Mount Cook


The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has laid down a set of rules and regulations for vehicle imports (tel: 0800 108 809 or +64 9 9506200 or The regulations concern safety, emissions and frontal impact standards and verifying the legal owner of a vehicle and that it does not require any repairs prior to registration in New Zealand.

All vehicles must be entry inspected by an NZTA-appointed entry certifier once they have cleared customs and quarantine and before they can be registered for use on the road. Only approved testing stations in New Zealand can verify entry certification compliance and it is important that an entry certifier is contacted prior to shipment from the UK. To confirm that any particular vehicle can be imported and registered in New Zealand they would require details of the vehicle type, year, make, model, chassis – vin number, details of any UN-ECE or EC plate / sticker fixed to the vehicle along with the importer’s residency status, length of car ownership and how long they would have lived in the UK prior to taking up permanent residence in New Zealand. Once a vehicle has passed entry certification a form MR2A is issued which allows it to be registered, licensed and then used legally on the road.

Approved entry certifiers are (cost about NZ$400–600 + any repair/modification costs):

The Automobile Association (AA), tel: +64 9 966 8800, email:

Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ), tel: +64 9 573 5070, email:

Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ), tel: +64 4 495 2500, email:

Vehicles must meet emission standards, be entry inspected, roadworthy (WoF), right-hand drive, be built to approved frontal impact standards (4x4s only if manufactured after 1st October 2003), must have evidence of the vehicle’s fuel consumption and must meet other vehicle standards. Many of the regulations can be shown to be complied with by way of a UN-ECE or EC plate / sticker that is fitted to almost all modern vehicles manufactured in the past 10–15 years. A vehicle handbook would normally show where this plate / sticker is located on a vehicle and normally it is close by to the chassis – vin plate under the bonnet or sometimes on the inside of the vehicle door frame.

Vehicles that qualify for personal import status (immigrant’s and New Zealanders that have been overseas for more than 21 months that have owned and used their vehicle for more than 12 months) can be exempt from the emissions and frontal impact rules leaving just the roadworthy and other standards to be complied with. Exemption is also available for all vehicles over 20 years old which only require proof of ownership and a roadworthy check on arrival.

If a vehicle does not qualify for exemption under either the 4×4 pre-October 2003 or older than 20 years or personal import vehicle then emission compliance is required and only vehicles that are Euro 4 compliant are allowed to be imported (vehicles manufactured from around 2005–2007 onwards). Safety compliance applies to all vehicles up to 20 years old and almost all vehicles built for the European market, and especially newer models, already comply with the required standards and this is shown if an appropriate UN-ECE or EC plate / sticker is fitted to the vehicle.

Part of entry certification involves making sure that a vehicle, although originally manufactured to an approved standard, has not been modified or repaired unsafely or deteriorated to an unsafe state. Problems can arise with vehicles that have been repaired poorly (welding, non standard parts) or that have lowered suspension or ‘race’ parts added with non-standard exhaust systems, after-market seats and such like. These vehicles would have to then go through repair certification by an approved repair certifier.

AS A SUMMARY – almost all unmodified vehicles in good condition will be allowed to be imported to New Zealand except for a few older cars between 15 and 20 years old that are without an approved plate / sticker AND that are not immigrant’s / returning New Zealander vehicles. An entry certifier in New Zealand can confirm exactly what is required for each importer / vehicle.

Full, printable information covering everything on this website and more, including a guide to prices and useful website and contact addresses, can be found in the New Zealand Info Pack (PDF).

NZ | Key FactsNZ | Guide to Shipping
NZ | Customs Rules & TaxesNZ | Import Regulations
NZ | Costs on ArrivalNZ | Info Pack (PDF)