Car Shipping from USA to Australia

Are you looking to ship a vehicle from the USA to Australia? If so, CFR Rinkens can help.

The first step is to determine whether your vehicle is eligible for import. This should be done before you even begin sourcing for international car shippers, requesting quotations and arranging for travel.

Some important questions you must ask yourself before you make arrangements to ship your car to Australia include:

  • Whether you plan to import the car permanently 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 car is eligible for import, as well as the import category under which you should apply for a vehicle import approval. 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.

You must obtain import approval before attempting to import your car, as you will need to submit it to Australian customs. Fail to do so and your car might be locked up in quarantine or returned to the USA.

To avoid mishaps and decrease your chances of receiving nasty surprises upon arrival, it is important to engage experienced auto shipping specialists to assist with shipping your car from the USA to Australia.


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We have years of experience handling car shipping from the USA to Australia, as well as handling customs clearance and all necessary documentation. No matter which shipping method you choose, be it air shipping, container shipping or roll-on/roll-off, we’ll see to it that the entire process runs without a glitch.

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

The below guide focuses on car shipping to Australia from the USA. To obtain general information and answers to common questions about shipping a vehicle, visit this page.

CFR Rinkens Car Shipping from USA to Australia

Shipping Cars to Australia from the USA

We have multiple departure locations in the USA, including Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Miami, Savannah and more.

The location your vehicle will depart from depends on the method of car shipping to Australia, where your vehicle is located, your budget and which services the nearest port offers. Here are the Australian entry ports that we can ship your vehicle to.

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Adelaide
  • Fremantle
  • Port Kembla
  • Geelong
Auto Transport Methods

Car shipping to Australia can be performed using a shared container, a sole container or a roll-on/roll-off service. To obtain an estimate of the cost to ship a car to Australia, fill out our free quick quote form.

The precise rates will depend on your final destination, the departure port and details pertaining to your vehicle.

The roll-on/roll-off method is an alternative to container shipping, however not all departure ports can facilitate this service, so the use of this method might be limited to select circumstances.

This method is suitable for shipping and handling bulkier vehicles like work trucks, which are quite commonplace due to Australia’s large mining industry.

Another way to ship a vehicle to Australia is by using a container. This can sometimes permit you to ship additional items by storing them in your car. By contrast, if you use a roll-on/roll-off service, you are not allowed to store anything inside the vehicle.

The cost to ship a car to Australia can vary according to various factors such as the model and make of your vehicle, your current location, the nearest departure port in the USA, your shipping method of choice, availability of your chosen services and your final destination.

How do costs vary based on the method of shipping?

Roll-on/roll-off – This option tends to be one of the more affordable ones as you only have to pay port charges and customs clearance charges in addition to the shipping charge. Your vehicle will be loaded into the holding area of a large vessel, one which resembles a big parking garage.

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 car can be shipped as the container can only depart with a full load thanks to other clients.

Full container load – This method is the same as the shared container load, except that one single vehicle occupies the entire container and the fees, which are similar to those for shared containers, are borne by you alone.

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

Transits tend to be faster than with the roll-on/roll-off service as the containers depart on a weekly basis.

We choose not to use wood ramps like other companies but instead employ a steel loading system, which is more effective in preventing loss and damage.

Additional services

Escrow services – We facilitate the sale and purchase of vehicles by collecting the purchase monies for a vehicle on behalf of the seller. We then check the vehicle’s condition and complete the necessary paperwork before transferring the money to the seller and collecting the vehicle at the same time.

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.

Importing Vehicles and Australian Vehicle Homologation

As mentioned earlier, it is crucial to ensure you obtain approval for the import of your vehicle before making any arrangements to ship your car from the USA to Australia.

You will need to obtain an import approval or VIA before you are able to ship your vehicle. Don’t make the mistake of making plans to ship your car or buy a new one before you have been issued approval.

You will also 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.

When your vehicle arrives at your 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
  • 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.
  • If you are staying in Australia on a tourist or temporary visa, you are permitted to import a car for up to 12 months without having to pay customs duty.
  • 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.

Our team of auto shipping specialists are poised to assist you with every aspect of car shipping to Australia from the USA. If you need any information on car shipping to Australia, speak with one of our specialists or fill in our quote form to get a free estimate!

Taxes and Duties

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%
If you need additional information for vehicle shipping overseas, we’ve prepared these convenient online vehicle shipping guides with info specific to each country, including steps when shipping your vehicle overseas, as well as customs and vehicle homologation info.
Don’t see the country you’re looking for? We work with shipping agents all over the world and can assist you with all your worldwide vehicle shipping needs. Request a quote above, or give us a call at 1-888-886-6683.


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