Left your run too late, or think you may not qualify for importing under the Personal Import Scheme? Don’t despair, as you may still have some options.

Pre-1989 scheme

If you’re a collector and/or lover of classic cars, this scheme allows you to import any vehicle to Australia if it’s built prior to 1989. There are no restrictions on the number of vehicles you can import, nor on length of ownership. In fact, many Australia-based classic car lovers purchase and import vehicles direct from overseas owners under this scheme.

A small word of warning before you put down your hard-earned on a classic car – as part of your application for an import approval, you will be expected to supply photographs and details of the vehicle. This is because some vehicles once snuck through, for example, with the body of 1957 Chevrolet and the engine and drivetrain of a 2010 Corvette. As a result, your vehicle needs to be relatively standard – aftermarket wheels or other minor modifications aren’t a problem, but if the engine has been switched or had major body mods, then you better contact us first for clarification.

SEVS – Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme

Certain makes and models are eligible for import to Australia under SEVS. The list isn’t as extensive as most enthusiasts here would like, but it does give those heading to Australia the opportunity to buy something and bring it with them without having to own the car for twelve months. The list of eligible vehicles is here: http://rvcs-prodweb.dot.gov.au/sevs/sevsindex.htm

Again, a few caveats before you rush out and start buying – firstly, cars imported via SEVS must go to a government approved workshop to be made compliant with Australian design rules. This process is more expensive than importing under the PIS – compliance costs can range from AUD2000 up to AUD15000 for more exotic models. We can supply you with more accurate prices if you have a particular model in mind.

Secondly, just because a make and model is listed on the previous list doesn’t necessarily mean there are workshops here currently qualified to make them comply. Again, check with us if you want clarification.

Lastly, cars that are imported via SEVS are subjected to much greater scrutiny than those imported via the PIS. The two biggest problems for compliance are previous accident damage (especially if it has evidence of structural damage and hasn’t been repaired properly) and underbody rust around suspension components (which is particularly relevant for cars from the UK). Either of these problems can deem a car unable to be complied, leaving you with an expensive problem, so make sure you get any potential purchase thoroughly checked over by an expert.

Race/rally import scheme

As the name suggests, this scheme is available for those wanting to bring their race cars with them. In order to qualify, you’ll need to give evidence that you have a history of competition in your home country. Pictures and evidence must be supplied, of both you and the car. In case it’s not obvious, cars imported under this scheme can never be registered for normal road use, although some vehicles (such as tarmac rally cars) are entitled to restricted registration for competition purposes – this is a state-based scheme, but we can point you in the right direction should you need assistance with it.