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      08-04-2009, 01:42 AM   #1
Migelito
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importing 328XI 2008 to Australia

Hey Guys,

I made a little study here and found out that importing a LHD car to Australia is a kind of a pain. There was one thread here with the discussion about an issue similar to mine. One of the participants said that one could import a car which is not produced in Australia (or better say - can not be found with dealers). My car is just like that: it is AWD 328XI -- neither the AWD nor 3 liter engine 230 hp can be officially found in Australia.

Do you think under these circumstances they will allow me to bring LHD BMW?

P.S. please do not ask me why I need AWD in the country where the snow is known only from books I just love this car and do not want to sell it if there is a way to import it.

Last edited by Migelito; 08-04-2009 at 02:11 AM.
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      08-04-2009, 02:35 AM   #2
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I had a look at the points raised in the other thread. Some good points raised about the issues you will face. Eg. RHD conversion issues, cost of insurance, lost resale value, and possible requirement to pay tax when you import it.

The rules for registration will vary depending the state where the car is registered. In NSW, the rules say that RHD conversion is required. See this page:
http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/registrati...vsi40_rev1.pdf
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      08-04-2009, 10:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_01 View Post
I had a look at the points raised in the other thread. Some good points raised about the issues you will face. Eg. RHD conversion issues, cost of insurance, lost resale value, and possible requirement to pay tax when you import it.
But this is the point - somebody said in that thread that if the car can not be officially bought in Australia then you can import it. And in this case you do not have to make the conversion from LHD to RHD. Is that true?
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      08-04-2009, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Migelito View Post
But this is the point - somebody said in that thread that if the car can not be officially bought in Australia then you can import it. And in this case you do not have to make the conversion from LHD to RHD. Is that true?
The way I read the thread the comment was about whether tax was payable or not on a car less than 2 years old. If you want to drive the car on public roads, you still need to follow the rules for registration in the state where you intend to live. In NSW, I think this means conversion to RHD. Other states may have different rules for temporary residents, assuming you have the right visa.
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      08-04-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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I think that was me mate. Last time I checked the car had to be either 15yrs or older... or not offered for local sale in australia... or imported as a personal import. Personal import means if I were to go work o/s for 12months or more (say Japan), I could legally import a car back with me. This is how a lot of the RX7's etc get here, because aussies o/s sent them back to relatives living here. I imagine not being Australian, you'd have trouble doing this. The only other way I know of is importing it as a dedicated race/track car and you need licenses for that and obviously can't register it for road use.

Although your case is a little grey, I would imagine being that your car falls under the banner of a "3 series coupe" it would be considered as available here. Could almost guarantee it.

Despite all this you'd need to covert it to RHD which you could allow 20-25k aud for and you just wouldn't rip apart such a nice car...

We pay 2-3x more for bmw's here (and everything else), so trust me, if there was a loop hole, we would have found it
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      08-04-2009, 08:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xsboost View Post
... or not offered for local sale in australia...
Although your case is a little grey, I would imagine being that your car falls under the banner of a "3 series coupe" it would be considered as available here. Could almost guarantee it.

Despite all this you'd need to covert it to RHD which you could allow 20-25k aud for and you just wouldn't rip apart such a nice car...
xsboost,
probably it was you )

Well, my car is "BMW All-wheel drive 3 series sedan" category which is not available in Australia according to BMW dealers and BMW-Australia.
Do I still need to convert it to RHD even if I bring it with temporary "Carnet de empassage" from the USA as a temporary import?

btw, do you know if BMW-Australia or any of official dealers do these conversions officially?
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      08-06-2009, 09:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Migelito View Post
xsboost,
probably it was you )

Well, my car is "BMW All-wheel drive 3 series sedan" category which is not available in Australia according to BMW dealers and BMW-Australia.
Do I still need to convert it to RHD even if I bring it with temporary "Carnet de empassage" from the USA as a temporary import?

btw, do you know if BMW-Australia or any of official dealers do these conversions officially?
Apart from the conversion cost, I believe that there is also an issue relating to satifying your local Road Transport authority that the imported vehicle satisfies the Australian design rules....which I suspect you can only do with some support from BMW....who for obvious reasons will probably be less than cooperative

All up you would be wise to forget about it in my view. I have personally imported serveral cars over the years (911E and 3 liter Carerra) but that was in the 70s and 80s respectively when the rules were much easier.
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      08-06-2009, 06:37 PM   #8
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Mate, I think you'll find whether it is RWD, FWD or AWD, it is still a 3 series coupe. Besides that, I think you'd have to try import it as a Personal Import anyways. You may be able to get temporary LHD permit, I dunno, but I have seen it before. As for registering it, you get an engineering certificate and plate mounted to the car. Probably cost you a couple hundred $. If you are serious about doing this, you will need to contact someone who is in the buisness. I personally wouldn't even bother - $5k shipping, $10k in duties and customs crap, $20k conversion. It really isn't worth it, especially if you are here for a brief period.
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