Below information is given as a guide only and is subject to change by the local authorities.
On the 1st January 2012 the import regulations changed which restrict the type of car you can now import into NZ. The regulations do differ depending on which country you are importing the car from, so below I have outlined the basic regulations from the 3 most common importing countries which are UK, USA and Australia.
Cars shipping from UK
- The car must be Euro 4 compliant or better, this is in relation to the emissions of the car. If you are not sure ask the seller to check the compliance plate on the car.
- If you buy the car from a Dealer or from an Auction House, then you also need to get an HPI Report done, this is to prove ownership of the car, and also to show there is no money owing on the car. This is to protect you against buying stolen cars, and or cars that have money owing on them.
- But: If you are a NZ or Australian resident, and have owned the car for more than 12 months in AU, and been out of NZ for more than 21 months, you can import the car under an "Immigrants Concession". If you meet this criteria then it doesn't matter what the car is or how old it is. But it will still need to meet the NZ Road Regulations to become road registered and get a warrant of fitness. Also if you meet this criteria then you will be able to apply for GST Exemption, this will save you thousands of dollars already.
Cars shipping from Australia
- Must have been manufactured in 2010 or later.
- If you qualify for the "Immigrants Concession as outlined above then you can bring in any car. If you qualify for the "immigrants Concession" you will also qualify to apply for GST Exemption
Cars shipping from USA
- If the car was manufactured prior to 1989 there are no rules, you can bring it in.
- Manufactured from 1990 – 2004 you will need a "Special Interest Car Permit" as well as a "Category A Left Hand Drive Permit". Both of these forms can be downloaded from the NZTA website.
- Manufactured from 2005 onwards you will only need the "Category A Left Hand Drive Permit"If you qualify for the "Immigrants Concession as outlined above then you can bring in any car.
- If you qualify for the "immigrants Concession" you will also qualify to apply for GST Exemption
The above points are the basics from the 3 main Import countries, I do recommend that you consult with an Entry Certifier in New Zealand before committing to a purchase of any car, from anywhere in the world. You don't want to run the risk of having a car which doesn't get compliance here. Worst case scenario: You don't do any research around this; you have spent a lot of money and time on importing a car that you can do nothing with. You will never be able to legally drive it on the road, and you won't be able to sell it for this reason. Please make sure you do the research before committing any money to any car.