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What is the process to import your car from Australia?

Importing a car from Australia to the UK can work out cheaper than buying the equivalent car in the UK, even factoring in shipping costs. That’s why we receive numerous enquiries from individuals looking for help with the process. From start to finish, we’re here to ensure the safe shipment, modification, and registration of your vehicle.

But what exactly is the process? What can you expect during the importation of your vehicle?

Your journey with My Car Import begins by completing a quote form. The form is uniquely designed to gather all the essential information about your request and to expedite the first stage of the process.

It might be that you’ve already shipped your car, or perhaps you’re moving to the United Kingdom. Whatever your circumstances, we’re here to assist with all of it!

Collecting your car in Australia 

Upon accepting your quotation, our initial steps will involve gathering information regarding  your vehicle. If you have opted for us to collect your vehicle, we will carefully plan the most efficient route for transporting your car to the nearest port, from where it will be shipped. We have cultivated enduring partnerships with a range of transportation companies that have served us well over the years, ensuring the safe and reliable movement of your vehicle throughout Australia.

Upon arrival at the port, the shipping process is set in motion. Drawing upon our extensive experience in importing cars from Australia to the UK, we have handpicked specialists in car shipping operations at major Australian ports. These experts are entrusted with the responsibility of managing our clients’ vehicles with the utmost care.

We understand that once your vehicle is delivered to the port, you may have concerns about keeping track of its status and the subsequent registration process. To address this, we have developed a user-friendly online portal. This portal enables you to monitor the entire process in real-time, providing updates on your car’s status and guidance on the various steps involved in this process. This ensures transparency and peace of mind throughout the journey of your vehicle from Australia to the UK.

Shipping your car from Australia to the UK

For cars from Australia, we can handle the shipping on your behalf. This includes the scheduling of your cars ocean-freight, loading, and unloading.

You don’t have to worry about anything whilst your vehicle is at sea and through our customer portal you will be updated on the estimated travel and arrival dates.

We ship the cars using shared containers, this allows you to benefit from a reduced rate for importing your car to the UK due to sharing the cost of the container with other cars we are importing on behalf of clients.

Container shipment is a safe and secure way to import your car into the UK and is often the most cost-effective. If you would like a dedicated 20ft container for your car then please ask, as we also supply this for our clients.

Unlike other car import companies we do also understand that you might be moving to the United Kingdom. If you are a transferring resident you can also include your possessions within your vehicle.

Arriving in the United Kingdom

Upon the arrival of your car in the United Kingdom, our dedicated team takes charge of the unloading process and efficiently manages all aspects of customs clearance, including the necessary paperwork. Our handling is designed to prevent any additional storage fees from being incurred for your car.

What distinguishes us is our comprehensive approach, where every step of the process is overseen by My Car Import. This unique approach ensures that we take the hassle away from the paperwork and rigmarole clearing the vehicle through customs.

Following the successful customs clearance and unload of the container, we proceed to arrange the transportation of your vehicle to our facility located in Castle Donnington.

My Car Import is the sole entity responsible for managing and handling your car in the United Kingdom, providing you with peace of mind throughout the importation process.

Read on to find out more about the process or get in touch for a quote.

What are the next steps to get your car on
the road in the United Kingdom?

Once your car is checked in, if it requires modifications to be UK compliant, we will schedule time within our workshop to make the necessary changes. We will also schedule any relevant testing needed to show compliance and roadworthiness in the UK.

When importing a car from Australia to the UK that’s under ten years old, it will need to undergo the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) process. This is a UK-specific scheme to ensure that imported cars meet the required safety and environmental standards.

We have the only privately owned IVA testing lane in the United Kingdom and also have the ability to conduct MSVA tests onsite along with MOT tests so your car will be onsite for the duration of this phase of the importation.


Inspecting your car

Our inspection process is designed to minimise the car failing testing on anything we could not foresee.

Modifying your car

We book your vehicle into the workshop, with likely modifications being a speedometer conversion and rear fog light conversion.

Testing your car

Depending on your car it will either need an IVA test, an MOT test or both. All these tests are undertaken on our premises.

Register your vehicle

Once your vehicle has passed the relevant tests we submit your registration application to the DVLA. It takes around 10 working days to receive a registration number for your car.

Delivery or collection

Once you have a UK registration number for your vehicle you can collect it from our facility in Castle Donington or we can deliver it to a UK address.

