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Thread: Importing a car from the UK

  1. #1
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    Default Importing a car from the UK

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    Hi,

    I know that this has probably been discussed to death already, but I cannot find any relavent postings. So ... for those of you who have already moved to NZ, what did you do about cars? With hindsight, do you wish you imported a car? As with everything, there are so many different sides to a discussion, but with two children under 5 safety has to be a priority. Our main car here is a Cherokee Jeep, which we love, but is very heavy on petrol. We think we can bring it in (but still trying to confirm this), but feel torn between selling it here at a lower price, or biting the bullet to pay for it to be imported and so be up and running from the start. It would not be worth buying a car just to bring in, as we hope to be moving within a year. I know everyone has different priorities and expectations, but would appreciate views from those with experience of going through the upheaval itself.

    Many thanks in anticipation,

    Emily

  2. #2
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    Jan 2005
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    Hi Emily,

    Try this site for information on the regulations about importing vehicles:

    http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/about/contact.html

    Try www.Trademe.co.nz and www.Traderpoint.co.nz for prices of cars over there.

    PSS Removals have a good brochure specifically about importing vehicles from the shipping point of view.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
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    Aug 2004
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    christchurch (formerly essex)
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    Richard is the man you need to speak to, he brought his Jag out here.

  4. #4
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    Wellington, NZ - Yay!
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    PSS quoted us around 2,200 for bringing over a year old BMW.

    In the end we decided to cut our losses & sold both our cars (losing a lot of money at one end) but bought cars for good deals over here so it all evened out in the end - my new Fiesta I got out here was about 4-5000 cheaper than it would be to buy in the UK for the exact same model & Ian got a good deal on a Japanese import 4x4.

    I suppose it depends on how attached to your car you are (whether its something you could buy in NZ or not) & if you've got the spare cash to splash on shipping it.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2004
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    Wapping 2 Waiheke, now Sydney
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    Emily

    As a 1st immigrant (I presume) if you have owned the car for more than a year you ill not pay any impot duty on it. A sliding scale opperates for periods less than a year.

    Depending upon the age of the vehicle differing requirements apply as to wether you can import it and what you have to do to get it in. Probably the most crucial of these is the frontal impact regulations which apply to cars manufactured after 1986. If it isn't on the approved list forget it the cost of getting it in would be prohibitive. Even though the Cherokee may have been sold here legally at the time your Cherokee was new (you dont say how old it is) it may not be now. I couldn't import my 1991 Range Rover even though they were sold here in 1991, similarly it would not now be possible to import the 1994 Land Rover Discovery we bought here 3 weeks ago even though it was imported from Japan 3 years ago.

    If your cherokee or any other vehicle was manufactured post Jan 1991 you will need an import certificate from Chrysler/Jeep (other manufacturer) stating that it complies with the relevant NZ standards (actually a mix of other countries standards). This will cost probably $500 and maybe up to $1500.

    And finally it will cost approx a further $750 to get it inspected by an agent of LTSA, certifed, registered and a warrant of fitness issued to make it road legal.

    Shipping costs should be in the order of 1500 plus insurance (allow 3% of total value incl shipping and ins costs) and any collection charges in the UK. Check out Karmann Shipping. Less if it goes on a RoRo ferry more if you insist on sole container. Alternatively the additional cost of a 40' container versus just the 20' for your furniture etc is likely to be small.

    FWIW I discounted bring our Range Rover before I checked out wether I could bring in to the country. value of the RR plus shipping costs was significantly higher than I could replace it for here. I did ship our Porsche 928s - because I wouldn't have sold them anyway, becuase they could probably be sold here for more than their cash value to me plus shipping, ins etc. and because importing was easy - both manufactured before Jan 1991, both on frontal impact approved list.

    Now just waitin for the AA to finish import inspection - the 1st has failed on not having hi level brake light, plus the rear view mirror has fallen off (probably too muh heat in the container) the second will fail on no hi level brake light.

    Jon
    Can't wait to get my babies back.

  6. #6
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    As Veronica mentioned I brought my Jaguar XJR with me from the UK. Before I left the UK I had corresponded with the AA in NZ. The Ford agent in NZ (they own Jaguar) wanted $956.25 to simply issue a statement of compliance. I gave the AA the details of the EU compliance plate under the bonnet and they confirmed that would be sufficient to meet NZ compliance. If your car is less than five years old it should do too. I think people are wasting hundreds of pounds trying to get a statement of compliance from manufacturers when it doesn't appear to be needed. I mentioned my communication with the AA to the guy at the place that tested my car and he just said he hadn't seen a Jag yet that didn't comply so he didn't seem too bothered about a statement. All I had to give him was a copy of my passport and my V5.

