Imported Car Insurance

Importing a car from overseas may need specialist insurance.

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Now that you've managed to get your dream car JDM Nissan Skyline GTR R34 or classic Chevy Camaro into Australia, you've already done most of the hard work. All you need now is the right imported car insurance to ensure your rare import doesn't end up as a pile of scrap on the side of the road.

Luckily, you can obtain cover for your imported car from either standard insurers for an extra fee or from specialist insurers who know how to treat imported cars right. Find out the best option for you and your vehicle below.

Want to cover your imported car with a standard insurer?

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. Also, get up to $200 for damaged or stolen groceries.

⭐ Current offer: Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Australia Post car insurance offers comprehensive cover for things like theft, fire, new for old replacement and emergency accommodation and transport. Cover also extends to anyone who uses your car, not just you.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 online discount + $100 gift card when you purchase by 11 July 2021. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: If multiple people use the one car and you don’t want to worry about listing all drivers.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to manage their policy online 24/7.
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics. You don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. It'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats.

⭐ Current offer: Get $50 cash back when you purchase online until 30 June 2021 using the code STELLA50. T&C apply.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).
Poncho Comprehensive
Agreed
Finder's summary: Poncho works like a monthly subscription – you pay monthly and can cancel and leave at any time. You can also list multiple cars and drivers under one policy, making it ideal for families and groups living together under one household.

Who it might be good for: People who want their car insurance month to month.
Huddle Black Comprehensive
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Huddle's black comprehensive is its cover with highest limits and exclusive benefits. It includes roadside assistance. You can also get up to $2,000 for emergency travel and accommodation and up to $30 million legal liability cover.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a 24/7 claims processing.
PD Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed
Finder's summary: PD comprehensive car insurance policy lets you buy, manage, and start your claims process online. It includes cover for emergency repairs up to $500 and free windscreen chip repair. Ability to customise your extras cover.

⭐ Current offer: New policyholders can enjoy 15% off on their first year's premium. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those with low claims history and the only driver.
Youi Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Youi Comprehensive Car Insurance is one of the few providers to include roadside assistance in its policy. You'll also get access to YouiRewards which gives you discounts on furniture, parking and more. Youi also has a live chat feature on its site to talk through any questions.

Who it might be good for: People over 25 who want comprehensive cover with a focus on customer service.
Real Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Real Comprehensive Car Insurance provides similar coverage to other insurers for the important stuff like looking after your car if it's stolen or you crash. They're also one of the few insurers who offer a Pay As You Drive policy, so you might be able to save big if you don't drive much.

Who it might be good for: Those that don't drive much can take advantage of their Pay As You Drive policy.
ahm Comprehensive
Optional
Both
Finder's summary: ahm comprehensive car insurance lets you choose higher excess to reduce your premiums. Its Fixed Kilometre Plan can save you up to 30% compared to its standard comprehensive cover.

⭐ Current offer: Get up to 15% off when you purchase a new car insurance policy. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who drive less than 15,000 km per year.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: QBE is a sustainable insurance company and also Finder's Green Insurer of the Year 2021 award winner. This policy offers the highest level of protection available from QBE including three-year new car replacement.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those that are looking for a more environmentally friendly insurance choice.
Woolworths Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Woolworths has some unique perks like a price-beat guarantee where it'll beat any current comparable comprehensive renewal notice if you're over 25. You can also get 10% off your grocery shop once a month and can add roadside assistance onto your policy for just $7.35 per month.

⭐ Current offer: Save up to 15% when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Woolworths shoppers and those that want to take advantage of its price-beat guarantee.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Getting insurance for imported cars in Australia

If you've brought a car into Australia and are eager to insure it, there are two main ways to obtain cover, depending on the type of vehicle you've shipped in. Most commonly, imported vehicles will either be "grey" imports (from locations outside a manufacturer's supply chain) or prestige vehicles.

