Requirements for Car Shipping From the US to Australia

Moving Ships on an Ocean

Trans Global Auto Logistics helps you import and relocate your vehicle or other large shipments to Australia with ease. Moving possessions overseas or making purchases from abroad can be risky — especially when the process isn’t followed precisely. Our shipping experts navigate every detail of the process of freight shipping to Australia.

For more information or rates, please fill out our online quote form and you’ll hear from one of our shipping specialists within 2 business days.


US Documentation Export Requirements for Shipping Cars from US to Australia

There are several different permits to consider when shipping your vehicle to Australia. A new law,”the rolling 25 year rule” allows vehicles that are 25 years or older to be imported simply by meeting basic safety requirements. Another aspect of this ruling allows vehicles that have been purchased and used overseas for at least one year to be available for import as well.

The Personal Import Option allows vehicles that have been owned for at least 12 months to be available for import as well. Applicants may only import one vehicle every 5 years under this this option.

For the full list of all categories, visit Import Options –

To apply for the vehicle, import approval, you need to register online with the department of infrastructure here –

  1. Requirements:
    1. Original Title
    2. Copy of Bill of Sale
    3. Passport or EIN
Hand writing on a book with a pencil

Australian Documentation Import Requirements for Vehicles

  1. Copy of Bill of Sale
  2. Copy of Registration Certificate or Vehicle Title

Australian Duties / Taxes Due

Temporary Imports — You can usually use a vehicle with foreign number plates without registering or taxing it in the Australia if all of the following apply:

  • Importers bringing goods to Australia as a temporary importation must:
    • export the goods within the time limit approved
    • not sell, loan, mortgage, hire, give away, dispose of or alter in anyway without permission from the Australian Government
  • For more information on Temporary Imports, please visit the Australian Government website.

General guidelines on Australian Duty & Taxes

  • Vehicles over 30 years old
    • Duty 0%

    • GST 10%

  • New and used vehicles up to 30 years old
    • Duty 5%

    • GST 10%

  • Four wheel drive off road or commercial vehicle
    • Duty 5%

    • GST 10%

  • Luxury Car Tax (LCT)- Applies to vehicles worth $68,740 ($77,565 for fuel efficient vehicles)
    • LCT 33%


A Calculator, a Pen and a book on a table

Cost & Transit Times for Shipping Car from US to Australia

Cost and Transit times vary greatly depending on where your vehicle is in the USA and what Australian port it needs to ship to.

  • Transit times can vary depending on multiple factors, but generally the entire process takes between 30-50 days
  • Please note you’ll need to factor in additional days for customs clearance and vessel loading/unloading.

To determine your cost, please get in touch with us and submit a free quote request, at no obligation to you.

Calculator, pen and notebook for calculation on an office desk

Australian Vehicle Import Approval

You’ll have to get vehicle approval to show that your imported vehicle meets regional environmental and safety regulations. The Australian Border Force (ABF) is very strict on the potential of importing foreign vehicles and parts containing asbestos. Before release from customs control, Biosecurity Officers from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment inspect road vehicles for cleanliness on arrival in Australia. You are responsible for all inspection charges.

Trans Global has worked very hard over the past two years to build a complete offshore pre-cleaning and an asbestos pre-testing/removal program with the ABF. Now the only approved offshore cleaning facility by the Australian government in the U.S.A, our West Coast facility enables us to offer “Guaranteed Pre-Cleaning” meeting the Australian Bio-security requirements for vehicles and motorcycles.


A black car in a garage

Australian Vehicle Registration

All vehicles brought into the Australia permanently must be registered.

Hands on a desk extending paper and pen for registration.

Ports Serviced in the US and Australia

  • USA Departure Ports — Trans Global has service from all U.S. Ports, including: New York, Baltimore, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Galveston, Los Angeles, and more.
  • Australian Arrival Ports — Below are the most popular Australian entry ports.
    • Brisbane
    • Sydney
    • Adelaide
    • Melbourne
    • Fremantle
People in a house at the sea port

Vehicle Transport Options for Shipping Your Car from the US to Australia

Trans Global offers several international shipping methods to our customers.

