- Car Shipping New Zealand
- Ship Your Car To Or From New Zealand
- Typical Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
- Cost & Time Examples For Shipping A Car To New Zealand
- Popular Shipping Destinations
- Duty Free
- Required Documents For Shipping A Vehicle To New Zealand
- Documents Requested
- Shipping Of Heavy Equipment & Oversized Cargo To New Zealand
- The Various Ways To Internationally Ship Your Heavy Equipment
- Short Descriptions For Each International Transport Methods
- Other Services
- Related Information
Car Shipping New Zealand
Ship Your Car To Or From New Zealand
Typical Shipping Prices – How Much Does It Cost?
- Vehicle shipping costs to New Zealand from the U.S. generally run between $3,500 and $7,000.
- An important consideration when shipping a car to New Zealand is that many left-hand drive cars will need to be converted, though some may qualify for an exemption.
Cost & Time Examples For Shipping a Car to New Zealand
|San Jose, CA to (California port) to Auckland||$200||$3,400||5+17|
|Los Angeles to (California port) to Dunedin||$350||$4,300||5+27|
|Boston, MA to (New York port) to Lyttleton||$400||$3,600||5+30|
|Portland, OR to (California port) to Auckland||$475||$3,400||6+17|
|Seattle, WA to (California port) to Dunedin||$550||$4,300||6+27|
|Columbus, OH to (New York port) to Tauranga||$550||$3,400||5+64|
|Chicago, IL to (New York port) to Chalmers||$675||$3,600||6+30|
|Atlanta, GA to (New York port) to Tauranga||$700||$3,400||6+64|
|Denver, CO to (California port) to Nelson||$775||$4,300||7+26|
|Houston, TX to (New York port) to Auckland||$1,075||$3,400||7+30|
*Prices and times are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and the type of vehicle.
*Save the ground transport cost by delivering the vehicle to the nearest port.
Get a Free, No Obligation to Buy, Auto Shipping Quote.Get my free quote now
or call us to do it for you:
*Allow an additional 10 days to process the documents.
*Prices are for 1 car in a dedicated 20ft container. This is the safest and most reliable way to transport a vehicle internationally. Other items may be included in the container to help save you money when moving.
*Using the RoRo (roll on, roll off) method is less expensive and shipments can be completed in fewer days. Contact us now for a free RoRo quote.
Importing your vehicle into a foreign country can often be an involved and complex process, but armed with the correct information and backed by a reputable auto transport company, the procedure can indeed be painless. The New Zealand Customs Service website supplies a wealth of knowledge, as does the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) website.
Any vehicle imported into New Zealand must pass a certification process given by a NZTA-approved certifier in compliance with all legal requirements. This ensures the vehicle meets or exceeds minimum vehicle standards determined by the vehicle type and age.
This certification includes a physical inspection that verifies a number of things, including, but not limited to, the following:
- The vehicle has a working and accurate odometer.
- The vehicle meets the minimum frontal impact standard.
The importer is responsible for obtaining proof of this certification prior to registering the vehicle. It really is in your best interest to check the New Zealand Transport Agency website, and contact them directly with any questions, prior to making shipping arrangements.
Read more about vehicle registration process in New Zealand.
Popular Shipping Destinations
- New Plymouth
- Palmerston North
New Zealand is one of the few countries that DOES NOT impose tariff duties on personal use vehicles. Motorhomes, however, are the exception and are subject to 10% customs duty. For vehicles worth more than $1000, there is a small import entry transaction fee (IETF) of $29.26, as well as a biosecurity system entry levy of $17.63 (payable to the Ministry for Primary Industries). New Zealand does, however, charge a “Goods and Services Tax” (GST) that is calculated based on the vehicle’s value as determined by the CIF (Cost + Insurance + Freight), less any deductions for depreciation. This tax is currently at a flat percentage rate of 15%.
If you are permanently moving into New Zealand and can supply prove of residence on the date of importation, the GST will be waived (this will also waive customs duty in the case of a motorhome).
Required Documents For Shipping A Vehicle to New Zealand
- Current New Zealand residence visa or permit.
- Current RETURNING residence visa or permit.
- New Zealand passport.
- Australian passport.
