Buying a Car in Australia. What’ll it Cost?

Hello John, got a new motor?

For the majority of people the most expensive item they will ever buy in their life is a house. We looked at house prices in Australia the other week.

Then there is the second most expensive item they will ever buy and for some that is a helicopter and for others it is a cruiser. But for the rest of us it is going to be a car. So today I am looking at the price of cars here in Australia compared with the UK.

As usual with my “Cost of Living – Australia” category, the method behind my investigation is purely random (guesswork). I have checked out the prices of five new (in blue) and five used (in red) cars both here in Australia and over in the UK. The results are quite surprising.

Australia vs UK: Car Prices

Australia vs UK: Car Prices

The total cost of the 10 Australian cars was $288,365 whereas the cost of the similar specification cars from England was £115,029. Despite today’s exchange rate being a very low 1.93 Aussie dollars to the pound, you could have still bought the Australian cars for a whopping 23% less in England.

Here in Australia those same cars would have cost £149,411, that’s a massive £34,382 dearer than in the UK!

I must emphasise here that specifications will be different but I have tried to match these vehicles as closely as possible. I have checked they all have the same engine size, number of doors and body shape. I drew the line at checking whether the CD player was 25 W per channel or 50.

So it is a rough guide.

The biggest price difference is for the new Saab, but I have stared and stared at the specifications of both and I can’t see anything that warrants such a huge gap. Perhaps the lesson to learn here is to buy your make of car with care. Perhaps some manufacturers have a more supportive export policy to Australia.

My price comparison may not be the most accurate guide you will find but whichever way you look at it there can only be one winner in this particular case. My guide suggests that Australian cars can be as much as 30% more, as an average.

So, without a doubt, the UK has the cheapest cars.

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{ 58 comments… add one }
  • Max November 16, 2020, 4:10 pm |

    Hello Bob,
    Thanks a lot for such an informative blog. It has definitely helped clarify a lot of questions/ confusions I have had regarding my impending move to Darwin from London.

    Given the rather weak sterling at the moment along with the limited choice of used cars in Darwin (based on a few internet searches), it is increasingly looking like buying a car here and importing it to Aus may be my best bet. I can see very clearly what you mean when you say cars are disproportionately more expensive compared to the UK. I was wondering if you would be kind enough to release Mark’s details to me or mine to him if he is still here as I would be keen to run a couple of thinks past the company he mentions

    • BobinOz November 17, 2020, 6:29 pm |

      Hi Max, and thanks for the kind words. I have seen from other comments you have made on the different page that you have already connected with Mark and you now have his email address to speak with him direct. So sounds like it’s all sorted, good luck with your move and sorting out your car.

  • susan crossley April 16, 2018, 11:59 am |

    Hi Bob, I have a question about automobile insurance in Australia to go along with car cost. Do you know if you can get comprehensive auto insurance when on a tourist visa (so as a non-resident)? I have found forums discussing this saying that as a non-resident, you can get collision but not comprehensive and also that an insurance company will sell you the insurance but if you have to make a claim, they will deny the claim stating that you are a non-resident. But all of those posts are from 2013. Do you have any info on this or do you know the governing body for automobile insurance that I might be able to check with?

    • BobinOz April 16, 2018, 5:52 pm |

      I don’t think you’ll have a problem with this, we have lots of car insurance companies competing for business here, and lots of tourists and backpackers, so I can’t imagine it will be difficult to get somebody to give you fully comprehensive car insurance.

      If you make it clear in your application that you are non-resident, and then they give you a certificate for fully comprehensive insurance, I can’t see how they could wriggle out of it. If you want to look into it further, Google the Insurance Council of Australia.

      Or, if you’re planning on renting a car, you can get car rental excess fee insurance cover on your travel insurance before you get here. Hope that helps, Bob

