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Importing a car - my experiences

Importing a car - my experiences

Old Mar 30th 2007, 11:41 pm
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Default Importing a car - my experiences

I had a PM from Patrick2007 asking if it was worth shipping a car and my reponse turned into a bit of an essay. So here its is for all to behold:



This is all based on my experiences, 18 months ago, so hopefully is still accurate!


Should you ship your car? It depends! My car was only 18 months old and the cost of shipping was about the same as the loss I would have made selling it and clearing the finance.

I'm really glad I brought my car because I'm quite attached to it, and it's quite a rare car here (only about 600 in the country)

The car has to be over 12 months old and you need to have owned the car for at least 12 months to avoid paying GST and import duty. You are not allowed to sell the car in the first 2 years of being in NZ without paying that duty - in my case $3350. You sign a declaration to that effect before customs will release the paperwork.

What sort of car do you have?

You need to ensure that the type of car has been sold over here so that you'll be able to get it serviced, insured and get parts in the event of an accident. Some makes aren't sold here such as Seat. It also needs to be on the list of cars which have passed the frontal impact tests or you'll have to pay an exhorbitant fee ($700+) for a letter from the manufacturer or importer stating its safety.

Also how old is the car?

Cars over a certain age (20 years I think) aren't allowed in.

You need to clean the car thoroughly, inside and out and underneath for the MAF inspection. They're looking for organic contaminants, seeds, mud, anything that might affect NZ's biosecurity so all visible dirt needs to be removed. I got mine steam cleaned by the shippers and they did a good job, so good they "cleaned off" some paint on the passenger door from a scratch repair.

Also remove everything loose from the interior, just in case! I left my CDs, tools in the boot etc. and nothing was touched but I have heard of cars being stripped of anything loose, including stereos and spare wheels. This is usually by dock workers unloading mass shipments of Japanese imports, so if shipping privately I wouldn't expect this. Still, better safe than sorry!
I'm not saying removethe spare whhel or anything, just CDs, and small stuff.

Once the car gets here there are several inspections to carry out, all chargeable!

First, the MAF inspection. This has to be done withing 12 hours of the car being taken out of the container. My car waited in an open warehouse for a week before getting inspected!

I went to the shippers the day the car arrived and saw it, undamaged, in their warehouse, walked around it and even opened the boot to check everything was there. I suspect this was probably not allowed bearing in mind customs hadn't yet seen the car.

So MAF inspected the car (it passed, phew!). If it fails, MAF will clean the car for you, at a cost of around $600
The inspection fee according to MAF's website is $15 and $98 per hour. I think I was charged about $250 but I suspect I was overcharged by the shipping company (we were on our household effects)

MAF were obviously too lazy to jack the car correctly so they got the shippers to lift the car by slipping a forklift blade under each side of the car to lift it. This meant there was a U-shaped bend in the underneath of each sill - I was lucky they didn't crease the sill itself!.

It was then transported to the VTNZ vehicle testing station in Wellington City. They can't drive the car on the roads until it has an import inspection. Cost $150

The car was then sent by VTNZ to a local garage who did the import inspection. This involves various checks to ensure the safety features of the car haven't been changed since new, such as checking the seatbelt mounting bolts.
This costs about $300
In the process, several interior trim panels were removed and refitted. A couple were damaged where they'd used screwdrivers to prise them off. Most of them lost at least one plastic retaining clip (they were dotted around the floor of the car). A couple had screws missing. I also had to take apart the boot trim at both sides and re-fit it because it wasn't put back together properly.
Added to this, they must have had the passenger side door open and rubbing on somethig as there was a 3cm circular patch on that door where it was worn down to the bare metal.

So next the car gos back to VTNZ and parked up outside to wait for me to come and get the WOF (MOT), registration (road tax) and number plates sorted.
Petrol vehicles pay a fixed registration. Diesel vehicles pay this, plus a road user charge, paid in advance by the kilometre (10,000 at a time I think) Diesel is much cheaper than petrol at the pump because of this.

I inspect the car, find the damage mentioned abov, plus a 25cm set of scratches on the bonnet, presumably from pushing the car wering gloves and slipping. Also there were two nicks in the back bumper where a troley must have been run into the back of the car.

So anyway, after photographing all of that and getting the shippers to come and fill in a vehicle condition form for the insurance, I could get the WOF.

