How to import your vehicle into New Zealand from the UK including a comprehensive FAQ guide
For over 40 years, PSS Removals has been car shipping to New Zealand. We have a wealth of experience with shipping to popular New Zealand cities including Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin, Tauranga and more.
Whether it is shipping your car to New Zealand, or another country, we always ensure that we provide the very best service for our valued customers. We offer many options for international vehicle transport to New Zealand. So, whatever your personal car transport needs are, we can tailor your shipment to your needs.
If you need any advice with moving to New Zealand, or if you want a no-obligation car shipping quote, then call us on 0800 988 3711. You can also see our vehicle shipping FAQ guide below for further information.
Our expert car shippers will work with you to discover the best method of exporting your vehicle to New Zealand that is most suited to your individual importing needs. You can have your car shipped in a container on its own or with the other household goods you are shipping. We can also offer a roll on/roll off or lift on/lift off method for exporting your car to New Zealand.
Is it worth shipping your car to New Zealand?
Shipping cars and other vehicles tend to be much more expensive in New Zealand – especially European and luxury models. As a general guide if your car is worth £8000 or more then it is certainly worthwhile getting a quote to export it to New Zealand.
The cost of shipping your vehicle from the United Kingdom is often a lot less than replacing it and when you are moving to New Zealand you will want to save as much money as you can. The cost of shipping a vehicle to New Zealand in 2023 starts from around £3800 and varies depending on the size of the car and where in New Zealand you are shipping to.
To decide whether it is worth shipping a car to New Zealand you first need to check if it is allowed under New Zealand car import rules. Then you need to weigh up the costs of shipping and importing versus the cost of replacing the car in New Zealand.
Some people advise that it’s not worth considering due to the paperwork involved, but when you have an expert car shipping company such as PSS to guide you, the actual process of shipping your car to New Zealand is not too difficult.
Why should you trust PSS Removals?
PSS are one of the UK’s leading personal shipping companies helping people move to destinations all over the world – including New Zealand. We are proud members of the FIDI Global Alliance, as well as being accredited by the FAIM Quality Standard for overseas removals. This means that we have been recognised for our ability to provide a professional, expert car shipping service to New Zealand.
It can bring you comfort to know that we also offer the BAR Advanced Payment Guarantee Scheme, which means car shipping to New Zealand costs is protected. As a leading UK car shipping company with many happy customers who have chosen us to ship their vehicles, it is often commented that the experience was hassle free.
Shipping your car to New Zealand is easy with PSS
Check suitability for importing
Ensure your vehicle meets requirements & apply for import approval if needed.
Prepare your vehicle for shipping
Make sure your car is clean & ready for shipping.
We collect and ship your vehicle
We load your car onto container at your address or you deliver it to the port / our depot.
Arrival & Customs Clearance
On arrival will take care of customs clearance & arrange for you to collect your vehicle.
Vehicle and Car Shipping to New Zealand Cost Calculator
Want to know how it will cost to send your vehicle to New Zealand? Our free online Cost Calculator will help you estimate the cost.
Shipping Vehicles / Cars to New Zealand Reviews
A FAQ Guide to Shipping Your Vehicle To New Zealand
How much does it cost to ship a car or vehicle to New Zealand?
There are a number of costs you need to consider when transporting your car to New Zealand. To ship a car from London or elsewhere in England to Sydney or other main port in New Zealand you can expect to pay around £3800 for a small vehicle such as a Mini and up to £5500 for a large vehicle such as a Land Rover Discovery depending on where you are shipping to in New Zealand.
That price includes door-to-door pick and delivery as well as basic customs clearance costs. Costs for Scotland, Wales and Ireland can vary.
There are however a number of New Zealand car shipping costs you need to consider. These include:
- Additional customs and quarantine costs including inspection fees, cleaning, port service fees etc.
- Taxes and duties – concessionary entry applies if you meet certain criteria (see below).
- Compliance and modification costs – if necessary for your vehicle to meet New Zealand standards and guidelines.
- Vehicle Registration – you will need to register your vehicle in the relevant state before you can drive on New Zealand roads.
- Marine Insurance or Shipment Protection Cover – Your standard motor insurance policy will not cover you for international shipping so you will need to take out additional cover.
How long does it take to ship a car to New Zealand from the UK?
If you are shipping your vehicle as groupage in a shared container it will take about 8-12 weeks.
If you are shipping your vehicle with your belongings in a sole use container (FCL – Full Container Load) it will take around 6-8 weeks.
You will also need to allow additional time for customs clearance and quarantine inspection.
How do you import a vehicle into New Zealand from the United Kingdom?
There are a number of steps to importing a car or other vehicle to New Zealand, but they can be done quite simply with the guidance of a shipping company like PSS.
