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Finding Auto Parts For Kit Cars In Australia

CarPart  ·  November 30, 2020

Finding Auto Parts For Kit Cars In Australia

For some car enthusiasts, modifying and customising their beloved vehicles isn’t enough. Many of them consider it a necessary rite of passage to build a whole car from top to bottom with their own two hands! 

For anyone interested in doing the same, there are two possible ways to go about it. You could order up every single car part yourself and hope they work well together. Or, you could aim to build what’s known as a ‘kit car’.

Building a kit car means that you’ll order a kit from a manufacturer who will put together all the essential car parts you need to make a car in your garage.

However, kits usually include only the bare minimum car parts. You'll still need to shop around for the rest to make your vehicle whole.

But it’s not as easy as walking into a car parts dealer and picking up items off a shelf. There's a lot that goes into finding the right parts and ensuring that your vehicle is street legal in Australia.

Not to worry, though! In this article, we’re going to help you with everything you need to know to get the job done. We’ll cover:

What is a kit car?

Let’s start from the beginning. In simple terms, a kit car is one that you can build by yourself at home or in your garage. They call it a ‘kit’ car because you buy all of the parts together as a kit for you to assemble yourself. Typically, people do this at home in their garages or some other space they’ve prepared.

Unfortunately, you’ll find that car kits aren’t always complete, and some may be more complete than others. They’ll give you the bare minimum of what you need to get started, of course, but might not include all the final parts you need to have a comfortable car that’s legal to drive on Aussie streets.

Where to find auto parts for kit cars

When you set out to build a kit car, you’ll discover that the kits come in different levels of completeness. If you have the money for it, you could buy all of the parts together. But many people prefer to start with the kit, and then gradually buy and install additional components.

In either case, you’ll need to look for additional parts not included in the initial kit. Here are a few places you can look:

Talk to your kit car dealer

The first and probably the best place to look is the dealer that sold you the kit in the first place. They’ve most likely anticipated the needs of customers like you, so many of them will have at least some compatible parts already in stock for you to buy.

Unfortunately, they might not have all the parts you need. That’s especially true if you’re looking to customise the vehicle a certain way according to your tastes or requirements. 

If that’s the case, then you’ll need to expand your search, perhaps even beyond the kit car niche.

Search online for sellers specialising in kit car spares

Before you go beyond the kit car niche, try and contact other kit car specialists first. While the first one might not have parts that you want, others may be able to provide them instead.

If you’ve expanded your search to include sellers beyond your local area, always remember that you’ll need to pay a little extra to ship those parts to you.

Buy from used auto parts dealers

If you’re looking for more general car parts that’ll work well with your kit, it’s always a good idea to look for used auto parts dealers.

For starters, used dealers might be able to get you the precise parts you need to fit your kit car. Good used parts sellers will have refurbished (if necessary) and tested each of those parts, so you can trust that they’ll continue to be reliable.

But used auto parts aren’t just about availability. Sure, you can get the parts you’re looking for, plus you’ll also get them at a lower price.

As we know, kit cars aren’t cheap. So, buying some of your parts used will help to reduce your overall cost.

Are kit cars road legal in Australia? 

Yes, kit cars are road legal in Australia, but it’s not so easy to build one anymore.

Once upon a time, Australia had a massive market for kit cars. That was decades ago, thanks to our grandfathers’ generation in the years after World War II. 

As you can imagine, people back then were handy, and life was good after the war. People were eager to bounce back to a peaceful life and enjoy their hobbies, one of which was building their own car. As a result, there was a high demand for kit cars and the auto parts that went with them.

Sadly, things started getting complicated somewhere in the 1980s. Thanks to the Australian Design Rules (which regulated the safety requirements for all types of vehicles), building a kit car wasn’t so easy anymore.

Stricter requirements for road-legal kit cars

Those federal rules made it so that all vehicles needed to adhere to high standards of safety. So, in the simplest of terms, the rules were so tight that you could only drive a kit car if it followed the same modern standards as those coming out of a factory. 

Of course, that isn’t so easy to do when you’re building it at home with your hands, and not with sophisticated machines.

Higher costs

On top of that, the cost for being able to drive a kit car also started to jump up. That started somewhere in the ‘90s when you’d have to pay much higher prices to register your kit car and get the government to approve it.

All of a sudden, a fun hobby of building your own car from the ground up started to become a luxury that fewer and fewer people could afford.

Where to start

So, let’s say you’re going ahead with building a kit car and getting any additional parts you need. A great way to start searching is with the Parts Finder at

All you have to do is key-in the details of the parts you’re looking for. Then, your request will go out to suppliers all across Australia! You will receive quotes by phone or email, from which you may then choose the best offer. Payment and other transactions between you and the seller are all online, so it’s so much COVID-safer. You may then have those parts sent right to your doorstep. 

So, get that kit car running, order an auto part now!

By Ray Hasbollah

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