Buying a Car In New Zealand

Покупка автомобиля в Новой Зеландии

Do you need a car in New Zealand?

A car in Auckland is an irreplaceable thing.

The exception is when you are a student without a family, living close to an educational institution, or living in a downtown area (CBD). In this case, because of the parking price, the car can become a luxury.

In other cases, especially with children, it’s difficult to do without a car:

  • Using public transport is often more expensive than using an inexpensive private car;
  • Due to the transport system, it is often necessary to make transfers, and this, as a rule, takes a long time. In addition, after 10 pm it can be very difficult to get to the suburbs;
  • You will have to go far for groceries. Unlike traditional stores in Russia and the CIS countries “around every corner”, here you will face a situation when the nearest decent supermarket may be 2-3 km from your home;
  • The situation is the same with schools, which is especially inconvenient for primary school children;
  • And of course, to come to New Zealand and not enjoy country car trips on weekends, in our opinion, is just a crime!

Used or a new car

The ideal way to buy a vehicle is to buy a new car from an official dealer. Auckland has dealerships for all well-known brands.

If the purchase of an expensive new car is not yet included in your plans, then we suggest paying attention to the used car market, which is represented by a large number of car dealers, as well as individuals selling mainly their own cars.


From whom to buy a car in New Zealand

Purchase from an Individual


  • A large selection of all kinds of cars of different price categories and in different conditions;
  • You can safely bargain and reduce the price by about 10%, and even more, if you are lucky and the sale is urgent, for example, in connection with the widespread here “moving abroad”.


  • Disunity. Sellers can be located in different parts of the city and it will take all day to see several selected cars;
  • No warranty of any kind. Therefore, if you are not an experienced auto mechanic, then we highly recommend carrying out a car inspection in one of the city’s car services. This is a paid service with an average cost of $ 150. For this money, you will find out if the car has obvious problems and what problems need to be fixed for the next inspection.

Below are some reputable car dealerships that provide diagnostic inspection services:

Automobile Association (AA)
Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ)
Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ)

Purchase from a car dealer


  • A warranty, which can also in the form of insurance against minor technical problems within 1 year after purchase. If at the initial stage of car exploitation a serious malfunction is revealed that the insurance cannot cover, you can contact the seller with a request to fix the problem. According to local law, the buyer is always insured against the purchase of substandard goods and responsible sellers always act within the law in order to preserve their reputation.
  • Large assortment of cars in one place;
  • The cars have passed pre-sale preparation, which means you get a clean car which it is pleasant to drive;
  • Since the seller is not focused on selling a particular car, they can help you choose the right model based on your needs and conditions;
  • You can and should bargain;
  • When buying, the car dealer will independently make all the paperwork, and, if necessary, will help you get insurance.


  • The cost may be higher.

Where to buy

Online trading platform Trademe

It is New Zealand’s largest marketplace. Here you can find advertisements and auctions for the sale of cars from both private individuals and major car dealers. In the ad, the history of the car is available, which can also be viewed on the CarJam website using the car’s registration number. Short free reports are available and full reports are paid (free is usually enough).

Ellerslie Sunday Car Market

Opening hours from 9-12 every Sunday, except for official holidays. The car market presents used cars from individuals in different price categories. Here you can also use the service of technical inspection of the car you are interested in, as well as register the purchased car for yourself.

Car dealers

Auckland has a large number of car dealers selling used cars, both used and not used in New Zealand. If possible, give preference to the larger and more reliable ones. For example, such as:

What to pay attention to when buying a car

The inspection expiration date (Warrant of fitness or WOF). The sticker announcing the date of the next inspection is located in the upper right part of the windshield. According to the legislation, the inspection must be carried out every 6 months if the car was produced before 2000 and once a year if after. Operation of a vehicle without a valid WOF is prohibited, so the longer until the next inspection, the better. The cost of passing the technical inspection is about $ 40 + the cost of troubleshooting if any are identified.

The license expiration date. A license is actually a tax on a vehicle. The license is purchased for 1/3/6 or 12 months. Vehicle operation after license expiration is prohibited, therefore it must be updated timely. You can do it online, or by visiting:

Tires. It is worth paying attention not only to the condition of the tires but also to ensure that all tires on the wheels are the same since in New Zealand only tire size and tread height are regulated. It is often possible to find a car with different tires on all four wheels, which can be unsafe.

Cambelt. As a rule, it must be replaced every 100,000 km. Some cars have a cam chain instead of a belt, which should be replaced less often, usually every 200,000 – 250,000 km. Therefore, if you buy a car with a mileage close to these figures, you should inquire whether the belt was replaced, since the procedure is quite expensive (about $ 750) and significantly affects the final cost of your car, or find a car with a chain mechanism.

If there was any scheduled maintenance. As a rule, during maintenance, the service centre issues a list of the work performed. Based on these data, it is possible to assess what work was done and how conscientiously the owner monitored the condition of the car. Not all car owners keep these papers, however, it is worth checking with the seller how and where he performed the service.

Windshield. Pay attention to the windshield, if there are even small chips on it, this can lead to a refusal to pass WOF and you will have to change the glass. Replacement costs start at $ 280.



Car loan

It is possible to get a loan for buying a car with a resident visa. For holders of a work visa, loans are extremely reluctant to issue.


Registration of the purchased car

Once you have found a suitable vehicle, you must replace the vehicle owner. If you have a New Zealand license, you can do this online, others need to visit:

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