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The Comprehensive Checklist for Car Transport Services in New Zealand

This guide is designed to help you navigate car transport services in New Zealand easier so you can learn the essential steps needed to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
By · June 1, 2024
The Comprehensive Checklist for Car Transport Services in New Zealand

Car transport services across NZ at low-cost

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When it comes to moving cross-country, getting your car from A to B can be one of the most stressful parts of your trip. Making sure your vehicle arrives safely at your new home requires a lot of planning and consideration. That's where a comprehensive checklist comes in handy.

This guide is designed to help you navigate car transport services in New Zealand so you can learn the essential steps needed to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

From selecting a reliable car transport company to preparing your vehicle for transport and understanding the various transport options available, following this checklist will mean that you've covered all the bases and that your car will be in good hands throughout its journey.

Here’s everything you need to know to ensure a seamless move and that your vehicle arrives safely at its new home.

Why use a car transport service in New Zealand?

Kiwis have a DIY attitude to many things, including moving house. A car transportation service can be a great option if you want to make your move that much easier.

Using the services of a car transport company leaves you with fewer things to worry about. All you have to do is drop your car off and let your transporters do the work!

Car transportation is also a great option if you have multiple vehicles that need to be moved or if you’ve bought or sold a car in another city and need it delivered to its final destination.

Find the right car transport service for your needs

Choosing the right car transport service is important for ensuring that your move goes as smoothly as possible and for making sure your car is in good hands. The last thing you want to do is discover dings or scratches on your beloved car after its delivery! That’s why doing your research is key.

Research and reviews

Make sure you thoroughly research a range of car transport companies. During this process, you should read online reviews on their website and via Google. This should help you gauge the reliability and quality of the service.

Use a third-party website you trust

Platforms like Wise Move provide a comprehensive list of vetted car transport companies, making the process of finding and reading reviews much easier.

Experience and expertise

Prioritise companies with a lot of experience in car transportation and a track record of great customer service. While you can find drivers via platforms like Marketplace (or even asking your own network of friends and family) to deliver your vehicle, it’s always better to go with a proper business. Experienced companies are better equipped to handle any challenges that may happen while they have your car.

Comparing costs and payments

Now that you’ve found a few companies you like the look of, you can start comparing prices. Make sure you include the cost of insurance, too. Some companies may want you to take out additional insurance, while others may not give you the coverage you want, and it can all add up in the final price.

Getting quotes

To make sure you're getting the best deal, get quotes from multiple car transport companies. This allows you to compare prices, services, and overall value. Use a platform like Wise Move to easily find and compare reputable transport options.

Breaking down costs

Make sure you know all the costs involved in moving your car. Ask questions about whether there are additional fees or surcharges such as petrol costs, expedited transport fees, or charges for parking or holding your vehicle services. Knowing these costs upfront can help you budget more accurately.

Payment methods

Most companies accept credit cards, bank transfers, or even PayPal. Make sure you are aware of any deposits or additional fees associated with using a credit card to book these services. Now is also a good time to ask about their refund policy if you want to cancel your booking.

Understand your transport options

When choosing transportation options, you’ll need to decide how you want your car shipped. You can usually choose an open or closed trailer and have your car delivered door to door or to a place where you can drop it off and pick it up.

Open vs. enclosed transport

Open transport is the most common and affordable way to ship your car within New Zealand. With open transport, your car is transported on an open trailer, often with other cars. This exposes your vehicle to weather and road debris, but it is cheaper. Enclosed transport is when your car is shipped in a closed trailer. This is more expensive but protects your car from the elements and potential damage. Closed transport is ideal for luxury or classic car shipping.

Door-to-door vs. depot-to-depot

Door-to-door transport involves the carrier picking up and delivering your vehicle directly to your specified locations. This is a great option if you are selling the car to someone in a different town or location, as it’s very convenient.

Depot-to-depot transport means you’ll have to drop off and pick up your car at designated depot terminals. This can be more affordable but may be less convenient in the long run.

Prepare your documentation

Your chosen company will need copies of your registration before you book your car in for transport. They’ll also need proof of ownership and a copy of your licence, passport or birth certificate.


Ensure that all registration documents are current and in order. This verifies that your vehicle is legally ready for transport. You can still transport a vehicle without a registration, but it will need to be delivered to its final destination. You won’t be able to pick it up and drive it home.

Proof of ownership

Some transportation companies will want proof of ownership to make sure that you are the rightful owner of the vehicle. You’ll also need a copy of some personal ID to help them verify ownership.

Transport agreement

Once you’ve confirmed where you’d like your vehicle shipped, you’ll be given a transport agreement. Make sure you read any special terms and conditions so that you’re aware of your rights and responsibilities during the transport process.

