Finding and buying a car internationally
What is your 'Find It' service?
Find it is our service where we buy you a car from overseas. Our flat-rate fee covers unlimited inspections of cars overseas in Japan, England or America and gives you access to our trade shipping rate card.
It is the best way to shop if you’re after something specific, rare or simply want to enjoy the journey of looking.
We are enthusiasts ourselves who love and collect cars, so we may even make a few suggestions to you along the way!
Aside from general advice and inspections, we also offer our Find It customers a discounted shipping rate direct.
What does 'FOB price' mean?
A FOB price – or a Free-on Board price – is the cost of your vehicle purchase price PLUS any vehicles movements in the country or origin to get your car from the auction house / car dealer / private seller to the wharf for export.
For example, when you buy a car from a Japanese car auction, the car will need to be moved off-site and to our storage facility before heading to the wharf.
Once vehicle import approval is attained, we will then transport the car
Who inspects your cars and how do you do it?
We have been buying cars internationally for over a decade and have forged a great network of inspectors, car collectors and dealers who work with us to supply Australia with high-quality metal.
Our ex-Pat Australian counterpart living in Japan uses a combination of modern technology and good old common sense to weed out the duds and find the diamonds amongst the rough.
We also look underneath and photograph – in detail – every car we inspect.
If we can’t see the car in the metal, we do not buy the car!
How long will it take to find me a car?
Depending on the car, anywhere from one week to six months!
It all depends on the car you wish to find.
If you’re after a later-model Japanese market vehicle, chances are we’ll find it in a week.
If you’re after a 2000s-era Japanese rally hero, it may take three-to-four weeks to find the ideal car.
If you’re after a 1994 BMW E36 M3 In Dakar Yellow, it might take a little longer 😉
How do you know if the car's mileage is genuine?
Odometer tampering is rife in every market, however there are easy ways to confirm an import vehicle's genuine mileage.
Nearly-all vehicle authorities in the countries we import cars from employ a way of monitoring the mileage of registered vehicles on its roads.
With cars from Japan for instance, we will always provide a genuine hard-copy de-registration certificate.
This watermarked, tamper-proof and forgery-proof document will confirm your car’s genuine mileage.
Furthermore, nearly-every car we import has a service history, and if not, various service stickers around the car that corroborate the de-reigstration paperwork you’re provided with.
Either way – we take
What cars can I import?
Can I import any car I want?
Yes and no – it depends on the vehicle. Anything older 25-years – right- OR left-hand drive – can be freely imported into Australia. Any vehicle younger than 25-years needs to be on the Federal Government's Special Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme (SEVS) list – currently 250+ cars long.
if you want to import a turbo version of your Nan’s 1997 Toyota Camry – you can do just that (not that you would).
However, any car that’s <25-years must be on the SEVS list. You can find the list here.
What is the SEVS list?
The SEVS list – or Special Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme list – is a list of later model vehicles (<25-years old) approved by the federal government to be free imported into Australia.
Cars like the Porsche 996 Turbo, Honda Torneo Euro R, Renault Megane R.26R and Nissan Skyline GT-R are on the SEVS list.
There are heaps more – browse the list here.
Can you add a car to the SEVS list for me?
Yes – we are currently working with a multitude of private and business customers to add their dream car to the SEVS list and then import, own and drive it in Australia.
Some cars – namely exotics like Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi RS and Mercedes AMG – are much cheaper overseas, and can be made available to import into Australia.
There are cars from these marques that can be imported into Australia and added to the SEVS list.
Reach out to us on 0422 554 083 to discuss the criteria required to add a car to the SEVS list and import it.
Can I drive a left-hand drive car on the road in Australia?
Depending on which state you live in, you may be able to drive a left-hand drive car on the road with full registration or historic registration.
For example, any car older than 25-years old that’s left-hand drive can be fully road registrable in NSW as a regular car after undergoing compliance.
What is import vehicle compliance?
What is compliance?
Any car that is imported into Australia must undergo a formal process to be certified before being used on the road. Only certain workshops are permitted to do such work – like ours!
Compliance is a procedure that only a licenced RAW workshop can carry out.
The process varies from car-to-car depending on the vehicle’s alignment to Australian Design Rules.
As a rule of thumb, modern cars require non-intrusive work and the process is straight-forward.
Once compliance is complete, your imported vehicle will be added to the National Vehicles Database (NEVDIS) and eligible to be registered Australia-wide in any state or location.
Who can do compliance work?
Only Registered Automotive Workshops certified by the Australian Federal Government are permitted to do such work – like ours!
Our workshop number is RAW-00089 and can be checked against the Federal Government’s website here.
How long does can compliance take?
The compliance process is on two people: Us at Cult and Classic, and the Federal Government's Department of Infrastructure.
Whilst we do our part within seven days of your car arriving in our workshop, it can take the Federal Government’s Department of Infrastructure up to 14 business days to do their part.
We like to say two weeks, but it’s safe to consider it taking three by the time you arrange logistics to pick-up your car!
I have an old race rally import / salvage title import. Can you get this car on the road?
There is a good chance we can turn your previously-un-registerable imported vehicle into one that's road registered can be used every day!
It is possible to retrospectively update your car’s vehicle import status via our registered automotive workshop.
Reach out to us on 0422 554 083 to learn more.
Buying from our showroom
Are you a licenced motor dealer?
Cult and Classic is a licenced motor dealer – MD092210
Do you take cars on consignment?
Yes – we will entertain the idea of selling your car.
We have standards and expectations for the vehicles we sell and our trusted clientele.
Please call us to disucss your trade in vehicle on 0422 554 083.
Where do you source your cars from
The same place we buy our cars for our Find It customers from!
In Japan, we usually recommend purchasing a car from their used vehicle auction network.
Although vehicle auction sheets and grading is inconsistent, our approach of sighting every car in the metal before we buy means we avoid the traps and pitfalls many others fall into.
Our showroom cars are finely curated and a cut-above the average.
We look for service history, one-or-low owner count, originality and no corrosion.