How to sell your car in New Zealand

There will come a time in every expat’s life where you will need to say goodbye to your first New Zealand car. You may be upgrading, downgrading or moving out of New Zealand, either way, you will need to navigate the do’s and don’ts of selling your car in New Zealand.

Pay any outstanding fines/fees

Before you sell your car you will need to make sure you’ve paid all the outstanding licence fees, and any speed camera fines, parking tickets or infringement tickets. These happened while you owned the car, so it is your responsibility to pay these fees. It will also make the process of selling much quicker and seamless.

Sell privately or commercially

There are a few different options of where and how you can sell your car. You can go privately, sell through a ‘cash for cars’ company or sell to a second-hand car company. The option you choose really depends on the state of the car you are trying to sell.

You can sell your car through different mediums, such as Trademe, which is an online shopping website where you can sell the car for a fixed price or put it up for auction. The good thing about going through this website is that the purchaser needs to pay the money into your bank account before they can pick it up. Another way to sell your car is through car fairs, where you park your car at a car market while buyers meander through the lot. Here you can pull out your negotiation skills, to get a good price but careful not to get swindled.

If your car is on its last legs and very close to dying then the best place to sell is through a ‘cash for cars’ company. These companies will either use the car for parts or will do the car up and use it as a courtesy car. If you just want to get rid of your car quickly, most companies will pick it up from you the same day, but will only pay between $200 - $1000 cash. The best place to find a cash for cars company is to google ‘cash for cars’, ‘car wreckers’ or ‘car removals’.

The last way you can sell your car is by selling to a second-hand car company. One of the best companies to sell your car to is Turners Auction, where you can get a reasonable price for your car, but they also take care of all the legalities that go with selling your car. So it is a stressfree process.

Protect yourself

If you have decided to sell privately or through a ‘cash for cars’ company there are a few things you need to do to protect yourself against any cowboys. Firstly, decide on a price and make sure they bank transfer the money prior to picking the car up or bring cash. Do not give them the car without seeing the bank transfer or counting the money. Secondly, get the buyer to show you proof that they have notified NZTA that they have purchased the vehicle. This ensures you are not liable for anything once the car leaves your property. If they don’t have proof then get them to do it online there and then and get them to show you an email confirmation.

Let NZTA know you have sold your car

Even though the buyer has just shown you proof that they have notified NZTA that they have purchased your car, you also need to notify NZTA. So once your car has left your property, go online to NZTA -

Find out how to buy a car in NZ here

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