What Should You Do In Order To Import A Classic Car Into Australia

No matter what kind of item is the subject, everyone will have a different taste and opinion of their favorite variation of that subject, such as cars. Some people enjoy modern vehicles that have all kinds of convenient innovations, but there is that other spectrum that admires cars from the past or better known as the classics.

Finding a classic car today that is fully functional can be quite difficult. However, if you managed to find a vehicle that caught your attention due to its looks, or some other relevance, like being the highlight of the movie as the Mini Cooper S is in The Italian Job, there are a few things you will have to keep in mind.

Australia has strict rules when it comes to importing vehicles

Suppose you are looking forward to importing a classic car to Australia, many will tell you that it is a nightmare of a process and that you should not bother trying to make your dreams of driving your favorite classic car on Australian roads a reality. But, things are not that bad if you follow some steps.

If your car meets the rules, you too can import your favorite classic vehicle.

The laws

Luckily for you, the updates to Australia’s new Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) laws on 1 July 2021 are working in your favor. This is because this newest update allows people to choose from a wider selection of older and collectible vehicles. This does not apply only to cars but also to motorcycles, vans, and other light commercial vehicles.

In order to qualify for a certain set of rules and to be considered a classic car, it has to be over 25 years old. If it meets that condition, you can make an application, and you will be approved for the vehicle to enter the RAV – Register of Approved Vehicles. This does not apply to vehicles that are already in Australia, as many would think, but also if you would import them from overseas.

What do you need for the RAV application?

The good thing is that anyone can apply to import an older vehicle, but while you can do it by yourself, getting an agent to help you is a much better option, especially if you are planning to put classic import cars for sale later on.

The first three items that you are going to need are the original sales document, a deregistration certificate,  a photograph of your VIN (vehicle’s identification number), and a photograph of its chassis number or compliance plate from the country it was first registered in.

What about modifications?

If the vehicle has been modified, you will need some kind of proof that those modifications are not new and that they are indeed over 25 years old. For this, you will need some documentation that covers the information on the nature of the modifications and the dates they were performed on.

In case you are not sure what is considered a modification, it is any change to the body, chassis, drivetrain, breaks, or steering. Changes to these parts require documentation, and without it, you will not be able to import your vehicle that easily.

If your vehicle has been modified in the past 25 years, it is no longer considered to be an older vehicle. This changes the importing criteria quite a bit, and in most cases, you will not be able to register them since they will not be approved by the RAV.

Submitting your application and registering the vehicle

Once you make sure that the vehicle you are interested in has all the documentation and that it is now yours, you can register on ROVER, confirm your identity,  and then fill in the questions that you are asked on the vehicle page. It can take about thirty days for RAV to approve your vehicle.

Upon getting the approval, you will have to register your vehicle if you want to drive it on a public road, but the approval from the RAV does not guarantee that you will be able to do that. This mostly goes for the vehicles that are left-hand drive, but in most cases, you should be fine. Registering the vehicle usually takes up to 48 hours before you are approved after you apply for registration.

If you successfully register your classic car, you can drive it on the public road.

Final Word

While importing a classic vehicle might take a bit more work than importing a modern one, if you truly care about the vehicle you are driving, it is more than worth the effort. It is always nice to see one of those older models on the road, as it sparks a special kind of feeling, one that is not envious, but instead, one that brightens up everyone’s day.

You may be interested in: Importing Anything From Another Country? Here Are The Stages You Should Know