Importing a car into New Zealand

When you come to New Zealand you can consider bringing your vehicle with you. Before you leave, contact your local FIA or AIT for more information on the Carnet system.

You can also import a vehicle privately into New Zealand. There are a number of requirements that can be a bit tricky to navigate so we are here to help.

Get help Or call 0800 500 333

Permanent importation

If you want to import a car permanently into New Zealand, there are a number of legal requirements to be met.

We're approved by NZ Transport Agency, which means we can certify these imported, light used vehicles for personal use:

  • Cars
  • Station wagons
  • Vans
  • SUVs
  • 4WDs
  • Utes
  • Minibuses
  • Motorcycles

If you need help determining if your car can be imported into New Zealand, complete our enquiry form and we will be able to help. 

There are four steps to importing your car to New Zealand:

    • Identify the requirement for your vehicle for importation
    • Prove your vehicle meets import criteria
    • Preparing your vehicle for import
    • Importing your vehicle

Your vehicle will also need to pass bio-security and customs check before it arrives in NZ, however if you are emigrating you may be able to get certain exemptions.

Check out NZTA’s guide to importing a vehicle .


Tourists visiting New Zealand can temporarily import a car for up to 12 months. During this time, the car doesn't have to complete standard permanent importation certification. It can display its existing plates while being driven here and you won't have to pay importation taxes.

To do this, there are some requirements as the car must:

        • Be currently licensed in its country of origin
        • Be recorded on the Overseas Visitors Licence register
        • Pass a New Zealand Warrant of Fitness (WoF)
        • Have a current WoF sticker affixed to the windscreen

You must be a citizen of the country the car is registered in and you'll need to pay an Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) premium when you arrive in this country.

This is so that if you have an accident while driving in New Zealand, ACC may cover part of your medical bills. This premium-paid label must be affixed to your car's windscreen.

Ways to import your car

The Carnet system

This is a document much like a passport for your car. Arrange a Carnet de Passages en Douane (Carnet) through your local FAI/AIT before bringing your vehicle into New Zealand. Your car will be cleared at customs when it arrives in the country. While we can't process this clearance for you, we're happy to explain what's involved.

The Collector of Customs

Lodge a cash deposit with the Collector of Customs. This deposit needs to cover the relevant Goods and Services Tax. If you're bringing in a campervan, the deposit should also over the applicable duty


This varies depending on the vehicle and country of origin.

Do it online

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