I’ve recently received an email from Anthony, who is looking to buy an Estima from NSW and has a few questions regarding VIC Roads transfer. I thought no one can give better answers than Jad, my new customer from Melbourne who purchased Nissan Elgrand and successfully transferred it in their names in late August 2020. So, I emailed him and asked to help Anthony.
Jad happened to be a real superhero as he gave such accurate and detailed answers late last night, I was blown away and decided to publish both emails so other people can also benefit from Jad’s experience. Enjoy!
Thanks for contacting me regarding my potential purchase of a vehicle from Natalia.
I live in Victoria (as I understand you do too) and was keen to hear from somebody who has actually bought one of these JDM vehicles in NSW and then registered it in Victoria.
I have read a horror story or two about people buying imports in NSW and then having their registration application rejected because of differences in compliance standards and regulations between states. Hence their NSW compliance plate wasn’t recognised back in their home state.
My aim is obviously to avoid being caught in a similar situation myself when attempting to register my vehicle in Victoria.
I wonder if you could help me with the following questions please:
1. May I ask when you purchased your vehicle from Natalia, when and where in Victoria you had it registered?
2. Did Natalia’s company fit a NSW compliance plate at the time you bought the vehicle in NSW? *
3. Did you have any issues obtaining a Victorian roadworthy certificate and what documentation was required?
4. What documentation did VicRoads require in order to register the vehicle in Victoria?
5. Did you have your vehicle independently inspected before you purchased it? Were you able to see/drive the vehicle pre-purchase?
6. How did you get your vehicle to Victoria?
7. What type of People-Mover did you purchase from Natalia, and how many passengers is it now approved to carry in Victoria?
I am after a 7 seat Estima and note Natalia has a good selection at present. The difficulty for us Victorians is getting across the border and/or getting the vehicle delivered to Vic.
My apologies for all the questions Jad, but any info you could provide would be most helpful.
* "Natalia’s company" always fits NSW compliance plate to a vehicle straight after compliance has been done. This is the only legal way to operate import business.
Fair enough mate, best to do your homework and hopefully I can help you make a decision.
1. I recall committing to purchasing my Nissan Elgrand around the 6th of August. It took about 1&1/2 weeks to arrive once I made the payment to Natalia. I had it delivered to my door via Prixcar.
I'm in a stage 3 area and therefore had the car registered at the closest VicRoads centre, which was Leongatha.
2. Not sure I fully understand this question, if it relates to VIN plate or just general vehicle compliance cert?
Regardless, my Elgrand was an odd process... When an Elgrand is shipped from Japan all the seats, except the front seats, are removed and it is listed as a 2-seater campervan. A sticker is placed on the vehicle stating as such, this may be the compliance plate you refer to. * In fact, I don't believe any other designation is actually available in NSW, so that may be why the seats are removed...? I can't say for certain though.
In my instance, Natalia had the seats refitted and an engineer provided a compliance certificate that met the compliance standards of the NSW registration system for the seats. Natalia had the car roadworthy'd and registered in NSW according to their standards and everything was 'hunky-dory.'
3. Make sure you get all your documents from Natalia, some arrive by express post from her, some may be emailed to you as well. Just print out any emailed docs that weren't posted to you and take everything with you to the mechanic of your choice that will be doing the roadworthy and to VicRoads.
They'll want to see the VIN plates and the Engine number match the paperwork and that the vehicle meets Victorian roadworthy standards. There are differences between Victorian and NSW roadworthy standards. Vic is Allegedly tighter but this may still largely depend on your mechanic...
I didn't have any issues with RWC aside from accidentally not bringing all paperwork with me, in the end all the mechanic needed was to 'sight' the VIN and Engine number was same on documents. I just had my wife email me photos and that was good enough for them. Everything matched up. Make sure you ask Natalia where the VIN plate is on the vehicle you choose to purchase as mine wasn't in an obvious spot. Natalia helped me find it though.
4. Once you have obtained your RWC, you have 30 days to get it registered. Call VicRoads, you *must* book an appointment. You cannot simply turn up.
When I called VicRoads they said they wouldn't need to inspect the vehicle and that I'd just need to fill out paperwork, this ended up being untrue. I was lucky to have brought the vehicle on the day and they got everything done same day. Again, make sure you bring *ALL* the documents and VicRoads will be able to figure everything out.
Be prepared to pay Stamp Duty + minimum $38 for new rego plates, and also cost of registration for 1/3/6/12 months rego whichever you choose.
The main thing VicRoads wanted to see was the compliance certificate for the 8 seats when the cars compliance cert stated 2 seats campervan. I didn't realise Natalia had emailed this to me. Once I figured this out, I emailed it to VicRoads and everything else was fine.
