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Old 07-12-2004, 04:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 817
Importing an Australian car to the US

Someday I want to buy a Holden Maloo (an Australian sport-coupe-pickup with a 350!) What would I have to do to get this over here to the U.S.? Would there be tax and insurance hoops to jump through? Would the shipping be a huge burden, and, furthermore, what do the laws say about right-hand drive vehicles in the US?
Old 07-12-2004, 06:47 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 14,257
1/ The correct term is "ute" (short for utility).

Further, there are bigger problems than insurance and so on. You need to consider whether :

3/ You are able to procure an appropriate dog. Kelpie, blue heeler or Australian Cattle Dog. Nothing else will do. This animal must ride in the rear tray at all times. The fact that this vehicle has a tray cover which may prevent this makes the vehicle somewhat suspicious and may cause you to be regarded as a try-hard

4/ You can say "How are you?" as a single prolonged vowel.

5/ You work in a hands on capacity in the agricultural or construction industries

If you cannot answer "yes" to all three of these questions, you will not be sold one of these vehicles. Period.
Old 07-12-2004, 07:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: 51.3180N, 0.7300W
Posts: 2,117
I can't help on Oz -> US importing, but I did take a car from US -> UK. There was no problem with it being "wrong-hand drive", and some minor modifications to the exterior lighting allowed it to pass its safety test. The rule for the UK is that the car had to be registered in my name in the US for at least 6 months if I wanted to avoid paying import duties.
Old 07-19-2004, 10:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The Chicago Area
Posts: 5,956
Bump. Can this be done or not? It would be so cool to have an 2004 LS1 Caprice in the states.
Old 07-19-2004, 11:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Gallatin, TN
Posts: 21,676
It can be done, but it can also be a bitch. One of the first things that you'll need to do is check with the NHTSA, the US DOT and your state's DOT to make sure that there's no prohibition against importing that particular model car into the US. If the car doesn't meet US safety standards, is screamingly fast, or doesn't meet US emissions, you're going to have to modify it if you want to be able to bring it into the US. That's assuming that there's not an outright ban on the car in the US (Bill Gates tried to get a high performance Porsche imported into the US and was told "no dice" by the Feds. If he can't get past them, you're not going to, either.)

A used vehicle is somewhat easier to get into the US than a brand new vehicle (though this may have changed, since folks were importing sports cars to Canada, titling them there, putting a couple hundred miles on them to make them "used" and then importing them to the US to get around the ban on new versions of the car being imported), and if it's old enough to be considered a "collectible" then you should be able to get it in fairly easily. Of course, if you're willing to swear that you'll never drive one on US roads, you shouldn't have too many problems bringing nearly anything in.

The expense of doing this is another matter. IIRC, it's fairly cheap to bring a US built car to Europe, but I've no idea what the costs would be for bringing something from Australia to the US. There are, however, automobile importers who specialize in bringing foreign built cars to the US. I'd check things like Hemming's Motor News and foreign car magazines for listings of those folks.

Insurance could be a bit of a problem, since parts will be scarce to non-existant (in the US) and crash test ratings by a group the insurance company finds acceptable might be impossible to come by.
***Don't ask me, I don't post here any more, and I'm probably not even reading this now.***
Old 07-19-2004, 11:43 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 723
Even if the same platform and all the parts are (or have been) used here, you still have to certify the car to legally license it for road use in the U.S. The old story is If nobody has certified the car before, you'll need to buy three, one for emissions testing, one for crash testing, and if you still have money left over, a third for yourself.

There are companies in N.Y. and California specializing in modifying desirable European cars for use here.

We finally got the Monaro here (as the Pontiac GTO) so with the recent popularity of so called "crossover vehicles", the Ute may not be far away.

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