LHD Twingo in Australia
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  1. #1
    Tadpole TWINGO's Avatar
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    Icon5 LHD Twingo in Australia

    hi Guys
    I wonder if anybody can help me, i am currently waiting for my PR visa
    to be granted. If i am successfull i would like to bring my Twingo with me.
    I am currently in the UK and own a 1998 Twingomatic,and dont really want to
    leave her behind.

    So my question is can i bring my car into Australia as a LHD as there is no RHD
    conversion available.

    Hope somebody can help.

    Best Regards.

    Alan.

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    Hi there.
    Dont mean to put the car down or anything but you would be crazy to bring a twingo out to OZ. Im living in Germany and they are everywhere. Yea they are kinda cute looking but you would waste time and money and all that stuff to even bother bringing it over here.
    Also you would never sell it.
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  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Wouldnt be a waste at all.. nice car.. and a one off. Alan, did u get my email reply?
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  4. #4
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    I agree with craig its not a waste at all they are a great car. And would be very interesting to a Renault club if a member had one of those. It is possible to bring these cars in too. There is a member in NSWCCC that brought over a Citroen Mehari and it gets lots of attention and is very popular to onlookers.
    I would not hesitate to bring a car over if i could afford it and i liked the car a lot.
    There are lots of cars id love to bring:
    -citroen
    axel
    visa
    lna
    evasion
    c15
    c8

    -renault
    espace
    twingo
    kangoo
    avantime
    valsatis

    Id say go for it dont worry about what people say....

  5. #5
    Simon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    Id say go for it dont worry about what people say....
    It is very easy to say the above, but it depends on what the car will be used for. It won't be able to be registered for full time usage, and depending on which state you will be living in it may not be able to be registered for limited club usage either being LHD.

    As for the other issues regarding duty payable on landing, quarantine rules etc, check with the people at Australian Customs or the Australian Embassy with whom you are probably dealing with about importing a car to AUS. It won't be a matter of popping it in a container and waiting for it to arrive :-).

    It would be great to see the car in AUS, but remember it is unlikely to be able to be used every day.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    Also something to consider (Craig may well have already replied regarding this in his PM): This model was never released in Australia (for obvious reasons, the most obvious being LHD only).

    That means it will not be supported by our local Renault dealers, who may or may not feel that willing to help track down spares when required. It is effectively what they refer to as a grey import and they may not feel compelled to offer support and there will be nothing you could do about that except have a good overeseas supplier lined up beforehand to send you goods via seafreight as required - I don't know how common items like spark plugs and oil filters etc are with Clio's (we didn't get the first series of Clio either!), I suspect they'll be OK but things like suspension parts, panels, maybe exhausts etc probably won't be available.

    As Simon says, there are federal level things like Quarantine, import duty etc to consider, but registration requirements can vary from state to state so you really need to investigate based on the state you intend settling in first.

    You do need to seriously consider if it all worth it in the end. Maybe better to sell it first and buy a Clio once you are here - but be warned, cars can be more expensive here than o/s.

  7. #7
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    As long as the costs are not ridiculously high, and as Simon said, the vehicle doesn't have too many restrictions (pointless if you can't drive the thing), I say go for it. Perhaps get in touch with Aust. Customs and a few shipping/clearing agents. Check the Australian phonebooks (White & Yellow pages).


    http://www.customs.gov.au/
    http://www.tradeway.com.au/resourcesauscustoms.cfm

    http://www.whitepages.com.au
    http://yellowpages.com.au/

    That means it will not be supported by our local Renault dealers,
    Frankly, if I had a car out of warranty I wouldn't take it to a Renault dealer/service centre. Rather one of the specialist French mechanics. Getting parts sent from overseas is not as hard as it used to be, once you find a supplier.

    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10
    Maybe better to sell it first and buy a Clio once you are here
    Ah, but a Clio doesn't have the smiling face of the Twingo (and I'm not talking about the Greenpeace SmILE concept)
    + =

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    If the car is to be registered,and I expect it would be, it would have to be converted to RHD to be used in Aus. Cars can only be left, LHD if over 30 years old here. I think the costs would well outweigh any advantages. I agree with the comment to just buy a Clio here instead, or at least bring over a RHD car.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan moore
    If the car is to be registered,and I expect it would be, it would have to be converted to RHD to be used in Aus. Cars can only be left, LHD if over 30 years old here. I think the costs would well outweigh any advantages. I agree with the comment to just buy a Clio here instead, or at least bring over a RHD car.
    In the main the above is correct, but there is a LHD Renault 25 turbo diesel that is legally club registered (emphasise not fully registered) in Victoria, so things do still vary state to state.

    But it would have to be considered if the sentimental attachment is so great to have a relatively expensive toy, or whether an every day driver would be more useful on arrival in AUS.
    Last edited by Simon; 26th July 2004 at 06:18 PM.

