Despite the Covid-19 restrictions experienced over the past 20 months, more NZ motorists are making the move into a new vehicle this year, with sales of both new passenger and commercial vehicles up by 38 per cent year-to-date.

FordRanger Blog

Ford Ranger

Kiwis who were once dabbling with the idea of going electric appear to be making the move to either Plug-in Petrol Hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) or Battery Electric vehicles (BEVs) with an increase of 211 per cent in PHEV sales and 301 per cent in BEV sales year-to-date.

MG ZS EV NZ Lifestyle Photo Blog


Some of this increased growth in sales is likely influenced by the incentives for cleaner options with the recently introduced government Clean Car Discount for BEVs and PHEVs, along with a concern that in 2022, subject to legislation being passed, there will be a fee for high-polluting vehicles based on the CO2 rating of the vehicle.

The government has delayed the proposed rollout of the Clean Car Discount with the Transport Minister Michael Wood announcing on 22 September 2021 that the current rebate scheme on EVs would stay the same until March 31, 2022. The Transport Minister announced that due to the disruption caused by the current delta outbreak, the expanded Clean Car Discount rebates and fees will begin from April 1 2021.

Minister Wood’s reasoning for the delayed rollout was; that it would “help give the industry more time to gear up”. However many models continue to experience the impacts of significant shipping delays due to the ongoing effects of Covid-19 and the global semiconductor shortage and AA Motoring continue to recommend enquiring about that car you want now if you want it in time for Christmas.

Interestingly Mitsubishi New Zealand has ordered a whopping 5000 new Triton utes for November and December 2021 delivery, in anticipation of high demand ahead of the Clean Car scheme coming into force next year. Regardless of the global impacts of Covid-19 and the Clean Car scheme, the new car market is certainly more popular than ever.

MitsiTriton Blog

Mitsubishi Triton

As tempting as it is to grab the keys to your new car as soon as possible, you should ensure that you’re happy with the car even if it is a brand new car that has travelled less than 100km. But this doesn’t guarantee the car is perfect, so take some time before you sign on the dotted line.

Buying a new carBlog

Here is a list of questions to ensure you are clear on before you sign on the dotted line.

  • Is it the same car you purchased?
  • Is it the right colour, shade, pearl, and does it have the correct features?
  • Take time to carry out a visual inspection of the paintwork to ensure there are no scratches, swirls or dents.
  • Ensure the panels are all aligned and blemish-free.
  • Inspect the windshield and window glass for cracks or chips.
  • Check all the lights – interior and exterior.
  • Check all the controls, like windscreen wipers, demisters, Infotainment and air-con, are all operating as they should.
  • Check under the bonnet and ensure all fluids are topped up.

But it’s new right?

Well yes, it’s a new car, but at the end of the day mistakes do happen. There could have been an error in the assembly process, or even a little scratch from when it was being transported. Once you have accepted the vehicle, it will be more difficult to prove that minor cosmetic damages happened before you took over ownership, so be sure to go over the vehicle with a fine toothed comb.

Take the guided tour

Before you set off on your first drive around the block, get the full guided tour of your new vehicle. You may know where the fuel cap release is or how to check the oil, but with technology constantly changing and improving, there could be a few things that need a bit of a demonstration.

Besides, all vehicle manufacturers are different, and simple things like tuning the radio or selecting gears can take a bit of getting used to. A good salesperson will take the time to go over all of the features, so make sure you’re paying attention. Feel free to take down notes and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Start your engines

A new engine means a running-in policy may apply. The hundreds of components that make up a car need time to settle and running in is believed to be the best way to do this. Sometimes the running in process will be described in your owner’s manual, but the basic idea is to put your new car through its paces with varying loads in different driving conditions and using all gears at changing speeds.

This means:

  • Don’t run the engine at high revs
  • Don’t drive at a constant speed, accelerate and decelerate often
  • Avoid extended idle periods
  • Avoid extra loads like towing or carrying excessive weight.

During the first month spend some quality time with your new vehicle and learn all its ins and outs. If you happen to hear or feel anything out of the ordinary, call the dealer who sold you the vehicle who should be able to resolve any issues. Following all of these steps will make the new vehicle ownership experience much easier - not to mention safer.

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