Anyone know what the first step is once you get your vehicle through Customs etc - i.e. WoF certification?
It depends on which state you move to. In Victoria, the first step is to get a 30-days temporarily registration for about $70 by calling vic road. With that, you can at least drive the vehicle home and drive it after 7am and before 7pm during the day.
Once you get the temporarily registration, you need to do a road worthy certification (RWC) by visiting a qualified garage. However, you need to make sure that the VIN or vehicle number of your vehicle is already in the Australia national vehicle database (your importer should do this for you). If not, you need to call an organisation in NSW (i cannot remember the name but you can call Vicroad to ask) to do that. Someone will come to check the vehicle and make sure it is safe.
Once it is in the database, you can then do the RWC (similar to NZ WOF). You then take the vehicle to vicroad. They will need the engine number to issue you a new reg plate. Some times it is difficult to find the engine number on site. Therefore, you should ask the mechanic who does the RWC to find it for you before visiting vicroad. If they cannot find it, you have to drive it to the authorized dealer (if it is Honda, drive to a Honda dealer) and ask them to find it for you. If even they cannot find it (say it is an odd import car from Japan), you will need them to provide you a certificate saying that this vehicle belogs to you (usually free).
If all the materials you submit to vicroad are correct, you will finally get the victoria registration plate and you also need to pay $600 for one year registration.
That is how it works...
I'm not sure where the person above got the $600 registration fees from. According to this web site it is only about $96 per year for a private motor car: http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/Registration/FeesFormsAndFAQs/Fees/VehicleRegistrationFees.htm
OK, our car (97 holden) that we purchased had no plates, yes no plates! When car are bought and sold its not uncommon to de-register the plates from that vehicle.
1, if you purchase a car with no plates you can get a temporary permit to drive the car, this however is only for getting to the mechanic for repairs and to vic roads for registration - and yes you are only allowed to drive the vehicle between 7 am to 7 pm If you do get pulled over (I know this 1st hand) you will / could get a ticket for $660.00 and 3 points off your licence!
1a, dont do what we did and go just go for a RWC (Roardworthy certifiacte test) - get a pre RWC check, this will be cheaper and gives you information on what the car will need work (if any) especially if you buy a cheap car like I did !!
2, It costs $43.00 to book a time at vic roads (book in advance), $31.00 for the plates, stamp duty is a % of the vehicle cost, registration depends on where you live by your post code, but yes about $600.00
So get ready to shell out close to $750.00 !
the registration costs include insurance so when the ambo is called and you get taken to hospital this covers it, this is NOT 3rd party insurance!
Side note - Always carry a set of brake discs, springs, shocks or similar in the boot and say you are going to a wreckers to get them checked or to bobjanes tyre mart or KMart tyre and auto etc (just stop in and grab business cards - leave them in the car), know where the auto places are before you head out :)
Good Luck !