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Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Rallyingarron, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. Hi to all!
    My family and I have just had our visa's approved and we hope to be part of the Brits in Brisbane community in November/December.

    We are looking to live in or around the Caloundra ( little mountain ) area.

    I have a few questions and wondered if anyone could help.

    1. Importing a car, I have a rally car I would like to import to Aus, is this a simple task and is it expensive, can anyone help with companies that can do this.

    2. My eldest daughter is due to start prep school in January, is private school a good way to go and what is the costs approx compared to state schools.

    3. Driving licence, how do you obtain an Aus driveing licence.

    I have lots more questions to ask but this should do for starters.

    Any help and advise is greatly appreciated.

    Look forward to your replies.

    Arron, Kim & family.

  2. cal

    cal Super Moderator

    Hi welcome to the site,i will help as much as i can ,,
    We briefly looked at importing our car as lots of people have ,the cost seems ok until the container gets to Oz ,then the fun starts ,it will have to any conversions ,such as clocks etc done there,it will require cleaning and there are lots of hidden extras ,rule of thumb is normally leave it unless it carries great sentimental value.
    Private school fees vary greatly from school to school,my children are in the public system ,wellone is the other starts January ,i have found the school and teachers to be spot on ,so again its personal choice.
    To exchange your licence you simply go to a dept of transport shop ,pay a fee have a photo taken and job done ,straight swap ,no test. You are allowed upto 12 weeks to change your licence ,you will need proof of your new address to do this.
    Hope this helps a bit ,good luck with everything
    Cal x
  3. Hi Cal, Thanks very much for the reply.

    I have a fare few more questions to ask so I will post them later.

    As for my car, I am a motorsport instructor here in the UK and would like to import my rally car ( depending on costs ).

    When you say hidden extras wat do you mean!

  4. cal

    cal Super Moderator

    I didnt get much further than the quotes,lol, but the costs at this end are not normally included in the quote so hit you unexpectdly,the conversations i believe have to be done at the docks ,this can be things like clocks,lights etc ,steam cleaning is also done at the docks,rule of thumb normally is the cost outweighs the value but again that depends if its sentimental to you.
    Cal x
  5. Mark_C

    Mark_C Guest

    Hi Arron,

    It's not as hard as people think to import a car, I brought 5 with me when I moved over, unfortunately everybody is mislead into thinking they will be charged fortunes for conversions and cleaning etc, but the reality is with a little effort, investigation and the right attitude it can be reasonably priced.

    First the cleaning myth
    Quarantine services here (AQIS) are paranoid about any foreign soil or plant matter getting into the country, that is why people often get charged for a very expensive (read overpriced) steam clean of their cars when they arrive, but if your car is properly cleaned inside, outside and underneath, they will not insist on cleaning again, I have 1 race car, 2 classics and 2 everyday cars I brought, I cleaned them thoroughly, the AQIS insepctor charged the 1/2 hour minimum cost to do all 5.

    Secondly modifications to type approve here.
    This is a bit more of a minefield, but there are a few categories for imports

    1st if the car is built prior to 1989 you can import without restriction, but you will have to have the car inspected and aproved for registration here, it will have to meet the ADR standards for the year it was built, some of these are the same as UK cars, some aren't, an example of costs would be my BMW 5 series, needed a fuel neck restrictor, mods to the door crash bars, some child seat restraint points and that was it, cost was under $1000 for work, inspections and approvals, some cars may need a Cat added to the exhaust too, so there may be more cost.
    Things like the seat belts are Ok if they are BS or Euro marked (as almost every UK car would be), the speedo will be fine if it has dual mph/kph readings.

    2nd if the car is newer than 1989 you need to bring this in on a personal import ruling, there are rules involved with this, but on the plus side the car will need less modifications when it gets here, I brought a Nissan 200sx and it needed some child seat points, cost fitted about $100, incidently I sold this a year later and the profit paid the costs of bringing all the others :biggrin: (used cars are expensive here)

    The next class is race cars, this is where it gets difficult, they can be imported to use in racing, but I am not 100% sure about rallying, you need to provide some kind of evidence of what you will be using it for, the details are all on the DOTARS website.

    I assume the car is the Scooby in your avatar pic??

    You could just bring it as a personal import (2nd above) and there would be no problem getting import approval, and getting it through customs and AQIS, but when it comes to registering it you will have issues, basically cars have to be near standard here to get their initial inspection and registration, I ran into this problem with my race car (a MK2 Escort), it was registered in the UK but very heavily modified, and would have been a nightmare to register, in the end I built a fresh car from an Aussie shell with all my bits on it,
    as the car had been previously registered I then simply had to get a Modification guy to check the seats, cage, harnesses, engine, brakes etc etc, and he signed it off and fitted a new "blue" plate under the bonnet, I now have a fully road legal tarmac spec car
    It wasn't an easy route but it can be done.

    For your car I would suggest first checking the available options for rally/race import, but (as I assume you want to stay involved in motorsport here) I would definitely put in the effort, as the cost of buying or building a well prepped WRX here would be way higher than what you would get selling the car in the UK

    If you want any more info or advice on this let me know, I am a bit of an expert at it after bringing my 5 over.

    A lot of people have been put off bringing their cars because the shipping companies, migration advisers etc make it sound really hard, which is a shame as some people leave behind much loved great cars, only to find they can't replace them with anything as good for the same money here.

    So if anyone else wants any practical advice on importing cars, please feel free to ask :smile:
  6. Hi Mark,
    Yes the car is the one in the pic, it's a Group A Impreza and is also heavily modified as a tarmac rally car.

    There is no scope for me to break it and bring the bits over with me to build into a bare shell.

    When you say it is hard to get it registered in Australia how do you mean, like most rally cars in the UK they have to be road legal for multi-venue events, mine is road legal in England and I would like to bring it with me to Australia.

    If you can help with anymore information I would be most grateful.

  7. Mark_C

    Mark_C Guest

    I have sent you a PM Arron, hope it helps
  8. Thanks for the PM Mark, YHM too.

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