Importing Vehicles into Australia

Import car to AUS Image WillShip NZ

To protect our Australian car market our government has set up a complex set of rules and regulations to heavily restrict the import of vehicles into Australia. To try and understand the laws in full would take pages and pages of information so we will do our best to summarise the basics below.

You first step when importing is to gain an import approval, the type of import approval depends on the circumstances surrounding the import. For the purpose of this article we will focus solely on vehicles intended to be registered for use on Australian roads.

  • If the vehicle is manufactured before the 1st of January 1989 then there are no restrictions, you will simply need to apply for a vehicle import approval which should be granted on the basis that the vehicle is pre 89. See the following link –
  • If the vehicle is manufactured after 1989, then it needs to be imported under the Australian Governments ‘Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme’ (RAWS) ( – It means the vehicle MUST be on the RAWS list ( and then if you choose to import, the import approval will need to be arranged by one of the Registered Workshops approved by the Australian Government who will also need to be the workshop that complies the vehicle for use on Australian roads.
  • The exception to this rule is if the vehicle has been owned and used by you as an individual for in excess of 12 months in a foreign country. If this is the case, then you can apply for a ‘personal import approval’ which allows you to import a vehicle and bypass the RAWS requirements on newer model vehicles. More information on personal imports on the following link –


Unless the vehicle is a returning vehicle, then there is no way to bypass paying Australian import tax.

If the vehicle is less than 30 years old, then both duty of 5% and GST of 10% will be applicable. If the vehicle is worth more than AUD 75,526 (The 2017 luxury car tax threshold) then it will also incur LCT at a rate of 33% for every dollar over this amount.

If the vehicle is older than 30 years old then no duty applies, although GST of 10% will still be applicable along with LCT if the value is above the LCT threshold.

Confused yet?


The customs value is ascertained by using the Bill of Sale in the event of an overseas purchase, although when it comes to personal imports the value is ascertained via a customs valuation on the vehicle. The valuation itself costs AUD 300.00 and then tax is payable on the assessed Australian market value.


There are other factors you need to consider when looking to import as well, our government restricts in the import of pre charged gas, meaning that depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle the air conditioning may need to be degassed prior to export from the foreign country.

They have also recently introduced new laws regarding asbestos, you now need to check to ensure that no part of the vehicle contains asbestos (brakes/clutch plates/gaskets etc) and you will need to sign a declaration confirming this. If you find that any part of the vehicle contains a part which contains asbestos, this needs to be removed and changed prior to shipping.


In short, under specific circumstances it is possible to import vehicles into Australia however there are a lot of hoops to jump through, there are no tax concessions and the whole process can be quite costly. It was originally set up in this manner to protect our Australian car market (Holden and Ford) but since they have both since stopped manufacturing vehicles on Australia soil all these hoops to us seem to be pointless. This issue is currently being debated through Australian Parliament but for the moment this complex, outdated system is what we need to work with.


How Much Space is in A Container Header Image WillShip Nz

If you’re looking to ship belongings along with your vehicle then you are best off using a 20ft shipping container.

When using this method of shipping you can fill the vehicle / tray with as much cargo as you like, and you can also use the remaining space around the container to put some additional items.

It can often be difficult to imagine just how much space you have around a vehicle once inside a container so we have drawn up the following graphics to illustrate what usable space is available when loading a ‘standard’ size sedan into a 20ft container.

Top view
Front view

Of course depending on your specific vehicle, this free space will differ but this should give you a good idea.

Generally we can fit 2-3m3 worth of cargo against the back wall behind the vehicle – so if you wanted to add items like your fridge, washing machine, several tea chest size removalist boxes this will normally fit with no issues.

Internally, 20ft container dimensions are as follows:

Lenght Width Height
5.90m 2.34m 2.28m (door opening)

If you have any questions or want to speak to one of our experts on whether or not your cargo will fit inside a container along with your vehicle then please don’t hesistate to give us a call on 07 3267 3694.

If you would like an instant quote to move your vehicle between Australia and New Zealand or Australia and the UK via either roll on, roll off or inside a container, then please click here





While we have a lot of experience in high end and high value vehicles, this one certainly caught our eye as something pretty special.

We paired up with the highly experienced team at Autofreight UK   in order to prepare, secure and ship this vehicle half-way around the world, all the way to Ireland.

Such a long journey requires a certain level of expertise so the lucky new owner entrusted Willship / Autofreight to handle the logistics of sending their car to its new home.

The car in question was a very rare and beautiful 1930 Bentley Speed 6.

