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The new law that could put a Porsche within your reach


Laine Gordon

By Laine Gordon

3 min read

Your dream car may be closer than you think in a couple of years’ time following news that the Turnbull government plans to waive high taxes on car imports.

Proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act by the Turnbull government will make it easier and cheaper for individuals to import new cars, and those that have done less than 500 kilometres or are less than 12 months old, from overseas.

Currently there are heavy taxes on the importation of vehicles but with local car production grinding to a halt the government wants to open up an alternative avenue for car purchase. This is welcome news to those who wish to purchase luxury vehicles but have been deterred by comparatively high prices in the Australian market.  

The car industry reacts

The law wouldn’t come into effect until 2018 but it has already drawn criticism from some car sellers in Australia.

“I think there’s many reasons why people in the government and the National Party will think it’s not good legislation when they sit down and are taken through it in detail in terms of some of the potential impacts,” Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior told Wheels Magazine.

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Senior believes that the importing of Subarus under the new legislation will not be significantly cheaper than buying within Australia but will come with extra concerns for buyers.

For example the navigation systems in cars purchased from Japan will not be compatible with Australian navigation without having extra work done on the car which will of course cost extra money.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has also expressed their concerns with the new legislation.

“Not only is the government taking a 'buyer beware' sentiment that would see many Australians caught in high-risk situations with their vehicles being outside established service networks; the government is misleading consumers by telling them a used vehicle with 500km or one that is  12months old, is new,” said Tony Weber, CEO of the FCAI. 

So will the legislations changes be helpful to most Australian’s?

While the cost of importing a car will be cheaper and there will be access to a greater range of vehicles at affordable prices it remains to be seen if the average Aussie will benefit from the legislation changes.

There is a certain level of risk involved with importing a cars from overseas and while the legislation will only approve the importation of vehicles from countries with comparable standards the buyer must be informed of the risks.

Cars bought within Australia come with access to support and service by the car dealership at which it was purchased, a perk that won’t be available in its entirety to those importing vehicles.

For now it will be a case of waiting to see if the legislation is passed in full and what protections will be put in place to ensure that individuals wishing to import a vehicle will be doing so in not only a cost effective way but a safe one. 

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