Importing a vehicle into New Zealand
We’re here to help, whether you require information or want us to carry out some of the process for you.
Importing a vehicle permanently
We’re approved by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to certify imported light vehicles for personal use.
Before a vehicle (car, van, camper, or motorcycle) can be driven on New Zealand roads, there are a number of requirements to be met - summed up into five steps.
1. Identify requirements for importing your vehicle
2. Prove whether your vehicle standards meet the import criteria for New Zealand
3. Prepare your vehicle for import (cleaning & license cancellation)
4. Shipping, Customs, and Border clearances
5. Vehicle Entry Certification (on-road inspection)
If it’s advice you want and direction to one of our many entry compliance centres (located at most New Zealand arrival ports) or to go one step further, we can take the hassle out of the shipping, Customs and on-road process by organising it for you (conditions apply).
Shipping to Compliance package
Ask us about our extra service where we can organise your vehicle to be shipped, cleared, and inspected for the road, ready for collection at one of our compliance centres, all for a set price. This applies primarily for vehicles coming from the UK and Australia.
Importing a vehicle temporarily
Tourists visiting New Zealand can temporarily import a car, bike, or camper duty free for a period of 12 months. Unlike permanent importation, entry certification is not required. The vehicle can display its existing plates while being driven here. There are two methods this can be achieved, either a Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD Carnet) or as a Customs Temporary Import.
This is a document much like a passport but for your vehicle, and must be organised prior to shipping your vehicle to New Zealand. A Carnet is obtained through an authorised issuer (often a motoring organisation) in the country the vehicle is licensed in.
New Zealand Customs Import Entry
This is where a bond is held by the New Zealand Customs authorities. This bond will cover the relevant Goods and Services Tax (GST) that would be required if the vehicle was lost or sold in NZ. The bond amount is dependent on the vehicle type and value. It is returned when the vehicle leaves New Zealand within the allowable timeframe. This method is best carried out with the assistance of a Customs broker.
For either method, there are certain requirements that must be met:
1. The importer must not be a resident or citizen of New Zealand, this concession is for tourist purposes only
2. The vehicle must remain licensed in its country of origin
3. The vehicle must pass a Safety Inspection/Warrant of Fitness (Wof) in New Zealand before being used on the road
4. The relevant ACC licensing premium must be paid. 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.