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-   -   To ship or not to ship to Australia from the UK (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/trip-transport/ship-not-ship-australia-uk-39367)

mattcbf600 8 Dec 2008 02:56

To ship or not to ship to Australia from the UK
I've gone from post to post on this one and whilst I have all the facts now I still can't decide if I should ship the CBF600 out to Oz or sell it in the UK and buy new here.

I need some advice.

I have a 2005 CBF600 - bought brand new and serviced by me since then - in other words no dealer stamps in the book. It's done 50K in those three years, and whilst it's looking fine, and running fine I don't think I'll get more than 2k for it - if that. That works out at about $4500 depending on the exchange rate.

On the good side. I know the bike inside out, I've loved it, repaired it and ridden it to Morocco and Russia - it's a good solid bike I love.

On the bad side. It's three years old now, so needs an MOT - but that may not have to happen out here - still don't understand exactly what I need to do to import it - everyone seems to know different :-/

So, do I ship the bike with all the associated costs (looks like it'll be around $5000 in total). Or do I sell it (possible $4500 in hand) and add to that to buy a new one.

New bikes - Triumph Bonnie is $10k - everything else is pretty much north of there.

So the money argument doesn't help - it's going to cost about the same to buy new as to ship over.

The time argument doesn't help because the time saved in just buying new is lost in the hassle of selling it in the UK :-/


Frank Warner 8 Dec 2008 03:45

Add time for ...
The paper work of geting a foreign bike regoed here is large. And the paper work just to import it... There would be lots of time (and hair pulling) to do that paper work.

Then you have the problem of shipping it - damage/loss in transit. Time taken to ship it ..

Your choice.

Flyingdoctor 8 Dec 2008 12:07

Matt, the fact that it'll cost as much to ship it as the bike is worth makes it a no brainer. Leave it here and buy a decent secondhand bike in OZ. I'm sure you'll get some help from the guys on here as to where to look for one.

desert dweller 8 Dec 2008 21:21

sell up and go...
matt, a mate of mine who overlanded from the uk to aust had to export his bike to nz in order to then reimport it here permanently. he went through hassle, much more than i thought was worthwhile.
but he was importing an africa twin, which are not available here (they were never imported), and really wanted to keep his bike.
depends how attached you are, but i'd say buy here for sure.

mattcbf600 9 Dec 2008 01:33

a quick update
Okay so some maths first- now I have proper figures.

To ship the bike here via air-freight will cost me 1250GBP - which I think is quite reasonable - then I have to pay...

GST (Value+freight) = 6250GBP (10% of) = 625GBP or $1403AU
Docs, Agency and Handling = $125AU
Customs Clearance = $150AU
Port Charges = $85/cbm (total $340AU)
Delivery to Melbourne CBD - $185AU
Crate disposal fee = $150AU
Quarantine Fee = $144AU

Excludes cleaning if needed.

Total in AUD is = $5304AU (give or take depending on the exchange rate)

To buy a new bike here will cost min $10k - that's a Triumph Bonnie - or a decent second hand something.

BUT if I sell the bike in the UK I should in theory get about 2k - that's $4.5AU so I'd still need to find another $5k.

So that basically means cost wise it's pretty neutral. It's gonna cost me around $5k AU what-ever I do.


So that now leaves two other things. Time & Paperwork and How much I want the bike.

Time & Paperwork. It's a hassle I need

- Proof of ownership (Copy of V5)
- Carnet
- Passport
- Export waybill

+ Permission to import docs, plus a few other things. Hell of a lot of paperwork, quite a lot of time sorting it out. But I've found a company that will help me do it (included in the 1250GBP cost)

If I buy here, I need to sell the bike in the UK. Sounds simple enough, except I'm the other side of the globe and my wife would have to do it, and she doesn't ride. I don't fancy people taking it for a test ride without me near-by and I can't answer questions very easily. It would be a hassle to sell the bike, and with 50k on the clock and no MOT I'm concerned I wouldn't even get my 2KGBP.

So that's a tie between Time & Paperwork

Grrrrrrrr I think the decision making is damn harder than the actual doing!


farqhuar 9 Dec 2008 03:55


Originally Posted by mattcbf600 (Post 218413)
To buy a new bike here will cost min $10k - that's a Triumph Bonnie - or a decent second hand something.

