Shipping a car to New Zealand from the USA: All you need to know

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In an increasingly globalized world, the need to transport valuable assets like cars across international borders is growing. Your car will be a necessity, so having it at your new location in New Zealand will be a must. For that reason, when approaching moving to New Zealand from US it’s important to get to know as much as you can about the whole process. Allow us to help you understand the process of shipping a car to New Zealand from the USA and what it entails. 

Does your car follow NZ standards?

Before your vehicle can be used on New Zealand roads, you must provide evidence that it meets a variety of approved standards. Among them are things like proof of ownership and compliance with emissions, fuel consumption, and braking standards. All of that needs to be checked before you contact Transparent International NYC and let our company help you with the shipping process. For example, you’ll need an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) label or a statement of compliance with emissions standards. Similarly, you must have an FMVSS plate or a statement of compliance proving the car meets overall standards. Ensure you have all the necessary documentation before proceeding.

A luxury car with an open hood
Make sure that your car is according to all necessary standards before shipping it

How long does usually shipping a car to New Zealand from the USA take?

Shipping a car to New Zealand from the USA typically takes between 30-50 days. However, this timeframe can vary based on factors like weather conditions. It’s important to remember this doesn’t include over-land traveling, which depends on pickup and delivery locations. Of course, when it comes to international car transportation even small details can make a huge difference in the process. The locations where from and to you’ll ship can drastically change the time frame.  For example, if you’re shipping a car to Auckland, there will be a big time difference to when it arrives, depending on if you’re shipping it from LA or NYC. On top of that, even the model of your car can even make a huge difference in case it needs some special permits.

How much will it cost to ship your car from the US to New Zealand?

Vehicle shipping costs to New Zealand from the U.S. generally range between $3,500 and $7,000. These costs depend on three main factors – the current location of your car, the make and model of your car, and the final destination in New Zealand. As every car shipment is unique, it’s best to get a real quote based on your specific needs. Similarly, when choosing international furniture movers you can trust, having more quotes can make things easier. With such an approach, you can find a company that fits both your needs and budget.

Keep customs and duties in mind

The process of shipping from the US to New Zealand also involves customs and duties. The cost and influence of these fees on the overall process vary depending on the vehicle and import circumstances. Always factor these expenses into your budget and timeline. They might seem like a small part of the budget, but factor international moving services you booked and other often overlooked details when budgeting and you can end up facing some unpleasant surprises. One of the costs many forget about is the GST which is 15% of the landed value. You can calculate it if you include the cost of the vehicle and add to it insurance and freight.

A port with shipments during golden hour
Shipping a car to New Zealand from the USA includes customs and duties

Choose the method for shipping that fits your needs

There are several ways you can ship your car to your new location. Each of them will come with its pros and cons, from time efficiency to affordability. However, every single one of them can be used if you plan to ship your car from the US to New Zealand. Let’s take a deeper look at them:

  • Roll-On/Roll-Off is a cost-effective option that resembles parking your car in a large vessel.
  • Shared Container Service allows several vehicles to share one shipping container, splitting the cost.
  • Full Container Load is similar but reserves the entire container for one vehicle, offering added security.

Choose the method that best fits your budget, needs, and the type of vehicle you’re shipping. Whatever you pick, you can be sure that your car will safely arrive in New Zealand.

Prepare your vehicle for inspection

All used vehicles are inspected upon arrival in New Zealand. The cleanliness of your vehicle can impact whether it passes inspection and affects the potential cleaning costs. For that reason, it’s a good idea to clean up your car as much as you can. Approximately 80% of used cars fail the initial inspection, so prepare to spend NZ$100-200 on cleaning and vacuuming if necessary. That’s why there’s no need to stress or worry if your car fails this inspection.

Find a quality company you can trust with your car

It’s vital to choose a reputable company for the job. Look for companies with good reviews, clear communication, and insurance coverage.  Thankfully, you will have a lot of places to look, as there are plenty of reputable companies that do reviews of such companies. Among them are websites like the Better Business Bureau and plenty of others that you can trust. Quality companies can help navigate the process of shipping a car, making it smoother and less stressful.

Shipping a car to New Zealand from the USA is easier with the right company
Pick a company you can trust with such an important task

Enjoy the benefits of your car in New Zealand

Shipping a car to New Zealand from the USA is a complex process, but with the right preparation and understanding, it can be smoothly managed. Familiarize yourself with the regulations, costs, shipping methods, and find a reliable shipping company. Every step of the process should be handled one step at a time. With careful planning and attention to detail, your car will soon be ready to find its way to the New Zealand roads.



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I got a job in France and I needed to relocate my things and they did a great job. Also, they kept it real close to the estimated costs. I definitely will use their service in the future and definitely recommend their services to my friends and family.

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