Home of quality pre-owned vehicles

Top Tips To Find A Used Car in New Zealand

As there are many cars imported into New Zealand (NZ) from Japan there is a thriving second hand or used car market. Finding a used car is relatively easy, checking that the one you want to buy will be a good purchase is another matter. Buying from a reputable dealer is likely to be a safer option than buying privately.

Where to buy a used car in New Zealand

Trade Me - New Zealand's online auction place has a large used car selection
Car fairs - mainly held in largest city, Auckland e.g. Ellerslie Car Fair
Turners Car Auctions - have depots in most major towns (Whangarei, Auckland North Shore and Penrose, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill) 

Newspaper classifieds 

Social Media e.g. local area Facebook buy/sell pages 

Car dealerships

Inspect the vehicle

Before offering to buy a used car you should do some thorough checks first. It is important to try and inspect on a sunny day so you can see any faults easily. Don't rush your inspection and take the car for a test drive to make sure it runs well and there are no unusual noises.

4 things to take to the inspection: 

1. A checklist of things to look out for (comprehensive list on www.nzta.govt.nz) 

2. A magnet so you can check for possible hidden rust repairs 

3. A torch for looking under the bonnet 

4. A friend or someone else with car knowledge to help you

*NZTA is the New Zealand Transport Agency 

Check the Paperwork (WOF and Registration) 

WOF - Warrant of Fitness is valid for 6 months, check the expiry date on the car you are looking at. Cars can be sold without a current WOF. If you purchase a car without a current WOF you would need to drive it immediately to a licensing garage and have one issued. You will be liable for any repairs needed to issue the WOF e.g. replace worn tyres, replace non-working bulbs etc.


A registration is a road tax which can be renewed easily at a Post Office or online at www.nzta.govt.nz

Car History

Checking the history of a car is worthwhile so you can see if there are any odometer issues, if there is any debt associated with or money owing on the car and also if the car has been reported stolen. You can get a vehicle information report (VIR) for just $19.95 from www.motorweb.co.nz if you pay by credit card. 1 in 3 cars they check returns an issue so why risk repossession!

The VIR reports back on 70 checks including:

- whether the seller is the registered owner 

- if the vehicle is reported stolen 

- any money owing on the vehicle (because if there is, the vehicle could be repossessed) 

- whether the NZTA have the vehicle listed as a flood damaged import 

- whether the odometer has possibly been tampered with 

- any outstanding Road User Charges 

- the vehicle's fuel economy ratings 

...and loads more!

Before You Buy

Insist on a full professional inspection by a garage or the Automobile Association (AA). The report from this inspection will detail any repairs that are needed or any potential future problems.

After You Buy

Both the seller and the buyer have to notify NZTA when a vehicle is bought and sold (easy to do online).

If you are in the market for second hand cars in NZ drop in and say hello to MSK Motors Ltd. Visit www.mskmotors.co.nz to check out their range of direct import cars in Hamilton to see if they have anything suitable for you. To buy used cars in Hamilton you are advised to go with a reliable dealer such as MSK Motors Ltd who also offer a convenient nationwide delivery service.

Contact our friendly team to make a booking!

 07 847 3866

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