You will have to chase up NSW version of VicRoads and get a refund of whatever time of registration is remaining. They will send you paperwork via email (most likely) once completed expect a cheque in the mail about a month later...
5. I totally went out on a limb and trusted Natalia, (not necessarily wise) I did this for reasons I won't disclose here unless you *really* want to know. I did not test drive the vehicle prior to purchase. Natalia provided several photos and videos via 'WhatsApp' smartphone application detailing the car's imperfections and anything noteworthy as well as explaining the various electronics/capabilities/utilities of the car.
I did not test drive the car because travelling to NSW at the time was untenable.
6. As stated in answer 1. Natalia used Prixcar. It is shipped to a destination that acts as a central shipping hub in Victoria and then Prixcar take it from there to your location. So, it isn't exactly on the back of a truck from Natalia's garage all the way to your front door. My car arrived with a flat battery, but Natalia actually reimbursed me for this, $244 the full cost of my RACV replacement battery.
The courier company do a good job of spotting anybody scratches and dents as they are invested in covering their own arse as much as possible. If they say there's a scratch on the body somewhere during their pre transport inspection, they probably aren't lying. They spotted some under bumper scratches that Natalia didn't. it wasn't really anything that concerned me though. Natalia pretty much operated on full disclosure mode with me the whole time. No complaints here.
7. As stated previously, I purchased a Nissan Elgrand 2007, E51, 8-seater 3.5L V6 RWD. It is approved as an 8-seater, VicRoads were happy just to see the compliance certificate that the NSW registration certificate also sighted. Most of any problems are sorted by your mechanic during the RWC process. If the RWC is good, VicRoads won't have much of a problem, they'll just want their 'pound of flesh,' monetarily speaking...
The car was delivered to my door via Prixcar about 4 days earlier than expected. I opted for this method because travelling to NSW, as you stated, is problematic at this time. The cost of flying there and driving it back as well as time cost, didn't make much sense to me when I could have it delivered to my door for $700.
There was no problem with delivery across the border and this was during the month of August.
The car's internal and external condition was as Natalia had shown me, no real surprises here. The Elgrand is a pretty cool car. Just be aware that the anchor points for Child seats may be a problem if you have heaps of kids, not sure how this works in the Estima though.
I have twins and expect to have more kids and the way the Elgrand has the child seat restraint anchor points is a little annoying. I have to get an engineer to build an additional anchor point as the vehicle is only rated for 3 anchor points. Any additional anchor points must be done and signed off by an engineer.
I opted for the Nissan Elgrand at the end of the day because I wanted RWD or AWD and Natalia did it for the same price on a similarly spec'd Estima that she didn't yet have in her possession as it was still in transit from Japan. I was in a time sensitive situation that required a car sooner rather than later and I live more rural so RWD or AWD is better suited to dirt roads and towing.
I did test drive an Estima and now I've got my Elgrand there are differences between how the two handle. Generally speaking, the Estima handles more car like, flatter through corners. The Elgrand can be a bit boaty and floaty through the corners, but it is bigger in every way and heavier to boot so I suppose that's to be expected.
Please note, if you plan on towing, the Elgrand has a max tow rating of 1400KG and if you plan on fitting a towbar, depending on your location, I know where to get it done properly for a good price. I learned the hard way after getting taken for a ride by an ARB mob.
No problem with the questions, hope this helps you. Maybe Nat should get me on the payroll.... 'Wink wink, nudge nudge.' 😆😆
Natalia has been reachable via the phone pretty much anytime I needed her. So, I can honestly say that she seems pretty invested in her clients happiness and I think the Google reviews from her customers reflects this fact.
FYI: my car was roadworthy'd for $250 without any problems. Registration cost me the usual $800, Stamp Duty cost me $680, rego plates cost me $38. I'm now good to go.
Just factor those costs into the purchase price of the car as well so you don't get surprised. As is typical with our Govt, they tax us at every turn.
*Yes, there is only one pink compliance plate attached to an imported vehicle in NSW.
All I can add is that If you’re buying Estima or Elgrand E50 and E51, this pink sticker will always state “campervan” with seating capacity 2 or 4. Once we register it, we then organize engineer certificate for 7 or 8 seats and lodge that certificate at RMS NSW to change the vehicle’s seating capacity back to what it actually is. So, when we sell any Estima or Elgrand, they’re always engineered for 7 or 8 seats in NSW and we email you the certificate as well. All you need to do is to show it at your RWC + VIC Roads with the rest of the papers from your dealership.
I hope this blog post was really helpful. If you still have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org
All my Best,
Your JDM addict