How to Import Your Car Successfully to Australia from a Foreign Country?


If you are an Australian settled in another country for a long time and now planning to return to your homeland, or if you’re a migrant settling in Australia, one of your biggest problems may be importing your car to Australia.

Fortunately, it’s easy to import your vehicle to Australia as long as you owned it for at least 12 months.


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Let’s see what other requirements you should meet.

Personal Imports Option

The option under which you can import your vehicle to Australia is the Personal Imports Option and it’s covered by Regulation 13 of the 2019 Motor Vehicle Standards Regulations.

The personal imports option enables expatriate Australian citizens planning to return permanently to Australia or migrants settling in Australia to bring their personal vehicle with them if they own and are using it for 12 months or longer.

The personal import option can be used only by individuals. Corporations and/or companies don’t qualify for this option.

Change of Residence

Applicants should have lived in a foreign country (or multiple foreign countries) all through a qualifying period of 12 months before returning to Australia.

The applicant should now wish to become a permanent Australian resident and live in Australia for an indefinite period.

Temporary visitors like tourists, posted military personnel or posted diplomatic personnel don’t qualify for this option.


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What are the Criteria?

Certain criteria are mandatory to meet for this option and are strictly enforced. In the event of failure to meet the criteria, you cannot import your vehicle under this option.

Ownership of the Automobile

The following ownership criteria are mandatory if you want, for example, to import car from USA to Australia. Thus, you should:

  • Own the automobile while submitting the application
  • Have acquired ownership of the automobile while being in the foreign country
  • Have continuously owned the automobile while being in the foreign country for at least 12 months(The 12-month period is known as “qualifying period” and it should have occurred right before you arrive (permanently) in Australia)

Use of the Automobile

The automobile should have been available to you for use as transport i.e. to be driven by you throughout the qualifying period of 12 months.

Proofs to establish such availability include the proof of registration of the vehicle in your name and garaging of the vehicle near your residence throughout the 12-month period.

Along with this, if you also hold a proper licence to drive the automobile overseas, it would help in confirming that the automobile was available to you for use.

Requirements for Citizenship and Visa

You should come under one of these categories:

  • An Australian citizen
  • An Australian permanent resident
  • Have applied to become an Australian citizen
  • Have applied to become an Australian permanent resident
  • Have a visa that permits you to apply to become a permanent Australian resident
  • Otherwise qualify to remain indefinitely in Australia (e.g. a citizen of New Zealand)

Your Age

Your age should be appropriate to hold an Australian driving licence.

Once you meet all these criteria, you can just find the international car shipping cost according to Import Direct Car Sales, and look forward to getting your car imported successfully to Australia.