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Buying a Car in New Zealand

Without a doubt, the best way to get around New Zealand is by car. There are so many beautiful places to stop off that it's a shame to have to rush by on a bus. Having a car gives you total freedom and buying on in New Zealand is a pretty easy process. I bought one shortly after I arrived for $250 and was able to sell it 4 months later for $400. I wasn't actually planning on buying a car at all but one sort of fell into my lap and I got a great price, so I just went along with it and I'm so glad I did. I'll try to explain how to find a car and what sort of paperwork you need to get in order in this article.

Where to Find a Car

Depending on what time of year you arrive you'll have either an easy time or a potential headache finding a car. The tourist season kicks off around December and there will be lots of new arrivals looking for a limited number of cars. Best bet is to look for a car as the tourist season comes to an end (around May) and people are looking to unload their vehicles. But most people arrive in NZ in December with good reason and it doesn't make sense to plan your entire trip around when the best month to buy a car is, so even if you arrive as things are getting busy, there are still places to look for a bargain.

My Car - Godzilla

New Zealand's answer to eBay is called Trade Me and is a good place to look for a good deal. Notice boards in backpacker's hostels are another great place to look , especially in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch as they have international airports and people tend to either start or end their trips in these cities. Most major cities will have a car fair or car auction so ask around once you get to town. Checking the local paper for private sales or heading to car dealerships will also give you some more options. At the start of the tourist season the best cars will go fast so make sure you get yourself a mobile photo and don't count on emailing the seller back and forth.

I bought my car from an American guy I met on an eco-village in the middle of nowhere. He was due to leave in a week and had to offload it for cheap. I've hear that some people who are unable to sell their cars end up leaving them parked at the airport with the keys inside and a note saying 'take it' but this could just be an urban legend!

Warrant of Fitness

Also put pre-purchase check in here...

Registration (Rego)

Credit Check

Transferring Ownership

Car Insurance & Breakdown Assistance

Selling Your Car

By: Kirsty Henderson
February 2007 - Australia - Canada - Europe - New Zealand - - 2005 Kirsty Henderson