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10
    Also something to consider (Craig may well have already replied regarding this in his PM): This model was never released in Australia (for obvious reasons, the most obvious being LHD only).

    That means it will not be supported by our local Renault dealers, who may or may not feel that willing to help track down spares when required. It is effectively what they refer to as a grey import and they may not feel compelled to offer support and there will be nothing you could do about that except have a good overeseas supplier lined up beforehand to send you goods via seafreight as required - I don't know how common items like spark plugs and oil filters etc are with Clio's (we didn't get the first series of Clio either!), I suspect they'll be OK but things like suspension parts, panels, maybe exhausts etc probably won't be available.

    As Simon says, there are federal level things like Quarantine, import duty etc to consider, but registration requirements can vary from state to state so you really need to investigate based on the state you intend settling in first.

    You do need to seriously consider if it all worth it in the end. Maybe better to sell it first and buy a Clio once you are here - but be warned, cars can be more expensive here than o/s.
    Err.. the parts stuff is nonsense. You can take any current or previous (within reason) model part number to your Renault dealer and order them as long as you can tell them the part number, and the model number (more than likely a C063 as most Twingos are C063, the dealer will know it as a x063 in their ordering sytem).

    Twingo parts are plentiful in Euro dealers for all models go back to the beginning and there should be no issue getting them to Oz. Same way I got my new petrol tank for my 5GTT and some other minor parts. All you will have to do is pay them upfront as they cant return them to Europe. No over the top shipping costs either as they come in the normal Renault containers.
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  11. #11
    Tadpole TWINGO's Avatar
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    Default LHD Twingo

    Hi Guys
    Thanks for all the replies, quite a mixed bag which is what i expected.
    I know i could leave it here and buy a clio in Australia but the problem is the
    clio as good a car as it is isnt a Twingo.
    I went to a lot of time and trouble importing the Twingo to the UK and getting all the mods done, so it really is a labour of love and unless the cost was really stupid i would like to bring her with me.

    As for spare parts my car has a clio D7F CO66 engine, and although there is no workshop manual available in english for the twingo i have managed to obtain a renault dealership one on cd off ebay. It does not contain certain
    things you would get in a conventional manual but it does give you all the part numbers and technical spec.

    There was a comment in one of the threads about limited use could anyone
    elaborate on this as it could be a option. There is no RHD conversion available for the Twingo, and although the new Twingo due out in 2007 will be
    available in RHD it will probally be just a shrunken version of the new Megane
    and will lose the charm of the original Twingo.

    Any more thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

    Best Rgards.
    Alan.

    P.S i have not got your email yet Craig, did you send it to my works email address if so i will check it when i get in.

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger!
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    i know there was mention of a LHD R25 in Victoria, but to give you an idea, cars like the Enzo which make it to Australiaend up being collectors only, and not registerable, which is based on what I have read in the press. I have seen registered LHD cars but they are all test cars for Holden (Aussie's Vauxhall cousin). I think you will probably find that it'll be unlikely be available to be used as a daily drive. But if you do bring it here, let us know, I would definitely be interested in buying it, loved the Twingo from day 1 and it's such a pity they couldn't make it in RHD.

    PS: The Modus doesn't do it for you?

  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Ok.. the essence of my email was (which I have resent, because I sent the reply the day you emailed me).

    There IS, or at least, there WAS a RHD conversion for the Twingo. http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/2...ess.htm#import shows one
    address but the website doesnt work right now. Not sure if they still exist.

    http://www.dotars.gov.au/explore.aspx?facet=Transport is a good place to
    start looking at the laws. See how you go there and with the idea of a
    RHD conversion. Follow up the RHD idea if you really want to bring it. I think the 30 year or at least historic law will apply.

    Ok, the D7F engine hasnt been sold in Oz either, still I dont see a problem with parts. Surely not as cheap as other parts that are sold in Oz regularly, but not necessarily a nightmare if your friendly dealer will bring in parts for you. Would be worth sticking a boot full of spark plugs, fuel and oil filters, distributor caps and rotors (I forget, our Twingo has a C series motor and therefore has single point injection).

    You would need to check out possibility to get the correct tyre sizes too. In the end it all depends on the RHD conversion possibility and how well that would be allowed in Oz. You will need to check out the child restraint options too for compliancy.
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  14. #14
    Simon's Avatar
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    I agree with Craig, obtaining parts is likely to be the least of your problems in AUS. Also same as Craig I thought there was a place that did do RHD conversions for Twingo's, in the UK as they did advertise they had RHD headlight kits etc as well.

