Thinking of bringing your car with you to New Zealand?

Car shipping in New Zealand

The dramatic depreciation in value of most vehicles during the first three years after purchase, results in many ‘ditch hoppers’ choosing to ship their cars along with their personal effects and furniture. The Australian standards for motor vehicle registration are very similar to New Zealand standards, so most vehicles can be legally imported to New Zealand without requiring modifications.

There are however a few things you will need to consider carefully.

Are you eligible for a Concessionary Customs Entry (GST and Duty Exemption)?

A Customs Duty & Tax Concession for motor vehicles (including motorcycles) is available if the vehicle is imported by a person who meets the following criteria;
(i) has arrived in New Zealand and, on the date the vehicle is imported, holds a document authorising residence in New Zealand; and
(ii) has resided or been domiciled outside New Zealand for the whole of the 21-month period preceding his or her arrival; and
(iii) has personally owned and used the motor vehicle overseas for at least one year before the earlier of the following:
(A) the date of the person’s departure for New Zealand:
(B) the date on which the motor vehicle is surrendered for shipping.

What documents will you need to substantiate a claim for Concessionary Customs Entry?

You will need to provide registration papers and odometer reading for the vehicle and a dated purchase receipt.

How long do I have to keep the vehicle once it arrives into New Zealand?

If you qualify for the concessionary entry you will have to sign a written deed of undertaking that if the vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of within two years of the date of importation that you will pay the customs taxes that would normally have been payable.

If I don’t qualify for a Concessionary Customs Entry how much do I have to pay?

If you do not qualify for the concession, then Goods & Services Taxes (GST) at 15% will apply based upon the market valuation value of the vehicle plus the cost of the freight plus the cost of the insurance premium if any.

Apart from the cost of shipping and customs clearance, are there any other charges I need to be aware of?
  • The New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries will conduct a physical examination of all imported vehicles. There are costs for this service and these will be clearly displayed within our quotation. If MPI requests cleaning of the vehicle, this will attract an additional charge payable in New Zealand.
  • The vehicle will also need to undergo a structural inspection by NZTA (New Zealand Transport Association). The cost for this inspection is approximately NZD180 and is payable in New Zealand.
  • The vehicle will also need to be transported from our New Zealand warehouse to a compliance centre to undergo a motor vehicle compliance examination where standard items such as headlights, seat belts, speedo, emissions control and windscreen is checked to ensure the vehicle meets New Zealand regulations. The local cost for this service is approximately NZD450 plus NZD150 for flat bed truck transportation to the compliance centre.
  • Once the vehicle has passed its compliance test, it needs to be registered. Registration can be undertaken for 6 or 12 month periods and the cost varies depending upon the type of fuel used and the capacity of the engine.

For even more detail about process and eligibility you can visit

Whilst all care has been taken in compiling the information contained in this information sheet Crown Relocations cannot accept any responsibility for errors, omissions and changes. The information should only be used as a guideline. Costs are as of August 2022.

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Crown Worldwide (Australia) Pty Ltd 2024