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We have just moved out to New Zealand from the UK.

Because we have obtained residency in NZ, we were told by the Immigration department that there would be no duty charged on our vehicle if we decided to bring it to NZ with us (as long as we did not sell it for 2 years).

With this in mind we paid for a larger container and shipped over our 11 year old Mitsubishi Pajero.

Approximately one month before shipping, the Pajero had passed its regulatory safety inspection which I believe is similar to a Warrant of Fitness check in NZ.

On arrival in NZ it was taken to an authorised compliance centre for the necessary checks and for the registration to be sorted.

The inspection revealed structural corrosion issues and we have been told this must be repaired before the compliance can be signed off.

Apparently this is a common fault with cars from the UK. The Pajero has now been taken to a place of repair. We have been told the costs will be in excess of $1000 plus more money for the repair to be signed off officially.

Have you any suggestions how we can get around these extreme costs?

I am so cross that this was not explained prior to us shipping the vehicle, especially with it being an apparent common fault with vehicles out of the UK.

I want to let as many UK people know about this matter and will be advising them against bringing their cars over.


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 17 December, 2010


Unfortunately there is little you can do but pay for the required repairs and certification.

Every used import that comes into NZ must undergo a similar inspection to ensure it meets the required safety standards. Rust is certainly not uncommon, but not every vehicle from the UK fails its inspection for this reason.

In some ways those offering advice on shipping vehicles from the UK are in a no-win situation. They can’t say don’t bring a particular vehicle out to NZ and neither can they say it will automatically pass its regulatory safety inspection.

What they should say is a thorough safety inspection is required including a check of the structural integrity of the vehicle. It's then over to the owner to make the call on whether to ship the vehicle or not.

Immigration are not the right people to ask specific questions like this in my view. They will simply point out the process required as they have little practical experience on these matters.

We receive emails on a daily basis from people looking to immigrate to NZ, all asking specific questions about the costs and compliance process their vehicles need to undergo.

I’m sorry but there is little you can do now the vehicle is in NZ.