Importing Special Interest Vehicles to New Zealand

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Posted on 24th February 2024


We understand the excitement and passion of owning and driving special-interest vehicles. Whether you're a collector, an enthusiast, or someone who simply appreciates the unique charm of these automobiles, we are here to help you with the process of importing special-interest vehicles to New Zealand. This detailed car transport guide will walk you through all the necessary steps, from special interest vehicle registration to compliance with all import regulations, to ensure you can bring your beloved vehicle into the country.

Determining Vehicle Eligibility

Importing a vehicle into New Zealand can be a complicated process, and ensuring that your vehicle meets the eligibility criteria for special interest classification is crucial. In New Zealand, Class MA vehicles are eligible for consideration under the special interest category. These are vehicles that can carry passengers and accommodate up to nine people, including the driver. However, it is important to note that not all Class MA vehicles are eligible for special interest classification. For example, vehicles less than 20 years old and not manufactured in limited numbers are generally not considered for special interest classification.

If you are not sure whether your vehicle meets the eligibility criteria, it is highly recommended that you consult with an entry certifier. An entry certifier can help you determine whether your vehicle meets the required classification and guide you through the importation process. They will also ensure that your vehicle complies with the safety standards and emissions regulations in New Zealand. Consulting with an entry certifier before proceeding with the importation process can save you time and money in the long run. It is always better to be safe than sorry when importing a vehicle.

Applying for a Special Interest Vehicle Permit

Once you've confirmed your vehicle's eligibility, the next step is to initiate the application process for a special interest vehicle permit. This permit serves as the gateway for importing and registering non-compliant vehicles within the special interest category. Here's an in-depth breakdown of what this entails:

Submission Process:

To kickstart the process, you'll need to complete the SIVVP (Special Interest Vehicle Permit) application form. This form gathers essential details about your vehicle and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Alongside the application form, you must declare your adherence to current and future regulations. This declaration serves as a commitment to maintain compliance throughout the vehicle's lifecycle. Additionally, a processing fee of $23.20 is levied, which must be paid upfront to initiate the processing of your application.

Assessment and Decision:

Following submission, your application undergoes a thorough assessment by the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. During this evaluation, the agency scrutinises the provided information to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and eligibility criteria.

Based on the evaluation outcomes, Waka Kotahi will make a decision regarding the approval of your application. This decision is informed by the completeness and accuracy of the information provided in your application.

Important Note:

It's imperative to adhere to the specified timeframe for completing the application process. Failure to do so may render your vehicle ineligible for entry certification and subsequent registration on New Zealand roads, emphasising the importance of prompt and thorough completion of all application requirements.

Special interest vehicle - Three classic cars in a line

Requirements for Registration

You must meet certain requirements before your vehicle can be registered in New Zealand as a special interest vehicle. These include:

  • You must be a New Zealand citizen or resident.
  • The vehicle must be registered in your name.
  • The intended use of the vehicle should be for personal purposes only, with no commercial or hire and reward usage.
  • Sale or lease of the vehicle to a third party within four years of registration is prohibited.
  • The vehicle must not be operated in a transport service.
  • You must not have been granted a special interest vehicle permit in the last two years.

Vehicle Eligibility Criteria

In addition to the declaration requirements, your vehicle must meet specific eligibility criteria set by Waka Kotahi. These criteria include:

  • The vehicle must be deemed to have historic value by Waka Kotahi.
  • Alternatively, it must meet at least three of the following four requirements:
  • Identification as a collector's item in recognised automotive magazines or websites.
  • Limited annual production volume (fewer than 20,000 units).
  • Manufactured as a two-door coupe or convertible.
  • Manufactured as a high-performance vehicle.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the core requirements mentioned above, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind:

  • Supporting Documentation: You may be required to submit additional information to support your application.
  • Quota Limit: Waka Kotahi may issue a maximum of 200 special interest vehicle permits in a calendar year. If the quota has been reached for the year, your application may not be approved.
  • Case-by-Case Assessment: All permit applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and meeting the criteria does not guarantee approval.

Have Your Dream Car at Home in No Time

Navigating importing and registering a special interest vehicle in New Zealand requires careful attention to detail and adherence to regulatory requirements. Following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide can streamline the process and ensure compliance at every step. At Cars2NZ, we're committed to helping you get your dream car parked in your driveway. Contact the team today to start the process of importing your car to NZ.  


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