Everyone is trying to improve their standard of living and moving to an entirely new location abroad is one of the biggest changes you can do to improve this standard of living. Between Australia and New Zealand, we find that it swings in roundabouts depending on your situation, family ties and profession. Both countries have allot in common. Although they are not always so quick to admit it with a friendly rivalry existing between both nations.

One of the most common questions when relocating to New Zealand from Australia is based around relocating a car across the Tasman. Here are the things you should know before moving your car to New Zealand.

Weighing up the value

BMW car

Moving your car

The first step is to do some investigation and look at the value of your car in comparison to the same type or model in New Zealand as a price guide. You can then take into consideration the price for selling your vehicle in Australia in comparison to rebuying the same type or range on arrival. Often if a car is in relatively good working order, it is best to take this with you.

Cost of Shipping

shipping containers on a boat

Shipping your car in a container

The second thing you need to know is the costs associated with shipping car from Australia to New Zealand allowing you to budget adequately for the transportation service. There are options for driving a RORO service (roll on, roll off) through the ports. However, we do not recommend this for New Zealand bound cars. This is due to customs clearing and processing vehicles through New Zealand MAF inspection (similar to Australian Quarantine).

How to organise the shipping of your car

Calendar Date

Calendar Date

Often it is best practice to go through a professional moving provider who specialises in a full clearance and transportation services, such as Palmers Relocations or Overseas Packers and Shippers for Queensland based clients. They offer a range of services from direct shipment of cars in a sole use container to sharing the freight costs via groupage (shared container service).

Other information you should know

board with written know the rules

Follow the rules

Before importing your car, it is essential to check it meets New Zealand vehicle and emissions standards. The vehicle must also have been owned and used outside of New Zealand for more than 12 months before shipping and cannot be sold within New Zealand for a minimum of 12 months without attracting additional taxes and duties.

Deregister your vehicle

license plates with different colors

License plates

Once you have arranged to deliver to your moving/relocation provider, it is important to take your number plates and bring these back to your local state services department to have this deregistered. Often, you will also receive a refund for the additional months of registration remaining on your car.

You should also take this opportunity to contact your comprehensive vehicle insurance provider to cancel your policy and again, receive a refund for the additional months of insurance which will no longer be required.

Shipping Times


Shipping times

The duration of shipping your car depends largely on the service you are receiving from the relocation provider. A dedicated container (sole use shipment) is typically a three-week process at sea followed by customs clearance and quarantine processing time upon arrival of 7 to 10 days on average.

If your moving and relocation provider plan to send your car via a shared container (groupage) it should take 5 – 6 weeks however this usually comes with a good cost saving in the freight charge.

So, these are the five most crucial things you need to know and remember while moving your car to NZ from Australia.

Should you require further information on transporting vehicle/s to New Zealand, you can contact Kieran at Palmers Relocations