We always recommend checking with your embassy, an Entry Certifier or the authorities in New Zealand to ensure you have up to date information on the rules and regulations. The information here is for guidance purposes only and should not be used as hard and fast rules.

New Zealand Summary Regulations

Age Restrictions On Vehicle Imports in New Zealand

Vehicles qualify for import in New Zealand if they are no more than 8 years old.

Left-Hand And Right-Hand Vehicles In New Zealand

Left-Hand Drive vehicles are not restricted in New Zealand. However, they are not allowed to be driven on New Zeland roads.

Recommended Steps Prior to Shipping:

Recommend a thorough clean of the motor vehicle
We recommend a thorough clean of the vehicle to avoid incurring more charges at destination for cleaning.

Get In Touch With An Entry Certifier:

It is critical that the emission standards and frontal impact standards are met.

We recommend you speak to an Entry Certifier prior to shipping your car. Currently the following companies are allowed by the New Zealand Government to provide Entry Certification:

  1. Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ)
  2. Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ)
  3. Automobile Association (AA)
  4. Drivesure Vehicle Testing
  5. Nelson Vehicle Testing Centre

Once The Car Arrives:

All vehicles arriving for the first time must go through a border check, customs inspection and an entry certification before they can be driven on the road.

MPI and Customer Clearance

When the vehicle arrives, the MPI carries out a quarantine inspection

Border Inspection (Structural)

This is carried out by a Transport Agency appointed border inspection organization. This is required prior to customs clearance. Below are structural inspection providers that can be contacted:

  1. IVS
  2. NZBS (NZ) Ltd

Once the structural inspections are complete, a pink NZTA Inspection will be applied to the driver’s side windscreen wiper.

Entry Certification

An entry certifier:

  1. Verifies that the vehicle met the required safety and emissions standards when manufactured
  2. Inspects the vehicle to check it is in good condition
  3. Decides whether the vehicle needs any repairs and/or specialist certification
  4. Certifies the vehicle for compliance with the safety and emissions requirements
  5. Issues an application to register a motor vehicle form (mr2a) and a warrant or certificate of fitness
  6. Invoices the importer for the cost of certification
Registration and Licensing

Once the agent of the Transport Agency has registered and licensed the vehicle it can be driven legally on New Zealand roads.

You will need to have the correct driver license, and the vehicle will need an in-service inspection (for a warrant or certificate of fitness) at regular intervals.

If it is a commercial vehicle you will need to have a transport service license.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vehicle Shipping From The UK to New Zealand

What Documentation is Needed?
Vehicle Ownership

You must provide evidence that you’re lawfully entitled to the possession of the vehicle. You’ll need original documents (faxed or photocopied documents are not sufficient), establishing a link to the last owner (eg deregistration papers, certificate of registration, invoices, bills of sale, receipts etc).

Useful documents for this include:-

  1. Purchase Invoice
  2. Purchase Receipts
  3. Original UK V5
  4. HPI Reports
  5. UK MOT
Shipping Documents

Simba Shipping will also provide you with a Bill of Lading which will detail the ship your vehicle was shipped on, details about your vehicle and furthermore it will be needed to clear your vehicle

Meeting Required Standard Documents
  1. Evidence of compliance with emission standards
  2. Evidence of compliance with frontal impact standards
  3. Evidence of compliance with fuel consumption information requirements
  4. Evidence of compliance with light-vehicle brakes standards for electronic stability control (ESC)

More on this can be read on

How much would it cost to ship a car from the UK to New Zealand?

The costs are set by the individual organisations that carry out the work.

It is currently estimated that the total cost for a vehicle to undergo the quarantine inspection and border check, clear Customs, be issued with a VIN, be certified for registration and be registered and licensed is approximately NZ$800 to NZ$1000.

This does not include the goods and services tax (GST) payable to New Zealand Customs on the value of the vehicle, or the cost of any repairs or repair certification.

Entry certifiers charge different rates, but an indicative cost to have a vehicle issued with a VIN and certified for registration purposes is NZ$450. Repairers, repair certifiers and LVV certifiers also charge different rates and their costs will depend on the work required for each vehicle.

The costs for registration and licensing vary according to vehicle type, engine size, the period of the licence (ie six or 12 months) and what the vehicle will be used for.

Immigrants arriving for the first time in New Zealand may be able to import a vehicle without paying GST if they satisfy the New Zealand Customs Service that they’re taking up permanent residence, have owned and used the vehicle for at least one year and agree that they will continue to use the vehicle for at least two years.

How long does it take to ship a vehicle from the UK to New Zealand?

Due to the processes involved it normally takes one to two weeks to have the car on the road after vessel docks.

Advice on Customs Taxes

Please see:

Where can I find more information?

Or you can read our guide on vehicle shipping from the UK to New Zealand.

We always recommend checking with your embassy, a clearing agent in New Zealand or the authorities in New Zealand to ensure you have up to date information on the rules and regulations. The information here is for guidance purposes only and should not be used as hard and fast rules.
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