Buying a car, motorbike, or boat

This page lists resources that will help when buying a new – or new for you – car, bike or boat. See also our pages on Classic cars and Motorhomes and campervans.

What to buy?

MotorbikeTransport links in our Internet Gateway include the ‘Dog and Lemon guide’, road tests and reviewscar clubs and magazines.

The NZ Consumer’s Institute has a useful online guide to buying a car and their car buyers' rights guide lets you know what your rights are if a car deal goes wrong. has reviews for a wide range of bikes.

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Who to buy from?

If you’re not sure of the legitimacy of the company you’re dealing with, you can check on them in New Zealand’s Motor Vehicle Traders Register (MVTR): a public register that contains information about whether a motor vehicle trader is registered, and information about the trader’s business, including its physical address. Trade Me, Trade–A–Boat, and Autotrader, let you browse and search for new or used vehicles.

What checks to do?

You need to check whether the vehicle is legitimately for sale and that it is worth the purchase price.

Several services can tell you if the car is stolen, has outstanding finance, the current warrant and registration status ownership history:

A number of services can assess the car for you. Many dealers will offer a check as part of the sales deal. Be aware that these checks are done for the dealer and are not the same as the check that will be done for you as a buyer. If you have your own trusted mechanics, they may do the check for you, which can have some advantages. Browse Vehicle inspections in the Yellow Pages.

On the road and in the water

Once you’ve got it home don’t forget that we have an excellent collection of motor manuals and repair guides. You may also want to contact the local car owners, motorcycle or boating clubs which are listed in CINCH.

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