Services & FAQ

TrueWest Imports, as a rule, sells or locates vehicles manufactured prior to 1989. This is because such vehicles do not require conversion from LHD to RHD or compliance with the Australian Design Rules.

However, we can certainly locate and negotiate the purchase of vehicles manufactured after 1989 if the Purchaser would like us to do so. If the Purchaser buys a vehicle manufactured after 1989, it must be complied to meet the relevant Australian Design Rules by a workshop registered with the Australian Government “RAWS” legislation. “RAWS” stands for Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme. In these circumstances, the chosen registered workshop or its authorised representative applies for the Australian Import Permit.

True West Imports will generally insist that the prospective Purchaser obtains a Pre-purchase inspection. This is to ensure that the prospective Purchaser is fully aware of the condition of the vehicle they are interested in. We can provide details of independent Certified Inspectors who are not affiliated with TrueWest Imports.

We offer a one-stop-shop service for clients who have purchased, or would like to purchase, a vehicle in the US with assisting and organising the process of Importing a car into Australia from the US.


Our Buying page maps out the steps involved in buying.
The first thing you need is a clear US Title. We will ensure that the vehicle you are buying has this. You will then need to apply for an Import Approval. We can assist you with making the Application but as his must be done online, you will need to complete the form and pay the fee (which as at 1 February 2014 was Au$50) Once the Import Approval is issued we will finalise arrangements to ship your vehicle.
Once you have wired your payment you should expect to see your vehicle in 10 – 16 weeks depending on the port and the time of the year. You will be informed of your options. The Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s stated service goal is that a ” completed application for a Vehicle Import Approval, with all the necessary supporting documentation, will generally be assessed by the Department within 15 working days of receipt.” However this is only a goal and in peak times may take longer, possibly up to 6 weeks, if the department requires additional information or further documentation.
An indication/example of associated costs can be found here.
Import of the vehicle will be subject to GST based on the on the Customs determined CIF Value. “CIF” essentially means “Cost” of the vehicle, “Insurance” and “Freight”-  not only shipping etc, but also any internal US transportation to Compton. We are not in a position to guarantee what amount of GST you may have to pay however, we can provide a non-binding best “guestimate” based on the information you provide to us. Vehicle listings are shown exclusive of GST and other costs.
We will arrange for the secure handover of funds for the exchange of documents and the vehicle. We will then take care of the preparing, packing and shipping of the vehicle for you.
No, we also assist Purchasers who want a vehicle shipped to New Zealand. However, at this time we are shipping on an almost weekly basis to Australia and New Zealand and feel that expanding beyond this would be detrimental at this time.
As a buyer we encourage you to get the vehicle inspected and appraised. Once you have received the report and decided to purchase the vehicle, if you use TrueWest Import’s services, we will do a secure handover.
It is free to both buy and sell through this site.
Inspections are done by qualified professionals and start at approximately U$250 and increase depending on location and type of vehicle.
A buyer will usually pay these costs. An astute seller may want to offer these reports in advance as an incentive to sell their vehicle faster.
The details provided in an inspection report depends on the Inspection service you choose to use, the type of vehicle and inspection type, Normally the inspection covers all items possible while the vehicle is still at the Sellers location. This may also include an extensive road test. As an example, if you were to use the services of Automobile Inspections LLC, a sample inspection report done on a 1971 Pontiac GTO Coupe can be found here. If you choose to use Road Ready Certified, a video of “what you get” can be found here.
The purpose of requesting an inspection is not to determine if the vehicle is worthy of buying, but to ensure that you are getting a fair, independent, third party, representation of what you are buying. If the seller claims that the vehicle has a little rust, an inspection will allow you to know if that means there is a 1cm sized hole or there is only a little bit of the car that doesn’t have rust. It is not to determine or predict future issues or concerns, it is simply to tell you the condition of the vehicle as it now sits.
Obviously an Inspector we will not be able to perform a road test on the vehicle however the report will still cover the condition and completeness of the vehicle. **Please Note – transporting non-running vehicles costs more**.
Yes. But as a general rule TrueWest Imports sells or locates vehicles manufactured prior to 1989. This is because such vehicles do not require conversion from LHD to RHD or compliance with the Australian Design Rules.
However, we can certainly locate and negotiate the purchase of vehicles manufactured after 1989 if the Purchaser would like us to do so. However, Australian laws vary from state to state on the requirements for roadworthiness and licensing and in relation to left/right hand drive laws. Generally if the vehicle is “manufactured” prior to 1989, it is exempt from being converted from left hand drive to right hand drive. Please check with your local state.
Yes we can take care of all the details for you. Please contact us and we will make the arrangements.
All vehicles are stored inside our secure storage facility at the Port of Los Angeles free of charge for 1 month. After the free period, storage rates of $25 per week for cars or $7.50 per motorcycle per week will apply
You can fit 4 Mustang sized cars in a 40’ container, or 3 plus additional larger parts. If you feel your vehicle needs special attention we can ship so that your vehicle will never leave the floor of the container and have nothing stored above it for an additional cost.
If your vehicle is shipped to Fremantle, before leaving the Port of Los Angeles, your vehicle is loaded into the container, and a timber crate is custom-built around it to protect your vehicle in transit. You pay only for the space taken up within the container by your timber-framed vehicle. We then load the rest of the container with other goods (baggage, personal and household effects, and furniture). Your vehicle is fully enclosed in transit by, usually, a 4 inch (10 cm) timber frame.

If you want your vehicle shipped to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, we use a removable metal car racking system (R-RAK) that allows for various configurations depending on the number of vehicles being transported in the container.

Unfortunately it is too expensive to use the R-Rak system when shipping into Fremantle or Adelaide as the cost to send the racks back is too expensive.

R-RAK is designed and manufactured by UK based Trans-Rak International Ltd. With over 30 years’ experience within automotive and container industries Trans-Rak is the global leader in the design and manufacturing of container racking systems to load multiple vehicles into containers.

It is your responsibility as a buyer to research the laws for registration and compliance of your vehicle. Each state has its own laws. We get your car to Australia safe and sound – the rest is up to you. If you are shipping the vehicle into Fremantle, however, we can arrange to have the vehicle made ready for a road-worthiness inspection, restored or modified to whatever standard you like. However, if you request modifications to be made to the vehicle, we do not guarantee that the modifications will be legally acceptable. That is all done at your risk.
As we are working for the Aussies, the site generally shows A$ = Australian dollars. All prices are in Aussie dollars unless otherwise specified, we are trying to make this as easy as we can.
Apart from the joy of seeing an Aussie or Kiwi get the car they are expecting instead of a pile of rust held together with paint and bog we get paid to do all the running around and arranging the exporting, importing and shipping American vintage,classic, and muscle cars. We believe that we can offer Aussies and Kiwis better value-for-money by having a trusted third party on the ground in the USA acting as your ears and eyes and here in Australia to ensure your Dream Car arrives in the exact same condition it was when you bought it.