on the vessel. Please contact your salesperson for more information.

Read more about the Australia and New Zealand Fumigation

Quarantine Clearance

Upon arrival of your vehicle, you will need quarantine clearance from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. For this step, one must have identification, proof of ownership, valid insurance, and compliance with safety standards proof.

Taxes and Duties information

  • 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% |
  • Vehicles valued over AUD$67,525 are subject to a Luxury Car Tax of 33%

Temporary Vehicle Imports in Australia

Those on a tourist or temporary resident visa can import a car for a period of up to 12 months without paying customs duty.

When temporarily shipping a car to Australia from the USA you may need a Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD). Another benefit of the CPD is you will not need the VIA for your vehicle. However if you ship a car to Australia this way, you must ship it back before the limit is up. To see if you need one for your temporary import, contact a carnet specialist and they will advise.

More Resources

Get a Free Estimate for Car Shipping to Australia today!

For further information or to find out how much it costs to ship your vehicle to Australia, call us at 1-800-599-0190 // 562-408-6677 or fill out our online quote form for a free car shipping estimate!

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Schumacher Cargo Logistics utilizes insured, secured and bonded facilities. We provide warehousing, packing, crating, trucking and loading services out of our own warehouses here in the USA - Los Angeles, Houston, Savannah, Miami, New York, and New Jersey. All other worldwide destinations are covered by our affiliated organization member companies.