This is not only is it a rare car now, but it was even a rare car when it was first made. In fact, only 182 were ever built making this car a real piece of history from the moment it was produced.

At almost 90 years old, don’t let its age make you think it can’t compete though. It has a huge 6.5-liter engine that can produce 180hp. It’s no wonder that it recently sold for well over half a million dollars.

The Bentley Speed 6 itself is as legendary as it is powerful. Its features were extremely advanced for the time it was produced and included aluminium pistons, a twin-spark ignition, a high-performance cam, and a square-section intake manifold.

Willship Nz Experience Shipping Half Million Dollar 1930 Bentley From Sydney to Ireland
WillShip NZ Shipping A Half Million Dollar 1930 Bentley From Sydney to Ireland Image

The story goes that in the 1930s, Bentley’s chairman at the time Woolf Barnato bet that his Speed 6 would be able to beat the “Blue Train Express” in a race. This was a train that ran from Cote d’Azur in the south of France all the way up to Calais in the north.

Coming from a man who was a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this was a claim to be taken seriously. With an average speed of 43mph he won the bet and even managed to freight the car to England and drive to London before the train arrived in Calais.

Now, this journey, while impressive, isn’t quite as long as the one our Speed 6 had to make to arrive at its new home in Ireland.

First, we carefully loaded the Bentley in an enclosed carrier to move it from its prestige dealership in Sydney to our loading depot. Once onsite, we secured it inside a 20ft container using high-quality chocks and lashing straps to ensure that it wouldn’t move an inch on its journey halfway around the world.

The loaded Bentley Speed 6 transhipped via Singapore and Southampton ports before making its final movement up to Dublin, completing the journey in just over a month and is now safely at its new home in Kilkenny, Ireland!

If you have a car that needs a little extra care and attention then Willship have the expertise to help. Please feel free to use our AUTOMATED QUOTE CALCULATOR, shoot us an email at or give us a call on 07 3267 3694.


What if my vehicle is still under finance?

If your vehicle is still under finance in Australia we can potentially still ship it across to New Zealand.

Every financial lender is different so the first step will be to contact your current finance company and ask for their terms regarding taking the vehicle out of the country.

Quite a few finance companies operate in both Australia and New Zealand so it could potentially be no problem at all.

The real ‘issue’ from their perspective would be that if the vehicle is the security against the loan, and you were to default on your payments, they would repossess the vehicle – Of course if you shipped this outside of Australia then of course this removes their ability to do so.

If the finance company will NOT allow the export of the vehicle outside of Australia you still have a couple of options:

Pay your loan out here in Australia if you have the funds available to free up the encumbrance on the vehicle.
Re-finance the loan through an Australian company that will allow the movement of the vehicle across to New Zealand.
Re-finance the loan through a New Zealand based Finance company and pay off your loan in full in Australia.


We here at Willship have shipped thousands of vehicles across to NZ and are industry leaders when it comes to anything vehicle related.

There isn’t a question we can’t answer or give advice on, so if the above isn’t clear, or you have any further queries then please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

If you would like a quote to ship your vehicle across to New Zealand

then please use our automated quote system –


How to Ship a Boat Overseas

WillShip NZ Shipping Shipping Boat Image



Owning a boat can be the ultimate expression of freedom, the open seas allow you to travel wherever you want before mooring at whichever beautiful seaside town takes your fancy.
Of course, despite this, when it comes to exporting a boat across the ocean from Australia, even the most reliable boats out there can often use a little help from something a little bigger.
Unlike cars and motorbikes, boats come in a huge array of sizes, shapes and types which means there are a few more options when it comes to shipping a boat.



There are four methods you can use to ship a boat and ultimately the type of shipping you go for will most likely come down to the specifics of your boat.



The first is roll-on/roll- off. To use this method the boat will need to be on a trailer for the entire trip so that it can roll onto and then off the carrier. It is possible to reduce the cost of this method of shipping by removing any antennas, radars or sails that boost the height or volume of your boat.



Another option is container shipping. Containers come in either 20ft or 40ft options and as such whether or not you can use this option will obviously come down to whether or not your boat can fit into a container!

In container shipping the boat is loaded into the container and then the container is loaded onto the boat. The container is never opened so this can be one of the most reliable methods of shipment if your boat is the correct size.



Flat rack is an option that is mainly used for bigger boats. The boat is shipped in its own custom cradle and strapped down to the vessel. As with roll-on/roll- off, it is recommended that you remove anything that adds height or volume to your boat. This can end up saving you a lot of money.



The final method is the submersion method. If you use this method your boat will be loaded and unloaded directly from the water.



