How to ship your car to Australia

How to ship your car to Australia

There’s lots to consider when shipping a car to Australia. Here’s a quick run-down of how it’s done – directly from the experienced professionals at AutoShippers.

Picking the right service can be a challenge. In this article we’ll briefly go over the car shipping services available to Australia, and why you might choose one over the other.

RoRo (Roll-on Roll-off)

As you might expect from the name, this service involves driving your vehicle directly on to a specialised vessel and securing it to the deck with straps around each wheel (Roll-on). On arrival, your vehicle is released from the deck, driven off of the vessel and cleared by customs ready for collection (Roll-off). It’s as simple as that.

Why choose RoRo?

  • Cost – RoRo is one of the cheapest options for shipping a car overseas.
  • Speed/efficiency – Considered the fastest method, and the most convenient way of loading/unloading cars.

The few caveats or RoRo include the inability to ship personal belongings with the vehicle, and the requirement that the vehicle must be in working condition so it can be driven onto the ship.

Typical RoRo transit times from the UK:

  • Sydney – 43 days
  • Fremantle – 40 days
  • Adelaide – 46 days
  • Melbourne – 41 days

Sole Use Container

Alternatively, you can choose to have your own dedicated container to house your vehicle for shipment. This is the preferred option for higher value vehicles as it offers an added level of protection. Container shipments also typically depart on a more regular basis than RoRo, and to a wider range of destinations.

Why choose Container shipping?

  • Availability – Container services offers weekly sailings direct from the UK to the main ports of Australia
  • Protection – Typically, container shipping is considered the safer option as RoRo involves storing your vehicle on an open deck, and extra handling is required during loading/unloading by port workers. Having your own dedicated container to ship your vehicle offers added security that may be required for higher value vehicles.
  • Shipping personal belongings – You can choose to ship personal items with your car. This is not an option for RoRo.
  • Vehicle condition – Your vehicle is not required to be in working condition.

One of the drawbacks of sole use container shipping is the added cost compared to RoRo as well as the port fees involved.

Shared Container (R-Rak)

A new method of shipping in containers has become more popular recently. Known as R-Rak, this service allows the shipment of multiple cars in a container using a specialised racking system to more efficiently house the vehicles.

Why choose R-Rak shipping?

  • Safety – R-Rak is widely considered safer than standard container shipping.
  • Lower Cost – As you are sharing the container with others, the costs and fees involved are much lower for the individual.
  • Efficiency – Now adopted by some of the world’s largest car manufacturers due to its safety and efficiency compared to other methods.

Typical R-Rak transit times from the UK:

  • Sydney – 42 days
  • Fremantle – 44 days
  • Adelaide – 48 days
  • Melbourne – 42 days

Further information on services, regulations and duties for Australia can be found here.


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