At VTNZ you just queue up and they pass the cars through in a row with a guy doing basic checks inside the car, one checking lights, then drive over a pit and inspect the underneath, suspension etc They jack the car at one point, and they used the rear suspension beam to jack mine - it's black with a bright yellow sticker on tboth sides which reads "DO NOT USE THIS BEAM TO JACK UP THE CAR" (sigh). They then test the brakes on a rolling road and if all is good you get a pass.

Into the office, pay for the Reg - $180 a year WOF - $48, number plates (one-off) about $300. They just hand you a pair of plates from a cupboard - sequential letters and numbers. What they don't give you is any means of attaching them - I walked down the road to a hardware stor and bought a pack of screws! (the plates are pre-drilled in about 15 places so should be fixable to existing holes)

So after all that I had my car and a big grin on my face, despite the damage

This is the official website:
http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/importing/


So to summarise, I'm really glad I brought my car over because I love the car and I'm quite fussy about what car I drive.
In hindsight I should probably have sold the car six months before coming out here and bought something similar over here. But I'm glad I didn't.

The damage was all cosmetic and was paid for by the shipping insurance with zero excess. It's just annoying because the car was almost like new and was needlessly damaged by careless people :curse:
The saga of the bodyshop and their carelessness is another story!

I hope this helps!
Attached Thumbnails Importing a car - my experiences-insurance-claim-damaged-bumper.jpg   Importing a car - my experiences-insurance-claim-jetwash-damage-1.jpg   Importing a car - my experiences-insurance-claim-passender-sill-damage.jpg   Importing a car - my experiences-insurance-claim-passenger-door.jpg  
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Old Mar 30th 2007, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

You must have gone sick when you saw the damage!!! at least you are happy driving what you are used to,i will just have to hope they are not as heavy handed.
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Old Mar 31st 2007, 12:07 am
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Originally Posted by Patrick2007 View Post
You must have gone sick when you saw the damage!!! at least you are happy driving what you are used to,i will just have to hope they are not as heavy handed.
Just keep an eye on the buggers!
And make sure you're insured.
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Old Mar 31st 2007, 6:27 am
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

I personally would have liked to bring my Toyota but after reading your saga I am glad I sold it because we got 2 cars here from the proceeds and a lot of spare money left over for the cost of shipping our home contents .
You should have very little bother with it Rob as it is a VW in disguise which = reliability,my last company in the UK had some of the estate versions of yours and they were excellent.No "P" take here as Skoda have a good name from the past as being a well made car at a good price.My fav was the old Skoda LS120 fast back a rear engined tank that took all the punishment given,a rally proven car also .Biggest downside here you may have is the roads dont like low cars .
Just out of interest how much does a car cost to send here from the UK in a 20 foot container?cheeky I know but I do miss my Toyota ,we had it from new and it only had 12000 miles on it when I sold it
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Old Mar 31st 2007, 7:56 am
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Hi Rob, nice car especially the 1.8T. So sorry to see the way they treated it at the docks but trust insurance sorted it out.
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Old Mar 31st 2007, 8:32 am
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Originally Posted by lapsed kiwi View Post
Hi Rob, nice car especially the 1.8T. So sorry to see the way they treated it at the docks but trust insurance sorted it out.
Yeah it was all fixed under insurance - well the exterior stuff was.

Cherry - it cost about GBP 1450 for the shipping in a shared 40 foot container - the car waited six weeks in Liverpool while they filled the rest of the container!!
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Old Mar 31st 2007, 8:34 am
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

We're shipping Jules' car over. I half-expected there to be some cosmentic damage whenever it arrives. After reading your post, I fully expect it now. We'll see in about 6 weeks.
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Old Mar 31st 2007, 8:38 am
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Originally Posted by Jules & Danny View Post
We're shipping Jules' car over. I half-expected there to be some cosmentic damage whenever it arrives. After reading your post, I fully expect it now. We'll see in about 6 weeks.
Just supervisde them as much as possible - hopefully yours will come out unscathed.
I know of people who have had no issues at all so it's not always bad.
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Old Mar 31st 2007, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Only downside is that its red...have you sen how fast red cars fade over here? Have you got it coated with something to protect the colour? Or will you sell it now pretty quick?
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Old Mar 31st 2007, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Originally Posted by jueinnz View Post
Only downside is that its red...have you sen how fast red cars fade over here? Have you got it coated with something to protect the colour? Or will you sell it now pretty quick?
Red ones go faster!

