Thailand top car exporter to Australia

Imports to Australia

Thailand is now the third largest source of automobiles to Australia. Only Japan and Europe send more cars to Australian ports. Most of these vehicles go through official channels. Imports by individuals have been restricted but since Free Trade Agreement is in place between Australia and Thailand, there is theoretically a way to import now but it is not clear how.


Thailand has emerged as the Detroit of the East. Cars and pick up trucks manufactured by Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Chevrolet and Isuzu have Japanese quality with Thailand prices. Since Thailand is a Right Hand Drive country like Australia and it makes eminent sense to import these high quality inexpensive vehicles into Australia to save money on these excellent vehicles.


Importing vehicles can sometimes be a risky proposition, it is therefore important to find a qualified and honest partner on the other end. Our customers in Australia have discovered that you cannot go wrong with Jim Motors. We offer the best prices in town and we neither make false promises nor engage in any dishonest practices. There are vendors who are fly-by-night operations with a small office that can be closed at any time, most are completely devoid of automotive experience and can play loose with your money. They are not shy about making false promises of quick delivery but once the money is in, one can do nothing but wait and hear an interminable list of excuses while they play with your money to their benefit.


Jim Autos is no fly by night operations. The Quraishi Family been in automotive business for over 100 years and has a spotless record of honesty, quality and customer service to maintain. We sell hundreds of automobiles a month and are acclaimed worldwide for our legendary customer service and rock bottom prices. We tell you all our charges upfront and don’t play games with you by offering an extremely low prices upfront and then once you are bound, demand more money to complete the transaction. With us, what you see is what you get.


We can export all makes of right hand drive trucks and cars to Australia at the cheapest price in town. Whether you require a  brand new vehicle or a quality pre-owned auto, you need go no further. Feel free to leverage Jim Autos 70 years of automotive experience for your benefit. We are currently exporting into five continents and are known for our top selection, unbeatable prices and reliability.


Our Australia bound vehicles are often furnished with heaters and we can install quality accessories as canopies, roof rack, side steps, rear bumper, rear bed liner and leather seats upon request. Please see a list of our quality accessories at Our site lists accessories made by United States Carryboy’s reliable accessories but we can also offer you cheaper version made by top Thai vendors.


Please note that the following information is based on information gleaned from web sources and from our customers experiences. Please do your own investigation before taking a step. The following is only for informational purposes. 


Importation of Vehicles Manufactured Before 1 January 1989

  • Vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1989 may be imported without restriction.
  • Vehicles manufactured during or after 1989 will need to qualify under the Registered Automotive Workshop Schema (RAWS).
  • Only Right Hand Drive
  • An import approval must be obtained for a vehicle to gain customs clearance at its point of entry to Australia. Vehicles that arrive in Australia without an import approval generally incur significant storage costs until an Import Approval is issued.


  • Customs Duty: AUS$12,000- per unit
  • GST: (CIF + Customs Duty) x 10%
  • LCT


Importing Process

You get a compliance plate reserved at a Government designated Registered Automotive Workshop (RAW) and apply to get your Import Approval documents. Once you get the approval, you email us at [email protected] to place your order. We begin a search for your vehicle in earnest and as soon as we find it, we contact you right away. If you choose to confirm the vehicle, we will advance a 10% deposit if it is a new vehicle and 100% if it is a used vehicle. You will then send us the entire sum by TT and return the signed Sales Agreement. When the money is received, we will pay the entire sum for the new vehicle and acquire the vehicle. If you fail to send the money, we loose our 10% deposit on the new vehicle and suffer loss if we don’t find a customer for the used vehicle you chose. Once the vehicle is acquired, we begin the mandatory registration/de-registration process for the new vehicles that takes up to 3 weeks to complete and costs US$275. While we wait for this process, we get all the accessories installed and reserve a container on the ship heading to your port. As soon as deregistration occurs, we secure it into a container and send it your way. When it arrives at a port close to your home, you pay your dues and get the vehicle released. You then drive it to a Compliance Center to get it compliant, they make your vehicle compliant and arrange the test, once it has passed the test you pay the agreed upon fees and get vehicle released. You get your insurance on the phone and then drive it to the registration office. Once it is registered, you drive your prized possession with pride and satisfaction.

Here are the steps:-

You discuss and submit details of your chosen vehicle with Sam or a Jim Account Executive

You contact a RAW to get your compliance plate reserved

You apply for and get your Import Approval. You call or email us with the good news

Jim Account Executive mounts a search to find a vehicle that meets your specifications

Once  a suitable car is found we contact you right away with vehicle’s specs and details

If you are interested, we give you the chassis number and engine number and you confirm your decision to buy the vehicle

We give 10% forfeitable down payment on your behalf to reserve your new vehicle

You send 100% of agreed upon amount plus bank fees on both ends by Telegraphic Transfer (TT). You sign and fax back the Sales Agreement and General Terms and Conditions

We buy the vehicle, acquire a temporary license plate and take it through the mandatory registration/deregistration process which takes 15-20 working days. Meanwhile we install accessories you have ordered

Car is placed securely in a container (or driven onto a Ro-Ro) with the next ship heading your way. Ratt and her staff has already organised all essential paperwork so car can be exported without a hitch on our end

We send you Key, invoice and Bill of Lading (B/L) via mail or courier (your choice but we recommend courier)

Shipping company notifies you of your car’s arrival. You pay clearance charges, port charges $240, quarantine inspection $230-400, customs agency bill $200-600, import duty, and VAT to retrieve your vehicle

You take your prized possession to nearest Compliance center workshop and pay for agreed upon fees when picking up your vehicle

You get the vehicle insured and registered

You drive your inexpensive yet high quality Thailand-made vehicle with pride and make everyone in the block jealous!