Which option will work best for your needs will be determined by several factors, including where the vehicle is located in the USA, where in Australia you want it shipped to, how quickly you need your vehicle in Australia, the age and value of the vehicle, and cost.

1. Roll On Roll Off (RORO) — These vessels are basically large parking garages on the water. Your vehicle is driven into the belly of the ship via a large ramp and secured to the deck, protected from the outside elements.


  • RORO offers very competitive rates
  • RORO sometimes has a quicker transit time than container


  • Vehicles must be in good running condition. This is not always the case with classic cars which is why we suggest classic cars ship in containers.
  • You are not allowed to store any items in the vehicles. Anything found in the vehicles is disposed of by the receiving terminal.
  • Limited Port Calls which means there is only RORO Service to certain ports.
Cars on Ship in a Sea port
Shared container shipping on the Sea

2. Shared Container Shipping — Your vehicle is shipped with other vehicles in a shared container. All fees are shared between customers using the container, such as terminal handling charges, loading / unloading charges, and trucking of the container to and from the terminals.


  • Poor running or non-running vehicles must be shipped in containers
  • You can store items in the vehicle
  • Container vessels call many more Australian ports than RORO


  • Transit time can be a bit longer than RORO since the container can only depart once it has a full load

3. Dedicated Container Shipping — This is similar to the Shared Container method except that your vehicle is the only one in the container. This is typically used if the customer needs the vehicle in a hurry or if it’s shipping to a location that we do not offer container consolidations to.


  • One of the quickest services other than air freight
  • You can store items in the vehicle
  • Container vessels call many more Australian ports than RORO


  • More expensive than RORO and Shared Container Shipping
Blue, green and red containers on a ship
Aeroplane in the Airport

4. Air Freight — One of the most expensive and least used shipping methods. Typically used for high-end collector vehicles or time sensitive shipments


  • The quickest service available


  • The most expensive service available

Preparing Your Car for Shipping from USA to Australia

Prior to shipping your vehicle to Australia, it’s important that you perform the following steps to avoid additional fees or being turned away by the terminals.

  • Clean your vehicle inside and out, including its undercarriage
    • Vehicle must be clean of foreign soil, invasive plants, and animals
  • Make sure there is less than a quarter tank of fuel
  • Remove all Non-Factory installed items (applies for RORO shipments only)
  • Remove license plates
  • Disengage any after-market alarm system prior to shipment
Car being washed in preparation for shipping

Additional Services

Prior to shipping your vehicle to Australia, it’s important that you perform the following steps to avoid additional fees or being turned away by the terminals.