I keep it in a garage, park undercover where possible and polish the car about once every two months

It should last a while (I hope)
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Old Apr 12th 2007, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Originally Posted by RobClubley View Post
I had a PM from Patrick2007 asking if it was worth shipping a car and my reponse turned into a bit of an essay. So here its is for all to behold:



This is all based on my experiences, 18 months ago, so hopefully is still accurate!


Should you ship your car? It depends! My car was only 18 months old and the cost of shipping was about the same as the loss I would have made selling it and clearing the finance.

I'm really glad I brought my car because I'm quite attached to it, and it's quite a rare car here (only about 600 in the country)

The car has to be over 12 months old and you need to have owned the car for at least 12 months to avoid paying GST and import duty. You are not allowed to sell the car in the first 2 years of being in NZ without paying that duty - in my case $3350. You sign a declaration to that effect before customs will release the paperwork.

What sort of car do you have?

You need to ensure that the type of car has been sold over here so that you'll be able to get it serviced, insured and get parts in the event of an accident. Some makes aren't sold here such as Seat. It also needs to be on the list of cars which have passed the frontal impact tests or you'll have to pay an exhorbitant fee ($700+) for a letter from the manufacturer or importer stating its safety.

Also how old is the car?

Cars over a certain age (20 years I think) aren't allowed in.

You need to clean the car thoroughly, inside and out and underneath for the MAF inspection. They're looking for organic contaminants, seeds, mud, anything that might affect NZ's biosecurity so all visible dirt needs to be removed. I got mine steam cleaned by the shippers and they did a good job, so good they "cleaned off" some paint on the passenger door from a scratch repair.

Also remove everything loose from the interior, just in case! I left my CDs, tools in the boot etc. and nothing was touched but I have heard of cars being stripped of anything loose, including stereos and spare wheels. This is usually by dock workers unloading mass shipments of Japanese imports, so if shipping privately I wouldn't expect this. Still, better safe than sorry!
I'm not saying removethe spare whhel or anything, just CDs, and small stuff.

Once the car gets here there are several inspections to carry out, all chargeable!

First, the MAF inspection. This has to be done withing 12 hours of the car being taken out of the container. My car waited in an open warehouse for a week before getting inspected!

I went to the shippers the day the car arrived and saw it, undamaged, in their warehouse, walked around it and even opened the boot to check everything was there. I suspect this was probably not allowed bearing in mind customs hadn't yet seen the car.

So MAF inspected the car (it passed, phew!). If it fails, MAF will clean the car for you, at a cost of around $600
The inspection fee according to MAF's website is $15 and $98 per hour. I think I was charged about $250 but I suspect I was overcharged by the shipping company (we were on our household effects)

MAF were obviously too lazy to jack the car correctly so they got the shippers to lift the car by slipping a forklift blade under each side of the car to lift it. This meant there was a U-shaped bend in the underneath of each sill - I was lucky they didn't crease the sill itself!.

It was then transported to the VTNZ vehicle testing station in Wellington City. They can't drive the car on the roads until it has an import inspection. Cost $150

The car was then sent by VTNZ to a local garage who did the import inspection. This involves various checks to ensure the safety features of the car haven't been changed since new, such as checking the seatbelt mounting bolts.
This costs about $300
In the process, several interior trim panels were removed and refitted. A couple were damaged where they'd used screwdrivers to prise them off. Most of them lost at least one plastic retaining clip (they were dotted around the floor of the car). A couple had screws missing. I also had to take apart the boot trim at both sides and re-fit it because it wasn't put back together properly.
Added to this, they must have had the passenger side door open and rubbing on somethig as there was a 3cm circular patch on that door where it was worn down to the bare metal.

So next the car gos back to VTNZ and parked up outside to wait for me to come and get the WOF (MOT), registration (road tax) and number plates sorted.
Petrol vehicles pay a fixed registration. Diesel vehicles pay this, plus a road user charge, paid in advance by the kilometre (10,000 at a time I think) Diesel is much cheaper than petrol at the pump because of this.