    You will also need to make sure that the car meets NZ frontal impact regulations. Mine car was specifically mentioned on the LTSA website so that was another box ticked at no cost.

    On the day the container was opened here in ChCh I arrived at the shipping agent at 8.30 in the morning. I drove the car out of the container at 8.45 and by 9am MAF had given it a clean bill of health. The car was so clean the MAF guy actually asked if it was brand new.

    To prepare it I simply spent a morning the weekend before the car was taken away giving it a thorough clean. First I hoovered thoroughly inside the car, under the seats and in the boot (including under the spare wheel).

    Then I took each wheel off and got out all of the mud from around the wheel arch. I then sprayed under the car to clean that then cleaned all obvious surfaces under the bonnet with a damp cloth. Finally a quick wash and polish (including door shuts) and it was ready. The car then stayed in my garage for 4 or 5 days to dry out before being put in to the container.

    Once MAF had passed the car I was then free to get it taken away to be certified. I phoned the AA and they said that there was a 3-4 week wait for compliance/registration etc. They helpfully gave me the number of another place though just down the road from them. They were able to fit me in the same day so they picked it up from the shipping agent 'after morning tea' and drove it on trade plates to their garage.

    The only thing that needed sorting was a small chip in the windscreen. They must be more picky over here as the chip wouldn't have affected an MOT. Anyway the certifier arranged for it to be repaired for $55.

    Once the car passed certification (should take about 2 days) I popped in to pick up a registration form then drove 1 mile down the road back to the AA where it took 10 minutes to arrange registration. I was then free to drive the car in NZ.

    The main costs were 306 for shipping insurance whilst in the container, $160 for MAF inspection, $568.13 for compliance and $370.68 for registration. We had too much stuff for a 20 foot container so had a 40 foot highcube. That meant that there was room for the car so it didn't really cost a lot extra to ship it.

    One niggle I did have is that the number plates are physically smaller in NZ so I looked at getting a larger one as the number plate surround on the car was sized for a UK one. There appears to be a Government agency in NZ that has the sole rights to make number plates and upgrading to a 'European' style plate would have cost $279 instead of 21 from Halfords. Since I wanted to change the plate I thought I might as well buy a personal plate too to help justify the cost so the car now wears "XJR 4L". See www.plates.co.nz for choices.

    BTW, if anyone needs to get a car certified in Christchurch I can recommend Michael Fiddymont Ltd, 383 Brougham Street.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Richard - very informative. I am still trying to plough through all the web pages to find out if the jeep passes the necessary tests, although as we're so early in the application (just about to send in our ITA) Ive not given it a top priority.

    DH has just told me that if we really had to, he could force himself to buy a Jag to take over

    Thanks again,

    Emily

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon & Emily

    DH has just told me that if we really had to, he could force himself to buy a Jag to take over

    Thanks again,

    Emily
    It might not be as silly as you think. Jags in the UK depreciate rapidly whereas they don't quite so much in NZ so if you bought a nearly new one and shipped it over you could probably make at least $30k even after paying all taxes and shipping costs.

  9. #9
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    Who said it was silly?? He's seriously considering shipping over a 'premium' car, as he feels the choice / price of buying over here must be better than over in NZ since we have so many more cars on the road.

    It may well be a male thing though - I have to admit that it's fairly low on my priority list. As long as it's not an old banger and unsafe, I can't really see the benefit of buying here, shipping over (and therefore paying import tax of some kind) and going through all the time / hassel / costs when it should be easier / as cheap to buy something local over there.

    Does anyone else have any views on this? There must be loads of people who've shipped cars over - do any of you regret it? Was it worth the trouble for an 'ordinary' (ie non cherished) car?

    Emily

  10. #10
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    Anyone got any advice on Landrovers. We were thinking of shipping our year old freelander with us - until we took it for a service at the weekend and Hubby fell in love with the new Discovery - a serious rival for my affections!

    He's now talking about trading in here to buy a Disco to ship out - personally I don't think it's practical or cost effective any advice / info on how they depreciate etc would be appraciated

    Thanks

    Margaret

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