Finding a car is exciting and it can be tempting to buy on the spot, but it’s important to give the car a good check first to avoid trouble later on.
Before you buy, check the vehicle has these things:
Only $199 – our independent Pre-Purchase Assessment covers the following checks:
Cars, utes and SUVs
We check most light vehicles, including cars, utes and SUVs. As a general rule we can do a Pre-Purchase Assessment on a vehicle under 3500kg gross vehicle mass.
Please note: For most diesel and some petrol vehicles a physical engine test can’t be carried out, however the Automotive Technician’s expert opinion on the status of the engine will be provided in the report.
We can assess small campervans (less than 3500kg gross vehicle mass). We will do a thorough check of the vehicle, but we don’t assess the condition of the accommodation or other camper specific items.
For Electric and hybrid vehicles we are currently unable to test the high voltage battery or motor operation and condition. Specialist testing should be carried out if you have any concerns.
If you’re unsure whether can we complete a Pre-Purchase Assessment on your vehicle, please call your nearest branch.
You’ll receive a digital copy of your assessment report for your records to share with your family and friends or potential new owners if you need to.
VTNZ Pre-Purchase Assessments are available for light vehicles only.
Check the car on a nice day, when the car is clean and dry. It will be easier to notice all dents and bumps.
Current Warrant of Fitness?
Yes? It’s not quite enough to tell you that the vehicle is in good working order, but it’s one less thing for you to worry about.
No? It might make you wonder why they’re selling it. All vehicles must be sold with a WoF less than a month old. If you’re buying from a dealer ask them to get the WoF sorted on the car. Or if you’re buying private, the seller must state that it is ‘as is, where is’ if no WoF is available.
Noticeable dents, rust or bumps?
Check that these aren’t going to cause any issues with getting your next warrant, and you may be able to negotiate the price down a bit.
Make sure you take the car out for at least half an hour. You’ll want to test it at varying speed levels and on a mixture of flat and hilly areas.
Does it make any strange noises or feel like it’s not driving right?
Listen for any clunking, screeching or other unusual noises and feel for any vibrations or shaking. There could be a problem with the engine, CV joints, suspension problems or something else.
Get an independent expert to look at the car to make sure there are no nasty surprises that may come up later on.
A VTNZ Pre-Purchase Assessment includes a digital report that you can share with your potential buyer or seller if you want to negotiate a better price.
Check for debt owing on a car before you buy it so there’s no risk of it being repossessed. Go to motorweb.co.nz to get a Vehicle Information Report for only $19.95.
Insurance companies charge different premiums for different vehicles. Make sure the one you want has affordable premiums for your budget. Call a few insurance providers to ask for a quote.
We'll have you road ready in no time.