BUT if I sell the bike in the UK I should in theory get about 2k - that's $4.5AU so I'd still need to find another $5k.

So that basically means cost wise it's pretty neutral. It's gonna cost me around $5k AU what-ever I do.

Hi Matt, how long are you here for? I shipped my bike (by sea) back from Rome to Melbourne in October - cost me around AUD3k all up, bloody expensive as far as I am concerned, and almost 10 times what it cost me to ship from Melbourne to Korea in April.

Having said that, your arithmetic is incorrect. It DOESN'T cost the same either way.

If you pay the $5k to import the bike then that money is lost and gone. If you sell your own bike and then buy a new Bonnie, then you have $10k of equity in the Bonnie and you are $5k in front when it comes time to sell it.

You are far better to sell your CBF in the UK and buy again locally, failing that (and assuming you are returning to the UK in under 12 months) hang on to the CBF so you have a bike on your return.

This does, of course, also assume that you have the required funds/income to tide you over during your travels in Oz such that you can afford the $10k outlay for the Bonneville.

Garry from Oz.

Frank Warner 9 Dec 2008 04:30


Originally Posted by mattcbf600 (Post 218413)
Total in AUD is = $5304AU (give or take depending on the exchange rate)

Ummm what about
geting importation clearence - to bring tha bike in you need some paperwork
geting the bike registered for road use

More parper work involved there (and a little money) ...

Garry is right about the $5k being lost and gone as that is a services charge for shipping .. no one will pay you back for that ..

What ever you do it looks like you need $5k (shipping .. or sell you old bike and buy new 5k difference..). You could try to buy something second hand here for what you sold your old bike for. But second hand prices here are higher than those there, so you'll be getting something some what more worn out than what you have.

mattcbf600 9 Dec 2008 05:15

hadn't considered the equity in the bike actually.... that's a very good point.

I'm in OZ for 5 years (on a 457 Business Visa) and everything is coming out.

I could in theory leave the CBF at my Dads until I go back (if I go back).

mmmm okay, I'm definitely leaning towards getting rid of the CBF and buying something new here... :-/

RogerM 9 Dec 2008 19:32

First up, as a 457 visa holder you may not be eligible to import a vehicle. See Eligibility Criteria
Scroll down to 5 Personal Imports and read the whole section about required proof of intended residency or citizenship.

So selling and buying in Aus is looking like a good option.

mattcbf600 9 Dec 2008 21:00

ah yes cheers for that.

I am allowed on the 457 visa, normally temporary residents are not permitted, but the 457 is an exception as it's 'Long Term Business Visa'. Apparently.


I started the paper-work yesterday and had a good comb through these sites (Australian Customs & Motor Vehicle Department guys)

importing a motor vehicle
Importing Vehicles to Australia - General Information

Both of which lay out the legal stuff in pretty easy to understand english - I combined that with a call to VicRoads about registration plates etc and have come to the conclusion that it's just not worth the effort.... (okay now you can all say I told you so :-)))


Keith1954 10 Dec 2008 11:11

Matt - I have a XL650V Transalp across 'the ditch' - based in NZ - which I'm looking to temporarily import into Australia within the next 12 months for an extended (4-month long) tour. I've investigated every angle, and confirm that the aussie importation rules are a nightmare. Just buy another bike down there and keep your beloved CBF600 in the UK for future British/European rides. After all, you will be revisiting England over the course of the next 5+ years .. right?

Incidentally, I've just worked-out that you've relocated to Aussie and also changed jobs. Congratulations on the move. Makes sense for a Welshman, I guess - better class of sheep, an'all .. :wink2:

Anyway, best wishes and good luck for the future.



mattcbf600 15 Dec 2008 03:49

Thanks Keith :-)

So, the final decision is thus. Sell the CBF in the UK (try to sort it over Christmas - ha ha!) and then buy something here.

I've been looking in the used ads and think I may very well go for something along the lines of a 1996 XT660.... now that would be fun up the gravel roads!


Alexlebrit 15 Dec 2008 11:14

Late Vote
Sell. In fact why not sell on here? Surely there must be some mug (errrr nice rider) who'd just love your bike, especially given it knows it's way round the world a bit.

Don't get an XT though, the nuts do up the wrong way.

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