CAR BUYING TIPS

First time buying a second hand car in New Zealand? Have a read of below of our handy tips to help you buy a low cost, reliable, used car, campervan or motorbike in New Zealand.

 

Kayak to Split Apple Rock in the Abel Tasman National Park. 

ALL TYPES OF CAMPERVANS, MOTORBIKES & CARS

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WHAT TYPE OF VEHICLE?

Are you comfortable driving a manual or automatic vehicle. Many older (& cheaper) cars are manual. 
How many people are you travelling with? How much luggage do you have? 
Do you plan to sleep in your car? If so it is popular amongst travellers to buy vans that have been converted in the back for sleeping.

 

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REQUEST IDENTIFICATION

If buying privately, ask the seller for personal identification. We recommend getting a car history check which will show you whether there are any outstanding loans for the vehicle and will tell you who the registered owner is. 

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IS IT A DOG OR A LEMON?

There is a great website called ‘The Dog & Lemon Guide’ that is updated annually. This online guide will provide you with extensive information about almost every type of vehicle available to purchase in New Zealand including car safety ratings, mechanical reliability and an overall performance rating.

BRAND MATTERS

Japanese cars (such as Toyota, Mitsubishi and Mazda) are the cars most commonly driven in New Zealand. Because of this there is a greater supply of car parts which means a cheaper cost to you if you need repairs. This is as opposed to European cars, which are less common here. In this case a small breakdown can sometimes create a large bill.

 

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COMPLETE YOUR PAPERWORK

Ask for the vehicle’s certificate of registration from the seller. Complete the change of ownership forms as soon as possible. This can all be done at any post office or Automobile Association branch in New Zealand

BEFORE YOU TEST DRIVE

If you are new to driving in New Zealand, read up on your New Zealand Road Code before you even test drive a car. It will be stressful enough to be driving on roads you are not familiar with & even harder if you are not used to driving on the left hand side of the road. You could even book a lesson with a local car driving instructor to get your confidence up.

 

GET A PRE-PURCHASE INSPECTION

pre-purchase inspection involves taking the car you are considering purchasing to a mechanic (or they may come to the location of the car). The mechanic will then give the car a visual inspection, an engine test and a road test and then provide you with a detailed report which will help you make a decision about buying the car.