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Importing a car from NZ


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I have been on the hunt for some time now for an aircooled car. I won't get into the discussion as to what is available here, but the UK market seems more nuts than this one! Japan seems to be LHD only and very little in the way of G body stuff. So I have started looking in NZ and have seen some reasonable cars at reasonable prices. 

My question is, has anyone done this before? How hard was it to get compliance? Did it take overly long?

I have done my own inquiries and it seems like it will cost around $3-5k for shipping and take about 10-30 days dependant on a few things. 

I would love to hear about your own experiences if you have any.

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I’ve done it a quite a few times, including from NZ.

I think your quote is light - unless you’re considering RORO (which I wouldn’t). I’d get a quote for shared or single container. 
Plus GST, plus LCT (most likely), plus asbestos clearance (a must nowadays). 

What do you mean by compliance?  Import approval or rego here. The former is usually only a few weeks for a pre 89 (but note you must have already bought the car).   The latter depends greatly on the car. 

It’s pretty simple - I normally get the import approval myself and let the customs broker do the rest. 

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You have probably missed the boat for cheap AC cars in NZ, that sailed a few years back.

I bought one in 4 years ago, as above, Roll on Roll Off shipping is cheap and quick, there are plenty of brokers to sort the paperwork out or do it yourself.

There are a few P Car Guru's over there to check a car out for you for a minimal fee.IMG_1337.thumb.JPG.5ef9857c6a94ad83048d7839b56fed33.JPG 

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I pretty much agree with what  Ryan (Obrut) said.

Can't comment too much on Vic. requirements, but in NSW once it gets here you need an engineers report and blue slip to get it registered which can take a while.  I have used GT International Logistics (gtlogistics.co.nz - Phil Gibbs is your man) for shipping who tend to do a lot of the motorsport stuff so they have a LOT of experience.


1. Buy Car.  Keep receipts!  The ATO need proof of value and they get mildly upset if you tell them porkies!

2. Get Authority to Import.  Modified vehicles can cause you a world of pain!  Photos will be required.

3. Asbestos clearance - I've not had to do this yet so can't comment - DYOR...

4. Notify VTNZ that you are exporting the car.  There is a small charge and you will need to hand in the plates - IIRC this can be done at the post office.

5. Get it as clean as possible.  Steam clean/pressure wash etc.  The Aus bug ppl are a bit picky about this!

6. Ship it.  RORO cheaper but take Ryan's advice on this and get it in a container.  Cheaper if you can share a container - talk to your shipper.

7.  Clearance might take a while - bug and asbestos stuff puts you in the lap of the gods.

8.  Check out Vic. rego requirements.  In NSW, get engineers certificate and blue slip to register.

9. Drive and be happy!

I'd put aside a few days and go over to make the arrangements and personally deliver the car to the shipper.  Auckland the only place I'd ship from.

Good Luck!

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Stupid question, but have you asked here on the forum if anyone is interested in selling whatever it is that you're after? Or knows someone who might sell?

Is this a price thing or an availability thing?

I often have to ship from overseas for one of my hobbies, and the price side never stacks up. You only do it if you can't get what you're after here in Australia. Cars are even worse because of the taxes. The only time it seems to make sense is when the $AUD goes on a run.


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