  • Mark November 11, 2016, 2:10 pm |

    We arrived nearly 12 months ago from the UK and brought with us a car. We shipped the car after we left. in fact it was January before it left Blighty . A regular car if you can call it that (as in I have just shipped another one a classic) It cost is nowhere near the loss we would have suffered selling it quickly in UK As a example because this is a variable The car was a 2012 c70 Volvo a rare but existing breed here With a UK exit cost of £1424 but that included a wash and someone driving it from Burton On Trent to Felixtowe on a transporter. That also included the landed agents fee and border inspection fee cost here, We then paid another £420 in Duty im doing all prces in £ 1 to $1.60 to keep it simple. A valuation I managed to get free and it was a little low based on the fact it was a unregistered UK import and based on the price someone would give for it not the possible the sale value. A VASS approval some £145.00 and the fee before leaving was £33 then roadworthy £105.00 and registration fee based on the value was some £270.00 plus a fee for the import plate some £68.00 as you can see??? The car in Uk on a good day would have been worth around 16k quick sale 13K You try buying a 2012 C70 here with about 50k kilometres for the $ equivalent some 13000 GBP is about 21$ Id cant find one for less than $27000 Now more than ever if you have a car say 5 to even 20 maybe 22K GBP value bring it with you unless its something really odd…Happy to help anyone especially if you are Melbourne bound you can even use the same VASS engineer…You do have to pay like a road tax fee but that includes third party liability and your arguably have to pay that on any car you bought. .

    • BobinOz November 11, 2016, 9:39 pm |

      That sounds like pretty good value, I used to have a Volvo Wentworth myself back in the day, great cars. Well worth bringing one over if the price is right. Mine was a real oldie though, it was probably worth £1000 when I came to Australia, but I got £250 because, well, it’s a fire sale when you’re jumping on the plane the next day.

      So, just to clear this up a bit, £1424, that was the transport costs to get it to Melbourne? £420, that’s the import tax? Then just something like £621 on other bits and bobs? So for 2 1/2 grand it’s all done? If that’s the case, it’s well worth doing which is strange because everyone I spoke to who looked into this always ended up leaving their cars behind because it was too expensive.

      Great information Mark, thanks for this, I’m sure quite a few people will find it very useful.

      • Mark November 12, 2016, 10:32 am |

        . Sorry I hit the send button on the original post before I had properly finished it, luckily it was readable. I had got distracted by work. Have to do a bit now and again. I looked at loads of places for car shipping before we left the UK there is even one with a spreadsheet in excel that put me off. Yes I sold a Volvo V70 for 7K Sterling, as you say a bit fire sale ish as was flying out 3 weeks later. The C70 we brought is a convertible try selling that in UK in November…so as a benefit we still have a car to get us around in UK or my wife did before departure. Im lucky my company hired me a one way rental for a month as well. That’s arguably a rental cost saving.for most though I left the c70 at my Moms not sure what to do with it as had been put off bringing it. Then I spent some time on it. . .
        The cost of £1424 got the car collected on a transporter from Burton on Trent and delivered to Felixstowe (£180.00) part of £1424 (£25.00) a wash and some £790 was the actual cost to ship. The balance of the £1424 went for all sorts of fees here including the agent the unloading, an inspection fee. It was split up as of course much of it is non vat ‘able’ in UK …There is a couple of things to mention. The car went in a container with 4 others (google 4 cars in a container, it’s funny and clever) hence the cheap shipping price I guess. When you came Bob no one had come up with this idea I think … So as a variable if your bringing say an off roader, say a VW Tourag or a Volvo XC90 it may be more as they may only be able to get three in the container, even a 940 Wentworth estate (I used to have a 960 wardrobe swallow’er) may have been more back then Bob. It’s how they angle / stack them like a car transporter in UK….Now the trick is when it gets here some character will charge you 3, 4 or even 500 dollars for a valuation fee, I was quoted $485 inc GST. They will value it based on Australian cars but it’s somewhat arguably incorrect as its not its true value over cars in the country. Bob, me being in my profession asked questions. I asked customs who could legally acceptably value it …It took them a day to answer …, They said any licensed motor trader so I got mine done for free and here is another key part. He has to value it pre-arrival and it’s a UK spec’ car with no Australian registration or approval, his valuation was low, very low but legally correct. It had to be based on what he would pay for it. So a lump saved. Then we have the VASS inspection. You may have costs to pay on making sure its Australia compliant, being a Volvo, safety and all it was. So most VWs Skoda’s Renaults I’m only guessing will pass without much hassle, a friend has just brought a Passat out, it needed two top tethers fitted he was quoted a whopping 1400 dollars to do this as they were going to change the back seat. 2 x 9 dollars from ebay he fitted himself. Google them if you do not know what they are its likely a stumbling block. So to the VASS inspection, I was quoted anywhere between 330 dollars and 685 for a Vass inspection, I found a guy who did it for around £145.00 some 230 dollars then you have to buy the import plate and roadworthy (MOT UK) 94 dollars and 170 dollars respectively…You then have to visit Vic roads, sorry I forgot £21 for an appointment fee (it wasn’t on my expenses my company paid) The list I am doing this from. There you pay stamp duty on the purchase price which is based on the valuation, hence its lower than what an Australian car would be. Ask any motor dealer what they will allow you PX or pay for any imported car and its low, really low, so that dictates its value, not the value it left the UK at. Now of course don’t bring the car and then want to sell it 3 months later, or even 12 months that might be a waste and you will lose out but drive it, use it, for a few years. Australians, I swear some have got cars they bought in 1982 and are still driving it. So duty paid and on road costs which is again variable by state but in Victoria includes a sort of third party liability which you have to pay yearly. Like a road tax in UK . You are on the road with a car you may know far better. Now my P1800 has just left UK and its coming the same way but its a 1970 classic so will be treated differently for import…Its even been shrink wrapped. They open windows and put sachets of that moisture stiff inside. We are driving the C70 and will put it away over winter and buy another car here… There are still cars not worth bringing, it’s a massive variable but say a £15K as mentioned VW Passat in UK was valued at $11.5K here yes only $11500.00 Australian by a VW dealer. remember It’s an import and it’s not even Australian roadworthy when valued as it’s on a ship or a dock in this case. As a further note, several European cars are not as well kitted out here Eg a Volvo here comes with no alarm, it looks like it has one but its actually missing. Just like you whoever you are emigrating it’s all a variable…I haven’t put details of the outfits used but can steer anyone that direction If you are going to Sydney or Adelaide etc things may be different but I doubt by much. Sorry for the long post but its a big lump of value and I hope worth reading ..

