Importing a Vehicle

The Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure regulates the importation of vehicles into Australia. Each of the state based Road Authorities determine the standards that a vehicle must meet to be registered for use on the public road.

Before you import a car, motor cycle, truck or bus into Australia you must obtain an import approval from the Department of Infrastructure. If the car arrives without a license it will be held under bond at large expense to you until a license is issued.

There are several criteria under which an individual can import a vehicle into Australia.

Personal Import

A Personal Import License can be issued if you have owned and used the car overseas for at least 12 months and you have not imported a car in the previous 5 years.

In NSW Personally imported vehicles are exempt many of the requirements of the ADR's and can therefore be registered with little modification. If you can qualify to import the vehicle as a Personal Import it is strongly suggested you use this rather than any other import approval category.

Vehicles Manufactured more than 25 years ago

It is possible to obtain an import licence for any vehicle manufactured more than 25 years ago. However for registration in NSW the vehicle will be required to be modified such that it meets all of the Australian Design Rules in force at the time of its manufacture. (Note buses and trucks with a GVM over 12t must meet the ADR's in force at the date they are imported!).

Depending on the vehicle this is potentially an expensive task. The complexity of modifications that may be required and of the process to determine compliance is generally greater the newer the vehicle. A vehicle manufactured in 1968 may only require the fitment of seat belts, whereas a 1988 model will be required to meet a long list of design rules.

ADR Compliance Services is able to provide advice on the potential complexity of complying with the regulations for your vehicle. Call us before you commit to buy it!

Registration (NSW)

A personally imported vehicle may not require any modification for registration, if this is the case blue and green slips can be obtained and the vehicle can be registered. If a modification is required, ie installation of child restraint anchorage hooks, a VSCCS Certificate will be required before the blue slip can be obtained.

A per 1989 import will always require a VSCCS Certificate. ADR Compliance Services can assist in the provision of this certificate in either case.

Link - RMS Information Sheet on Registering an Imported Vehicle

Link - Department of Infrastructure, Importing a Car into Australia