4 min read

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.
Buying a Car Online in New Zealand

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Expert car shipping services at low-cost — trusted by thousands of car owners across NZ. Any Car Type.
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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, and read the online reviews 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?

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!

Car transport service

Expert car shipping services at low-cost — trusted by thousands of car owners across NZ. Any Car Type.
Car type
Newshub Stuff SCOOP Yahoo!

What do our customers say?

Read reviews of Wise Move to learn stories from our customers.
Toyota Celica
Stanmore Bay, Whangaparāoa
Reviewed 5 hours ago
Excellent service, highly recommended.
New Plymouth
Reviewed 9 hours ago
Amazing service, communication was top notch throughout the entire process. Highly recommend!!!
Mount Victoria, Wellington
Tainui, Dunedin
Reviewed 2 days ago
We really appreciate all Damon's efforts throughout the process of organising and transporting the car from the Nth Island to the South. He was brilliant! The seller in WLG and the buyer in DUD are thrilled with his attitude, his care and delivery. Thank you Damon and TraxxDT!
Dihatsu Terios
Reviewed 2 days ago
Great to deal with. Would use again. Communication was great & was fat delivery.
Subaru Forester
Albany, Auckland
Reviewed 2 days ago
Dude was great! 100% use this company again. Thank you Coastal Towing 🍻
Rototuna, Hamilton
Reviewed 3 days ago
Fantastic service, great communication. Driver was very helpful and friendly.
Holden Rodeo
Stoke, Nelson
Reviewed 4 days ago
Easy and quick collection
Miramar, Wellington
Reviewed 6 days ago
ASAP were awesome from start to delivery. Everything went smoothly and communication with Mark was great. Totally satisfied with this transporting company. Thank you to the drivers as well. Deirdre

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