car shipping to new zealand

Whether you’re importing cars over to New Zealand as a new immigrant, or for returning residence, car shipping to NZ is often a “no brainer” due to the many GST (Goods and Services Tax) and compliance exemptions available. At Taurus Logistics we’re known for being flexible, so you won’t need to worry about the red tape involved at NZ Customs and MPI – we’ll even go door to door if needed. Importing cars to New Zealand has never been easier!

80% receive a quote in 30 seconds! More complex jobs will receive a response within 24 hours.

Costs to Consider When Shipping a Car to New Zealand

From our experience if you have sentimental attachment or your car is worth over $5000, it's worth looking into. It pays to ensure your car meets the NZ compliance standards; if not, then it's not worth importing your car to New Zealand, unless its for off road use.

 Before you ship your car, or consider buying one overseas, please also check our comprehensive Pre-Shipment Checklist for importing cars to New Zealand.

Ports We Ship to in New Zealand

Taurus Logistics ship cars to many of New Zealand’s main ports, including Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. To make your shipping experience as hassle-free as possible, we’ll load your cargo onto a truck or a car carrier and have it delivered straight to your door.

Ports we ship to in New Zealand:

  • Auckland
  • Christchurch (Lyttelton)
  • Dunedin (Port Chalmers)
  • Nelson
  • Wellington
Map of New Zealand showing car shipping locations

How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car?

While it’s not possible to list the shipping times for every route Taurus Logistics offer, below are a few of our most popular routes. These are indicative transit times , and does not include all shipping lines, containers, or part container options. Please contact us to discuss container sailing dates, or for roll on roll off please refer to our RORO Sailing Schedule.

  • Australia to New Zealand – 10 days Approx.
  • New Zealand to Australia – 30 days Approx.
  • Europe to New Zealand – 50 days Approx.
  • USA to New Zealand – 45 days Approx.
  • New Zealand to Europe – 90 days Approx.
  • New Zealand to USA – 50 days Approx.

Information on car shipping to New Zealand

Check that your car meets frontal impact and safety compliance standards for New Zealand. Although most modern vehicles and motorhomes will comply with the New Zealand standards, there are new rules being introduced all the time.

However there are exceptions for returning residence, and new immigrants which allows you to import your car to New Zealand as long as you have owned and used the car for more than 12 months, and meet some other criteria.

Before embarking on a car import to New Zealand it is up to you to check your cars compliance. You can view a list of approved vehicles at the New Zealand Transport Agency, older ‘classic cars’ are exempt.

For entry the chassis will either require an approval chassis/vin plate or you'll require a manufacturers letter.

There are no restrictions on car importing, anyone can import a vehicle for off-road use or in a car collection. If you want to use your vehicle on-road it is your responsibility to ensure you meet all requirements.

Why does MPI stop and inspect clean cars?

All used vehicles are inspected by MPI on arrival even if they have a "Cleaning Certificate" or look clean. Only after this inspection is the cleanliness condition known.

Approx. 80% of all used cars fail inspection, but the cleaner you have your car the more likely it will pass and the lower the cleaning costs will be.

If your car does fail quarantine inspection, allow NZ$100-200 as an estimated to cover potential cleaning, and or vacuuming.

Fail Quarantine

Paying GST on Imported Cars

GST is payable at 15% on the landed value. This is calculated by; the cost of the vehicle, plus Insurance & Freight, otherwise known as the CIF price. However you may be exempt from GST(see next article), or we can depreciate your car if you have owned and used it overseas. Depreciation rates vary depending on how long you have owned and used it for. For more detail read How is my car valued for Customs.

Criteria for GST Exemption on imported cars

Depending on your immigration status you may be eligible for GST exemption on importing your car. We apply to New Zealand Customs on your behalf, and Customs review on a case by case basis. In general if you meet all below criteria you will be successful in exemption.

  • Be a first time immigrant or a returning New Zealand citizen.
  • If a returning citizen, you must have been out of New Zealand for over 21 months.
  • Be prepared to sign a deed where you agree not to sell the vehicle for at least 2 years.
  • Vehicle must have been owned and used for last 12 months.
    • …and you must provide the following documents:
    • Proof of ownership over the last 12 months
    • Purchase receipt for the vehicle or a current NZ valuation from a local dealer
You must be in New Zealand at the time of importation to be eligible for GST exemption

80% receive a quote in 30 seconds! More complex jobs will receive a response within 24 hours.

80% receive a quote in 30 seconds! More complex jobs will receive a response within 24 hours.