    Try here
    http://www.zau13.ukgateway.net/

    For using the car as LHD on a limited basis, probably worth hassling the relevent registration authorities for each state to ascertain their position in the registration of LHD cars under 30 years old. Either way, limited use rego or RHD conversion and engineering I see lots of paperwork involved :-)

    Start here, and keep any correspondence you receive:

    Queensland:
    http://www.transport.qld.gov.au/

    South Australia:
    http://www.transport.sa.gov.au/

    Australian Capital Territory:
    http://www.rego.act.gov.au/

    New South Wales:
    http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/

    Victoria:
    http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/

    Western Australia:
    ?

    Northern Territory:
    http://www.ipe.nt.gov.au/

    Tasmania:
    http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/
    Last edited by Simon; 27th July 2004 at 01:23 AM. Reason: Adding info....

  15. #15
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    Alan I agree with all that craig says. He has been around Renaults and knows them extremly well and having a Renault 5 turbo he would know all about rare euro cars in Australia. Compared to that a Twingo would be nothing to keep going here. The guy in the CCCNSW drives his Mehari which is LHD round sydney all the time so should not be an issue at all.
    Id say fo for it mate....Hope to see it puttering around sydney at some stage though....

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger!
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    You will have to talk to the national level for importing a car and then the state people for registration, as far as I remember, from when I bought my 5GTT. Luckily it was already in Oz.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielsydney
    The guy in the CCCNSW drives his Mehari which is LHD round sydney all the time so should not be an issue at all.
    Id say fo for it mate....Hope to see it puttering around sydney at some stage though....
    One slight difference here Daniel, the Mehari is probably a 30 year old vehicle, that means it can be registered LHD legally. There is no way a Twingo could be considered 30 years old.

    One other thing to remember is that the rules for compliance and importing vary whether the car is a private import (ie importd by a trader for sale) or is a personal import (a car being imported by an owner on emigrating to Australia) so things like rules on child restraint anchorages and other requirements can differ. Again check with the relevant authorities for all the ins and outs.

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! ipb205's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I agree that there is a 30 year rule for LHD only cars but I keep seeing a LHD Kia 4wd soft top in queanbeyan with full NSW rego (yellow and black recent Y series plates). There is also a local NSW registered Ford Explorer LHD that keeps showing its face around QBN also.
    Whats the deal? Are they Embassy cars or Consular Corps? No CC plates though.

    I asked the question at the RTA in QBN if a newish car can be registered LHD and they told me the 30 year rule as discussed above.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    Confused...
    ipb.

  19. #19
    Tadpole TWINGO's Avatar
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    Hi
    thanks again for the replys, (i got your email craig ) there was a problem with the server at work.
    I have been chasing up the links you posted for me and have sent off some emails, i have not had any replys yet but it is early days.
    The company that do the RHD conversions are not there anymore hence the
    broken website, but from what i could gather from some cached pages the
    conversion was quite expensive, and every thing was custom made.
    So if i cannot get the car into Australia as a LHD it will have to stay in the uk,
    I have had the headlights changed and the speedo can be converted back to kms and it allready has a centrally mounted brake light so i think the only thing left to do would be to have the child restraints fitted.

    If i get anywhere with this i will let you know.

    Alan

  20. #20
    Tadpole TinSnail1's Avatar
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    See what the WA requirements are. I think they're more relaxed about the rules that the eastern states. My 2CV I brought back from the UK last year went through without to much hassle (but it is RHD). Just make sure you do your homework first though, and your calculations because it could cost you way more than you first expect...
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  21. #21
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    WA might be the way to go huh.....if they are more relaxed. Id love to see a few twingo puttering about sydney. I loved the Loreal campaign they had with them and the kenzo one too.
    Very classy. The current one is good too.

  22. #22
    1000+ Posts BogMaster's Avatar
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    I had resolved never to post here again but I have a soft spot for Twingos.

    There are good quality RHD conversions available in the UK. The car looks like it was set up to go both ways and they seem to have done that over there even though Gaston et al couldn't be botheredf. The conversion wasn't that expensive and in fact would be cheaper for us since the electronic speedo could be left in kmhr.

    Twingo is h\just the best car...as roomy as a Clio...160kmhr with a tail wind...love it.

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  23. #23
    Fellow Frogger!
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    well guys, speaking of Twingos, this months Wheels magazine has a beautiful shot of the new Twingo. Looks nice, but may not be as revolutionary looking as the impact of the original.

    It's set to be out next yr but 2007 before it reaches the shores of Australia. So there's an option, bring the new model from the UK next year?

    I have tried looking for the pic online but to no avail. If anyone out there has a scanner and the current Wheels magazine, pls do us the favour and put it up...

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts BogMaster's Avatar
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    This guy was in Wales but moved to France. He still sells second hand Twingos to the Uk and was/is in the business of converting them to rhd for about 1,000 quid on top of the purchase price www.twingo.uk.com
    Woo Hoo Honi ko'u 'elemu (Hawaiian)

  25. #25
    Fellow Frogger!
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    here it is, found it....the guys in the Twingo portal.de had the pics back in Jan!!!!

    Twingo 2006

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