        • BobinOz November 14, 2016, 12:31 am |

          Yes, it is definitely worth reading and there is a lot of valuable information here, so no need to apologise. Sounds to me that it’s another case of shop around as there are quite a few things where it’s not so smart to accept the first price you are quoted.

          Good advice on the valuations as well, best to try and get it undervalued so you pay less import tax. Make sure you’re bringing a car that’s is worth bringing, classic cars will probably always be in that category, other than that it must be a car that you would be confident would pass a safety tests and one that you would want to drive for at least a year or two.

          If everything turns out to be favourable, then it does seem there are occasions when bringing your car with you can be very worthwhile.

          Again, thanks for posting this, very useful indeed. Cheers, Bob

        • Jon December 5, 2016, 8:59 pm |

          Hi Mark, great read. So I’ve got a 2014 Ford Ranger Wildtrak Pickup. 3.2 litre. My wife has a 2014 Ford CMAX (7 seater). Neither of these cars I think you can purchases in Australia. So I’m curious as whether or not it’s worth shipping them out and also about getting maintenance and spare parts that bit worries me if they’re not sold there already.

          • Jon December 5, 2016, 9:25 pm |

            Hi Mark,

            Apologies. Lots of Ford Rangers in Australia but no CMAX. A similar For Ranger to mine is approx $49,000 converted in today’s currency to 28,600 uk. I paid 20,000 uk for mine 5000 miles ago. My only concern is with a pickup the shipping costs being considerably higher.

            • Mark December 5, 2016, 10:20 pm |

              Hi Jon Remind me your heading for Sydney or Melbourne ? Of the top of my head I’d bring them both but I’m no expert ..So I’ve chatted to a man who is Your Ranger will be a doddle to fill up here at the high price of 1.29 at present per litre. The C Max, yours with 7 seats is a Grand CMAX so its nearest equivalent here would be a Territory buts its like comparing carrots and parsnips similar but so different… All this is perhaps a bit specific for the website ….Ask Bob to release your email or ask him for mine.. Ill put you in touch with my guy and shipping…He is with my help just setting up the missing bits of above … they are expert shippers just only did to landed and agent here … now they are filling in the rest for folk as its easier if they use the people I have….They did not have the contacts before. if hes not ready Ill help you with the rest… .

  • Mohsen November 10, 2016, 5:36 pm |

    Dear Bibinoz
    I am to apply for education in Flinders university postgraduate and I have to bring along my son, 13. It would be appreciated if you kindly advice me if I can register him in state schools and how much the tuition fee is.
    What about if his English needs advancement and actually he knows En a little?

    • BobinOz November 10, 2016, 7:20 pm |

      Well, you are on the wrong page really, please check out my page called Which school?