  • Inland Transport within the USA and Australia – Trans Global arranges road transport anywhere in the USA to the terminal and also to any city within the Australia.
  • Marine Insurance – Per the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) liability is limited to per shipment. Marine Insurance is strongly recommended by Trans Global to ensure your vehicle is covered for any damages or loss. All shipping quotes given by Trans Global will list the cost of this optional service.
  • 3rd party vehicle purchase inspections – For those looking to purchase a vehicle online from the USA and want piece of mind knowing the vehicle is as advertised.
  • Escrow Service – For those customers that don’t feel comfortable sending funds directly to a USA online seller or when a seller isn’t comfortable providing their banking details to someone overseas, we offer this service to act as a liaison between the buyer and the seller.
Yellow Trailer on the road
Jason Castleberry
Jason Castleberry
15:29 28 Dec 22
Every company has an employee who is the face and voice of that company, for me and Transglobal that was Brenda. Any... company would be lucky to have her. She provided the absolute best customer service I have ever experienced and my car arrived safely to Germany. I highly recommend this company if you need to ship a car, great service, very fair price and if Brenda is your representative, know 100% you are in excellent more
12:58 30 May 22
Easy to work with and the staff is very helpful and friendly.
17:35 31 Mar 22
Wow night and day compared to miltary office in Dallas. They were so nice and understanding brenda was great and took... care of us the whole way! Ray provided a great quote that was much more affordable than I anticipatedread more
Lizzy Figueroa
Lizzy Figueroa
02:35 13 Sep 21
Great service! Mandy was so helpful in all this process, she always respond my phone calls and email and she made the... process so easy, we are happy with everything! Highly recomended!read more
22:05 12 Apr 21
I have never met a person that went to infinity and beyond making sure that we were taken care of. We needed rescuing... when the original plan of shipping our second vehicle did not go according to plan. Anna Payton at the Mildenhall office was and will always be the angel sent to us in our time of need. She is not just an employee of TGAL, she is more
William Reynolds
William Reynolds
14:10 28 Jan 21
I would like to take the time to thanks Anna Payton for her professionalism and help when getting my vehicle ready to... ship back to the US. She took the time to answer all my questions and concerns about the process and even took pre-shipment photos of my car (I thought this was a great addition). This the fourth time using TransGlobal and I have been impressed with their service each more
Talisman Kreationen
Talisman Kreationen
18:47 15 Oct 20
The representitives here are outstanding, Amanda and Andre were great. They were there every step of the way;... questions, guidance and direction. Great to have a team that I was able to contact by email or phone while they where going through Covid-19 operating hours, never hesitating to answer a question within a reasonable time. Awesomeness at its more
My Blackjacks
My Blackjacks
15:05 24 Jul 20
Great service. Mandy is amazing and super helpful. All my emails and calls were responded to very quickly and once I... had my quote and paperwork complete she coordinated everything else and I had my car shipped to me extremely quick. Driver was friendly and professional. Highly more
Barbara Hutton
Barbara Hutton
12:06 10 Oct 19
I used Trans Global to ship a 1970 Fiat Spider from Florida to New York. I worked with Mandy. She was extremely... courteous and very helpful. She made this whole process very simple. The car carrier they used was very courteous, prompt and ensured that the car was secured safely. Thank you Mandy for a job well more
Sabrina Harder
Sabrina Harder
19:33 25 Mar 19
If I could I would give 5 stars. Brenda has been AMAZING. Seriously highly recommend them to anyone. Quick response to... emails and calls. Brenda has went out of her way to ensure everything is smooth. I can’t give her enough praise! The world needs more people like her - compassionate and caring!read more
Kelly Holliday
Kelly Holliday
23:25 23 Jul 18
Working with trans global has been an amazing experience. From trying to begin a process without hard dates to... suffering mechanical issues and arriving later than expected at the dock, the team that works for trans global have been amazing. They helped our process of getting the truck to its destination and I feel blessed by the angels at Trans Global who assisted us along the way. Mandy was a breath of fresh air as the process for me was a first time endeavor. I feel grateful that she was the one who handled the whole entire process and even helped me laugh when I stressed out and thought I messed up my money order. I will definitely use this company again when we have to ship our truck off of the island in a few more
Cris Madar
Cris Madar
20:22 14 Jul 18
We moved from North Carolina to Hawaii and the process of shipping a car over an ocean seemed daunting. However, Mandy... at Trans Global was absolutely amazing and provided superb customer service. She responded to emails very promptly regardless of time and provided frequent updates. I highly recommend Trans Global and ask for more
Eric Alvarado
Eric Alvarado
05:06 16 Jun 18
OUTSTANDING customer service! THANKS to Mandy Brantley and the Team for tracking my two vehicles and providing all the... details to this picky customer. Couldn't be any happier with the service provided before pick up, in-transit and more
Chop Chop
Chop Chop
04:23 28 Jun 17
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vehicles dealer lot


Trans Global Auto Logistics is a fully bonded and licensed Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) and freight forwarder. As a leader in the shipping logistics industry, we’re here to answer any questions regarding the safety of your shipments. Whether you’re importing or exporting, our agents guide you through the shipping process every step of the way. We also offer customizable shipping options including door-to-door service, marine insurance and fast air service.


Connect with our expert staff to determine the best shipping method and for your shipment and budget. Whether you decide on air freight, RORO, or container shipping to the UK, our agents are ready to assist you through the entire process so that you can make your shipments with confidence. Call Trans Global Auto Logistics today for a quote.

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