How to benefit from the car market opening in Australia

From 2018 consumers will be able to import a new vehicle into Australia once every two years. Here are 8 important steps to fully benefit from the car market opening in Australia.

  1. Find a trustable car dealer
  2. Recover 20% VAT when buying a car from the UK
  3. Transit finance
  4. Ship your car
  5. Car inspection in the UK
  6. Marine Transit Insurance
  7. Arrival at Australia
  8. Drive your car in Australia


1.  Find a trustable car dealer

When buying a car from overseas you need to make sure that what you pay is what you get. That’s why we are here to offer you a solution through our trading partner Universal Mercantile Services (UMS).

The way it works is that the purchase will be processed through UMS. You pay UMS and they pay the dealer – this means you know who you pay and you get a proper legal contract in place to defend your rights.

2.  Recover 20% VAT when buying a car from the UK

In collaboration with our partner UMS, we can assist car buyers in the recovery of VAT (20%) for a small fee on the gross unit price.

How it works

It is possible to claim Value Added Tax (VAT), which is similar to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Australia, for a full refund by the government. VAT funding allows you to cut the total cost of the vehicle upon export from the UK. Terms and conditions apply and need to be agreed upon when booking.

  1. If you want to take advantage of VAT funding, the first step is to agree to the terms and conditions.
  2. The VAT qualified vendor must address a VAT qualifying invoice to UMS.
  3. An invoice will then be raised by UMS for the net value of the unit to you on the end buyer, in addition to their 1% of the gross vehicle value.
  4. The car is purchased by UMS on your behalf once full payment has been made by the end buyer.

3. Save with Transit finance

If you are unable to pay the full vehicle price upfront, or need assistance with buying a car from the UK, AUCO and UMS can offer you a Transit Finance service. This means the cost of your vehicle will be covered during the transit period.

If you qualify for Transit Finance, 20% of the gross vehicle value plus fees will be required as an initial deposit. The remaining costs will be payable prior to release at destination.

4.  Ship your car

Are you concerned about shipping your car into Australia?  If you are looking for a reliable company to ship your car from the UK to Australia, we highly recommend our car shipping specialist With significant expertise in exporting cars for the last 10 years, you will be assisted by professionals, who will deliver you car in the same condition you purchased it and with the quickest transit.


5.  Inspecting your vehicle in the UK

Want inspections on your vehicle to highlight any repairs, arranged on your behalf? Our car shipping partner ShipFromUK is able to offer the following services:

Multipoint inspection

To give you peace of mind when purchasing a car from the UK, a multipoint inspection can be carried out at ShipFromUK’s onsite garage.

An approved and trusted mechanic will fully inspect your vehicle against 28 factors, which include the vehicles electrics, bonnet, tyres, exterior parts, etc.

The garage will then provide you with an inspection report detailing any faults with your car, suggested repairs, and any estimated costs.

Vehicle repairs – Warranty

Providing your vehicle is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, you can relax while we deal with the manufacturer directly. Please note this will incur a small admin fee.

If the repairs cannot be carried out under your cars manufacturer warranty, they can be done in-house at ShipFromUK’s Ipswich garage.

Vehicle repairs – Garage

ShipFromUK also offer a number of repairs, before your car is shipped from the UK, that will ensure smooth passage through customs at destination. These include:

  • Brand matching tyres
  • Topping up oil
  • Checking brake pads and chassis
  • Changing blown bulbs
  • And much more!

As you can approve any repairs you want online, it’s a walk in the park to get your car ready for customs. Approved repairs are completed within 24 hours, with the invoice for the service added to your freight bill.

6.  Marine Transit Insurance

When shipping your car, it is insured from the point of collection until it reaches the port. You can add Marine Transit Insurance when you request a quote.  The insurance will cover the full value of your cargo in the event of an accident.

7.  Arrival at Australia

What do you do once your car arrives in Australia?

Once the car arrives at destination, our overseas representatives will take care of you. They will do on your behalf:

  • Arrange customs valuation in Australia to determine the amount of duty and GST payable.
  • Attend at port of arrival to confirm valuation with Australian customs if required.
  • Instruct Customs Broker in Australia to arrange clearance.
  • Arrange cleaning if required by Australian quarantine.
  • Supervise Air Conditioning approval (DO NOT de-gas your car prior to shipping unless we instruct you to).
  • Arrange removal from Australian Customs Bonded area or Bond store.
  • Arrange appropriate transport of motor vehicle to the registered engineer for compliance with Australian standards.
  • Supervise engineering compliance to avoid delay or unnecessary modifications or repairs.
  • Acquire and affix engineers Compliance Plate.
  • Deal with relevant government department for the issue of the Vehicle Import Plate (the car cannot be registered for road use without this magenta plate). Collect and affix plate.
  • Transport car to registered workshop for the issue of a safety certificate (equivalent to MOT or Warrant of Fitness). This is a different procedure from the engineer’s certification.
  • Transport vehicle to the relevant Department of Transport for the required inspection to get it registered in the client’s name.
  • Deal with the Department of Transport to establish the amount of state Stamp Duty payable on first registration. This is 3%-4% of the market value, depending on the size of the engine.
  • Pre-delivery detailing/cleaning if required.
  • Advise on appropriate comprehensive insurance. Third Party Personal injury insurance is a compulsory component of the registration fee in Australia.
  • Arrange insurance valuation.
  • Liaise with client for collection and hand-over.


8.  Drive your desired car on Australian roads and spend the 30% saving on the car purchase as a deposit for a second car!

car shipping

Want to stay up-to-date of all the changes in the Australian market? Sign up today!