Shipping Your Motor Vehicle To New Zealand
If you are immigrating or returning to New Zealand and considering bringing your vehicle with you it is important to be aware of the requirements.
To be able to import a vehicle to New Zealand and drive it there, one has to go through a number of processes and fulfill some requirements. For example, your car or motor will have to be cleared with the NZ Customs, NZTA (New Zealand Transport Agency), and the Quarantine Service (biological security).
One of the first things you’ll have to do is to contact LTSA and find out if your vehicle can be imported to New Zealand in the first instance. Depending on the customer’s circumstances, the car may have to comply with “Omission” or “Frontal Impact” standards.
Once the vehicle arrives in New Zealand, it needs to get certified that it meets all the necessary safety standards, and it needs to be registered for the use on the road. To get approved, a vehicle first has to be cleared by Biosecurity and the Customs.
All motor vehicles, caravans, trailers, and motorcycles coming into the country have to be physically inspected by the Quarantine security. In case insects, animals, plants, or soil materials are found inside your vehicle, it will have to go through a steam cleaning. To avoid these expensive charges, we strongly advise you to have your means of transportation thoroughly cleaned (both on the inside and outside) before having it shipped.
Although there is no duty levied on cars and motors imported into NZ, there’s a 15% GST tax. However, this tax can be avoided if you meet specific criteria, such as holding a New Zealand passport.
Before a car, van, campervan or motorcycle can be driven on NZ roads you need to show that your vehicle meets the standards for NZ’s import criteria. Visit the NZTG.govt.nz site to check the standards that apply to your vehicle. Following this you need to have the documentation to prove these standards.
Related to the emissions of the vehicle, the car needs to be at least Euro 4 compliant (or better). If you are unsure about this, make sure to check your car’s compliance plate or talk to your seller.
In case you purchase the vehicle from an Auction House or a dealer, you’ll also need to get an HPI report done. You’ll need it to prove that the car is yours and that you own no money to the dealer or auction house you bought it from. Its purpose is to protect you from purchasing stolen vehicles, or vehicles that have some money owing to them.
If you’re a resident of New Zealand or Australia and have been out of New Zealand for more than 21 months, and you owned the vehicle for more than one year in Australia, you will be able to import it under an “Immigrants Concession.” In case you’re meeting these requirements, the type of your car and its age don’t matter. However, it will still have to meet New Zealand Road Regulations in order to become registered for the use on the road.
In this case, you’ll also have the ability to apply for GST Exemption, which could save you a lot of money.
To ship a car from Australia to New Zealand, the vehicle needs to have been manufactured in this decade – 2010 or later. However, if the owner qualifies for the above mentioned “Immigrants Concession,” he can bring in any car and also apply for the GST Exemption.
If the vehicle you’d like to bring in to New Zealand has been manufactured before 1989, you’ll be free to have it imported. In case it was made between 1990 and 2004, you will require a “Category A Left Hand Drive Permit” and a “Special Interest Car Permit”. Luckily, these can be downloaded from NZTA’s official website.
Cars manufactured between 2005 and now only require the user to have a “Category A Left Hand Drive Permit”. Once again, those who qualify for the “Immigrants Concession” are free to bring in any car, and also to apply for the GST Exemption.
How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car?
When shipping a vehicle to New Zealand, customers often ask how long the transportation will take. This is dependent on where you are shipping your vehicle from.
Shipping a car from the UK to New Zealand is approximately 50 days.
Shipping a vehicle from the US to New Zealand is approximately 45 days.
Shipping a car from Australia to New Zealand is approximately 30 days.
Shipping a vehicle from Europe to New Zealand is approximately 50 days.