Why would you want to import a Japanese car? Well there are many Japanese cars available in Australia, however the most desirable, high performance Japanese sports cars are not always available within Australia, or if they are, they are more often than not out of the price range for many individuals.

This is where Japan Quality Exports can help!

One way to gain possession of the car you desire is to look at some way to import the car from Japan. Importing a new car may still require a big budget and might even not be any cheaper than buying through normal car dealers. The way forward is to go through recognised exporters like Japan Quality Exports.

Japan Quality Exports are the correct combination of enthusiasts, who know their cars and appreciate the same types of cars that you do, and also have the professional set-up that is needed to make sure the deal is something that suits all involved.

Japan Quality Exports have a team based in Japan who buy the used cars full time for people all around the world – There reputation has been built on this expertise and an unsurpassed track record of picking the correct vehicles. Combine this with an efficient set-up to guide you though the import process in Australia that means cars are presented to the customer in the best possible condition – after all the necessary work has been done with their local compliance partners and all necessary work has been carried out.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Importing Cars from Japan to Australia

There are a number of ways to purchase vehicles from Japan and then import them to Australia. However, the first question that may arise is why anyone would import cars instead of buying them from within Australia?

Well, the first reason is the cost. You can save a good deal of money while importing cars from Japan even if you have to pay for the fees of shipment and import tax. You can also find a huge range of cars available in Japan, that aren’t normally available in Australia, giving you a unique ride!

Please note that this guide is provided as general information only. We advise that you must conduct your own research into importing vehicles that relate to your specific circumstances, and the registration requirements for your state or territory.


Australian Import Rules & Regulations

It’s important to know which scheme is applicable to your circumstances, as the fees and taxes involved can vary.  There are 3 main schemes that cars can be imported under.


  1. Personal Imports Scheme
    For those who have owned the vehicle overseas for more than 12 months.
  2. Pre-1989 Scheme
    Any car that was manufactured before 1989, also known as ‘the 15 year rule’.
  3. Special and Enthusists Vehicles Scheme (SEVS)
    Cars that can be imported under the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles Scheme.



All prices quoted by Japan Quality Exports are quoted FOB.  This includes all costs and shipping to your nearest port.


Costs of Importing Vehicles to Australia

Once the vehicle arrives at the port, the following costs should also be factored into your budget:

Customs Duty
Vehicles over 30 years old, and Motorcycles: 0%
New and used Vehicles up to 30 years old: 10%
Four Wheel Drive / Off Road / Commercial Vehicles: 5%

GST is applicable to all imports and is calculated at 10% of the customs value.

Luxury Car Tax
For vehicles with a total GST inclusive value of over AUD$57,009, use may incur Luxury Car Tax (LCT). Luxury Car Tax is an additional tax, levied at 25% on the amount in excess of a certain threshold.



Vehicle compliance costs can vary with each vehicle, however common compliance requirements include:


  • Child restraint anchor points.
  • Replace driver side door mirror to correct standard.
  • Weighbridge certificate.
  • Engineer certificate (not all vehicles).
  • Imported Blue Slip (ensures roadworthiness for RTA).
  • Tyres
  • Personal import compliance plate

Compliance costs can range from AUD$2,000 to $10,000, depending on the specific requirements for your vehicle.  For more detailed compliance costs, contact a RAWS that specialises in the model you are importing.


Registration & Stamp Duty

Registration costs vary from state to state.  Check with your state’s department of transport for more detailed costs.



Not all car insurers will cover imported vehicles, so check with your preferred insurer to see if they will provide insurance coverage for the car you want to import (and make sure you mention any modifications/accessories).


Parts & Maintenance

Some JDM vehicles share components with locally available cars, however it can be difficult to find replacement parts for some models. If there is something you need help with sourcing, let us know!



How much does it cost to import a car from Japan to Australia?
Can you import cars from Japan to Australia?
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Header Image: Holger Link on Unsplash

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