← back

Vehicle Importing 101: Import Tariffs & Grey Imports

Posted on January 20, 2023

Vehicle Importing 101: Import Tariffs & Grey Imports

As a leading New Zealand auto shipping company, we know this industry can be confusing to customers. From grey imports to NZ import tariffs, we break down all the jargon and other elements of the vehicle import process you need to know. Say you’re looking to import a car from the UK to NZ; this article offers some great insight into the vehicle-importing process and other elements to consider.


What is a grey import?

Regarding vehicle shipping, a grey import refers to new or used motor vehicles and motorcycles sourced and imported legally from other countries through alternative distribution systems other than the original maker’s channel.


Authorised dealers usually get exclusive rights to sell a particular brand. For instance, Nissan’s authorised distributor is Tan Chong Motors. A grey import is from a smaller business that has bought the cars directly from a home factory and resells them to their customers. Another term used to describe this is 'parallel import'.


Cost effective alternative

Sourcing your car through an authorised dealer can often be costly as they have to pay for the initial making of the vehicle. Authorised dealers can also afford to request a higher price tag as many individuals want to source their vehicle from a company with a household name they trust. A grey import vehicle bought from a smaller business can offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional imports.


The drawbacks to grey imports

Regardless of grey imports providing wider audience access to more cars and being a cheaper option, there are some drawbacks. Servicing and warranties may be unreliable as parts are difficult to find when the vehicle is not bought directly from an authorised dealership. Grey imports can come with random unforeseen issues, such as region-coded navigation systems from the country they came from, which can be difficult to adjust.


What are NZ import tariffs?

An import tariff refers to the taxes charged by the government for importing goods into New Zealand from another country. If you don’t meet the tariff concessions outlined by the government, you will need to pay a 5 to 10 per cent tax, depending on the type of vehicle you import.


What legal requirements must motor vehicles meet?

New Zealand has varying standards and requirements for the different vehicle classes. It is integral to note the “frontal impact standard” and the “exhaust emissions standard”. These requirements don’t apply only when the car is older than 20 years, you are a citizen returning home to New Zealand, or the car is a special interest vehicle.


MPI inspection

An MPI inspection is when the Ministry for Primary Industries checks your vehicle for biosecurity during customs clearance. New Zealand strives to protect their country from non-native insects and soil to preserve the natural ecosystem.


Use our trusted importing services to get your vehicle safely delivered

Our incredible McCullough team offer a seamless importing service to ensure you have everything you need to enjoy your imported vehicle. Customer satisfaction is at the forefront of what we do, and we go above and beyond to help our clients. Get in touch today!

← back

Related articles

The Best of British Classic Cars
Posted on 28th April 2023
Some of the best things on wheels have come from the UK. From Jaguars to Mini Coopers, discover some of the best British classic cars to have ever been made.
Read more

Importing Heavy Machinery – What to Expect when Shipping
Posted on 29th March 2023
Importing heavy machinery can be a tricky business. Discover how McCullough simplifies shipping machinery worldwide with our straightforward three-step process.
Read more

A Guide to Motorhome Classes and RV Tips for Beginners
Posted on 3rd March 2023
Newbies to motorhomes might get a little lost with all the options. Luckily we’ve put together some RV tips for beginners, including a motorhome class guide!
Read more

How Much Does It Cost to Import Cars, Motorbikes, & Caravans?
Posted on 31st January 2023
Vehicle imports come with many costs, which can be overwhelming. If you’re wondering, “how much does it cost to import cars and other vehicles to NZ?” read on.
Read more

Our easy - 3 step shipping process

Advise pick-up location
Documents & shipping
Delivered to your door

Tell us the pick up location and we'll arrange a date & time

We handle all customs & shipping including insurance

Enjoy your toy, after it's delivered to your door anywhere in NZ.

Get Started

Shipping a vehicle?

Get a free quote

Unlock your dream now …

Copyright © 2023 McCullough Ltd | Terms & Conditions

Website crafted by bocapa