Whether you have been travelling around New Zealand for one month or twelve, selling your car, campervan or motorbike is likely to be signalling the end of your trip in New Zealand. It is also the time for you to recoup some of the investment you made when you purchased your vehicle.

Here are our top tips for selling your car in New Zealand:

  • Decide on a realistic price. If you are unsure of how to price your car, jump on to the Trade Me website and look at what comparable cars are listed for. If you are keen to sell and are willing to negotiate you can use the term ‘or near offer’ or ONO.
  • Decide where and when you want to sell. We recommend giving yourself two or three weeks to sell, this will put a lot less pressure on you. However you may also prefer to have your car up until the last minute.  Auckland is generally considered a good place to sell because of the high number of backpackers arriving in the city each week. However, places such as Queenstown or seasonal work hot spots like Marlborough and the Bay of Plenty may also provide good opportunities for selling your car to other backpackers (depending on the time of year).  Prior to the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010/2011, this city was considered to be a popular place to sell a vehicle but it is yet to attract the same number of backpackers as it did pre-earthquake.
  • Clean up the car. Wash stations are available in most large towns and cities around the country or you may have other means to access a hose, brush and vacuum cleaner. Give the interior and exterior a thorough clean so that your car is in the most presentable state it can be. If that is not appealing you could always splash out and get your car professionally cleaned at places such as Carfe.
  • Create a good advert. If you are creating an advert then include an image of the car and details including:
    –              The asking price
    –               Kilometres the car has travelled (what is showing on the odometer)
    –               If the car in manual or automatic
    –               When the registration and warrant of fitness expires
    –               When it was last serviced (if applicable)
    –               If it has recently had work done to it (such as new brakes or tyres).
    –               Remember to include your contact details (i.e mobile number and email address)
  • Get busy advertising. Pin up notices in backpacker’s hostels in the location you are trying to sell.  Try online noticeboards such as on Backpackerboard, Back-Pack Car & you could also advertise your car on Trade Me or try selling it at Turners Car Auctions.
  • Write an advert up for the car window. While you are driving and parked up you never know who will be driving or walking part looking to buy a vehicle. Be sure to include your contact details.
  • Weekend car fairs are located in Christchurch and Auckland. Both these cities also have backpacker car markets which especially designed for travellers to sell their cars. The Ellerslie Car Fair is held every Sunday morning in Auckland and is popular for locals. Aim to get there early as the keen buyers are likely to be first through the gates!
  • Stuck for a sale and leaving the country now!
    Try websites such as Cash 4 Cars and auto wreckers. They will likely be happy to take your car off you but be prepared to sell it for less money.
  • Complete the correct paperwork. The MR13A form otherwise known as the notice by person selling or disposing of motor vehicle needs to be filled in when you sell your vehicle. Do not leave the country until this has been completed. Legally when you sell your vehicle you are required to independently notify the New Zealand Transport Agency of New Zealand If you do not do this you are liable to receive a fine of up to $1,000, but you could also be liable for any fines and fees on the vehicle that you have sold to someone else. You can submit the MR13A form at any post office in New Zealand.Until the car is legally in the new owners name then you will be liable for any fines associated with the car.The NZTA recommend that you do not hand over the vehicle to the new owner until you have witnessed (from the buyer) ether:
    – the acquisition receipt, or
    – email confirmation of completed paperwork online, or
    – the receipt section of the MR13B form that the buyer of the car is to complete out.
  • Don’t want to carry cash from the sale of your car? If you have closed your bank account in New Zealand, or maybe you never had one, then think about how you will deal with the financial side of the car selling process. Will you be comfortable carrying a large amount of cash out of the country or would you prefer to take that cash to the bank and get an international bank draft? These are bank cheques that are made out to you in which ever currency you ask for. You will pay a fee but it can provide great peace of mind as an alternative to carrying a large amount of cash.

Your car insurance will not be transferable to the new owner of your car. They will need to arrange insurance in their own name. Travellers Car Insurance provides low cost insurance for periods of 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Insurance policies can be purchased online through this website for instant coverage.