Frequently asked Questions

Importing your vehicle is a complex process and therefore you might have more questions. The best route to get additional information is with a quotation from My Car Import but we hope the below answers might also help.

How long does it take to import a car from Australia?

The duration required for the process of importing a car from Australia to the UK can fluctuate and is influenced by several pivotal factors. These variables include the shipping route, available vessels, port processing time in the UK, customs and the organisations in the UK involved in testing and registering the vehicle.

On average, the importation process typically spans a timeframe of approximately 10 to 16 weeks depending on what is needed.

During this importation period, planning and coordination are imperative to ensure a smooth and efficient transition of your vehicle from Australia to the UK. Careful consideration of shipping logistics, customs protocols, and other essential details can help streamline the process and minimize potential delays. Ultimately, a well-executed importation process ensures that your vehicle arrives in the UK securely and in compliance with all necessary regulations.

How much does it cost to import a car from Australia?

The expense associated with importing a car from Australia is subject to fluctuations influenced by several influential factors. These factors encompass the specific make and model of the vehicle, the chosen shipping method, and potential import taxes or fees. Consequently, it’s essential to acknowledge that the cost of importing a car is a variable figure contingent upon these multifaceted elements.

On average, the financial outlay for importing a car from Australia typically spans a range between £3,000 to £5,000. This is based on our most common enquiries for the importation of vehicles from Australia.

When obtaining your quote, it is important to give us as much information as possible early on, to make sure the quote is as accurate as possible. You can then make informed decisions and navigate the importation process with financial clarity and preparedness.

How long does the shipping process take from Australia?

The duration of shipping a car from Australia to the United Kingdom can vary depending on several factors, including the available vessels, routing, specific port of entry in the UK, and customs clearance procedures.

On average, it can take approximately 6-10 weeks for a car to be shipped from Australia to the UK. This is an accurate estimate based on hundreds of shipments we have conducted from Australia.

Can you ship your car with other goods?

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to transport your car, whether it’s due to a relocation, a desire to send specific car parts alongside your vehicle, or any other reason, rest assured that we are here to accommodate your needs.

We do allow for other possessions to be shipped within your car. We ask that you provide an valued inventory of the items you have placed in the car so that they can be correctly declared during the UK customs process.

Can we help to import your classic car or motorbike?

We have extensive experience in shipping not only standard vehicles but also classic cars and motorbikes from Australia to various destinations.

Cars and motorbikes, including classic and vintage models, hold a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts. We understand that each car and motorbike is unique and often carries sentimental value. Rest assured, the process of transporting these vehicles is in safe hands with My Car Import.

If you are considering the importation of your cherished car or motorbike from Australia, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are well-equipped to handle the logistics, ensuring that your car or motorbike arrives at its destination safely and securely. Our team is experienced in managing the shipping and customs clearance procedures specific to classic vehicles, and we can guide you through the entire process, making it as hassle-free as possible.

Whether it’s a modern vehicle or a classic gem, we treat each vehicle with the utmost care and professionalism, understanding the unique value it holds for its owner. Your vehicle is in good hands when you choose My Car Import as your trusted partner for the transportation and importation of motorbikes from Australia.

Can you apply for the ToR scheme when moving from Australia?

Yes, you can apply for the Transfer of Residence (ToR) scheme when moving from Australia to the United Kingdom. The ToR scheme allows individuals who are moving their usual place of residence from a country outside the UK to bring their personal belongings, including cars, without paying import duties and taxes.

To determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for the ToR scheme usually involves proving that you have lived outside of the UK for a certain period and that you are relocating your main residence to the UK.

You apply for the ToR scheme online through the UK government’s official website. You will need to provide personal information, details about your move, and information about the items you are bringing with you, including your car.

You may need to include proof of residence in Australia, proof of intended residence in the UK, proof of car ownership and usage, and other relevant documentation.

Your application will be reviewed by the UK customs authorities. They may request additional information or clarification if needed.

If your application is approved, you will receive a Transfer of Residence approval reference number. This reference number is crucial for claiming the benefits of the scheme, including potential exemptions or reductions in import duties and taxes for your car.

Arrival in the UK:
When you arrive in the UK, we present your ToR reference number and other required documentation to customs officials. This will facilitate the process of importing your car and personal belongings.

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