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How do I buy a car? - HOW DO I / International students / Living in New Zealand - NMIT Support

How do I buy a car?

Car Sales Websites

Used cars for sale can be found on the Internet at and Trade Me is an auction site (it's the New Zealand equivalent of eBay). Most of the cars for sale on Trademe are offered by used car dealers at a fixed price. Some cars are auctioned or offered at fixed prices by private sellers.

Vehicle Checks

You can check the history of used cars by purchasing a Vehicle Information Report (VIR) or an AA Car History Check and Vehicle Report. These checks cost little and enable you to check the odometer history and to discover whether the person selling the car is the actual owner. You can also find out whether the seller has an outstanding loan on the car. Make sure you run the check before you purchase the car. Whoever you are buying from, you could take along a mechanic to inspect the car for you, or arrange for the car to be inspected at an AA testing centre before handing over your money. 

Change of Ownership

When you buy a car in New Zealand, both you and the seller are required by law to notify the New Zealand Transport Agency of the change of ownership within seven days of the sale. If you buy a car from a dealer, they may complete some or all of the change of ownership process on your behalf. If they are doing your paperwork for you, check with them that they have actually done it. All cars for sale should have a newly issued Warrant of Fitness (WoF) issued within the last month.