      Lots of information about schools, costs, all sorts of things, be sure to check the additional links at the foot of that page. Cheers, Bob

  • sarah July 16, 2015, 5:19 am |

    Interesting. I sold my lovely high spec leather seats all whistles and bells 2006 Toyota Aurion Sedan for a poulty $8,000. Now I am back in the UK with my money trying to find a car and the secondhand market here is full of damaged and poorly appointed cars at this same price point. I would much rather get a secondhand car in Australia as they are more likely to be garaged and dust and dent free than the UK and much better specs inside. For me this really does not tell the reader the whole story, Japanese cars and Asian cars tend to be better value in Australia as they are closer to ship to than European models. Also wages tend to be higher in Australia as is petrol, tax and insurance. Overall I would rather be back in Australia with my old car enjoying those wonderful open roads that is for sure…

    • BobinOz July 16, 2015, 5:51 pm |

      Yes, you are right to point that out Sarah, that is the other side of the story. I think someone else pointed this out earlier, cars here in Australia seem to wear much better than in the UK, they stay in good condition much longer.

      It is true that wages are higher here in Australia, but petrol is certainly cheaper than in the UK and as for tax and insurance, I did do a post about that somewhere…

      Hope you find yourself a decent car soon.

  • Nadeem July 3, 2015, 6:07 am |

    I’m gonna move to Australia in some months for my engineering. Can u say me approx how much can we earn in Australia by doing odd jobs.?

    • BobinOz July 3, 2015, 9:19 pm |

      Probably $20-$40 an hour, depending on the job. But, of course, you need to get the jobs.

  • John April 12, 2015, 9:53 pm |

    Australians are ripped off by the car companies.

    US – BMW 528i sedan – Starting at US$49,950 MSRP (i.e. AUD 49,950/0.7678 = AUD 65,056)

    Australia – BMW 528i sedan –
    Manufacturer’s Recommended List Price $92,701
    Recommended Dealer Delivery $3,000.00
    Luxury Car Tax (LCT) $6,097.80
    VIC Registration Costs $795.33
    VIC Stamp Duty $5,293.60
    Recommended Drive Away Price $107,887.73

    • BobinOz April 13, 2015, 2:15 am |

      Cars are definitely more expensive here, but I’m not sure it’s all down to the manufacturers though. LCT, rego, stamp duty, that’s down to our governments, state and federal. Some makes are more competitively priced than others and I think that may be down to the import duty deals federal government have done with various countries.

      Who knows, with the deal we’ve just done with China, maybe we can buy a Great Wall car at a really good price 🙂

  • michael November 20, 2014, 4:24 am |

    Hi Bob, how are u? I have a quick question for you…. what do you think about buying a car on installments? what are the pros and cons from your point of view?

    • BobinOz November 20, 2014, 4:55 pm |

      Well, it’s a good idea if you can get 0% finance or a low interest deal, not so good an idea if you pay a high amount of interest or an inflated price for the car.

      Obviously the big advantage is that you can buy a car now that otherwise you might not be able to afford.

      • michael November 20, 2014, 9:44 pm |

        Thanks for your reply Bob. which is more common in Australia? buying cars on installments or buying by cash basis?

        • BobinOz November 21, 2014, 10:50 pm |

          No, I don’t have any info on those figures at all, so I have no idea.

  • Kamma November 2, 2014, 6:00 pm |

    So how much would these cars cost in hard yakka? Does that narrow the field a bit?
    No, Bob, the second most expensive thing some people buy is an extra house. 😉

    How expensive something is is all about perspectives. You say cars in Australia are expensive, I say they’re a sight cheaper than I’m used to. To take the example of the Porsche Adam mentioned above: I could save as much as 17,000 AUD by going to Oz, that’s almost 89,000 in DKK and just over £9,000. In another car I found I could save as much as 100,000 DKK, 19,000 AUD.
    Granted our cheapest car is slightly cheaper than your cheapest by something like 100 AUD, but they’re two entirely different cars. All of these prices are RRP from new by today’s exchange rate.
    So, you see, I’d save a fortune on my car by moving down under, so I’d be able to afford something fun like a sports car. Relatively.

    • BobinOz November 3, 2014, 5:32 pm |

      Yes, of course it’s relative, my article only really compares prices tween Australia and the UK. If I tried to extend it to every other country, I’d still be writing this article today 🙂

      Another interesting point to take into consideration is that cars here in Australia hold their value better, again, that’s only compared with the UK. So for those who do appear to be paying more, when you come to sell that car, you usually get more back. Bringing the hard yakka into it will again make some difference, depending on which country you’re coming from.

