Shipping vehicle

Old Jun 11th 2018, 4:55 pm
  #1  
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Default Shipping vehicle

It occurs to me that shipping my car with 3 or 4 suitcases inside would be a neat way to avoid the hassle of selling the car and high cost of having my possessions shipped.

It's an Irish registered car as I have been living in Ireland, so the Odo, Speedo and service history are already in kilometers.

By the looks of Gumtree, a similar car would cost $8-9k in Perth, but it's worth around £1.8-2k for it in the UK. The prices assumes I'm using dealers, so I sell slightly under market value and buy slightly over market value.

From what I've read, the total cost of shipping the car would be in the region of £2.5k. (Import duty of 15% car value, port costs, shipping cost)

If I could ship my possessions in suitcases inside the vehicle then that would save extra shipping costs for shipping them separately. (but I'm not sure if that's allowed)

From a high level perspective the finances seem to add up, plus it's a car that I know and like.

Has anyone got experience of shipping a car with possessions inside? Is a lot of hassle with customs etc?

Last edited by jc.murray; Jun 11th 2018 at 4:57 pm.
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Old Jun 11th 2018, 11:23 pm
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Default Re: Shipping vehicle

I did this, but its a long time ago. It really depends on what car it is - If you have an enthusiasts car like a Porsche, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari etc etc I would say yes its worth it, but for a regular car probably not. It will be considered a Grey Import so Insurance could be an issue, resale value would certainly be lower. The normal Irish surface rust under your car and on the exhaust which may look like nothing to you, will horrify most Australians as you rarely see that here even on 20 year old cars.

They charge Import Duty and then GST on top of that, plus you will need to get the car 'Complianced' when you are here which involves and Engineering inspection and a personal import plate to be attached to the vehicle. Sometimes with personal imports they insist you get the aircon gas removed before shipping and so you will need to have that re-gassed when you get here.

When I shipped my car it took 5 weeks to arrive in Sydney and then 7 weeks to clear customs and be released. so expect between 10 and 12 weeks all up.

It's a fine line and only you can make the decision, you can get good second hand cars here at reasonable prices theses days, but still nothing like as reasonable as over there. I often look at autotrader.co.uk and am amazed at how cheap some cars are over there. Compare prices there with carsales.com.au here, that will give you a good idea of values. Also redbook.com.au.

Last edited by spuddyo; Jun 11th 2018 at 11:26 pm.
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Old Jun 12th 2018, 11:17 am
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Default Re: Shipping vehicle

That's a good summary by Spuddy. We imported (and then sold) two high end sports cars back in 2015. We made a healthy profit in comparison to the then exchange rate, but given the current rate, I wouldn't be so sure of doing so today. We didn't have many issues with compliance; just one car needing an Isofix anchor fitted. However one of the cars was damaged by the halfwit who secured it in the container, even though we used a very highly regarded specialist to arrange the import, and it took over three months, much of which was sitting at the docks in Oz getting filthy for no apparent reason. That of course meant we had to hire a car in the interval, which would eat into your profits (East Coast Rentals; they were very good). We did pack both cars with as much stuff as we could so had to manage without that too which meant some things had to be bought anyway. I found it all pretty stressful. In your circumstances, I wouldn't do it.
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Old Jun 12th 2018, 11:33 am
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Default Re: Shipping vehicle

OK guys thanks for the advice! I think I'll try to sell the car at home. It's been on the west coast of Ireland for 8 years so it is pretty crusty underneath. I'm assuming that I'll need to buy a replacement vehicle in cash when I arrive in Aus.

It's not a special vehicle at all - 2007 Hyundai Sante Fe.
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Old Jun 12th 2018, 10:30 pm
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Default Re: Shipping vehicle

If you bought private with cash, you could pick up a similar car for about $5-6K here and it would be in a lot better condition underneath than the one you have now. There are plenty of used cars for sale, its a buyers market and you would be surprised how much private sellers will drop their price for a roll of cash dollars, especially if they have been offered a low ball price as a trade in on their new car. Look at trade in values on redbook for a realistic price.
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Old Jun 20th 2018, 1:04 pm
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Default Re: Shipping vehicle

Originally Posted by jc.murray View Post
OK guys thanks for the advice! I think I'll try to sell the car at home. It's been on the west coast of Ireland for 8 years so it is pretty crusty underneath. I'm assuming that I'll need to buy a replacement vehicle in cash when I arrive in Aus.

It's not a special vehicle at all - 2007 Hyundai Sante Fe.
Hi, I did the same but the reverse journey bringing our Australian market Toyota to the UK. At the time it made sense, it was 2 years old, would have lost a lot selling it quickly and we would have been left out of pocket so unable to buy another 'newish' car in the UK without the required credit history for finance. In hindsight I wish I hadn't, I need specialist comprehensive insurance for a grey import which I pay through the nose for. Even though the (Jap built) Corolla and (UK built) Auris are similar, the parts are not compatible so it's a headache finding parts for it, to the extent I now get family in Australia to post me certain things for the car. So I wouldn't recommend it unless it's a very special car.

By the bye, if you want a car to ship with your belongings inside, you're welcome to take my Corolla off my hands. It still has its Australian compliance plate so there shouldn't be any issues with customs as it would be a reimport. Maybe we can swap cars!

Last edited by poida; Jun 20th 2018 at 1:07 pm.
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