COSTS & EXPENSE OF OWNING A CAR

Buying a car is a big investment and the numbers can seem a little overwhelming at first. Check out our guide below. We break it down so you can factor in all the costs. Click on the plus button and find further explanation about the cost.

 

Drive to the powerful Huka Falls near Taupo in the North Island.

$500 EXCESS ON ANY CLAIM

GET A QUOTE
COST OF CAR, CAMPERVAN OR MOTORBIKE - $1,200 to $4,500

The cost will depend on the time of year you are buying (supply & demand), the condition of the vehicle, the type of vehicle (car or campervan or motorbike) and the number of kilometres. A pre-purchase inspection will help  provide an accurate picture of the condition of the vehicle.

ANNUAL CAR LICENSING FEE - $290

Vehicle licensing is a fee you pay to the government to use your vehicle on public roads. You can purchase this in 1-12 month periods. The sticker on the front of the windscreen with the number plate & make & model of car is the licensing label that provides you with information about the expiration of the car license.

WARRANT OF FITNESS CHECK EVERY 6 MONTHS - $45

This is a car safety check that is usually performed every 6 months. This check can be done at car inspection stations all around the country. The cost is approximately NZD$50 (per check) and if your vehicle does not pass this test then you as the car owner are responsible for the cost of any servicing or maintenance work that is required for it to pass the safety check.

BREAKDOWNS OR REPAIRS - $200 to $1000 (OR MORE)

If you can we recommend putting aside some money to cover the cost of any mechanical repairs. It will be great peace of mind knowing this money is there. Any money left over can be used for one last skydive or bungy jump in New Zealand.

DIESEL ROAD USER CHARGES - $48.00 PER 1,000 KM TRAVELLED

If you purchase a vehicle that runs on diesel fuel you will need to pay an additional road user tax of approximately NZD$48 per 1000 km. This tax can be paid at any Post Office in New Zealand or online at the New Zealand Transport Agency.

PRE-PURCHASE INSPECTIONS - $140

If you are not mechanically minded this is a good way of getting an indication of the likely performance of the car. Read more about them here.

VEHICLE INFORMATION REPORT - $20 to $30

Check the history of the car. This could help you tell if the odometer been wound back. You can read if there is any money owed on the car. Is the car reported stolen? Is the seller the registered owner? The report can be produced quickly and at a low cost. Head to www.motorweb.co.nz for a report.

FUEL - $2.20 PER LITRE

Unleaded 91 is the most common fuel and the cheapest option for a petrol driven car. In March 2013 the cost of this was NZD$2.20 per litre. Fuel prices do fluctuate in New Zealand. For up to date prices check out www.pricewatch.co.nz.

THIRD PARTY CAR INSURANCE - $193 TO $396

The price here depends on your age and whether you would like third party liability insurance or pay for additional fire & theft coverage.

LET'S BREAK IT DOWN & LOOK AT SOME EXAMPLES

A 6 WEEK ROAD TRIP

  • $3,000 – Cost of Toyota Corolla, 1999, 150,000km
  • $100 – 3 months of vehicle licensing
  • $45 – One Warrant of Fitness inspection
  • $180 – Cost of vehicle & 1 passenger to travel from Wellington to Picton
  • $250 – Mechanical repairs for brakes and replacement of one tyre
  • $140 – Pre-purchase inspection before buying the car
  • $20 – Vehicle Information Report
  • $1,320  – 6,000km travelled. $2.20c per litre. 10 litres of fuel per 100km
  • $246- 3 months coverage including fire & theft for a driver over 25 years of age

TOTAL OF $5,301

CAR SOLD TWO DAYS BEFORE FLYING OUT FOR $2,200

TOTAL SPENT = $3,101

 A 12 MONTH WORKING HOLIDAY

  • $3,000 – Cost of Toyota Corolla, 1999, 150,000km
  • $290 – 12 months of vehicle licensing
  • $45 – Two x $45 for Warrant of Fitness inspections
  • $360 – Ferry Crossing from Wellington to Picton return
  • $650 – Mechanical repairs for brakes and replacement of 4 tyres
  • $140 – Pre-purchase inspection before buying the car
  • $20 – Vehicle Information Report
  • $3,300  – 15,000km travelled. $2.20c per litre. 10 litres of fuel per 100km
  • $364- 3 months coverage including fire & theft for a driver over 25 years of age

TOTAL OF $8,244

CAR SOLD TWO DAYS BEFORE FLYING OUT FOR $2,000

TOTAL SPENT = $6,244

RIDE SHARING

You can save money on the cost of fuel by offering for others to ride share with you.  Post notices up in backpackers or use online forums.

 

FREEDOM OF TRAVELLING

With your own car you get to control where you travel, with whom and when you want to.

YOU WILL BE EARNING MONEY ON A WORKING HOLIDAY

If you are here on a working holiday remember that you will be working and earning money. Similar to if you owned a car in your home country, you would be spending money on fuel and maintaining your vehicle.