- Current NZ WORK permit or visa (issued for a minimum of 12 months)
- Current NZ VISITOR’S permit of visa (issued for a minimum of 3 years)
Upon the vehicle’s arrival in New Zealand, it will be immediately inspected by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for quarantine inspection and cleaning. It will then be transferred to Customs to complete clearance. At this point, the importer will be required to supply certain documents to help with the process as detailed below.
- Commercial Invoice (indicating price paid and date of purchase)
- Current Registration.
- Certificate of Title.
- Freight Costs and Insurance Invoice.
- Bill of Lading.
- Odometer Reading (reading upon export from the previous country and reading upon import into NZ)
Because New Zealand does not charge a tariff duty, the process of shipping your vehicle is often much less costly than many other countries. Be sure to verify all information needed prior to making shipping arrangements and ALWAYS ask questions if you are confused. New Zealand offers some great resources to make contact as easy as possible. Finally, enlist the help of an exceptionally trustworthy auto transport company to conclude the process.
Shipping Of Heavy Equipment & Oversized Cargo To New Zealand
Hiring international transporters with years of experience and all the proper credentials is the greatest way to have your heavy equipment or oversized cargo shipped outside the United States. When you hire a reliable shipping company such as A1 Auto Transport, you can expect that your cargo will be delivered safe and sound with very little concerns. With connections to the highest quality shipping equipment and most current shipping technologies, we are positive that we can ship your oversized cargo to the Netherlands successfully.
Accomplishing all the requirements of the Netherlands may be the most tedious part of an international delivery for most individuals. Opportunely, at A1 we have knowledge of these laws and the tariffs must be paid before you can earn the certificate of import approval from Customs.
- Farm Equipment including tractors, balers, harvesters, backhoes, etc.
- Construction Equipment including bulldozers, forklifts, pipes, hydraulic equipment, dumpers, rock breakers, etc.
- Mining Equipment including loaders, excavators, haulers, etc.
- Paving Equipment including asphalt pavers, planers, compactors, graders, reclaimers, etc.
- Agricultural Equipment including tractors, combine harvesters, plows, spreaders, drills, mowers, planers, etc.
The Various Ways to Internationally Ship Your Heavy Equipment
Through A1 Auto Transport, you have several shipping options to select from. Although you may not have all of these options available to you. Conditional upon the type of equipment or cargo you need to have delivered, you may have fewer choices regarding your shipping process. Our representatives will discuss your options with you after you answer a few of their questions.
Short Descriptions for Each International Transport Methods
- Container shipping implements the greatest amount of security against outdoor elements by enclosing your cargo within four walls and a ceiling. All cargo must fit inside of at least our 40ft container if this is the desired transport method.
- Flat rack shipping is an open air service that includes securely attaching your cargo to a large metal frame. The metal rack is placed on top of the vessel with your cargo strapped to it.
- Roll on/roll off shipping is the least expensive form of international transport. It is an open air service available to those with large vehicles or heavy equipment that can drive onto and off of the ship using a ramp. This tends to be the most popular of all the transport methods offered through A1.
- Lift on/lift off shipping is open air transport method best for those shipping large broken down vehicles, construction materials and crated heavy equipment. A crane is used to lift the cargo onto the ship as well as off of the ship.
- Ship your car to New Zealand as quickly and safely as possible
- Use an experienced overseas transport company for shipping a car to New Zealand from the USA
- Cost to ship a motorcycle to New Zealand
- What does it cost to ship a car to New Zealand?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most important ports for car shipping in New Zealand?
The most important shipping/freighting ports in New Zealand are:
Tauranga: This is by far the largest port in the country with a container volume total of more than 950,000 TEUs (twenty-feet equivalent units). The port is located strategically, nestled protectively by Matakana Island and Mount Maunganui. Tourism, sports, fishing, shipping (imports & exports), and whatnot – this port supports it all!
Auckland: This port is several ports within one, all located westward to the Point Campbell and Queen Street, and is managed by the Port of Auckland Limited (POAL). The port has 55 hectares of dedicated storage space (wharves), and this place aims at producing no emissions by 2040.
Wellington: The perfectly situated international trade port is almost always bustling with activity and sees lots of day-to-day traffic flow. Numerous storage wharves and ample space for cruise ships make the Wellington port a highly functional and profitable base of operations.
Napier Port: This port is not only host to cruise ships but also has an extensive container hosting capacity, the fourth largest in the island nation. Plus, it can deal with the ever-expanding shipping industry, and its new storage spaces are meant to accommodate more cargo.
