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What to Know Before Importing a Classic Car into New Zealand

Posted on October 10, 2023

What to Know Before Importing a Classic Car into New Zealand

What to Know Before Importing a Classic Car into New Zealand

Whether it's a beloved vintage vehicle or a rare find, importing a classic car into New Zealand can be daunting. In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know before importing cars to NZ. From regulations and costs to practical tips, we've got you covered.

Understanding the Regulations

Before you even think about shipping your classic car, it's vital to understand New Zealand's import regulations. The government has strict rules to ensure safety, emissions compliance, and the preservation of our pristine backyard.

Age Restrictions and Compliance

One of the fundamental regulations pertains to the age of the classic car. New Zealand has specific rules regarding the age of imported vehicles. Generally, vehicles must be at least 20 years old to be eligible for importation as a classic car. However, there are exceptions.

Emission Standards

Another crucial aspect is emissions standards. New Zealand is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining clean air quality. Therefore, your classic car needs to meet certain emission standards. If your vehicle doesn't meet these standards, you might need to make modifications to ensure compliance.

Safety Standards

Safety is paramount in New Zealand, and classic cars must meet specific safety requirements, including having functioning seatbelts, airbags (if applicable), and other safety features. Ensure your classic car is up to par with these standards before you start the importation process.

Environmental Considerations

New Zealand is vigilant about protecting its unique ecosystem. Biosecurity measures are in place to prevent the introduction of invasive species and diseases. Ensure your classic car complies with these measures to avoid complications during the importation process.

Importing classic cars into nz - Vintage car with red interior

Paperwork and Documentation

Understanding these regulations is crucial, but equally important is documenting your compliance. When importing a classic car into NZ, you must provide evidence that your car meets these standards. Here's the paperwork you need to have handy before importing a vehicle.

Import Approval

Obtaining import approval for your classic car is a pivotal step. This approval comes from the New Zealand Transport Agency. To secure it, you must compile a comprehensive set of documents, including the car's ownership history, proof of compliance with New Zealand's age and emission standards, and any modifications to meet safety and environmental regulations. Gather these documents meticulously, as they serve as your golden ticket for importing your classic car into New Zealand.

Vehicle Registration

Once your classic car arrives in New Zealand, it must be registered with the NZTA. Registration involves filling out the necessary paperwork, providing proof of compliance with local standards, and paying registration fees. Be prepared to provide documentation, including your import approval, ownership records, and safety compliance certificates.

Customs Clearance

Navigating the customs clearance process can be a complex task. You'll need to fill out various customs forms, declare the value of your classic car, and potentially pay customs duties. Thoroughly research the customs requirements and have all your documents ready. These documents include your import approval, vehicle registration, and any invoices or valuations related to the car's value. Ensuring everything is in order will expedite the clearance process and prevent unnecessary delays.

Costs Involved with Importing a Classic Car

Beyond the shipping costs, there are a few additional expenses to consider when importing a classic car into NZ: • Import Duty and GST: Importing a classic car into NZ involves costs such as import duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST). These fees are calculated based on the vehicle's value, so budget accordingly. • Compliance Costs: Meeting New Zealand's safety and emission standards may require modifications to your classic car, so factor in compliance costs when planning your importation budget. • Luxury Car Tax: Luxury Car Tax may apply if your classic car falls into this category. Be aware of this additional cost.

Get Your Dream Vehicle into NZ with McCullough

Importing a classic car into New Zealand is a thrilling endeavour that allows you to experience the joy of driving a piece of automotive history amidst stunning landscapes. By understanding the regulations, costs, and processes involved, you can confidently embark on this adventure. Now, it's time to hit the road and enjoy the timeless beauty of your classic car in the land of the long white cloud. As New Zealand's premier auto importers, we are your go-to for getting a beloved vehicle or rare new find into the country. We'll handle all the nitty gritty, so all you have to worry about is where you will explore once it gets here. Get in touch today!


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