The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Car in NZ

Sell My Car Fast July 31, 2018 general no responses


These days many people prefer to buy pre-owned vehicles, particularly first-time buyers and tourists. That’s right. If you are planning a trip to New Zealand for one or more months, you will want an enjoyable experience. The best way to make the most of your trip is to buy a second hand backpacker vehicle.

Best way to buy a car NZ

You can browse a number of car markets and websites that make it easier to purchase a second hand car. There are a plenty of companies that offer vehicles for rent. But buying a used car is definitely a cost-effective option rather than renting it.

All you need is to be aware of some important things regarding car buying process. So, we have created an ultimate guide to help you avoid any obstacles in buying a second hand vehicle.

Tips for buying a used car in NZ

The most important thing when looking for a used vehicle in New Zealand is knowing that you have the right documents. Typically you will need to show a valid proof of identification like passport, driving license and address proof.

Make sure to show an address proof signed by the hostel authority where you are staying in New Zealand. If you decide to buy a vehicle from NZ’s auto market, you will need sufficient cash. There is no need to have a bank account and give your permanent address. If you don’t have an international driving license or your license is in a language other than English. Make sure to get it translated by using approved translators in Auckland. You will have to pay a little fee to get this done. 

What is the best time to buy a car in NZ?

Another important thing is to determine the best time to look for a second hand vehicle in New Zealand. Usually, April to August is the best time period to get great deals on used vehicles.

As it is the time when most of the tourists bid farewell to the country. It is generally referred as low season. At that time you can get vehicles on a pretty much cheaper rate like NZD $1500 to $3500 (ballpark figures). While the time period during November to March is a great time to resell your automobiles. It is usually known as high season.

If you sell the vehicle during high season you can garner two or three times more than selling it during low season.

So, when you are planning to visit the country for more than 3-4 months, Make sure to schedule your flight dates in the starting of the winter season. This way you can travel the country during the time when you can purchase used cars at cheap prices.

At the time of reselling it, make sure to set a fair asking price. Don’t forget that are a lot of other people in competition trying to sell their automobiles. If buyers find your sale price too high, they will most likely move to another seller.

Where to buy a used car in New Zealand

The best places for buying second hand automobiles in New Zealand are Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington. These are the cities where tourists end their trips by reselling their vehicles.

Therefore, you can find a wide selection of second hand vehicles at a very cheap price in these areas. But you can definitely try looking at online websites, Facebook groups and auto markets.

If you happen to search in Auckland car market make sure to visit the Ellerslie Carfair on a Sunday morning. It is a widely established auto buying market in New Zealand where you can get better deals. There you can easily get the best use van, car and caravan at reasonable rates.

Beside this you can also get it inspected and do the ownership transfer in a couple of minutes. Other than this, you can also check out Auckland City Car Fair. You can easily reach there as it is just located at a walking distance from the main point of city. It is usually held on Saturday mornings and showcase a limited variety of automobiles.

You can also try websites like Turners and Trade Me, or Facebook groups like Backpackers VANS & CARS under $3500 or Backpackers New Zealand. However, you will need to first subscribe to the Facebook Groups (Approval required).

If you go to car markets established in New Zealand, you will need some essential tips to grab best deal. Here are a few tips:

  • Before you visit an auto-buying market make sure to setup your budget.
  • Make sure to bring adequate funds with you as you will need to do an inspection and change the ownership.
  • Always ask for a cheaper price and compare it with rates offered by other sellers.
  • Before taking the vehicle make sure to check it comprehensively.
  • Also take it for a test drive around the market.
  • If you have any questions, ask them straight away to the sellers.

What to check before buying a car in NZ?

When you make a trip to NZ, you will certainly want a good working vehicle. Having a reliable mode of conveyance is at least good way of moving around the country. It is a great way to address the magnificent beauty of the country.

Also, you will need an automobile that can be resold easily. For this reason you need to inspect the vehicle properly before actually buying it. After all, you cannot totally rely on the sellers opinions about the vehicle. As they will certainly highlight its best features.

The car sellers will never tell you if the automobile had been in any accident. But if you want to avoid any bad shocks after buying the vehicle make sure to examine it properly. Here are a few things that you must do:

  1. Inspecting the tyres: Most often travellers forget to check the tyres condition before selling the vehicle. However, you will not want to spend extra money on buying a second pair of wheels. So, inspect its wheels properly before agreeing to buy a vehicle.
  2. Choose the right year of manufacturer: Generally, it is inexpensive to buy an old vehicle. But you will have to spend extra money on potential repairs afterwards. Therefore, don’t forget to check the automobile’s condition properly.
  3. Check the odometer reading: It is better to buy an automobile which has travelled less kilometres. Make sure the odometer reading is below 200’000km otherwise it will be difficult to resell.
  4. Take the car on test-drive: Always take the vehicle around for a test drive before you buy it. When the car is on have a look at the dashboard to see if any unusual symbols appears. Also, notice if there is any black smoke coming from the exhaust pipe by asking someone to push the accelerator.
  5. Check the level of oil and other essential fluids.
  6. Make sure all the windows and doors of the car are working properly.
  7. Also, test the main beam, turn signals and brakes. It is important to ensure the smooth and safe working of automobile.
  8. When you are looking for a backpacker automobile with bed have a look at the condition of curtains.
  9. Make sure the seller offer all the necessary camping gears.
  10. Don’t forget to check the essential documents of the vehicle like vehicle licensing (rego) and Warrant of Fitness (WOF). You can find them on the windscreen of the car. Check their expiry dates as well. Having a valid WoF show that the automobile is in a good condition with no problems. If you don’t get these two licenses you can’t drive around anywhere in NZ.

Finally, Where to sell a used car in New Zealand

This could be your last but the most important step before you leave the country. This is the time when you can think of getting the Top cash for your car. Do it smartly!

All you need to recognise 4 things: Make – Model – KM Done – Condition of the vehicle.

If you find your vehicle is in decent condition (inside and out) then better to sell your car @

Trademe – NZ’s most popular marketplace

SellMyCarFast – NZ’s Number One car Buyer

If you find the vehicle condition is pretty wacky or rusty then better consider:

KingAuto – North Island’s favourite Wrecked Car Buyers

TahaCarBuyers – South Island’s leading Scrap Car Buyers.

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