Buying a car Buying a car

Buying a car

If you’ve found the car for you, it’s time to settle on a price and sign on the dotted line. There are a few more steps to go and then that car’s all yours.

Negotiating the best price

It’s not a big part of Kiwi culture, but negotiating when buying a car will save you money and most car yards expect it. Use the detail in your VTNZ Pre-Purchase Assessment report to help you negotiate, especially if there are things that need immediate attention.


A dealer’s price is usually what they would hope to get: start 15% lower for a used car and 20% lower for a new model.

For any purchase, try to get 15 percent or so knocked off the ticket price. If you’re paying cash, you might be able to get more. The exception is if it’s a high-value trade-in offer, or it’s a “sale price” to start with, the ticket price probably won’t move very much – if at all. (Consumer NZ)

Before you buy, get it checked by the experts.

Book a Pre-Purchase Assessment

How much should you pay?

The first thing to check is how much similar cars, in a similar condition, and with similar kms, are going for. You can do this by having a look on websites like and

You can also get a professional car valuation from Red Book. This will give you the confidence that you’re paying the right price for a car, and may also help you with negotiations. Go to to get a Valuation Certificate for around $17.

Four things to see or sign before buying

  • Certificate of Registration
    Make sure you see this before you finish the purchase to ensure that the current owner of the vehicle is the person/business that is selling it to you.
  • Warrant of Fitness (WoF)
    If you’re buying from a car dealer, the vehicle is required to have a WoF less than one month old at the purchase date. If you’re buying privately, a WoF is not legally required if the sale details clearly state that you agree to buy the car in the condition you saw it ‘as is, where is’.
  • Sale Agreement and Consumer Information Notice
    This only applies if you’re buying from a dealer. Make sure you take the time to read these documents before signing them.
  • Change of Ownership
    Change of ownership forms will need to be completed by both the buyer (MR13C) and the seller (MR13B). This can be done at your local VTNZ branch.

After the purchase

Once the car is all yours, make sure you have taken care of the following:


You should have this organised so that the minute you drive off with your new car you’re insured. You’ll need to decide whether you just want third party or comprehensive insurance.

  • Third party insurance usually covers any legal liability if you damage someone else’s property or accidentally injure someone when you’re driving your car or another vehicle.
  • Comprehensive insurance usually covers accidental loss or damage to your car, as well as what’s included in third party insurance.

Keeping your rego up to date

Your rego can be renewed online with the NZTA and they will pop it in the post to you, or we can sort it out at your local VTNZ branch on the spot. We can also line your rego due date up with your WoF due date so you can save time and sort them out at the same time.


Visit one of our 80+ branches nationwide

We'll have you road ready in no time.