Are you an automotive enthusiast who likes a certain type of car? Maybe you like vintage cars, pride yourself in restoration and showing off your work in exhibitions or perhaps you are an amateur racing driver. In all these cases, you may have your eye on a vehicle overseas and are thinking about bringing it into Australia. Often this is possible, but you will almost invariably have to get a specific type of import car permit first. You need to do a fair amount of research to start off, but what are the main permits available?
There are hundreds of different types of cars manufactured in other parts of the world that are not automatically recognised by the Australian Department of Transport. However, you may be surprised to find that some are and should have a look on the government website dedicated to this area to determine whether or not your car is already approved. If not, you can apply for permission for the vehicle that you want to import.
If such a vehicle is not eligible after your application, you may have to get it modified before you can go any further. This will enable the vehicle to comply with stringent Australian standards, but it must be handled by an approved workshop.
Many classic vehicles that were built prior to 1989 can be imported to Australia, so long as they do not have any significant modifications. This is great for classic car enthusiasts, who might find that their plan is simpler than they may have thought. If the vehicle does have any modifications, however, apply to the government department to see if it will be approved.
Certain types of vehicle are only meant to take part in racing competitions. They are not designed for use on the public road and therefore are handled by a different type of permit. As they don't have to be type approved, the government will be looking for proof that they are only going to be used in races taking part at an approved circuit and that the driver has the necessary experience.
You may also be able to bring the vehicle in for a certain amount of time, before it is re-exported back to its country of origin. Some people do this when taking an extended holiday and may want to drive around the country in a familiar vehicle. Don't forget that it has to be exported within a year, and you have to provide a guarantee to cover the import taxes.
There are a number of other regulations that cover the importation of cars, and it's not a good idea for you to undertake this task by yourself. Considerable fines can be levied if you don't have proper approval, and it's best if you talk with experts, to help you navigate the necessary paperwork.