I inspect the car, find the damage mentioned abov, plus a 25cm set of scratches on the bonnet, presumably from pushing the car wering gloves and slipping. Also there were two nicks in the back bumper where a troley must have been run into the back of the car.

So anyway, after photographing all of that and getting the shippers to come and fill in a vehicle condition form for the insurance, I could get the WOF.

At VTNZ you just queue up and they pass the cars through in a row with a guy doing basic checks inside the car, one checking lights, then drive over a pit and inspect the underneath, suspension etc They jack the car at one point, and they used the rear suspension beam to jack mine - it's black with a bright yellow sticker on tboth sides which reads "DO NOT USE THIS BEAM TO JACK UP THE CAR" (sigh). They then test the brakes on a rolling road and if all is good you get a pass.

Into the office, pay for the Reg - $180 a year WOF - $48, number plates (one-off) about $300. They just hand you a pair of plates from a cupboard - sequential letters and numbers. What they don't give you is any means of attaching them - I walked down the road to a hardware stor and bought a pack of screws! (the plates are pre-drilled in about 15 places so should be fixable to existing holes)

So after all that I had my car and a big grin on my face, despite the damage

This is the official website:
http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/importing/


So to summarise, I'm really glad I brought my car over because I love the car and I'm quite fussy about what car I drive.
In hindsight I should probably have sold the car six months before coming out here and bought something similar over here. But I'm glad I didn't.

The damage was all cosmetic and was paid for by the shipping insurance with zero excess. It's just annoying because the car was almost like new and was needlessly damaged by careless people :curse:
The saga of the bodyshop and their carelessness is another story!

I hope this helps!
I'd like to ship my car over but it does seem like a lot of aggro!!!

You also said it's cost about £1450 to ship it over...does that include all the charges you pay once in NZ
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Old Apr 12th 2007, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Originally Posted by Mandie.H View Post
I'd like to ship my car over but it does seem like a lot of aggro!!!

You also said it's cost about £1450 to ship it over...does that include all the charges you pay once in NZ
That was just the shipping cost - I also paid GBP 700 insurance and all of the above mentioned costs
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Old Apr 12th 2007, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Originally Posted by RobClubley View Post
That was just the shipping cost - I also paid GBP 700 insurance and all of the above mentioned costs
Bloody hell rob you're up early!!!

So it's about £2500 altogether to take a car to NZ
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Old Apr 12th 2007, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Originally Posted by Mandie.H View Post
Bloody hell rob you're up early!!!

So it's about £2500 altogether to take a car to NZ
Something like that yes - but as I mentioned I would have lost about 3 grand selling it so it balanced out for me.
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Old Apr 12th 2007, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: Importing a car - my experiences

Originally Posted by RobClubley View Post
I had a PM from Patrick2007 asking if it was worth shipping a car and my reponse turned into a bit of an essay. So here its is for all to behold:



This is all based on my experiences, 18 months ago, so hopefully is still accurate!


Should you ship your car? It depends! My car was only 18 months old and the cost of shipping was about the same as the loss I would have made selling it and clearing the finance.

I'm really glad I brought my car because I'm quite attached to it, and it's quite a rare car here (only about 600 in the country)

The car has to be over 12 months old and you need to have owned the car for at least 12 months to avoid paying GST and import duty. You are not allowed to sell the car in the first 2 years of being in NZ without paying that duty - in my case $3350. You sign a declaration to that effect before customs will release the paperwork.

What sort of car do you have?

You need to ensure that the type of car has been sold over here so that you'll be able to get it serviced, insured and get parts in the event of an accident. Some makes aren't sold here such as Seat. It also needs to be on the list of cars which have passed the frontal impact tests or you'll have to pay an exhorbitant fee ($700+) for a letter from the manufacturer or importer stating its safety.

Also how old is the car?

Cars over a certain age (20 years I think) aren't allowed in.

You need to clean the car thoroughly, inside and out and underneath for the MAF inspection. They're looking for organic contaminants, seeds, mud, anything that might affect NZ's biosecurity so all visible dirt needs to be removed. I got mine steam cleaned by the shippers and they did a good job, so good they "cleaned off" some paint on the passenger door from a scratch repair.

