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Buy or Renting a Car in New Zealand?

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As our moving date got closer we are realizing for our plans needed to be action-ed as soon as we arrive into NZ we need to get some wheels so we can get around quickly!

Luckily we were  be able to borrow a relatives car when we arrived, from there we planned to purchase our own within 2 weeks of being in Auckland.

If you are not fortunate to have relatives or friends in NZ who have a car they can lend you, you may want to rent a car upon arrival. The airport is the best place to start, but you may find cheaper deals elsewhere once you are in Auckland. You can use the search bar below to get started on finding the best deal for you.

If you hold a driving license in your home country you will be able to drive in NZ when you arrive, most companies require to see your full license this includes the paper part as well as your actual license, they will also want to see another form of I.D (A passport) and they will most certainly require a credit card in case you bash there car up!

We managed to buy a car utilizing an uncle skills who is a ex mechanic. We checked our sites like Trade me (NZ leading online auction site similar to Ebay) before we left to see what we could afford for our budget.

We will also headed to some car fairs when we arrived, Ellerslie Car Fair is  far by the largest in the country and the most popular. We did read whilst doing our research that you should be careful for scams for instance dealers not who they say they are or cars that are on there last legs. But the market has on site prepurchase inspection mechanics so for a fee of $140 you can soon find out if you are buying a piece of crap! This market gave us a lot of leads so it really should be everyone’s first stop, before turning to Trade Me or the classifieds adds in the local news papers.

During our search the more we looked the more we found our budget increasing! It is well known that the kiwi atutude towards there cars are, “run the heap to the ground”, therefore when they come to sell it for $2000 bets are you are not getting a car that has been serviced regularly or well looked after!

We decided we wanted something a bit more reliable seen as we want the wheels to last more than a year! At Ellerslie Car Market we discovered that cars under $2000 were perfect for the backpacker arriving into Auckland and planning on sightseeing or working there way down to Christchurch. This ivedentantly was not us so we upped our budget for $5000-7000 and we found we could get something half decent, fairly new and was a low miler(or Kilometres). However all of these cars seemed to be Japanese imports at the car market and most of the people selling these cars were dealers who had premises on the Great South Road in Auckland.

So although Ellerslie was a very good starting point for us, avoiding dealers (which was our orginal plan!) who ship the cars in from Japan and make a tidy profit just didn’t happen!

Here is our little black Nissan, we called her Matilda!


To find out more read more and to learn about the rules of the road  read our Driving in New Zealand post!

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