How to Register an Imported Vehicle

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

Posted on 3rd March 2023

Here at Cars2NZ, we import cars to NZ from all over the world. With over twenty years of experience in the business and cargo crisscrossing the world daily, we’re happy to be the experts in vehicle shipping for our corner of the world. Thanks to our years in the business, we also know that knowing what to do with your car can be intimidating once you finally have it with you.


After all, like any paperwork, dealing with registering an imported vehicle can be complex if you don’t know what you’re doing! Luckily, we’ve collected some of the most common questions about registering an imported vehicle. In this article, we’ll be answering them one by one to give you the full picture.


 Your Guide to Registering an Imported Vehicle

How do I register an imported car in New Zealand?

The first time your car hits Kiwi soil, it’s considered a ‘new car’ to the country. That means that it needs something called an entry certification. To get an entry certification, your imported vehicle must be checked, certified, registered, and licensed before rubber can hit the road.


The easiest way to do this is to contact an approved entry certifier. They will conduct a series of tests and inspections, including verifying that you are the vehicle’s owner and that it meets the roadworthiness standards in New Zealand. Once the entry certifier is happy with the condition of your car, they’ll present you with a Warrant of Fitness (WOF) and a registration application form (MR2A).


Submit the form, and on approval, you’ll receive a registration and corresponding license plates to put on your vehicle and a license. This is the case no matter where your vehicle is coming from. So, whether you’re importing cars from the UK to NZ or shipping one over from Australia, your vehicle must go through the registration process to be road-worthy in Aotearoa.


How much does it cost to register an imported car in NZ?

Unfortunately, entry certification and registration are two distinct sets of costs. While entry certifications can run you up to $260NZD, paying for your vehicle’s registration can cost anywhere between $205NZD to $457NZD. The cost varies depending on the kind of vehicle you drive. Diesel vehicles with large engines are toward the top of the spectrum, while smaller petrol vehicles hover closer to the lowest figures. Find out how much your car will cost to register via the NZTA website’s guidelines.


With the two costs combined, full registration can be anywhere from $465NZD to $717NZD, barring additional costs or complications to bring your car up to standard.


How old does a car have to be to import to NZ?

You can import a car of any age to New Zealand. The only provision is that it meets the applicable safety standards for a car’s make and timeline. For example, cars manufactured over twenty years ago do not need to meet the standard for Electronic Stability Control (ESC), as this is not changeable once a car has been manufactured. The same is true if you are importing a special-interest vehicle.


 Sound complicated? Let us help. We import cars to NZ from all over the world.

We offer a quick and easy shipping process for car importation from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re shipping from Australia or you’re planning to import cars from UK to NZ, our twenty years of experience in the business guarantees your vehicle will arrive in pristine condition. Get advice from our expert team and get on board with our easy shipping process today.

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

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