When exporting a boat from Australia the exact legal/import requirements will vary depending on which country you are exporting the boat to. However, some things to consider are the customs procedures and any registration requirements of the country you are exporting too.

Another thing to check before exporting your boat is that if you have a boat with air con or a fridge you may need to apply for a license from the department of environment and heritage.

With so many things to think about it can be much more difficult to ship a boat than other vehicles such as cars or motorcycles.

However, if you are considering shipping your boat, please feel free to give us a call on 07 3267 3694 or email us at to discuss your requirements. If you are looking to ship your boat to New Zealand you can find more information on boat shipping here.

How to Prepare a Car for Shipping

prepare car for international shipping WillShip NZ

When shipping your car overseas there are plenty of things to keep you busy. You have to set your dates, choose your method of shipping and work out the approximate shipping costs. Once all this is booked and taken care of, the final thing you will have to do is prepare your car for shipping. This can generally be done a few days before you set off.

Here are some of the things you will need to sort out when you start to prepare a car for shipping.

Wash Your Car WillShip NZ Icon Image


First off you should wash your car. As well as making sure your car arrives at its new destination looking in tip top condition, this also has a number of practical uses.

Many countries will not allow cars to enter if they are unclean as they could have plant material or insects that could have a negative effect on the local environment. Not washing your car can cause the vehicle to fail its quarantine inspection upon arrival and can lead to additional cleaning and re-inspection costs and delays.

So, make sure you thoroughly clean any grass, cobwebs and other plant material from your car before it gets shipped.

Unfortunately, there is no way to ‘guarantee’ the vehicle will pass its inspection in NZ, it always comes down to the officers discretion on the day so you just need to do the best you can to get it clean, and then cross your fingers it passes its inspection. If it does fail however, it’s not the end of the world – cleaning and re-inspection fee’s generally only total around NZD 300.00 and this can be completed within 24 hours or so.

Remove items from inside you Icon


This checkpoint only applied when shipping via roll on, roll off…When your car gets shipped using this method there can be no personal goods inside your car. Because of this make sure to remove everything from your car, trunk and glove compartment. Things that belong with the vehicle, like logbooks etc can remain with the car.

Remove or secure any loose parts icon


If your car has any removable parts such as bike racks, antennas etc make sure you remove or fully secure them before your shipping date.

Empty your gas tank Icon


This only applies if you choose to ship the vehicle inside a container. To meet dangerous goods regulations we need to ensure the vehicle has minimal fuel, and the battery is disconnected. If choosing to ship via roll on, roll off then the vehicle can contain any amount of fuel. See the differences between roll-on / roll-off sand container shipping here.

Make sure you have an extra set of keys Icon


While not 100 percent necessary it is good practice to make sure you have a spare set of keys. As you will be leaving one set with your car it is always nice to have an extra set just in case something happens to the ones you left with the car.

If you are considering shipping your car, please feel free to use our INSTANT ONLINE QUOTE CALCULATOR or feel free to give us a call on 07 3267 3694 or email us at to discuss your requirements. For information on shipping vehicles to New Zealand please visit this page.

Moving to the UK? Here’s why you should take your car with you.



It can cost less than AUD 3000.00 to get your car across to the UK when shipping via a roll on, roll off service. Please feel free to use our INSTANT ONLINE QUOTE CALCULATOR to see the exact price to ship your vehicle to the UK.


We all know how frustrating private vehicle sales can be – having to deal with tyre kickers throwing you low ball offers and wasting your time. It’s often a far better option to ship your car over with you rather than trying to sell it on the private market here for a reduced value.

Not only do we strive to the best in the industry in terms of customer service and knowledge, we also want to be able to offer the best pricing to our clients. We have worked long and hard on negotiating great rates with shipping lines, tow companies, stevedores and customs depots to be able to pass on the best possible rates to everyone that ships with us. We feel our rates are highly competitive although if you do happen to receive a cheaper quote with all the inclusions that we offer, please feel free to send this through and we will ensure we beat it.
We here at Willship put customer service as our number one priority, we know an international move can be daunting and we aim to remove that worry and ensure the whole process is smooth and simple. You will be kept well in the loop through the journey, we can provide tracking information for the vehicle so you know where it is at all times and we can also assist with compliance and registration. Our staff here have more than 50 years combined experience in vehicle shipping and we particularly specialize in the AUS to UK route. Your vehicle will be in safe hands.
Not only do we strive to the best in the industry in terms of customer service and knowledge, we also want to be able to offer the best pricing to our clients. We have worked long and hard on negotiating great rates with shipping lines, tow companies, stevedores and customs depots to be able to pass on the best possible rates to everyone that ships with us. We feel our rates are highly competitive although if you do happen to receive a cheaper quote with all the inclusions that we offer, please feel free to send this through and we will ensure we beat it.
We here at Willship put customer service as our number one priority, we know an international move can be daunting and we aim to remove that worry and ensure the whole process is smooth and simple. You will be kept well in the loop through the journey, we can provide tracking information for the vehicle so you know where it is at all times and we can also assist with compliance and registration. Our staff here have more than 50 years combined experience in vehicle shipping and we particularly specialize in the AUS to UK route. Your vehicle will be in safe hands.