      All these things have to be taken into account. Sounds like you’ll be saving money anyway, which is great. Cheers, Bob

      • Kamma November 3, 2014, 10:01 pm |

        It was more in relation to Adam’s comment above. It would take ages just to compare the top five countries that read your blog! Even if you’ve already done two of them. :p Think of it as a footnote to your article! In UK: cars are cheaper, in DK: cars are dearer!

        That’s an important point, that. I think Aussie cars hold their value very well on a global level, but I wouldn’t like to meet the man who had made that into a study. The resale value of things is a sort of hard yakka way of measuring value, isn’t it? I checked, the Aussie hard yakka is stronger than the Danish, which actually surprised me a bit. I wonder which country has the strongest yakka?

        Everything has to be taken into account, the climate twice.


        • BobinOz November 4, 2014, 4:14 pm |

          Ah, yes, make sense if you were mainly referring to Adam’s comment.

          Sounds like coming here from Denmark may make Australia even more attractive to you than is to some others. As for the weather, yes, take that into account twice. Personally I don’t think you can put a price on the glorious weather we get here in Australia and the general outdoors lifestyle it allows us to lead.

  • sahrish May 27, 2014, 12:38 pm |

    Mr BobinOz u tell every thing but not tell how pakistani nurse move to australia howvshe registered through australia nursing council plzzzzzzzzzzz telll me

  • Les March 30, 2012, 7:49 pm |

    It is the taxes which cost the most.

    Anything less than $50k attracts two levels of whopping tax. Plus thousands more for ‘stamp duty’

    It’s a con aimed to keep the local car manufacturer (Holden or ford) in business.welcome to the unions.

    • BobinOz March 30, 2012, 9:35 pm |

      And which taxes specifically aren’t a con?

      Let’s face it, no matter which country you live in, you are faced with hundreds of taxes, most of which are just ways of getting more money out of you. Will the carbon tax really save the planet? See, there’s another con.

  • Hamid October 22, 2011, 2:39 am |

    Dear Bob and all, very interesting thread and discussions. I notice the comparison of car prices was done in 2009, does it still stand for 2011/2012 ??

    • BobinOz November 4, 2011, 2:40 pm |

      Well, I haven’t done any updated research, but I can’t imagine much has changed.

  • Alex September 16, 2011, 5:57 am |

    JUst a wuick abservation: if you guys had as much driving experience as we do here in USA, driving should be a second nature, regardless what side of the road you are on and where your steering wheel is. I travel to “left-handed” countries a lot (UK, NZ) and I rent a car every time (sorry, Dude, no mass transit). I have no problems whatsoever to switch to left side and back to our right side. A long time habit of driving large SUV helps to navigate that rig through any traffic and clear spaces within an inch or two to spare.
    You just need to drive more.

    • BobinOz September 19, 2011, 9:33 pm |

      That’s quite funny, we “need to drive more”. Do you know how big Australia is? We do clock up the clicks here, you know.

  • Alex September 16, 2011, 5:43 am |

    That’s one of the reasons I will stay in Southern California and ditch 3 great job offers in Australia. Cost of living.
    The climate is the same, perfect pacific mild that is similar to mediterranean, dry and sunny.
    Our house is 2 miles form the beach in South Orange County (Laguna Niguel), I paid 680K few years ago. It would cost at least 2-2.5Mil in Sydney North Shores and beaches (Orange County of Australia). Besides, try to find 3000 sq ft with pool, 4 car garage and nice yard house in North Shores! Lucky to find something with more than 1 bathroom (what? you two, your kid and your guests all share the same bathroom????? Awkward!)
    The investment/ future retirement (I wish it was coming much sooner!) house in prestigious, beautiful Scottsdale Arizona on 2 acres, way cheaper than California, is average for the area, but it would be considered a mansion and cost certainly 7 figures somewhere in similar areas of Australia..
    My Ford F-350 diesel pickup that I paid 48K for brand new here in The US, costs as listed around 120K AU$ in Australia and nearly impossible to find.
    Our Porsche Cayenne that we paid 43K for here in the US costs 90K plus in Australia.
    I am not going to list 2 Ducatis, 2 KTM off-road bikes and 6″ lifted, for off-road use only, Jeep Grand Cherokee and some other toys. Yes, even someone without trust fund, Daddy’s money, someone who has to work for living, can afford all that!
    Again, maybe not is bad places ike New York or Chicago.
    Well, we may have to work longer and harder, but I would rather work hard and long, and then spend quality time lounging with my husband in my nice house or exploring outdoors and getting adrenaline rush playing with off-road toys than working easy and then wasting my life hanging out in local restaurants and smoky clubs and not being able to leave the city in the direction I want, not the direction where everyone is directed to go (well, by mass transit if you will).
    The wages are roughly the same after conversion. 1US dollar is ~1.05AU$. At least in my area (engineering).
    You do the math.
    I don’t know from what part of the world’s perspective it sounds great to move to Australia, but I will stay right here, roaming between Southern California and Arizona, and let someone else take my great job offer in Sydney.

