Emigrating to NZ: Sell or Ship Your Vehicle?

This is a guest post by Kristina Bijelic.

In recent years, many Americans have made the decision to pack up their memories and start a new life in New Zealand. Once that major decision has been made, it opens a can of worms about what to take and what to leave. Most people will, at some point, face the decision of whether they should ship their car to New Zealand, or sell it in America and buy a new car when they arrive in their new homeland.

New Zealand is a friendly country, only in part due to the Goods and Services Tax and compliance exemptions offered to immigrants. However, there are certain rules, and it the process can drag on a bit, especially when you’re not working with a professional importer. Before you even start the process of shipping your vehicle to New Zealand, ask yourself…

Is Your Vehicle Eligible for Use on New Zealand Roads?

To import a vehicle into New Zealand, you will need an entry certifier to certify that your vehicle meets the appropriate standards for use on New Zealand’s roads. If you want to handle the import on your own, you need to chat to an entry certifier at the start of the process to find out if your vehicle is suitable. The last thing you want is for the vehicle to arrive, and to be rejected after you have spent money on the import. This process is obviously only applicable to cars that will be used on the roads.

Sometimes, manufacturers recall vehicles that have design defects ranging from minor issues to major safety or performance issues. It’s important to check whether your vehicle is cleared for import into New Zealand. Some of the requirements include that your vehicle must have an accurately working odometer, and it must meet minimum frontal impact standards. You are responsible for obtaining the necessary proof of certification before you can register your vehicle.

Undergo an Entry Certification Inspection

Whether you’re shipping your car to New Zealand or selling it, a thorough inspection will go a long way to satisfying the New Zealand Transport Agency and providing you or a potential buyer (should you decide to sell) peace of mind. A qualified mechanic can test and certify your vehicle. Alternatively, entry testing can be done by any official testing station in New Zealand.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Vehicle to New Zealand?

Of course, you want to be sure that it costs less to ship your can to New Zealand than to sell it and buy a new one on arrival. Naturally, your car’s value and replacement cost will be the first consideration. In most cases, it’s worth looking into shipping your car if it is worth $5000 or more, or if you have a sentimental attachment to it. If it will cost too much to ensure your car meets New Zealand compliance standards, maybe it’s not worthwhile.

To ship your vehicle to New Zealand will require road freight auto transportation from your collection point to the nearest port, which could range from $200 to around $1,000. The ocean freight shipping will depend on the shipping distance between the U.S. port and the New Zealand port. This cost can vary from $3,400 to $4,300 and the shipping can take from as little as three weeks to approximately three months. Roll-on, roll-off shipments can be cheaper and faster.

The nice thing about shipping your vehicle to New Zealand is the fact that the country does not impose tariff duties on personal vehicles, except for motorhomes that are subject to a 10% customs duty. In fact, shipping your car to New Zealand is cheaper than it is to many other countries, provided you meet all the necessary requirements. However, it is usually a good idea to speak to a trusted, reliable auto transport company that can help facilitate the process on your behalf.


Further reading:

10 Things You Should Know About Driving in New Zealand

Healthcare in New Zealand

New Zealanders Keep Dialling 911 Instead of 111 and Here’s Why

Shipping Your Car to New Zealand: A Step by Step Breakdown

(This is a guest post by Jenna Oppenheimer.)

The need for international vehicle transport is intimidating for anyone unfamiliar with the process. There are so many details that mustn’t be ignored and trying to follow a foreign import policy can be extremely confusing. However, if you allow professional transporters to manage the overseas shipping process, the entire experience will be much less stressful and demanding. In fact, it is practically impossible to import a vehicle into New Zealand any other way. Fortunately, auto shipping services are cost effective and advantageous.

TruckAnyone can take advantage of overseas transport services to get a vehicle from the United States to New Zealand. What restricts some individuals from gaining permission for their automobiles to enter the country is the lack of compliance with the set import policies. A transporter is familiar of these policies. Even with the knowledge the transport company holds, calling the Embassy of New Zealand is highly suggested. The laws for import are in constant risk of change. You must be in compliance with the most recent policy in place.

If you need help with shipping your car overseas, you can contact A-1 Auto Transport International to help you throughout the process.

Step One: Schedule Your Transport and Call the Embassy

phone-293995_960_720Schedule your transport with a reputable international shipping company at least two months in advance. Then, call the Embassy for the set of laws regarding vehicle importation. There are several other matters that you must remain in control of too, if you wish to meet the strict deadlines you’re given during the preparation process. Your transport company will help you meet the import policy requirements and even go as far as collecting the pertinent proof needed for Customs’ approval.

Step Two: Collecting Proof for Customs

Collecting proof for Customs is often time consuming. With this being said, New Zealand happens to be one of the most easygoing countries when it comes to vehicle importation. There are hardly any restrictions set on the vehicles allowed to enter the country and it just so happens that New Zealand is one of the very few countries that remain duty-free. The only thing truly required aside from the standard documentation is proof that the vehicle passed the NZTA inspection. Below, are some of the forms you will need to present to Customs.

  • Vehicle Title and Registration
  • Proof of Insurance
  • License and Passport
  • Original Purchasing Invoice
  • Bill of Lading
  • An Accurate Odometer Reading
  • Visa or Work Permit

Step Three: Organize and Ready the Vehicle for Overseas Transport

fuel-meter-311685_960_720The transport company will always help you with the process of shipping, yet there are a few things they need you to be responsible for. The tasks requested by the transport company are to ensure the safety of the vehicle and those caring for it while it makes its way to its new home in New Zealand. The prepping should only take a day or so at most. The automobile will need to be cleaned inside and out. All fluids and tires should be topped off, except for the fuel. The gas tank should read no more than ¼ full. Alarm systems should be disabled and if asked, the battery should also be disengaged.

It is also highly suggested and even sometimes obligatory that a personal inspection is done before transport. Pictures of the vehicle should be taken and any damages the vehicle suffers from should be noted. This will help with your final inspection after the vehicle’s arrival in New Zealand so that you can assure that no further damages were attained during its international travels.

Step Four: The Drop Off and Pick Up

car-312338_960_720When all facets of the auto import policy have been addressed for the Customs office to give their certification of approval and the car has been prepped for transport, the vehicle is ready to take off. Drop the vehicle off at the designated terminal or port if you didn’t purchase door to door services. Make sure you arrive on schedule.

As the automobile makes its way towards New Zealand borders, it can be witnessed through real-time satellite tracking services. These services are usually free of charge and very beneficial. It is crucial that you are at the port the day that the vehicle is due to arrive. Tracking services will help you monitor the vehicle’s progression during the shipping process so that you are more aware of its arrival, although an auto transport is good at sending out reminders and alerts.

crate-310787_960_720When you pick your vehicle up from port, you should give it a quick yet thorough inspection. Make sure that there are no new markings that could have been due to the shipping process. If you see anything of concern, inform the transport company in case it is necessary to file an insurance claim.

Jenna Oppenheimer, a native to Florida, USA, calls the paradise of Costa Rica home. She enjoys the natural beauty of her present country and spends much of her time surfing in the ocean, hiking in the mountains, or writing about her travel experiences. She is 22 years old and previously attended Florida Atlantic University where she studied for a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.