So, if you meet the above duty and VAT exemption criteria, then shipping your pride and joy across to the UK should certainly be considered. The process is streamlined and efficient, and we can provide you with countless testimonials from previous clients praising our service and their decision to ship.

If you are considering shipping your car, please feel free to use our INSTANT ONLINE QUOTE CALCULATOR or feel free to give us a call on 07 3267 3694 or email us at to discuss your requirements.

What is the best way to ship a motorcycle overseas?

WillShip NZ motorcyle shipping Image



Whether you are selling you bike, moving house or going on a road trip, there are many reasons for shipping your motorcycle abroad.

Much like shipping a car, there are two main ways that you can ship a motorcycle abroad. Both ways are quick, safe and effective and should see your motorbike arrive at its destination without any problems.

If you are shipping a motorcycle/motorbike to New Zealand we have more specific information on this page.

These two methods are roll-on/roll-off shipping and container shipping. Read on for an overview of these two shipping methods.



In roll-on/roll-off shipping, each individual motorcycle is brought onto the ship individually, using its own wheels.

Once on board the bikes are strapped onto the deck with all the other vehicles, making the boat look like a giant floating car park.

One of the important things to notice if you decide to use roll-on/roll-off shipping is that your motorcycle’s engine must be able to be turned on. This is because your bike needs to be driven up the ramp and onto the ship.

Roll-on/roll-off shipping is the cheapest option for sending your motorcycle abroad and is recommended for most situations. For more information and pictures on roll on roll off (RORO) shipping please check out this article.



When shipping a motorcycle abroad there are of course other things to think about as well as the shipping method.

These include customs fees, whether or not your bike will need to be registered, shipping dates and time, and if you need to get a carnet de passage en douane.

Each country will have its own requirements when it comes to these conditions. As an example of the type of things you will need to consider when shipping a motorcycle or other vehicle abroad check out these two guides.

Shipping a motorcycle from Australia to New Zealand
Shipping a car from Australia to the UK



Container shipping involves loading your motorcycle into a container and then loading the whole container onto the ship.

A container is generally 20ft or 40ft and as such is usually much too big and expensive if you simply want to send a motorcycle abroad.

However, there are some situations were shipping your motorcycle via container shipping can be beneficial. For example if you are sending more than one motorcycle it can be possible to save some money when compared to sending each bike individually via the roll-on/roll-off method.

Another time it can be advantageous to ship using a container is if you are shipping your motorcycle along with other items. For example, if you are moving house, a 20ft container will provide plenty of room for both your bike and some of your other items. Therefore, it could well be worth considering using a container if you are moving house abroad. This article goes into further detail about the differences between roll on roll off (RORO) and container shipping.



In conclusion whether you choose roll-on/roll-off shipping on container shipping will ultimately come down to your specific situation.

If you are simply shipping one motorbike, it is almost certainly going to be the case that roll-on/roll-off shipping is the best, most convenient, and cheapest option.

However if you are shipping more than one bike, or you need to ship other items as well as your bike, container shipping could well be the way to go.

And remember, if you need any help with any part of shipping your motorcycle abroad, make sure to give Willship a call on (61) 7 3267 3694 or enquire online to find out how we can help you! Our total service can help with everything from the collection of your bike to customs and compliance.

What is a Carnet de Passages and how to get one?



If you are moving temporarily to a foreign country, taking your vehicle with you can be a great way to travel around and make the most of your time away.

Of course, there are a lot of fees and expenses that can quickly build up when traveling abroad. Traveling with a vehicle can be especially costly.

Because of this, if you want to avoid paying customs duty and taxes on your vehicle, an easy way to ensure your car will still be granted entry into certain countries is by obtaining a Carnet de Passages en Douane.

This is common for travelers with motorhomes or caravans due to it often being quite expensive to rent these vehicles for a long period of time while overseas.



A Carnet de Passages en Douane is a document that you need if you want to take your car temporarily into certain foreign countries, without paying import taxes.