    • BobinOz September 19, 2011, 9:31 pm |

      There’s more to life than toys and one thing I have noticed and mentioned many times about living in Australia, is the free stuff. Some of the best things in life are free and Australia is full of things you can enjoy for free.

      It sounds to me a bit as though your love for your material possessions is preventing you from enjoying a new life experience. By the way, I know one very sweet old couple who moved here from California many years ago, because they couldn’t stand the rise in violent crime in that part of the USA.

      They love living here and feel much safer. So there is someone who thought it was a great idea to move to Australia from your part of the world, I suspect there are many parts of the world where this country is a very attractive prospect.

  • BobinOz May 2, 2011, 10:34 pm |

    Well, I suppose the short answer is yes, some are.

    Not me though, so I sometimes wonder why I bought my second hand Jeep, spares are through the roof. I should have got a Holden.

  • Sam April 29, 2011, 11:39 pm |

    The Chevrolet Camaro is imported to China and taxed for more than 50% but the price is only two thirds of that in Australia. I simply don’t understand. Are people here rich enough who don’t mind throwing money away for an overpriced American car?

  • BobinOz April 19, 2011, 12:52 am |

    Hi Sean

    Well yes, I have driven a right hand drive car on the right hand side of the road and I thought it was alright. Just keep the left of the car to the left and hug the right side to the curb. Oh, and don’t drive directly into oncoming traffic.


    But you can’t beat driving a left hand drive car on the right-hand side of the road and the right-hand drive car on the left-hand side of the road.

    Either way, clunk click.



  • Sean April 18, 2011, 9:26 pm |

    My perrents broght a german car here in australia and picked it up in germany at the factroy and try driving a right hand drive car on the right hand side of the road you need a passenger to help you to go on and off freeways for 3 months 18,500 km of driving around europe and they had no problem driving in the uk because they drive on the same side of the road as australia. They did go around a roundabout in Italy around to the left of the roundabout at night. Here in Australia you can drive a left hand drive car but it has to be around 30 years old they are normaly american cars but they can be converted to right hand drive.

  • Dave the Yank January 29, 2011, 6:53 am |

    Thanks for the advice Angel, I’ll get some of those curb (kerb) feelers, that will let me know I am on the correct side of the road. Kinda like training wheels for a Yank


  • Angel January 29, 2011, 5:54 am |

    The trick to driving on the opposite side of the road (whether in a right hand car on the left side or vice versa) is to drive as close to the kerb as possible and let the other cars miss you. I drove an American car in the UK for 8 years (both in Scotland and England). I never had an accident or ticket. What I learned was that I needed to be a lot more patient with myself and other drivers. I always gave way. Err on the side of courtesy, and you shouldn’t have too many problems. The most difficult thing I deal with when driving in other countries are the parking lots. I get disoriented in them, especially when I have manouvered into an awkward parking space.

  • BobinOz January 28, 2011, 12:46 am |

    I know what you mean, I nearly killed myself and some others in France when I was on a day trip from England. It’s easily done. After that incident, I developed an easy to follow system.

    Assuming you are driving a right-hand drive vehicle when you are here in Australia, periodically look out of YOUR drivers door window. If you don’t see the other side of the road, but you do find yourself looking at the sidewalk/pavement……


    Time to hit the breaks.

  • BobinOz January 28, 2011, 12:38 am |


    You need to read my post about the hard yakka and then come back here and tell us all how sorry you are and you didn’t realise that Australia really is a cheap place to live after all. (New and second-hand cars aside, of course.)

    We will still be here when you get back 🙂

  • Dave January 27, 2011, 5:31 am |

    I just hope I can stay on the right, I mean correct, side of the road…..Ive been driving here in the US since 1978 and I have lately been trying to imagine making left and right turns from the other side. Seems weird. Do y’all ever see new immigrants going on the wrong side of the road? If not, you may see one in QLD in a few months…..

