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Thread: Taking vehicles to NZ

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    UK
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    7

    Default Taking vehicles to NZ

    Hi,

    We're heading out from UK to NZ 16th November, but are in two minds about taking our beat up old Landrover. It's a handy vehicle to have, and they're twice the price in NZ, but it's been to the Sahara and back so is full of sand in all the nooks and crannies.

    Has anyone experience of taking a car, and if so how clean does it have to be before it goes (and has anyone had their car rejected by MAF)?

    Cheers,
    Jos

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Poole, UK to Chch, NZ
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    hi Jos,

    I recommend doing a search of this forum for "landrover" There has been a fair bit of discussion about them before - as well as other vehicles - and I seem to remember some taking the plunge and bringing them across. I'm *sure* I remember one tale where MAF demanded that the whole underside of the car be sandblasted and resprayed, however.

    That said, it sounds like your Landrover is a little (ok, large!) bit of personal history. I'd want to take anything I'd been to the Sahara and back in too

    Soph

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chch, NZ
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    2,213

    Default

    Short answer is you're best to leave it behind because it's simply not worth the hassles. Even with sentimental value, if you choose to bring it over, MAF may order a full quarantine inspection and remove soil and dirt (at your cost).

    MAF is the least of your concerns, it's the NZ Land Transport Authority that registers vehicles. It's clear the rules are slated towards those that import new or good sounding vehicles into NZ because the tests are so severe. For eg, all vehicle bodies designed on a mono-frame / uni-body / chassis-less platform is automatically rejected if there's signs of previous body damage. This includes cars where their body has been repaired - they know upon inspection because they force you to take the interior door panels off to see any signs of previous accidents. Lots of people import cars off eBay not knowing if the car has previously been in an accident. When it arrives in NZ, the owner is in for a can of worms during compliance inspection.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Chch, NZ
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    Default

    I'm *sure* I remember one tale where MAF demanded that the whole underside of the car be sandblasted and resprayed, however.
    This would be during the NZLTA compliance stage and nothing to do with MAF. MAF's only concern is bio-hazzards entering into NZ. NZLTA is responsible for allowing the vehicle to be fit and safe to use on public roads.

    The issue why a car's underside would have to be sandblasted and reworked is the simple reason that the car's chassis may be compromised and rusting. Sandblasting shows up the weaknesses of the body's structure by exposing holes through the metal work (holes means rust has eaten through). My uncle brought in a 58' Ford T-Bird off eBay to only discover that it wouldn't meet compliance because the body was a semi-unibody design. Which meant that major under chassis work had to be done. Took him 6+ years to complete the work and some $60K in restoration cost. Old classic cars that were build on a solid chassis need not apply since the body that sits on the chassis is not structural.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland to Wellington
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    Default

    We had to sell the beloved Series 3 to move here and my husband is still regretting it.... He reckons that unless it has a brand-new, unwelded, non-rusted chassis with perfect suspension it won't get in. Not to mention the frontal impact protection test thing cars have to pass. But then it wouldn't be a Landrover without the rust would it.... We brought in a subaru (which replaced our previous defender), this we had professionally valeted beforehand (it had never been so clean). The exterior had to be steam-cleaned on arrival (the garage proudly told us it was the dirtiest underside they had ever seen) and we had to have the brakes completely replaced. They check the car thoroughly and basically take it to pieces for the compliance. (Other people may have had completely different experiences but this was ours)
    I think the sad news is you will have to leave the landrover behind...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Manukau,NZ !!!!!
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    Is it then the general opinion that it is easier to leave any car. Ours is a citroen which is good and still very healthy but it seems more trouble than it's worth!! We wouldn't get more than 1500 selling it but it would cost us loads to get a replacement 5 seater!! Seems such a shame but it sounds like it will cost loads to get it suitable for NZ approval.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    It's not just that it's the spare parts, servicing and also the fact that what suited you perfectly for the UK roads and lifestyle may not be so appropriate for the lifestyle, location and style of driving you do over here.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2008
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    Poole, UK to Chch, NZ
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    Thanks SuperBQ - I def muddled MAF and NZLTA there

    scarycat, we have a Citroen that we love too - but it won't be coming with us. As Duncan says, servicing and parts are likely to be expensive, and also that particular model doesn't exist in NZ! We have a 2003 Berlingo car, and the only Berlingos in NZ are the vans, and only since 2005 or so, which would make everything even harder.

    We even started thinking about what to buy instead when we get there, and thought about a Mazda 5 or something similar - but they're not sold in NZ either, as far as we can tell! So we really do have to take population size into account, and the resulting decrease in variety.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2008
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    North Canterbury, New Zealand
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    Our two cars were loaded into the container in a farmyard in the UK in November. They were filthy. MAF simply arranged for them to be steam cleaned along with a load of garden tools. The good thing is, since they arranged it they could not very well fail it afterwards. The whole lot was a couple of hundred dollars.

    Compliance is a whole different game. As mentioned above, they are completely anal about a little rust. There is a new 'immigrants car' scheme which allows you to bypass some of the impact and emissions requirements.

    Why anyone would choose to own/drive a landrover is beyond me but each to his own...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    North Canterbury, New Zealand
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    Quote Originally Posted by sophiedb View Post
    We even started thinking about what to buy instead when we get there, and thought about a Mazda 5 or something similar - but they're not sold in NZ either, as far as we can tell!
    Very common car here though. Checking TradeMe I see that there are some listed as NZ New

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