- Check the viability of importing your car to New Zealand
- Organise your shipping company
- Get shipping insurance or shipment protection cover
- Complete shipping forms and gather necessary documentation
- On arrival arrange customs clearance and quarantine inspection
- Register your vehicle in New Zealand
- Arrange delivery or collect your vehicle
What are the car import requirements for New Zealand?
It is important to New Zealand authorities that your vehicle meets all vehicle safety standards, emission standards, and that it passes a vehicle compliance check. As mentioned before, you will need to contact New Zealand authorities for import approval, to fill out the application process, conduct vehicle checks, and register with New Zealand – all before the car shipment takes place.
There are a few important things to bear in mind when trying to get import approval and pass customs in New Zealand. These are meeting New Zealand vehicle standards for: rear fog lamps, lighting standards, seats, head restraints, rear-view mirrors, steering systems, seatbelts and more.
You will need to gather evidence that your car meets these requirements and standards set by New Zealand’s authority. If not, your car will be refused entry. Before auto shipping to New Zealand, you will need documents for: proof of ownership, emissions standards, frontal impact standards, fuel consumption, light-vehicle brakes standards, and a statement of compliance.
For further specific information, look on their Gov website for standards, requirements and documentation: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/importing-a-vehicle/
Alternatively, if this information is making you feel a bit overwhelmed, we can help. We at PSS Removals have done this process for car shipping to New Zealand countless times before, and so we can help you every step of the way. All you need to do is give us a call on 0800 988 3711 to speak to a moving consultant.
What are the options for shipping your car to New Zealand?
PSS Removals offers a range of car shipping to New Zealand options. See below our options, and choose whichever is best for you and your needs. If you are unsure our vehicle shipping experts will be able to advise you.
Option A: Shipping a Car with household items
It could be a good idea to combine your car shipment with personal items together in one load. Our team can bring a shipping container to your home, and then carefully secure your vehicle inside for car shipping to New Zealand. Any remaining space can then be put to use for your household goods and homewares. If you’re moving to New Zealand and you need to send over a number of items, then this is a great shipment option for you.
We will expertly pack and wrap your items using industry-approved materials and expert handling. They will then be placed in the container alongside the secured vehicle. At your door, we will seal the container with a customs seal before taking it to the UK port terminal for placement on the vessel. From there, the process of household and car transport to New Zealand will take place.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch for a car shipping quote or any advice on this option (or other options and their car shipping rates).
Option B: Car Shipping only
On the other hand, you may need to only send your car abroad. In this case, you can make use of our car-only auto transport option. You will have your very own sole-use container that holds your car (or other vehicle) securely inside for shipment to New Zealand.
This can be arranged at your place of residence, at a PSS warehouse, or a shipping line container depot – to suit you and your preferences. Then, the car will be loaded onto a vessel for UK to New Zealand car transport.
Again, if you need a car shipping quote, or further details about our services and moving to New Zealand, simply give us a call on 0800 988 3711.
Option C: Roll On/ Roll Off (RORO) or Lift On/ Lift Off (LOLO)
This last option is only available at selected ports.
Speak to our team today to see if this is an option for you. It will involve driving your vehicle onto the vessel to then be secured for auto transport to New Zealand. Then, it is driven off again once it arrives in New Zealand.
There some disadvantages to this option as your car or vehicle does not receive the same protection it would do if sealed in its own container.
However, this option is useful for larger vehicles such as vans, motorhomes and caravans which may be too wide to fit into a standard shipping container.
Please call us on 0800 988 3711 if you wish to discuss whether this is an option for you.
Can you ship your car with personal belongings inside?
It may be possible to ship your car with a few boxes of personal belongings inside. However, it is best to seek advice from one of our international removal consultants first as there are some restrictions.
Remember that all your belongings will be subject to the usual customs requirements and quarantine inspections so don’t think you can cram your car fall.
We do offer very cost effective options for shipping your belongings with your car so please ask us for more details.
How to prepare your car for shipping to New Zealand?
It is important that your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned to ensure all organic material, including mud and dirt, is removed. This is to avoid potential problems with biosecurity and quarantine, in New Zealand.
We recommend that your car including the engine and undercarriage is professionally steam cleaned and that the interior is valeted.
If your vehicle is required by MPI Biosecurity to be steam cleaned on arrival, you will be charged cleaning fees and any associated costs.
It is also advisable that your vehicle has a full service and check-over before it is shipped.
How to ship a motorhome or van to New Zealand?
The shipping of motorhomes and vans to New Zealand is very similar to cars. You will need to check that your vehicle meets New Zealand requirements and obtain Vehicle Import Approval before you begin shipping.
Also, if your vehicle is too wide or tall to fit into a shipping container, then it will need to travel as roll-on / roll-off or lift-on / lift-off.
