Importing luxury goods: Key considerations

Whether pure passion or a potential investment, high-value luxury items can range from supercars to yachts to private planes and expansive estates. Rare and unique collectibles from all over the world can often inspire you to make large transactions on luxury goods both at home and abroad.

At OFX, we can help you save on those sizeable foreign currency purchases. With over 17 years of expertise in currency exchange and a truly global presence across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, UK, U.S. and Canada, we can help you pursue your passions seamlessly, securely, and with added savings. 

To help you in your search, we’ve put together a small list of key things to consider when importing luxury goods from abroad.  

  1. When looking at cars, boats or aircraft it can be tempting to buy privately, but Graham Horne, Regional Director for Cirrus Aircraft insists that, “Going through an official retailer guarantees a level of quality, authenticity that you may not get privately.”
  2. Cirrus has offices in Australia and New Zealand but their customers come from all around the world. Many of them have saved on their purchases by using OFX when compared with the rate offered by the banks. You too can compare our exchange rates to others’ on our Currency Converter page.
  3. Graham also tells us some of the most overlooked areas of owning an aircraft:
    a. Living space: Make sure you either have a hangar on site or at a local airport. Your own T-Hangar could be around $350 per month but you can rent space in a shared hangar.
    b. Plane Maintenance: Ensure you get it serviced every 50 hours of flight time at an approved service centre. 
    c. Self-maintenance: To keep your pilot’s license you must have a bi-annual medical examination with an approved doctor and a license renewal test every two years.
  4. There’s a big misconception about the difficulties of becoming a pilot. In Australia, you can obtain your Private Pilot’s License (PPL) with as little as 35-40 hours flight training time, as seen on Civil Aviation Safety Authority website. Visit the Cirrus website for details on training with one of their elite Class 1 pilots.
  5. If it’s your first time investing in aviation you may have some questions regarding safety. Cirrus aircrafts come equipped with a 65ft parachute built into every model. In the unlikely event on an accident, the chute is deployed with the intention of bringing you safely to the ground. 
  6. The Sanctuary Cove Boat Show on the Gold Coast is an annual event exhibiting yachts, super yachts, cars, horses, houses, planes, luxury experiences and much more. Grab your ticket to the next show for a great time.
  7. If you’re time poor or simply want to certify the authenticity of the product you may want to reach out to a buyer’s agent like Alsaker. Based in the heart of Sydney, Alsaker provide procurement services on behalf of their clients and aim to have a level of service that goes above and beyond traditional retailers and merchants. 
  8. “Auctions are good in one sense”, says Will from Alsaker. “They allow the public access to luxury items that they may not be able to acquire elsewhere, but you’re still up against everyone else there, and you could end up paying above the market rate.”
  9. There’s been a rising trend in acceptance around pre-owned luxury items, according to Alsaker. Whereas once the majority of high-value purchases were for new goods, now pre-owned cars, boats, planes and collectors’ items are regularly bought and sold around the world in great number. 
  10. Olivier is an OFX customer who found the classic car of his dreams on an online auction marketplace. Using the savings he made with OFX, he was able to buy a new set of wheels. Finding your perfect purchase can be done in many ways so use different websites to compare the market on your chosen solution. 

Olivier, Classic Car Enthusiast

“After winning the auction, I simply transferred the funds using OFX. The money was there in two days and the car was mine. The money I saved helped me buy a new pair of wheels too.”

Since 1998, we have been helping people enjoy the finer things in life. With $89 billion transferred by over 300,000 customers globally, you can trust us to handle your money like it’s our own. Our dedicated 24/7 service means you can always get assistance in getting the most out of your investments.

When it matters, OFX it. 

IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. OzForex Limited (trading as OFX) and its affiliated entities make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.