General Car Shipping FAQs
What are my options for shipment?
At Cargo Online, we offer three options for shipment (subject to availability)
- Container Service.
- RORO (Roll On / Roll Off) Service.
- Shared Container Service.
What is container service and when would I use it?
Container Service is where the vehicle is restrained inside a shipping container for the duration of the voyage. Container Shipment is generally considered the safer option as the vehicle is not driven. We recommend the container option for high value or high performance vehicles and / or when you want to ship personal effects or parts with the vehicle.
Container shipment is generally the only option available for non-running vehicles except from UK and USA where shared container services are available.
What is RORO Service and when would I use it?
RORO (Roll On / Roll Off) Service is where the vehicle is driven on and off the vessel and is secured inside the ship, out of the weather. To be shipped RORO, the car must be safe to drive, although current registration is not required. RORO is definitely more cost effective but does carry a higher risk.
RORO shipment is the only option available for oversize cargo that is too large for shipment by container.
What is shared container service and when would I use it?
We utilise the R-Rak system from the UK and USA which allows cars to be safely and securely “stacked” in 40ft container during shipping. This service is much more cost effective than sole use containers. You are welcome to load personal effects or parts in the vehicle but not outside of it.
Shared Container service using R-Raks is an excellent and cost efficient way to move vehicles whether they are running or not. We strongly advise against shipping in shared containers where old style timber ramps are built due to the unacceptably high risk of damage during loading and unloading.
Can I ship a motorbike & car in the same container?
In order to ship a car and bike in a 20′ Container, we first need to confirm they will both fit in the container together. Accurate dimensions of both the car and the motorcycle will be required.
What are my options if my car is NON-RUNNING?
Non-running vehicles can certainly be shipped, but only by Container (not RORO).
Can I ship personal effects (PE’s) with my car?
It depends whether you decide to ship RORO or Container.
With 20ft Container shipment, you can have up to 2 cubic metres of personal effects outside of the car (in the container) at no additional charge for shipping. If you have more than 2 cubic metres outside of the vehicle there will be an additional charge for restraining. You can also load as much as you like in the car but not on the driver’s seat. There will not be enough room for major furniture items. With Shared Container you can load items in the car only.
With RORO shipment, you cannot have any personal affects in the car at all.
Can I ship home contents (furniture etc) with my car?
We do not ship home contents. You would need to contact a removalist for this service. We recommend you treat your household goods and your car separately. This is usually the most cost effective method rather than combining them.
What routes do you offer?
We only ship TO Australia, and FROM Australia.
Specific routes offered will vary from time to time depending on the services that various carriers (shipping lines) are offering.
For a list of current services to Australia or from Australia, please go to our Automated Online Quoting System, click Instant Quote above.
Other Origins and Destinations may be available as manual quotes.
Why don’t you provide a total price on your quote?
We are unable to total the quote for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are multiple currencies involved. Foreign currency amounts are converted to Australian Dollars at the exchange rates applicable at the time of shipment. Also, Fair Trading laws limit our ability to total quotes.
Which vehicles are worthwhile importing to Australia?
Some European models of Car have never been sold in Australia and so spares may not be available and any future sale may be difficult.
Japanese and Korean cars are sold in Australia at keen prices to compete with the locally assembled Fords and Holdens.
Ford models in Australia are normally completely different to the Ford models sold in the originating country.
Motor Caravans are very expensive in Australia, they are not so readily available as in the UK and the quality may be lower.
Rust free ‘Prestige Cars’ with air-conditioning, e.g. Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Saab and which are still in good condition, are financially most worthwhile considering shipping as are many European models of car that have depreciated significantly in the originating country.
Import (to Australia) FAQs
Are there restrictions to vehicles that can be imported to Australia?
In a nutshell, there are no restrictions for the importation of unmodified vehicles built prior to 1989.
For vehicles built from the 1st January 1989 onwards, strict regulations are in place.
For a detailed explanation of these restrictions, please visit our Import Approval page.
What if my car has air conditioning?
Vehicles imported under the Personal Import Scheme do not need to be degassed. All other vehicles with air conditioning will need to be degassed before shipping and a receipt provided as evidence. If the vehicle has HFC (R134a) gas it is possible to leave the gas in but a “Precharged Equipment Licence” will be required which will incur a licence fee of A$400.17.
Imported Asbestos Regulation
Import laws in Australia prohibit the importation of any goods containing asbestos including motor vehicles.
For further information please see: Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Border Protection: Asbestos
When are Duty/GST applicable?
Duty / GST are applicable to vehicles imported to Australia (excluding re-imports by the original owner).
Duty is applicable if the car is less than 30 years old. Vehicles greater than 30 years old are Duty Free.
GST is payable to Customs at a rate of 10% of the landed cost of the vehicle. The landed cost is calculated using the purchase price of the vehicle (or current valuation if the vehicle is not a recent acquisition) plus all of the costs to get the vehicle to Australia.
In some circumstances customs will allow vehicles obtained by way of settlement of a deceased estate to enter Duty Free and exempt GST.
For further information about Duty / GST, please visit our Import Duty and Taxes page.
Will I be required to modify my car for compliance?
On the quotation are the contact details of the mechanics we recommend for compliancing. They will be able to answer any compliance questions you may have relating to the particular make & model of your car.
Am I required to register the vehicle upon its arrival in Australia?
The vehicle can be kept unregistered indefinitely, but you will be unable to drive it without Australian registration (unless it is on a carnet and has valid current registration in the country of origin).
Export (from Australia) FAQs
Are destination services & charges Included?i
No. We do not get involved in destination services other than to New Zealand. We can however, often recommend a company at the destination who will be able to assist you.