Also remove everything loose from the interior, just in case! I left my CDs, tools in the boot etc. and nothing was touched but I have heard of cars being stripped of anything loose, including stereos and spare wheels. This is usually by dock workers unloading mass shipments of Japanese imports, so if shipping privately I wouldn't expect this. Still, better safe than sorry!
I'm not saying removethe spare whhel or anything, just CDs, and small stuff.

Once the car gets here there are several inspections to carry out, all chargeable!

First, the MAF inspection. This has to be done withing 12 hours of the car being taken out of the container. My car waited in an open warehouse for a week before getting inspected!

I went to the shippers the day the car arrived and saw it, undamaged, in their warehouse, walked around it and even opened the boot to check everything was there. I suspect this was probably not allowed bearing in mind customs hadn't yet seen the car.

So MAF inspected the car (it passed, phew!). If it fails, MAF will clean the car for you, at a cost of around $600
The inspection fee according to MAF's website is $15 and $98 per hour. I think I was charged about $250 but I suspect I was overcharged by the shipping company (we were on our household effects)

MAF were obviously too lazy to jack the car correctly so they got the shippers to lift the car by slipping a forklift blade under each side of the car to lift it. This meant there was a U-shaped bend in the underneath of each sill - I was lucky they didn't crease the sill itself!.

It was then transported to the VTNZ vehicle testing station in Wellington City. They can't drive the car on the roads until it has an import inspection. Cost $150

The car was then sent by VTNZ to a local garage who did the import inspection. This involves various checks to ensure the safety features of the car haven't been changed since new, such as checking the seatbelt mounting bolts.
This costs about $300
In the process, several interior trim panels were removed and refitted. A couple were damaged where they'd used screwdrivers to prise them off. Most of them lost at least one plastic retaining clip (they were dotted around the floor of the car). A couple had screws missing. I also had to take apart the boot trim at both sides and re-fit it because it wasn't put back together properly.
Added to this, they must have had the passenger side door open and rubbing on somethig as there was a 3cm circular patch on that door where it was worn down to the bare metal.

So next the car gos back to VTNZ and parked up outside to wait for me to come and get the WOF (MOT), registration (road tax) and number plates sorted.
Petrol vehicles pay a fixed registration. Diesel vehicles pay this, plus a road user charge, paid in advance by the kilometre (10,000 at a time I think) Diesel is much cheaper than petrol at the pump because of this.

I inspect the car, find the damage mentioned abov, plus a 25cm set of scratches on the bonnet, presumably from pushing the car wering gloves and slipping. Also there were two nicks in the back bumper where a troley must have been run into the back of the car.

So anyway, after photographing all of that and getting the shippers to come and fill in a vehicle condition form for the insurance, I could get the WOF.

At VTNZ you just queue up and they pass the cars through in a row with a guy doing basic checks inside the car, one checking lights, then drive over a pit and inspect the underneath, suspension etc They jack the car at one point, and they used the rear suspension beam to jack mine - it's black with a bright yellow sticker on tboth sides which reads "DO NOT USE THIS BEAM TO JACK UP THE CAR" (sigh). They then test the brakes on a rolling road and if all is good you get a pass.

Into the office, pay for the Reg - $180 a year WOF - $48, number plates (one-off) about $300. They just hand you a pair of plates from a cupboard - sequential letters and numbers. What they don't give you is any means of attaching them - I walked down the road to a hardware stor and bought a pack of screws! (the plates are pre-drilled in about 15 places so should be fixable to existing holes)

So after all that I had my car and a big grin on my face, despite the damage

This is the official website:
http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/importing/


So to summarise, I'm really glad I brought my car over because I love the car and I'm quite fussy about what car I drive.
In hindsight I should probably have sold the car six months before coming out here and bought something similar over here. But I'm glad I didn't.

The damage was all cosmetic and was paid for by the shipping insurance with zero excess. It's just annoying because the car was almost like new and was needlessly damaged by careless people :curse:
The saga of the bodyshop and their carelessness is another story!

I hope this helps!

Ooooh crap we were gonna ship our car over but now I'm not so sure, we have a '96 Shogun which is my baby and don't really want to sell it, it may not be the newest car but i love her, anyway will have a look at the website to see if it is worth it.

Out of interest we were quoted approx £1500 to ship the car over in its own container if we drove it to Southampton, an extra £600 if we wanted to ship it from Tilbury which is nearer to us.

loadsa luv
Sal
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