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Thread: Car import: Modification of left-hand to right-hand drive?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Europe
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    16

    Default Car import: Modification of left-hand to right-hand drive?

    Hi everyone,

    I was looking at taking my car with me to NZ, but came across a couple of government sites that say a car imported to NZ needs to be right-hand drive - if it's not it will need to be modified.
    Does anyone have experience with that? In what range would the costs be to modify (upper) middle class car into a right-hand drive?

    Best regards,
    avil4723

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    North Canterbury, New Zealand
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    Converting left to right hand drive (or vice versa) is a very big job and is seldom worth it.

  3. #3
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    44N to 43S; Oregon to ChCh
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    iirc I think that is if you intend to sell the car. Other people have brought over LH drive cars for personal use.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2007
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    Palmy- from US
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    I believe it depends on how old the car is though...

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    Sandwich Islands
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    Quote Originally Posted by BkyMonster View Post
    iirc I think that is if you intend to sell the car. Other people have brought over LH drive cars for personal use.
    Here's a recent thread on the subject: http://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=25697

    You can bring over an LH drive car for personal use (no more than 1 per year). Unless it's a very old car, you cannot sell it for 5 years. My guess is, nobody would want to buy a car with the steering wheel on the wrong side anyway.

    Personally, I thought the hardest part about driving in NZ was that everything in the (RH) car was backwards.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BkyMonster View Post
    You beat me.

    While we're on the subject, anyone have a rough estimate of what it costs to ship a car from the US to NZ? I can make a good argument for taking mine if it's <$2000 (US).

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Are you taking a container? I know some people have just brought their cars inside their container and I believe it didn't cost much extra.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Europe
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    Wow that went fast! Thanks so much for the quick reply.

    Also for the link to the other thread - this indeed also clarified NZTA regulations for me.
    Looks like I won't have to convert the car then. Just that so far it has been registered on my father (for tax and insurance reasons) and he won't be moving to NZ - so I guess the only criteria left for me to fullfill would be the 90 days registration on my name here in Germany.

    Anyone experience on the LHD matter in general? Is it very uncomfortable to drive it in NZ? Given the shipping costs it would be more than worth it for me to bring it over. But does it cause any future problems apart from what is written on NZTA?

    ---

    To 72andsunny: I don't know exactly what it will cost you to bring the car over from the US, but given that I got a quote of approx. US$2500 (container) and US$2000 (RoRo) for a car from Europe to NZ you should be under US$2000 from the US.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Driving a LHD in NZ is no big deal, apart from the usual hassles of car park barriers etc.

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