  • Adam McAllister January 26, 2011, 8:21 am |

    If you think you’re going to move to Australia and live cheap, think again! If you already live here and think you’re getting a good deal, then maybe it’s time to question a few things.
    House prices, supermarket prices, and car prices for old model junk is unbelievable. I have friends from Europe/ UK and the US that ask me why it’s so expensive here and look constantly surprised.
    Cars that would go for as little as 3000 pounds say $6000 Australian
    they still want about $20 grand here and don’t lets get started on tax comparisons.
    We are getting ripped off from A to Z in Australia and feel disappointed for the nation. Time we asked more questions rather than just wear it!

  • BobinOz January 17, 2011, 12:29 am |

    There is an art to honking, a quick honk is like saying “excuse me please” but a long honk is like saying “Oi, you! Move it!”

    I think, by and large, you can still get away with a long honk here in Brisbane, but elsewhere? Too dangerous. In Sydney, what gets the middle finger? A long honk or a short honk? I need to know these things.

  • Jon January 15, 2011, 9:43 pm |

    I have to agree with Duncan and Wayne about the rip off price gouging here.

    As for the the driving, you should try driving in Sydney.

    Terrible driving here, often quite dangerous. If you honk at someone for causing you to take measures to avoid a collision you’ll normally be greeted with the middle finger.

  • Wayne December 17, 2010, 12:01 am |

    Duncan Thanks for all the info on importing very helpfull
    Our used cars are so over priced especially Audis BMWs ect
    The price of an Audi R8 is over $100k cheaper in the UK
    As for drivers in Australia I have to say Perth drivers are the most polite we do all the nice things like let people in ect
    I have noticed people with Queensland plates are quite rude and wont let you in ect I asked a freind who lives in Queensland about this and he said yes it is true
    So now I dont let in Queensland drivers as they are so rude

  • Duncan December 15, 2010, 1:11 pm |


    When you say “England” all the time, i am sure you really mean the UK, although there are regional differences around the UK (Wales probably being the cheapest) the general prices around “England” (meaning the UK) are on a par.

    I am British, and have been living in Australia for 5 years, and i thought i better add some light onto this, Cars that are imported into Australia, have a massive import tax on them, somewhere between 30%-40%. This is done to subsidise the local car makers down under (Ford and Holden, nothing very Australian about any of them any more) to keep the cost of local cars, artificially high, and on a level with imported cars, so basically, a tax is put on it, to stop them going under as they are 2 massive employers, and the bill for all this gets passed to you, to the end user, and its an absolute disgrace. The Australian govt. should subsidise the industry, not Johnny Random.

    I looked at coming home, buying a car, and them importing it, you can do this if :

    1. You have owned the car for over 12 months.
    2. If less than 12 months, then the car cant have been on sale locally (ie. some special edition Nismo thing, that was never on sale here)

    But, be aware, cars over a value of around $45,000 get hammered with a luxury car tax, at about 50% (inclusive of GST at 10%) so, say you buy a Porsche Boxster S, in the UK for say, 12K, you leave it in your mates garage, then want to ship it out, then it gets here, its taxed on the LOCAL cost of the same car! so you could import your 12 grand car, but here its worth about 50 grand, thats MORE than 45K ish, and you would be taxed $25,000 to import it (50% of the cars local value) this is done to try to make EVERYONE buy an Aussie gas guzzler, and again, its an absolute disgrace.

    It doesnt stop there though, fuel has no regulatory body here, and its the norm to see petrol costs double per litre on holiday weekends etc, or whenever however they wanna change it. Fuel is about $1.30 a litre, but at Christmas expect to see that shoot up to closer to $2 or whatever they want. The worse thing about Australia motoring though, is the way people drive, i was horrified when i first got here, with big sign saying “keep left unless overtaking” on 4 lane highways, with cars whizzing past me, left and right. People here dont have the “unspoken language of the road user” that there is in the UK, no nod, no smile, no lift of the finger from the steering wheel to let you know its ok, no one EVER lets anyone in, no one ever says sorry, the speed limit is a mere suggestion, EVERYONE tailgates, and to get into someones lane, you dont slow down and drop in behind them, like us, here you drop a cog and cut them up, that is, people here are taught “if you need that lane, go into that lane, nevermind if your infront and they have to swerve” and they really do not get it here, they dont.