It is almost like a passport for your car, it basically allows customs officials to see that you are only bringing the car into the country temporarily. This, in turn, means you can avoid costly taxes.

The conditions are that you must make sure your vehicle leaves the country by the time limit on your carnet. If you don’t do this you could end up having to pay the duties and taxes that would normally be required.

Your Carnet de Passages is usually valid for one year after its issue date.

A Carnet de Passages is required in a number of countries throughout the world including:

– Australia
– New Zealand
– The United Kingdom
– South Africa
– Indonesia
– India



You must apply for your Carnet de Passages in your country of residence. In Australia, if you wish to gain a Carnet de Passage it is recommended that you contact your nearest motoring club for an application form or contact the team at Willship International for advice and links to obtain one.

As well as your application form you should also provide security for your carnet. This can come in the form of either an indemnity executed by an approved financial institution, a cash deposit in the form of a bank check or a premium paid for a special indemnity insurance policy.

The exact amount you will have to pay will depend on the type of car being used, the market value of the car and the country you are visiting.

Of course, the security will be released after your trip when you bring your car back and return you carnet to the place from where it was obtained.

On top of this, there are still some things you should watch out for applying for/using a carnet.

First, if you plan to drive the vehicle on the roads at your destination, then your vehicle must be registered in your home country for the duration of your carnet, however if the vehicle is strictly used for motorsport or off road purposes then this will not apply.

You should also check if your home country vehicle insurance covers traveling abroad. Most don’t so you may need to purchase extra insurance.

Hopefully, this guide has been able to offer a bit of an insight into what a Carnet de Passages en Douane is and how you can get one.

If you are traveling abroad and need help with shipping your car, Willship offers a range of shipping options that can help your vehicle arrive in the country you are visiting quickly and safely.

For more info give Willship a call on (61) 7 3267 3694, or enquire online to find out how we can help you!

Best motorcycle road trips in New Zealand

WillShip NZ new zealand road image


Taking some time off to motorcycle through New Zealand is a dream for many people.

The spectacular scenery, beautiful weather and temperate climate make it the perfect location to spend some time out on two wheels.

However the sheer choice of places to go can make it a struggle to decide what to do. Here are some of the top places to ride your bike on your next road trip in NZ.

And remember, if you need any help shipping your motorcycle to New Zealand. Be sure to give us at Willship a call.


Mountains, minimal traffic and beautiful coastlines, what isn’t to love about riding a motorcycle on the south island? Here are some of the top places to take a road trip on the south island:


The top of South Island has an absolute abundance of fantastic motorcycle rides. However Buller Gorge is arguably the best of the lot. This winding road follows the river through the gorge and past some stunning scenery. This makes it a top choice for a motorcycle trip in New Zealand. Once you have finished this route you will also have easy access to some of South Islands other top motorcycle routes.


This trip over the Southern Alps in New Zealand gives you access to some of the best views in the whole country. The road reaches a total height of 562 metres and passes beech forests and waterfalls before finally ending up at the start of two of New Zealand’s famous glaciers.


One of several rides around Queenstown, Glenorchy is only 40 minutes from the city. However while it may be a short ride it is certainly packed full of incredible views. Banking Lake Wakatipu and with very little traffic it is the perfect place for a day trip from Queenstown.


While a lot of the best of New Zealand’s motorcycling is to be had on the South Island, the more populous North Island has its own fair share of stunning scenery and exciting rides.


Cape Reigna is based at the northern end of the North Island. It is one of the newer rides on our list as the final 19kms of the road was gravel up until 2010. It is a quiet road and offers spectacular views of blue sea and rolling hills. It also has a relatively mild climate which means it is possible to do this route throughout most of the year.


The Coromandel Peninsula is a popular place to ride full of winding roads, sea views and temperate rainforest. Passing by some of the best beaches in New Zealand there are plenty of places to take a break after a long day riding. The road follows all the way around the peninsula meaning you can circle around and end up back where you started without seeing the same thing twice.


This route, starting in Aukland, sees you ride country roads through vineyards, and coastal roads along the Wild West Coast. Here you will have plenty of opportunities to take in the majestic views and maybe even grab a bottle of wine to share post ride.

The whole ride around the peninsula is around 270km and depending on how long you spend eating fine food along the way should take you around 4 hours.

These six routes are just a small selection of the motorcycle rides New Zealand has to offer. If you are thinking about spending a long time biking around New Zealand and you need some help shipping your bike over you can check out this article we have written, or give Willship a call on (61) 7 3267 3694, or enquire online to find out how we can help you!