You become Jim Motor’s Lifelong Customer and recommend us to your family, friends and customers and the above cycle begins again



Last Thing First

If you are planning to purchase a new or a pre-owned car that is less than 15 years old, you must first contact a Government designated Registered Automotive Workshop (RAW) to reserve your compliancing plate. Once that is done, you apply to get your Import Approval documents. The vehicle must not be exported from Thailand until the Importing Approval is received.


We have a copy of the Import Approval Form in PDF format as well as in Word format that you can complete at your leisure and return it, with the fee, to the Administrator. An Import Approval is, usually but not always, sent to successful applicants within 17 days, you are advised in writing whether your application has been approved or rejected.

The Approval is required to enable the vehicle to be cleared through Customs.

Please note that an Import Approval does not give automatic release of the vehicle from Australian Customs control, you must still meet all of the Australian Customs requirements, e.g. duties, GST and quarantine requirements etc.

Certain documents are required to confirm if your vehicle is eligible for import. For a first time applicant, a certified copy of either your Australian driver’s license, including your photograph or the picture page of your passport, should be sent with your application.

It is important that applications are complete and that copies of all supporting documents are securely attached to your application. Any documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official translation. Incomplete applications will cause delays that can be costly and inconvenient to you.

Once the Import Approval is in your hands, you call or email us at [email protected] as soon as possible to place your order. Once we are paid, we load up your vehicle and send you the original Bill of Lading, key and invoice.



We prefer shipping our vehicles in containers as cars and trucks arrive safely on the other end but upon customer request, we are able to ship vehicles via roll on roll off transport ships (Ro-Ros) as well. Please see our export page for relative disadvantages of Ro-Ro vs. container transport.


A ship will often take a few weeks to reach a Australia port. Once you are notified of its arrival, you have to deal with shipping company’s receiving agent who can clear your car for a reasonable sum of money.


Once your container arrives in Australia some of these additional charges are port charges $240, quarantine inspection $230-400, customs agency bill $200-600 and transport of the container if required to your address $300-350. All of these cost vary depending on what sort of container you are using, direct or indirect shipping, number of cars or parts in the container, how well your paperwork is prepared and which shipping port you are using. The last charge can be avoided if you just drive your car away from the port after it has been cleared.


Customs Duty and VAT

Once your car reaches the Australia, it must be cleared, complied and registered before it is ready to be driven. Both import duty and VAT must be paid at the point of import.



The vehicle cannot be registered or driven on Australian soil until it meets Australian Standards and is fitted with a compliance plate. From November 2004, any vehicle imported into Australia have to pass it through a Department of Transport Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS). These workshops must be quality certified to meet ISO 9001: 2000 and Government approved to comply imports to Australian Design Rules, safety and emission regulations.

Compliancing is another name for this process of making sure your imported vehicle meets Australian Design Rules (ADR), Australian road safety standards and emission standards. Once the compliancing process is complete and the vehicle meets Australian Design Rules a Vehicle Import Compliance plate is fitted and the vehicle is ready to be registered.

Cost and level of the compliancing varies between makes and models but in general the following process is completed.

  • Anti intrusion bars fitted (if they don’t have them from factory)
  • Seatbelts and brackets need to be double locking inertia reel type
  • Sun visors need to be soft
  • Filler neck for fuel changed
  • New filters and fluids
  • New tyres (usually $400; not part of compliance cost)
  • Child restraint anchorage points
  • Engineers inspection
  • Brakes Pads checked
  • High level brake lights
  • Side mirror glass replacement
  • Cat converter installation

Once the compliancing process is completed and the car meets Australian standards a compliance plate is fitted and the vehicle is ready to be registered.

Compliancing Vendors

Full list of Registered Automotive Workshops (RAWs) is available at:

Registration of Vehicle

On payment of first registration fee, and either six months’ or twelve months’ VED, the VRO will issue you a registration number (number plate number) and a VED tax disc. The date of first registration will now be the date the car was first registered in the Australia, provided this is within 14 days of the purchase date, or within 30 days of the purchase date if this immediately precedes a registration letter change. DVLA will send your V5 registration document within four weeks. In the unlikely circumstance that you have not paid your VAT, the VRO will send form NMT – Notification of Acquisition – on to Customs & Excise, who will then send you invoice VAT 413 for Australia VAT at 17.5% which you have 30 days to settle. Once settled, you will receive a receipted VAT 413.


Order a set of plates or get one made at a local car spares shop. Phone the manufacturer’s customer helpline to put the car on the manufacturer’s Australia data bank for warranty purposes and in case of any recalls.



The next step is to get your gleaming Thailand-made pride and joy insured, generally you can insure off the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the phone while you wait for the Registration Office to catch up and assign you a number and send you your registration document. Note however that if you are putting a private plate which is held on a retention certificate with you, you already know the information to give your insurers. Quotes vary widely so shop around for the best possible rate.

Some insurers are reluctant to insure younger drivers under 25 years, but keep trying and you will find one which will offer good prices  if you shop around.

Any import (especially performance cars) will require at least a Thatcham Category 1 full alarm system as a minimum and some will also stipulate a Tracker system to be fitted, but this is not necessary with most other companies.

Total Costs

Here is a breakdown of total costs:-

  • Cost of Vehicle

  • Registration/Deregistration Fee: 10,000 Baht

  • Jim Motor’s Service Fee: 10,000 to 15,000 Baht

  • Telegraphic Transfer (TT) Fees and Bank charges on both ends

  • Shipping Costs

  • Customs Duty and Charges

  • GST

  • Compliance Fees

  • Registration & Insurance





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