A Complete Guide to International Auto Shipping to NZ

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to find out costs and procedures involved in shipping your car from Australia to New Zealand.

Posted on 19th December 2022

Things can get complex when looking to import cars to NZ. We have put together a guide to international auto shipping to New Zealand. We share everything you need to consider when preparing to transport your car internationally.


Can I take my car to New Zealand?

The first step of international auto shipping is ensuring you can bring your car here. Although anyone can import their vehicle for off-road use, it is paramount to ensure your car meets the NZ compliance standards.


Is it worth shipping your car to New Zealand?

An important consideration of international auto shipping is the associated costs. If your car is European and a luxury brand, it's likely that the shipping cost will be higher than usual. For example, the average price tag on shipping a vehicle from the UK is £8,000 (approx. 15,405.24 NZD). If your car has seen better days and you are considering buying a new vehicle soon, shipping your car is not worth the expense.


Temporary import

When organising international auto shipping, it is crucial to note that temporary vehicle imports have different rules. If you are temporarily bringing your vehicle to New Zealand (usually a maximum of 12 months), you can bring it duty-free, provided it's covered by a Carnet de Passage (Carnet).


Before you go


Looking for a documentation guide to international auto shipping? Each country varies, but most countries require the following:

  • Proof of ownership 
  • Emissions standards 
  • Frontal impact standards 
  • Fuel consumption
  • Light-vehicle brakes standards 
  • Heavy-vehicle brake standards
  • Overall standards 


Bio security

All cars arriving in New Zealand receive inspection before being let into the country by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). You must clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle thoroughly to ensure foreign soil and pests do not contaminate the country's ecosystem. Make sure you clean the wheels (including the engine, spare tire, and every area of the dashboard.


How long does it take to ship a car?

It is impossible to give a certain answer to the time it takes to ship a car. However, there is an approximate guideline.

  • Australia to New Zealand - approximately eight days
  • UK to New Zealand - approximately 32-42 days
  • USA to New Zealand- approximately 14- 48 days
  • Japan to New Zealand - approximately 13- 23 days


Import your international vehicle safely at an affordable price

Are you looking to import cars to NZ? Utilise a company well-versed in heavy machinery shipping. At Cars2NZ, we have developed 20-year-strong relationships with shipping lines and airlines. These relationships mean we can offer you the most competitive shipping rates backed up with irrefutable experience.


We have shipped customs and biosecurity-cleared vehicles worldwide. The team at Cars2NZ understand all MAF, customs and port requirements in NZ and overseas. We can also offer the ability to consolidate your vehicle to ensure you get the best possible shipping rate. Good luck securing your auto shipping and safely getting your vehicle to its new home!

Our easy - 3 step shipping process

Advise pick-up location
Documents & shipping
Delivered to your door

Tell us the pick up location and we'll arrange a date & time

We handle all customs & shipping including insurance

Enjoy your toy, after it's delivered to your door anywhere in NZ.

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