Moving a car overseas from New Zealand to Australia

Moving a car overseas from New Zealand to Australia Featured Image

If you are a Kiwi relocating to Australia or an Aussie returning home, you may be considering bringing your car to Australia with you. As both new and second-hand suppliers struggle to keep up with demand, car transportation is fast becoming a popular option. There are a lot of benefits to relocating your car to Australia, however the process can be complicated especially if you are unfamiliar with import laws and other related regulations.

At Allied, we help thousands of Kiwis relocate themselves and their vehicles to Australia every year, so we know the ins and outs of car relocation. We break down everything you need to know about the benefits of shipping your car to Australia, as well as any relevant car import laws.

What are the benefits of shipping your car overseas?

The biggest benefit of relocating your car to Australia from New Zealand is the convenience - you won’t need to worry about selling your current vehicle or the hassle of purchasing a new one once you arrive. You also won’t have the inconvenience of living without a car as you look to buy a new one, so you can ease into a new routine easily.

Being familiar with your existing car, knowing how to drive and what to expect from it, can make life a lot easier, especially when driving in new environments. The sentimental aspect of relocating with your car shouldn’t be overlooked either. Cars are a significant part of our lives: we invest time, money and attention into taking care of a vehicle and getting use out of it.

What are Australia’s car import laws?

If you are wanting to bring your car across the Tasman, you’ll first need to obtain approval to do so. This approval comes from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDCA), who processes these requests through their application portal ROVER. Please note you have to apply for your approval through ROVER on your own behalf, even when using a car transportation service.

If you don’t receive approval before importing your car, it is considered a criminal offence and you can receive a penalty and/or prison sentence.

As part of the approval process, you will need to receive vehicle type approval. There are four types of approvals:

  • A vehicle type approval (for commercial purposes and those importing one of the same type of vehicle)
  • A concessional Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV) entry approval
  • A non RAV entry import approval
  • A reimportation import approval

It’s important to note that your car will also be subjected to custom regulations, duty costs, and other border security requirements. You can find more information about these regulations by visiting the Australian Border Force website.

Your car will also be assessed against the Road Vehicle Standards legislation to ensure that your car meets and complies with Australian requirements in terms of being safe, secure and environmentally-friendly. You will also need to have owned your car for 12 months or longer. A luxury vehicle tax applies if the vehicle is worth over AU$71,000 and a purchase receipt will be required. For more information on Australia car import laws and regulations, visit the department’s website.

The process of shipping your car to Australia

The easiest way to have your car moved to Australia from New Zealand is to use a professional car transportation service. They’ll be able to handle all the necessary logistics and oversee the shipping and custom regulations for you.

The first step is to submit your ROVER application to receive approval to relocate your vehicle. After you have submitted your application, you will want to book your car transportation service with a trusted provider like Allied. Vehicle de-registration in New Zealand and re-registration in Australia will often be left to you, however you can ask your transportation service for some assistance.

You may also be required to provide your transportation provider with some relevant documentation including purchase receipts, record of any modifications, registration of ownership to clear shipping. Duty and GST applies for vehicles entering Australia for the first time. Returning Australian vehicles are generally granted an exemption, however this is subject to customs approval.

Depending on your specific needs, you can either arrange vehicle pick up and drop off at additional cost or drop off your vehicle at the depot. You will be required to handover your car in a clean condition which will meet Australian quarantine compliance, and your vehicle transportation service may even require you to undergo specialised cleaning beforehand. Your fuel tank must be close to empty - less than 20% capacity - in order to travel. You are also unable to store any personal items with your vehicle.

If you are using Allied to transport your vehicle, our staff at the depot will complete a condition check on the vehicle at either end prior to shipping and on receiving. Your car will likely be shipped in a container with household goods to help provide a cheaper cost. Most moving experts do not recommend using a roll-on/roll-off service, as cars that travel on RORO ships tend to be more susceptible to damage and other issues.

Some shipping lines such as ANL have recently started to introduce requirements for fully electric cars, like Tesla and MGZS Ev) to be transported in a Reefer temperature controlled container instead of a standard shipping container. This may come at additional cost so it’s best to specify if your vehicle is electric early on in the quote process.

After your car has reached Australian shores, it will proceed through Australian Customs. They may request a customs valuation to be done of your vehicle, which will be at your expense and can cost around AU$500-700. From there, you can arrange for collection of your vehicle and begin enjoying the benefits of your car.

How long does it take to ship your car over?

The time it takes for your car to be relocated from New Zealand to Australia depends on a myriad of factors. DITRDCA states that it can take up to 60 business days for your ROVER application to be assessed and decided upon. You will then need to factor in custom clearance which can vary. Shipping times across the Tasman depends on weather conditions, demand, and your specific shipping company, so it’s best to receive an estimate from your vehicle relocation company.

Car transportation with Allied

If you are looking for an easy and reliable way to transport your car from New Zealand to Australia. Our vehicle transportation service will be there every single step of the way to ensure your car arrives safely to your destination, wherever you are headed to in Australia. We even offer comprehensive moving insurance to cover vehicles shipped overseas so you have complete peace of mind throughout your relocation. Visit our vehicle transportation service page or get in touch with us to learn more about relocating your car from New Zealand to Australia.