Lyttleton: This port is the most voluminous in the southern region of the island nation and hosts both cruise ships and cargo ships (for both imports and exports – about 61% and 34% respectively).
Otago: This is a significant deepwater port, harbor, and fishery; for almost centuries, the port has been an economically significant segment region.
I want to import a car to New Zealand, but I am confused about where to start, what should I do?
If you haven’t done this stuff before then no worries, there’s always a first time for everything. Just get in touch with A1 Auto Transport, and let us in on some details:
- Details of the vehicle (make, model, and year)
- The location from where the said vehicle is from, specifically, i.e. it will affect from where the car will be shipped (i.e. which port)
- Pickup location
- The location where you want your vehicle to be shipped
- You need to inform us whether the vehicle is operable or not (runner/non-runner)
- Important details specific to your case
Once you’ve cleared these details, we'll help you handle the rest.
Can you break down the whole process of car shipping from the USA to New Zealand for me?
If you’re unsure about what to do, then here’s a rough summary/breakdown of the car shipping process for New Zealand:
- Find out if the vehicle you want to import is even eligible for import in New Zealand; you’ll have to check the vehicle import standards of the New Zealand Transport Agency.
- Identify the import standards and make a checklist for your records.
- You’ll need documented evidence to show that the vehicle you want to import falls into the eligibility circle, these documentations include:
- Documents of car ownership
- Documents detailing the car’s emission standards
- Documents detailing frontal impact standards (passenger safety)
- Certificate of fuel consumption
- And other documents certifying overall compliance with import standards
- Once you’ve done that, you need to figure out the shipping costs – which are not constant (not even on fixed routes), for this, you need to factor in:
- Freighting charges for shipping the vehicle
- Insurance coverage fees, if you have purchased insurance protection
- Storage charges
- Transport and delivery expenses
- Customs duties, taxes, and miscellaneous fees applicable in your case
- Customs broker’s fee, if you hired one for customs clearance
- Vehicle registration fee in New Zealand
- Vehicle insurance minimum in New Zealand
- Import processing dues
- Charges payable to the transport company, i.e. A1 Auto Transport offers competitive rates for international vehicle shipping
- Next, you need to select a trusted and reliable car shipping company that ships vehicles from the USA to New Zealand, and vice versa (if you want it the other way around).
- Figure out the route, i.e. departure port and the arrival port.
- Ensure that the said vehicle is completely clean and meets the biosecurity requirements for New Zealand.
- Before registering your vehicle for the roads of New Zealand, it needs to clear the entry certification.
- After that, you can apply for registration.
How long does it take to ship a car to New Zealand?
The duration is not fixed, it all depends on the route taken, and of course, other factors such as weather conditions (which may cause delays). For example, the California port to Auckland route is shorter than others, almost a 17-day over-seas voyage.
However, other routes are longer, i.e. for instance, if your car is from somewhere near New York and you want it delivered to a location closest to Tauranga, the shipment might take over two months.
We did not factor in the over-land traveling in both cases because that is variable based on pickup and delivery locations; distance matters.
How much should I expect to pay in shipping costs for importing a car to New Zealand from the USA?
Depending on the shipping route, the freighting option opted for, and other details about the car itself, you should expect to pay between $3,500 and $7,000 for shipping a car from the USA to New Zealand.
This is not a fixed range as the price estimates vary depending on multiple factors.
If I ship a car from the USA to New Zealand or vice versa, what factors will affect the total shipping cost for me?
Here’s a rundown of the cost affecting factors to look for when shipping a car from the USA to New Zealand or the other way around:
- The make and model of the car being imported.
- The age of your car, i.e. its manufacturing batch/date.
- The present condition of the said vehicle, or a fair estimate of its monetary value.
- The optimal route for the transport, i.e. how much over-land and over-seas distance is involved, for instance, California port to Auckland is cheaper when compared to New York to Tauranga.
- The option of shipping opted for, i.e. open-air shipping versus closed air-shipping, the former is cheaper.
- Customs duties and taxes applicable in your case.
- Fees for insurance protection coverage if you opted for it.
- Dues for materials and equipment used in the whole shipping process.
How should I prepare my car for shipping to New Zealand?
Apart from ensuring that it is completely clean from both the outside and the inside (the island nation is very conscious about cleanliness and biosafety), you also need to ensure that the vehicle has a working odometer.