Book your vehicle transportation in advance

When it comes to using car transport services in New Zealand, try and book your transport as far in advance as possible. This will allow for cheaper rates than a last-minute booking.

Booking in advance

To ensure there’s room for your car and to take advantage of the best rates, book your car transportation as far in advance as you can. Peak moving seasons in New Zealand are over spring and summer.

October to February can be busy for moving in general and may mean you are paying more to have your car moved. You can use a third-party website like Wise Move to find the best car transport rates in New Zealand.

Delivery timeframe

Confirm the estimated delivery timeframe with your transport company ahead of time. It’s a good idea to have some flexibility with your delivery times, especially if your vehicle is being delivered inter-island.

Weather conditions and road conditions may cause delays (especially if your car is on a ferry crossing the Cook Straight).

Clear communication with your transport company can help you manage expectations and prepare for any delays.

Clean your car thoroughly before transport

Properly preparing your car for transport is good for your vehicle and a sign of respect to the company you’re entrusting it to. No one wants to drive a dirty car. If you are shipping your car overseas, you’ll definitely need to do this step to ensure it passes the inspection check.

Cleaning the car

Start by thoroughly cleaning your car inside and out. This makes the inspection process easier (if you’re moving overseas) or ensures your car is in good condition for you or the next owner at the journey's end. It’s also easier for the transport company to accurately assess the vehicle's condition before and after it’s transported.

Documenting condition

Before handing over your car, take photos and note any existing damage to your car. This will serve as a record that can help resolve any disputes if damage occurs during transport.

Removing personal items

In some cases, you may want to use your car as an extra place to store objects during your move.

Before you pack your car, make sure the transportation company is okay with this as you may be charged for the extra weight while other companies may not want expensive items to be stored in the vehicle.

What to expect during transportation of your vehicle

Knowing what to expect during transportation can help put your mind at ease. Before booking you should ask what type of communication you’ll get from the driver and whether tracking is offered as an option.

Tracking the vehicle

If available, take advantage of any vehicle tracking services your chosen partner offers. This can allow you to monitor the progress of your car in real-time, providing peace of mind and up-to-date information on where your vehicle is.

Communication with the driver

Make sure you understand how often you’ll get communication from the driver or the company. Communication will differ from company to company, and regular updates can help you stay informed about any delays or changes in the delivery schedule.

What to do once your car is delivered

Once your car is delivered, the hard part is done! But that doesn’t mean the car transportation process is over. You should still complete an inspection of your car to make sure you’re happy with the process.

Inspecting the car

Once delivered, you should thoroughly inspect your car, comparing it to the pre-transport photos you took. Look for any new damage or discrepancies and document them right away. Some companies will want you to sign for your vehicle when it’s delivered.

Don’t be afraid to take your time to inspect your car thoroughly.

Resolving Issues

If you find any damage or issues with the delivery of your car, report them to the transport company immediately. Follow their specific claims process, providing all necessary documentation and details to resolve the issue quickly.

Need car transportation services in New Zealand?

Wise Move combines all of New Zealand’s car transportation services in one place, making it easy to find a mover you trust and secure the best price.

Car transport services across NZ at low-cost

Expert car shipping service. Trusted by thousands of car owners across NZ.
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What do our customers say?

Read reviews of Wise Move to learn stories from our customers.
Toyota Ipsum
Wiri, Auckland
Reviewed 19 hours ago
Very prompt and Easy to deal with. Vehicle was picked up at arranged time and promptly delivered in Excellent condition.
Ford Falcon
Manurewa East, Auckland
Reviewed 23 hours ago
Awesome service gold stars all round
Welcome Bay, Tauranga
Auckland CBD, Auckland
Reviewed 1 day ago
friendly. good on pickup time and communication. took 12 hours to deliver just 4 hours away. but anyway.
BMW 320i
Mount Maunganui
Reviewed 1 day ago
10/10 service - great guys working and a fast delivery from pickup Saturday afternoon to Delivery at 9am. 100% recomend
Te Puke
Seaview, Timaru
Reviewed 2 days ago
Very easy to work with.👍
Can am hd9 double cab
Grey Street, Gisborne
Reviewed 3 days ago
I had to ask Alex to postpone pick up at the last minute and he adjusted his plans to suit with very little fuss, also delivered spot on time with no issues despite terrible weather, highly recommend 👌
Hastings Street North, Hastings
Reviewed 3 days ago
Great price & amazing service. Will definitely be using again.
Eden Terrace, Auckland
Reviewed 4 days ago
Mark was great to deal with, friendly and prompt. Car arrived fast!

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