Motorhomes and vans may also be subject to different rates of tax and duty.
How to ship caravans, boats and other vehicles to New Zealand?
All types of vehicles can be shipped to New Zealand including caravans, boats, trailers, quad bikes, jet skis and anything else you can think of!
For small vehicles, the best method is to ship them in a container with your other possessions or we can arrange a shared container.
The door sizes of standard shipping containers are about 7’8” (2.28m) wide or 7’5” (2.26m) high. These sizes can vary between shipping companies, but if your vehicle is larger you may need to use RORO or LOLO shipping services.
How to ship and import classic cars to New Zealand?
A lot of people choose to import an older, vintage or classic car to New Zealand. For example, enthusiast, classic or historic motor vehicles that are destined for restoration and hobby use in car clubs.
The New Zealand has government has a specific import option for cars manufactured before 1989.
This takes account of the fact that these vehicles do not comply with current New Zealand vehicle standards, and are therefore outside normal certification arrangements.
When shipping valuable cars, you can be sure that our team takes special care to ensure it’s securely and safely packed for its journey.
How to ship a motorcycle to New Zealand?
To ship a motorbike to New Zealand you will need to follow a similar Import Approval process as for cars.
For the actual shipping, your bike would be secured in a shipping container, often in a wooden crate to ensure it is fully protected during transportation.
Your motorcycle or quad bike can be sent in a sole use container with your other possessions or in a shared container with other people’s belongings.
Customs and Quarantine for Your vehicle
New Zealand authorities require your vehicle to have been owned and used at least 12 months before import (in most cases). If not, you will need to do further checks and fill out the appropriate documentation for older used vehicles to gain access to import your car into New Zealand.
All vehicles for car shipping into New Zealand must pass entry certification inspections before being registered for use in New Zealand. This inspection should be arranged with an entry certifier. It is imperative to register your vehicle with New Zealand and deregister it with the UK authorities.
Your vehicle will need to pass biosecurity and customs checks and inspections before it arrives in New Zealand. This means it needs to be cleaned thoroughly, decluttered, and modified to suit New Zealand standards. Upon arrival in New Zealand, it will be inspected to double check it meets the agreed upon standards. This inspection is for protection against disease, toxins, pests, asbestos, and more.
Please see more information here for detail on import and customs requirements for New Zealand: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/importing-a-vehicle/
Customs Duty and Taxes for New Zealand
Concessionary entry (duty and / or tax free) is available to persons who meet all of the following conditions:
- Have arrived and on the date the motor vehicle is imported, hold a document authorizing residence in New Zealand (see left); and
- Have resided outside of NZ for the whole of 21 months before the date of arrival in NZ; and
- Have owned and used the vehicle for at least 12 months before the date of departure to NZ or the date on which the vehicle is surrendered for shipping, whichever is earlier; and
- Do not sell the vehicle within 24 months of importation.
Delivery and Collection of Your car
Once your car arrives after international car transport to New Zealand, you will be contacted by our team. We will then handle all the customs paperwork with you or on your behalf. Since New Zealand has such strict guidelines for customs clearance and import requirements, though, we do recommend that you be at hand to ensure the process runs smoothly. Re-read the guidelines that we listed above about customs clearance and registration, as they are incredibly important and should be firmly followed.
Once all is done, we will make reservations with you to give your car back safely.
Where in New Zealand do you ship cars to?
We do vehicle container shipping from anywhere in the UK (including London, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) to all destinations in New Zealand including:
North Island, New Zealand
- Lower Hut
- Bay of Plenty
- Hawkes Bay
South Island New Zealand
- West Coast
Do I need shipping insurance or shipment protection cover?
We try to do everything we can to protect your vehicle before, during and after car transport to New Zealand. As industry professionals, we’re proud to say that there are never any major issues. However, it is always a good idea to be protected in case anything does happen.
Your usual motor insurance policy will not cover you for international vehicle transportation. This is why we have a carefully designed Shipment Protection cover to protect your vehicle in case of loss or damage.
Our Shipment Protection cover is backed by Basil Fry and Company and is based on the conditions recommended by the British Association of Removers. This means your car is in safe hands during the whole process. Rest assured that your protection starts as soon as your car is with our team.
For this reason, you can trust PSS Removals with your car shipping to New Zealand and support throughout the entire process. So, the process is made easy when you opt to ship your car to New Zealand with us.
How to ship your car from New Zealand to the UK?
We can also arrange for your car or other vehicle to be transported from New Zealand to the UK. Similar shipping options apply and it can be cost effective to ship your vehicle with your other possessions.
Contact us at our UK office and we’ll put you in contact with our team in New Zealand who will be able to advise you on the whole process and give you a cost effective quote.