    Standard fuel here, is like a litre of knackers piss, and starts at 91 RON, i use 98 RON although thats some 50c more a litre, to put it into perspective, i have a Mazda 99 NB Hardtop, with about 160,000ks (100,000 miles) on it, the same car in the uk would ahve been about 3 grand, here it was 17, yup $17,000 for a 10 year old MX5 with 100,000 miles, thats about 11,000 pounds

    That would never happen in the UK 🙂

    • BobinOz December 16, 2010, 9:38 pm |

      Hi Duncan

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for taking the time to give us such a comprehensive understanding of the rigmarole of trying to import a car into Australia……. which is just as I thought, too expensive to bother with.

      I can’t say I agree with some of your other points though, or even the idea that it’s a disgrace to whack such a large import tax on cars so that local cars can be sold at an artificially high price. Your argument that the government should subsidise it not the end user doesn’t really work.

      If the government subsidise it, they’ll get the money from the tax payers. So the Australian people will still be doing the subsidising, except it will be all of them not just the ones buying the cars. I can’t really see how that is any fairer.

      As for petrol prices, I’ve written a post about that, so if you take a look at the two images I’ve used to describe petrol prices in Australia, you’ll know that I kind of agree with you. You can see my post about Australian petrol prices here.

      But I have never seen them double! We are just nine days away from Christmas and I have just bought petrol at $1.22 per litre. Maybe it will go to $1.35, perhaps $1.40 per litre by Christmas weekend, but I bet no more than that.

      But I agree almost entirely with everything you say about Australian drivers, I’ve only lived here three years and I still do that waving people on thing, or flashing lights and waving to let people go in front of me, and every time I do it I feel like a bit of a twit. Because no one’s ever done it to me and when I do it, no one does anything back. Yes, I think it’s a British thing.

      But I actually think there is also a double edged sword here, if you see what I mean. Because I have also never seen road rage in Australia. No one cares when they are cut up. No one moans when you push in front of them. So whilst you don’t get the smiley, wavy polite drivers, you also don’t seem to get the nasty aggressive tooting their home and swearing drivers.

      I know it does happen here, road rage, but it seems very very rare.

      As for UK/England, yes, I do mean the same thing. I use the different words just so that I’m picked up on the search engines whatever people search. That’s all.



  • BobinOz December 13, 2010, 1:49 pm |

    Hi Angel

    I don’t know anybody who has imported a car to Australia but I did look into it briefly for someone else and the whole process does look quite complicated and expensive.

    Firstly, of course, it’s going to cost you to transport your vehicle to Australia. I don’t know, maybe $5000, I’m guessing. Then I think you pay 10% GST and 5% duty and you also have to pay to have the car inspected to ensure it meets with Australian safety standards. The vehicle will also have to pass through customs and there will undoubtedly be a fee for that too. And to cap it all, I think there is a hefty tax on luxury vehicles, I think as high as 33% of its value.

    So I really can’t imagine it can be any cheaper or better than buying a car locally here.

  • Angel December 11, 2010, 8:18 pm |

    What is the cost of importing a car to Australia? Do the taxes have anything to do with the huge price variations? When I import a car will I get hit with a huge import tax?

  • BobinOz March 16, 2010, 3:48 pm |

    Back in July 2009, when I did my original petrol price comparison, it really was nearly twice the price in England that it was here. But in those days you could get two Aussie dollars to the pound. Today, it’s all very different.

    So yes, you are right. At the moment petrol in the UK is about 50% dearer than it is here. Or put another way, petrol here is two thirds the price it is in England.

  • Brithit March 15, 2010, 5:49 pm |

    Another thing : Petrol IS NOT twice the price in uk. In Edinburgh (which is one of the most expensive places in uk) its 113.8 p on average. At the current exchange rates its about $1.95 / L. Thats only 52% more than Adelaide. If you factor in the higher octane and better quality fuel that unleaded is in uk it would be even less say 49%.

  • BobinOz October 20, 2009, 11:44 am |

    I think that may be because Chevrolet cars have to be imported and then converted to left hand drive here, whereas, say, Ford, Holden, Mitsubishi and Toyota for example, are manufactured here.
    But still, HUGE price difference. Someone’s making a nice lump out of Camaro drivers in Aus.

  • ninja October 19, 2009, 8:04 pm |

    i dont understand why its so much more expensive. eg: camaro in us is 50000 here in aus its 150000. what the bloody hell?!

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