If the car is operable, fill the gas tank to ¼ of the full capacity, but no more than that (for the roll-on, roll-off shipment option).
You should also vacuum the interior and make sure that none of your belongings remain inside the vehicle. The last segment is especially important because the authorities in New Zealand will inspect the car and may demand further cleaning which will cost you an additional fee.
Plus, you’ll also have to steam clean the undercarriage to rid it of any foreign soil.
Why is there so much talk about cleaning the undercarriage, and is it really that big a deal?
You've probably read about it on some official website, and yes, it is a big deal.
New Zealand is an island country, meaning that the flora and fauna within are relatively isolated from that of the rest of the world. This makes them especially sensitive to invasive species, pests, and pathogens.
Thus the authorities in New Zealand are very careful about what gets in. You must clean the undercarriage of your car from any foreign soil (via steam cleaning) before it can be accepted by the authorities of the island nation. This way, you can ensure that no invasive species/pests are introduced into the environment of New Zealand.
If you choose to ignore this, the authorities will do the cleaning for you, but in return for an additional fee.
What shipping options do I have for transporting my car, and which one do you think is better?
You can choose between open-air and closed-air shipment options when shipping your vehicle; both have their applications.
If your vehicle is operable, the open-air shipment option is more suitable, i.e. the “roll-on, roll-off” method. In this protocol, the vehicle is driven on board, fastened/secured with the ship, transported, and then driven off-board. Also, none of your personal belongings should be inside the car for this shipping option.
In the closed air-shipping option, the vehicle is transported inside sealed containers and is extra secured from any physical risks. For the most part, people prefer the roll-on, roll-off shipment option because it is simpler and costs less.
However, container shipping is preferable in cases where the car is not operable or if you’re willing to pay extra for extra protection. We recommend the first option for obvious reasons: it is perfectly safe and more practical for operable vehicles, and it costs less.
What customs duties and taxes are levied upon vehicles being imported to New Zealand?
Usually, duties and taxes are levied on imported cars, but there are some exceptions, and you might just get lucky. If you're an immigrant arriving in the island nation for the very first time, you might be able to sidestep the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 15% of the purchase price and the freighting dues.
For this, you’ll have to prove that:
- You’re becoming a permanent resident in the country
- You’re the owner of the said vehicle for at least the past one year and have used it
- You’ll be using the said vehicle for at least two years after importing it
There are other details as well that you should explore on the official government website, but in short, there are a lot of categories that are exempted from this tax.
Just a friendly heads-up: If you’ve imported the vehicle for commercial purposes, for selling, or exchanging, or as a gift, this exemption will not apply.
What is the entry certification for cars in New Zealand, and how do I get one for mine?
The New Zealand Transport Authority has created a certification system whereby any car entering the country will be tested for compliance with the legal/import requirements. The vehicle must at least meet, but ideally, exceed these requirements that vary based on the age of the vehicle and its type.
The physical inspection will cover the areas of compliance such as:
- Whether the vehicle meets the frontal impact standards (i.e. for passenger safety)
- Whether the vehicle complies with the emissions safety requirements
- Whether the vehicle has an operable odometer (also, it should be perfectly accurate)
- Whether the vehicle is in an overall good condition
- Whether any repairs/touchups are necessary
- Whether any specialist inspection is required to ascertain that the car meets the legal requirements of the country
- Verification of car ownership
- Verifying the identity/details of the car
My shipment has arrived in New Zealand, what’s next?
Here’s a summary of what happens/what you should expect when your car shipment arrives in New Zealand:
- Fulfilling preliminary requirements
- Before arrival, you'll have to send your NZ Customs Client code number to the shipping company.
- Plus, you’ll also have to send over a copy of your New Zealand driver’s license.
- New Zealand Customs entry – the shipping company will provide the following to the Customs department for entry:
- Your NZ Customs Client code number
- The original invoice/bill of sale
- The original title to complete
- Additional documentation based on specific situations
- Unpacking the container – in case you opted for container shipping.
- MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) inspection – the MAF will inspect the car and its parts, it may release the vehicle if satisfied, or:
- Demand extra cleaning/vacuuming
- This cleaning process will require an additional fee
- A re-inspection from MAF may also be required in some cases
- Following the release
- After the release, you’ll get a payment invoice
- Once you pay the dues, the car will be delivered as per your instructions
- The whole procedure can take up to 5 working days