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    Thread: I imported a vehicle - here's how

    1. #1

      I imported a vehicle - here's how

      Thought some of you might find this useful if you were contemplating bringing a car or a bike across. I imported my own personal motorbike from the UK and finally got it fully registered today, here's how from start to finish.

      1. Whilst in the UK, get a vehicle import approval form from Australian customs:


      cost: $50, do this 2-3 months before your container is due to leave. You will need an Australian address (probably temporary if you're just about to emigrate) for them to send the docs to. YOU HAVE TO DO THIS BIT, if you don't your vehicle won't get through customs and may be destroyed!

      2. Clean the vehicle thoroughly - they check this at customs in Adelaide, if they don't like what they see, they have the power to destroy your vehicle, but more likely getting it professionally cleaned/fumigated at your expense.

      3. Take the vehicle to your shipping company and let the load it up. My bike was put into a specially made crate (cost 250) and put into the container with everything else.

      4. Wait for the container to arrive over here.

      5. Customs will inspect the vehicle and after a few days to a couple of weeks, will release it to the shipping company.

      6. Pay the GST on the vehicle to the shipping company. Mine was about $1000 for a $12000 bike.

      7. At this point you can pick up your vehicle and take it away - or you can leave it at the warehouse - generally they won't deliver it with the rest of your stuff - don't ask me why I don't know! If you leave it in the warehouse you will be charged for storage, the bike was $23/week (not a lot). If you want to pick it up, you can ride/drive it back to your place in Adelaide, but you will need to get a "Permit to drive an unregistered motor vehicle" from one of the rego offices. cost $50

      8. We'll assume you took it back to your place as that's what I did, but in principal you could go straight from the warehouse for the next stages.

      9. Get a "statement of requirements (imported vehicle)" from the rego office at Regency Park (Kateena Street, 5010) ring them up or go in for it. This will take 2-3 days to come back to you and you will need your vehicle import approval docs to get it (step 1). The doc lists what you have to do to the vehicle to make it legal over here. In my case, I didn't have to do anything - the bike is fairly new (2007) and things may be different for older vehicles/cars.

      10. Book a "Roadworthy Inspection" with Transport SA, ring them up, tell them you're bringing an import and make sure you have done Step 9 first.


      11. Take the vehicle for it's roadworthy inspection, you'll also need to get another "Permit to drive an unregistered motor vehicle" from one of the rego offices again, and strangely enough it was cheaper for this one ($37). The inspection cost was $214 for my bike. This is up next to the Rego office at Kateena Street.

      12. You will probably also need a "Tier 2 vehicle identity inspection" from the guys at Transport SA down on Naweena Street (about 2 mins from Kateena Street). This is to check if the vehicle is stolen or not and is free :-)

      13. Finally, take the vehicle back to the rego office at Kateena Street and get it registered - they'll give you the rego doc and charge you according to the price/type of the vehcile - mine was $858 - I suspect that this is higher than what it would normally be as it is the first registration. Be prepared to wait in a long queue!

      You can easily do steps 11,12 & 13 in one day.

      It sounds like a bit of a faff, but I reckon I'm $2000 up on the whole deal by bringing my bike over from the UK.

      Send me a PM if you're thinking about doing the same and want to ask some (daft) questions.



      PS Bike riders, you will need to buy a new lid when you come over, UK ones aren't legal here and you will get pulled up by plod.
      Damms, Guest75, niknjas and 2 others like this.

    2. #2

      Senior Member
      Join Date
      Apr 2007
      Seaford Meadows, Adelaide, AUSTRALIA woohoo
      264 times
      thanks Phil, I'm sure it will be really helpful to a lot of people, we in hindsight wish that we had shipped out our car as we lost alot of money on it selling it in the UK whereas it would have been alot more suitable than what we have now but hindsight is a wonderful thing and if we had had a step by step guide may have bought it.

    3. #3
      Thanks for that Phil, I am bringing a bike over and know pretty much the procedure for doing so. You have however dotted the I's and crossed the T's which is very helpful thank you. I didn't realise you had to ride it from the warehouse, mine is in need of a new battery which I was going to purchase in Adelaide for warranty purposes, looks like I'll have to get one this end or I'll be pushing it

    4. #4
      Just buy a battery here when you arrive and take it up with you when they break it out of the crate. You'll have to disconnect the battery anyway, so you may as well swap it over for a new one at the same time. You'll have to go in the warehouse and retrieve the bike yourself once it's out of the crate - I ended up helping the guy get it out of the crate when I went to pick mine up.

      PS Lovely ride into work this morning (26 C), rather hot coming back again (36 C)
      thekings likes this.

    5. #5

      Join Date
      Dec 2012
      41 times
      Hi Phil, excellent thread... have you ever heard of this all being done at Murray Bridge, we are trying to put our vehicles through this all and we keep getting difference answers from the SA website etc

      and the lids? understand arai are acceptible?
      Last edited by Trickyshel; 29-12-2012 at 08:05 AM.

    6. #6

      Senior Member
      Join Date
      Aug 2012
      Noarlunga Downs
      455 times

      This thread is now three years old, it might be better to start a new thread if you have any questions of your own.



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