4 min read

Buying a Car Online in New Zealand

By · August 4, 2022
Buying a Car Online in New Zealand

Global events are changing the way we shop, and more and more consumers are heading to the web to purchase high-value goods. So, is it possible to buy a car in New Zealand online? The answer is yes.

Kiwi Car Culture

We rely on our cars in New Zealand – with limited public transport options, car travel is most definitely king. We also tend to hold on to our cars for many years, meaning NZ also has one of the oldest vehicle fleets by international standards. The average age of the NZ light vehicle fleet is approximately 13 years.

Covid has, of course, impacted the market. New car sales are lower than before the pandemic, and many independent used car dealerships have closed due to a lack of available imported vehicle stock and faltering customer confidence.

There are still plenty of choices, however, and buyers need to do precisely the same things online that they’d do when buying a car physically.

Where to buy

Head to your preferred big brand car dealerships for “new”. On a tighter budget? Make the well-regarded used-car chains (Turners, 2CheapCars, etc.) your first online stop and also check out Autotrader and Trade Me.

Do your research!

Take your time, compare prices with similar makes, models and mileages, read the online reviews and while there are plenty of great deals to be done privately, bear in mind that if it’s too good to be true, there might be a catch!

Economy and efficiency?

Not looking for a specific vehicle but want to check safety ratings and green credentials to help you choose? Rightcar, the Government-backed website, helps vehicle buyers choose safer, cleaner and more efficient cars. You can check fuel economy, safety, air pollution and carbon emission ratings across every conceivable make and model.

The camera never lies?

One of the obvious problems in buying online is that each car is only as good as its photos. So, once again, take the time to study all exterior and interior shots carefully and compare them with similar models from other sources. Read and re-read the description. Then read it again, just to be sure. A good listing will also indicate all necessary background check information for ultimate peace of mind (all car listings on Trade Me now come with a background check).

Bring in an expert

It is recommended and expected to get an independent mechanical check before buying any used car in New Zealand. A trusted and professional opinion can assess whether the car needs maintenance or has hidden problems. These services are easy to find online. The AA, for example, offers an AA Vehicle Appraisal service by an experienced mechanic. For a more thorough 100+ point vehicle check, the AA Pre Purchase Inspection costs around $200.

Extra layer of protection

Now the safety side is in order, it’s essential to check ownership history, that there is no debt owed on the vehicle, that it hasn’t been involved in any previous accidents, and that the vehicle is correctly and currently licensed and registered. This won’t be a concern if you buy online from a dealer, but it can be useful for private purchases. Rightcar, Jam and MotorWeb are excellent and take their information from Government registries.

Choosing finance options online

Plenty of finance options are available, so take your time to compare each deal. You’ll find handy finance calculators on all the good websites. Dealerships often organise car finance through a range of lenders and will work with you to find a deal that suits and keeps you on track financially. Applying takes minutes and looks for low fixed interest rates and flexible deposit options.

After purchase

Once you've bought a vehicle, remember to inform NZ Transport Agency as soon as possible by putting it in your name online. It only takes a few minutes and costs $9.

Straight to your door

Click-and-collect and free showroom-to-home delivery is becoming more popular. New and used-car dealers are operating in a competitive landscape, where every customer counts so, why not ask if they provide that service for a genuinely contactless car-buying experience?

Need your new car brought to you?

Car transport service

Expert car shipping services at low-cost — trusted by thousands of car owners across NZ. Any Car Type.
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Did you know we provide a specialist car transport delivery service just for you? We can collect your new vehicle purchase from another town or island in New Zealand and deliver it straight to your home.

No need to waste time and money on travelling, flying and driving – we can take care of that for you, and all from as little as $200! Want to know more? Check out our dedicated Car Transport Service page, Customer Reviews and everything else you need to know for a hassle-free and ultimate peace-of-mind car delivery service right to your door!

What do our customers say?

Read reviews of Wise Move to learn stories from our customers.
$750
Christchurch
Awapuni, Palmerston North
10
Darren
Reviewed 9 hours ago
Couldn't have been better. Ben delivered our new car in top condition. Would gladly use his services again!
$545
Avalon, Lower Hutt
Belmont, Auckland
10
Nyasha
Reviewed 11 hours ago
100% recommend this business.
$645
Helensville
Awapuni, Palmerston North
10
Cary
Reviewed 1 day ago
Pick up my truck Monday in Auckland. Get it on Tuesday morning (Palmerston north). The best price i can find. And driver with good communication! Thank you!
$1,550
Burleigh, Blenheim
Saint Heliers, Auckland
10
Andrew
Reviewed 2 days ago
Picked up classic car for me at a private address in the South Island and transported to Auckland and delivered to driveway three days later keeping me in touch all the way through. Just brilliant and couldn’t offer a higher recommendation. Thanks Kyle.
$2,350
Toyota tundra trd pro
Castor Bay, Auckland
Cromwell
10
Darren
Reviewed 2 days ago
I couldn't have asked for a better service. My American truck left Auckland on a Friday, and arrived in Cromwell Monday. Thanks guys
$890
Saint Heliers, Auckland
Carterton
10
Peterc
Reviewed 3 days ago
Nice guy (driver) kept us updated with his movements and expected delivery time arriving exactly when he said he would.😀
$2,050
Pakuranga, Auckland
Gorge Road, Queenstown
10
Pjfree
Reviewed 3 days ago
Very happy with service
$335
Levin
Rangitumau
10
Nick
Reviewed 3 days ago
Awesome job. Drivers went above and beyond. I could not be happier.

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