  • Standard car insurers. Some standard car insurers will agree to cover imported vehicles with a normal comprehensive car policy, assuming the vehicle meets their specifications. Certain standard insurers, like NRMA, will offer vintage and classic car insurance policies if you've imported a prestige vehicle.
  • Specialist car insurers. There are a range of insurers who cater specifically to people who have imported cars.They know if you've done all the paperwork and bureaucratic box ticking, never mind the expense of shipping - you're hardly going to go hooning around. They also tend to be more experienced with covering unusual or specialised vehicles.

Regardless of the provider you go with, the only thing you can be reasonably sure of is that your premiums will be higher than for a domestic market.

Who covers it?

InsurerCover provided
Shannons Logo Image: Supplied

Shannons

  • All imports
  • Classic and vintage vehicles
  • Modified cars
Enthusiast logo Image: Supplied

Enthusiast

  • All imports
  • Vintage and classic cars
  • Exotic, rare and prestige cars
  • Modified vehicles
Lumley logo Image: Supplied

Lumley

  • Imported classics
  • Vintage cars and motorcycles
  • Modern classics
Ryno logo Image: Supplied

Ryno

  • American imports
  • Classic and prestige cars and motorcycles
RACQ Logo Image: Supplied

RACQ (Queensland)

  • Grey imports
  • Vintage and classic cars
  • Modified and performance cars
RAA Logo Image: Supplied

RAA (SA)

  • Grey imports
  • Modified and high performance cars

Choosing the right provider: specialist or standard?

When looking for a provider to cover your car, it might be tempting to go for a well-known standard car insurer, perhaps one you've used in the past. But quite apart from the biggest problem you'll likely face - that standard insurers will straight up refuse to cover a wide range of imported cars - there are a number of benefits that going with a specialist insurer could provide:

IssueStandard insurerSpecialist insurer
Choice of repairer
  • Usually nominate which repairer you must use
  • Usually allow driver's choice of repairer
  • Know which workshops are best for specialised or imported cars
Salvage rights
  • Often lay claim to damaged parts and vehicles
  • Usually allow driver to retain damaged and potentially expensive/rare parts after a crash
Modification limits
  • Limits on the number of modifications they'll cover
  • Charge very high premiums for extensive modifications
  • Recognise many grey imports need extensive modifications to be legally driven
  • Likely to cover extensive or unusual modifications
Lay-up period
  • Usually very limited period of time, or not available
  • Vintage and classic car specialists may offer reduced price lay-up periods for cars that don't see much use
Insured value
  • Mostly offer market value
  • Agreed value cover costs more
  • Agreed value by default
  • Important for vintage cars with widely fluctuating and high market values
Cover for racing or high-speed use
  • Rarely offer this kind of cover
  • More likely to cover high risk recreational use like: rallies, time trials and motorsport events/li>
Lifetime repair guarantee
  • Commonly offered, but not usually for imported cars with rare or non-standard components.
  • Offered for imports even with difficult to find parts

Difficulties to be prepared for when getting cover for your imported car

As discussed above, getting cover for your imported car will likely end up being more expensive than for a regular domestic vehicle. But even after you've surveyed the market and settled on an insurer, there are a few particulars you should run past them to ensure that your vehicle is covered. If they're not, it's time to consider a specialist insurer.

  • Non-standard parts. Some cars have parts that are almost impossible to find in Australia, whether from age, market of origin, or rarity. Check that your car can be realistically repaired in the event of a crash.
  • Performance differences. High-end cars may be deemed too dangerous or likely to end up in an accident because of their sheer speed and horsepower. $200k+ Sports cars like Porsches and McLarens will likely attract an exorbitant premium from a standard insurer.
  • Roadworthiness modifications. Australia's road rules are different to other countries'. Getting insurance for grey imports can be hard because they often need a heap of modifications installed to be deemed roadworthy, and standard insurers balk at covering this.
  • Simply hard to insure. This could be because they have a soft-top roof (easier to break into), are particularly desirable for thieves, or are just outright expensive vehicles. Getting standard insurance will be difficult.

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