Design your dream bathroom

Importing Vehicles into New Zealand

Importing Vehicles into New Zealand

As part of your relocation into New Zealand, you are allowed to bring your motor vehicle (including motor cycles) into the country, free of duty and GST providing you meet the immigration criteria, summarized below:

  • You have arrived in New Zealand and, on the date the motor vehicle is imported, you hold a document authorising permanent residencein New Zealand.
  • For the whole of the period of 21 months preceding your arrival, you have resided or been domiciled outside New Zealand.
  • You have personally owned and used the vehicle for at least one year before the date of your departure for New Zealand, or the date on which the vehicle is surrendered for shipping – whichever is earlier.
  • The vehicle is being imported for your own personal use and not for sale, gift or disposal in any other way.
  • You sign a DOU (deed of undertaking) which means you give a written undertaking that if the motor vehicle is sold or otherwise disposed of within two years from the date of importation, you will pay any duties/ GST Customs charges that would normally have been payable.

Find out more

If the above criteria cannot be met, your vehicle will be considered a non-concessionary import and Customs charges will be payable. There is no duty on vehicle imports (except for Campervans/ Motor homes), but GST @ 15% is payable on the CIF value (cost of the vehicle, insurance and freight charges). Depreciation is taken into account depending on how long the vehicle was owned outside New Zealand.

It makes no difference if you send your vehicle as part of the household lot, i.e. in a shared container with your household and personal effects, or in a separate standard container; or via Ro/Ro service.

Vehicle Biosecurity

Importers are subject to strict rules around what is allowed into the Country. Controls are in place to stop unwanted contaminants, insects, plant matter, diseases and other pests. These controls are administered by MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) and are particularly relevant to motor vehicles.

All used motor vehicles will be subject to a thorough quarantine inspection upon arrival into New Zealand. If the vehicle is part of a shared container, the inspection will take place at an approved ATF (Approved Transitional Facility) once the goods and vehicle has been unloaded.

In the event the MPI officer finds the vehicle to be contaminated plant or animal matter, soil or straw; the vehicle will be directed for cleaning which is usually steam cleaning and/or vacuuming as per the MPI instructions. The cleaning is carried out by professionally approved MPI suppliers.

Any costs for attendance, inspection, cleaning and transportation is the responsibility of the importer.

Structural Inspection

All motor vehicles and motorcycles are subject to a structural inspection by an independent body on behalf of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). The cost of this inspection can vary dependant on the type and port of entry and is the responsibility of the importer.


Caravans are classed as personal effects and providing they have been personally owned and used outside New Zealand prior to the date of departure for New Zealand, no duty or GST will be payable providing you meet the immigration criteria as listed above.

What can we do for you?

We can handle all aspects of your Customs and MPI requirements including:

  • NZ Customs clearance
  • MPI clearance
  • MPI attendance / inspections
  • Schedule structural inspections
  • Arrange quarantine cleaning i.e. steam cleaning / vacuuming (if required)

Once all the above have been met and customs release the vehicle, we can arrange delivery to an NZTA facility or we can make available for you to collect direct.

We do not arrange any NZTA compliance, Warrant of Fitness, insurance or any other vehicle related certification.