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What is an import car

Updated on October 13, 2011

I had to make this blog because there are over 301,000 people who look up "what is an import car" per month. An import car is basically any car that is shipped to your country that isn't sold at any local dealer, hence making it an import car.

Import cars in Australia

Most car enthusiasts will know which cars are imports by just looking at it, but to make it simple, I'll list the most popular ones.

- Honda Civic Type R (EP3)

The Honda Civic Type R 2001 - 2005 models were catered for the European Domestic Market. After getting such high praise by motoring journalists across the UK, the next generation Civic Type R was released in Australia.

Civic Type R (EP3)
Civic Type R (EP3)

- Mitsubishi Evolution VIII MR

This version of the Evolution VIII is an upgraded version of the local Evolution VIII and it's my favourite. The upgrade was done so well that motoring journalists were able to compare the performance of this Evolution VIII MR against a $700,000 Lamborghini Murcielago. This version of the Evolution VIII MR was never released in Australia as a local car.

Evolution VIII MR
Evolution VIII MR

- Skyline GTR R34

Very rare car to find in Australia. The GTR is Japans' supercar also code named Godzilla. The GTRs rivals are all supercars that costs 2 - 3 times more. Due to then-current Japanese laws, the car was advertised as having 276HP, but it was actually well over 330HP when it left the factory.


- Skyline V35 350GT and V36 370GT

These cars a more common on the streets of Australia because they offer awesome value. You get everything a luxury car offers plus more and also everything a sports car offers, at the same cost of a 2nd hand luxury car. Check out the videos below where we compared it to the local cars of the same price range.

Skyline V35 &V36
Skyline V35 &V36

What makes it an import and what's the difference

Some of these import cars aren't released in Australia due to target market and budgeting issues. There are differences in styling and in most cases performance. Australia still haven't adapted to the more efficient, lighter, faster track going cars. We stick to our super heavy weight petrol V8 commodores and Falcons and think that's performance. These Japanese cars might not have huge V8 in them, but can most likely out do our Aussie cars on the track.

Any factor can make it an import, starting from (the car not being sold here) to a car having a different suspension setup to the local Australian versions. Some cars are identically the same, but is branded as an import because it was released overseas before Australia started to sell the car. An example would be the Lamborghini's from the UK, which was released 1 - 2 years before the local Lamborghini dealers sold them.

Benefits of an import car

Here are some benefits in buying a local car:
- It's unique to the local cars, having 200 more HP, rear vision camera etc.
- It's rare, you see more local Corollas than your average GTR.
- Saves money, for the same cost of a local car, you can get much more by going import.

How or where to buy an import car? There's 4 options:

1. Buy Private (,

2. Import by yourself through a private importing website.

3. Buy from the biggest import dealership in Australia. Sports Auto Group.

4. Buy from a backyard import dealership.

Sports Auto Group is the biggest Japanese imports dealership in australia.

Check out this commercial that promotes Sports Auto Group's biggest range:


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      anonymous 4 years ago

      what are the makes/brands of the 2 cars going into the lorry infront of the Lamborghini!? can't figure out what brand and model they are!

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      getnet tulu 5 years ago

      import good car to my country, how to import good cars?