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Shipping Cars and Vehicles to New Zealand

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Let Transworld make it easy to bring your car to New Zealand

Tax-free concessionary entry for motor vehicles is available to immigrants taking up permanent residency for the first time and returning New Zealand residents who have been absent from New Zealand for more than 21 months. To qualify you need to have owned and used the vehicle for more than 1 year prior to export. With a concessionary entry, all importers will need to sign a deed of undertaking that they will not sell the vehicle within 2 years of its arrival in New Zealand. All other import situations will attract GST (Goods and Service Tax) at 15.0% on the depreciated value of the vehicle.

Depreciation on Motor Cars Purchased after 1 March 2020

Motor cars can be depreciated if the importers owns and uses the vehicle overseas for more than three months. Depreciation is calculated at 21% per year (or part thereof) to a maximum of 75% depreciation.

Depreciation on Motor Cars Purchased prior to 1 March 2020 and imported into New Zealand by 1 March 2021:

Period of ownership and use overseas


deduction (%)
Less than 90 days
3 months or more, but less than 4 months
4 months or more, but less than 6 months
6 months or more, but less than 9 months
9 months or more, but less than 1 year
1 year or more, but less than 2 years
2 years or more, but less than 3 years
3 years or more, but less than 4 years
4 years or more

Customs will require the following documents: Passports, invoice receipt showing total price paid and date of purchase, registration papers or Certificate of Permanent Export (UK), Certificate of Title (USA), or De-registration Certificate (Japan), invoice showing export costs (Japan), invoice showing freight costs and insurance to New Zealand, odometer reading at time of importation into New Zealand. The company that you have arranged to ship the vehicle will also need to advise Transworld five days prior to the vessels arrival - the make, model, cc rating of engine, VIN (vehicle identification number), chassis number, year of manufacture and copy of the Bill of Lading.

Shipping Cars to New ZealandCompliance

When you are preparing to ship your vehicle to New Zealand it is important to make sure that it will comply withthe stringent New Zealand safety regulations.

If you ship the vehicle to New Zealand and it does not comply you will need to re-export it at your expense.

Compliance certificates will only be recognised when issued by the agent in New Zealand representing the make of your vehicle. Compliance certificates issued at country of origin will not be recognised.

Left hand drive vehicles have restricted entry, please contact us for more details on this.


Once the vehicle has passed its compliance test it can be registered with The Automobile Association (AA), Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ) or Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ), the road tax must then be paid prior to the license plates being issued.

Note: do not leave any documents in the vehicle and do not pack personal belongings in your vehicle.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding shipping a motor vehicle to New Zealand or for more information regarding compliance.

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