Buying a Used Car in New Zealand

If you’re planning a trip, or plan on living permanently in New Zealand, buying a used car is a cost-effective way of exploring all this country has to offer. Famous for its beautiful landscapes and is the main location where Lord of the Rings was filmed, this country makes any visitor fall in love fast. You need a reliable car that gets you where you need to go at any moment. Here are some tips for buying a used car in New Zealand.

There are many cheap options for buying a used car here. You can find quality vehicles between $1000 and $3000. The problem is you don’t know the car’s history, which makes it important that you read through the vehicle’s paperwork and perform a quality inspection before making any purchase.

Car Inspection

Performing a car inspection is essential before purchasing any vehicle. Make sure you inspect the car with the seller and check various places in the car. Check under the hood, inside the car, and outside the car. If you have a car expert friend, it is best to bring them with you because they could notice details you may not notice yourself during the inspection. A sunny, dry day is the best time to perform the inspection.

Test Drive The Car

You should always ask if you can test-drive an old car for multiple reasons. You want to make sure you feel comfortable driving your used car; whether it be a small vehicle or large, it’s important that you feel safe driving the car. If a seller refuses to let you test drive the car, this is a major red flag, and you should not purchase this vehicle.

Valid WOF

WOF (Warrent of Fitness) is the certificate that shows the vehicle is safe to drive in New Zealand. Driving without a WOF is illegal in New Zealand. WOF must be conducted on old cars every six months. You should check the date of the WOF to make sure it doesn’t expire soon, or else you will have to take your car to receive another WOF.

Where Do I Buy a Used Car

There are many car dealerships, car auctions, and newspaper classifieds that offer used cars. One of the largest car auctions is in Aukland. The Ellerslie Car Fair takes place every Sunday from 9 am to 12 pm. Other cities that are great for buying a used car are Wellington and Christchurch.

If you are only planning a short trip, a good idea is to buy a used car and then sell it at the end of your trip. You will save a significant amount on taxis and ubers, and it’s a much faster option than taking public transportation or walking to places.

Where do I Sell My Used Car?

One of the best places to sell your used car in New Zealand is at Kiwi Cash For Cars. They pay up to $8,999 for all makes and conditions of cars. They also offer car removal as a courtesy service and provide all legal paperwork for free.

Driving In New Zealand

In order to drive in New Zealand, you must have a driver’s license from your home country that is written in English. If you are visiting from a country that’s native language is not English, you need an IDP(International Driving Permit) or a translation approved by NZ Transport Agency. If you plan on staying in New Zealand for more than 12 months, you will need to get a New Zealand driver’s license because your home country’s driver’s license expires after 12 months here.

Before your trip, you should take time to study the road rules in New Zealand, as they may be different from the regulations in your home country. You could even take a quick one-day lesson here to familiarize yourself with driving in this country. There could be subtle differences in the way people drive here, so it’s best to follow these steps to avoid an accident.


Whether it be a long-term trip or a short adventure here, you should follow each of these tips in order to buy a used car successfully in New Zealand. Always remember to perform a car inspection, test drive the vehicle, check for a valid WOF, and learn the driving rules in New Zealand.

If you found this article useful, please leave a comment and let us know your opinion. Buying a car is a stressful process, but we hope these tips will help you make a great purchase in the future.


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