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How to sell your car in New Zealand?

Tuesday, 21 November 2023

How to sell your car in New Zealand?

Kia ora, kiwi car owners! Are you planning to sell your old car and purchase a new one this summer? Selling your car doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it can be a simple and hassle-free process. In this blog, we will let you know how to sell your car in New Zealand. From preparing your car, and where to list the car, to after successfully selling your car, we’ve got you covered.


Get your car ready for sale!

  1. Deep cleaning your car

Before you start selling your car, cleaning your car inside and outside is necessary. Cleaning the car not only makes it look better but also shows potential buyers that it has been well-maintained and received genuine care.

  1. Have a mechanical check-up

Considering having a car inspection before selling your car is a wise decision. A thorough inspection can help you identify any potential issues and allow you to solve the problems before you sell the car. By doing this, you can increase your car’s value and appeal to more potential buyers. In addition, having an inspection report in hand can help ease their concerns and build trust during the selling process.

  1. Prepare your car documents

Collect all related documents to your car, including registration, service history, and maintenance records. Having a clear car history can make your car stand out from the market.

  1. Create the best photos of your car

Having a nice car photo can help your car stand out in a crowded market. Make sure you take the photo from the best angles with good lighting, inside, and outside. Then, you could edit your photos to make it perfect.

  1. Gathering important information about your car

Before you list and sell your car, preparing the car information is quite necessary. The information includes:

  • Vehicle make, model, and year
  • Mileage
  • Body style (Hatchback, sedan, sedan, or etc.)
  • Transmission
  • Fuel type (Petrol, diesel, hybrid, or electric)
  • Location
  • Color
  • Selling price
  • Import history (NZ new or not)
  • Number of owners
  • Registration expires date
  • WOF expires date
  • Service History
  • Parts that have just been replaced, like tires, wipers, car brakes, etc.


Sell your car privately or through dealers?

After you prepare your car and wish to sell your car, the first decision you must make is whether to sell it privately or through dealers. Both choices have advantages and disadvantages, you should decide based on your individual situation and decide what is the best for you.  The following is a list of pros and cons of selling your car privately vs through dealers.

  1. Selling your car privately


  • Higher selling price: Selling your car privately can potentially help you get a higher selling price, as you will deal with buyers directly and negotiate the price.
  • Complete control over the transaction: You can set or adjust the selling price, bargain with the potential buyers, and schedule the meeting time and place. Everything is under your control.
  • Various methods of paying: You can choose different options to get paid, like by cash, bank transfer, or any other method.
  • No additional fees: Not like selling through dealers, you won’t have to pay extra fees.


  • Take more time: Selling your car privately might take a while and need you to put more effort into it.
  • Handling paperwork: You must prepare all paperwork, like transfer of ownership, sales agreement, or any other necessary documents.
  • Safety concerns: Meeting with strangers to show your car increases the safety concerns. Remember to meet them in public areas during the daylight hours. Also, keep an eye out for scammers you may come across while selling. Criminals always try to trick you into giving them your car or your money.
  1. Selling your car through dealers


  • Quick and convenient: Selling your car through dealers will save you time and energy. Dealers have their own standard selling process, which allows you to focus on other important aspects of your life.
  • Trade-in options: Many dealers provide trade-in options, which can streamline the buying process if you are looking for a replacement car.


  • Lower sale price: To ensure they make enough profit, dealers always offer lower prices.
  • Potentially higher frees: Dealers might ask you to pay extra fees for maintenance or repairs, raising the overall cost of selling a car.


Where to list your car?

  1. Trade Me Motors

    Trade Me Motors is one of the most popular platforms for buying and selling cars in New Zealand, with over 3 million users and listings. But please notice, that you have to pay the list fee, if you choose to be listed on Trade Me Motors.
  2. Auto Trader

    Auto Trader is another large online marketplace that can help you sell cars, which will only cost $20.
  3. Facebook Marketplace

    You can also sell the car through Facebook and it’s for free.


After selling your car

There are a few more things you should do after selling the car. First, let the NZ Transport Agency know your car has been sold. Then, make sure to notify your insurance company to terminate your car insurance. If your car has a loan, please don’t forget to clear it up. Lastly, to ensure an easy transition, make sure to finish the post-sale checklist by giving the new owner any necessary manuals, spare keys, and other related items.


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