Importing cars from overseas.
The following article was written by our President, Ross Armstrong from his personal experience in importing an MG from the UK. The article is presented as best effort to provide useful assistance to anyone contemplating importing a vehicle and information contained herein may change over time.
1: First rule is to check that there isn’t a good example of the model already here. It can cost thousands to get that sort after vehicle here yet there may be a better value one on your door step. And you can inspect it before purchase.
2: Research and research again as doing the spade work is essential. We’ve had MG owners bring their beloved MGF from UK to find A: they are much cheaper here and B: they now no longer comply with our regulations so need to be treated as a special vehicle import. Check on the NZTA and Customs websites regarding importing cars.
Make sure your one will be allowed in. Also there is expertise within the NZ MG fraternity, Paul Walbran Motors, Neville Lucas who still works out of MG Shop in Tauranga and Ray Hartley or Ray Hartley Motors.
There are other sites plus many dealers online now. Just Google and you will be surprised.
4: Now the difficult part. We were lucky that our daughter has some car smarts and with some guidelines was able to check the car out before we paid the $. We also had a garage available in UK to park it up plus time to get the local MG service garage to check it out. This was post purchase however. See article attached.
Again consult some of our local experts. There are some good links with MG owners overseas that may be able to help out. Note a freshly restored vehicle may become a big headache on arrival as NZTA authorities have been known to request All the under seal to be removed to check condition underneath, repairs etc.
5: Logistics of getting vehicle to NZ.
There are many firms that do this and it’s good to get recommendations. Plus NZ Classic Car advertises many who can carry out inspections plus get the car to you. It depends where you are sourcing the vehicle from. Ours was a door to door arrangement and I sorted the compliance side.
Again ask around as while one may suit some it’s the service you require that matters in the end.
Check roll on roll off pricing against containerisation. The latter may be better for rare cars but I’ve heard of no problems associated with Roll on.
Expect charges for following. Export Documentation, Pickup Cartage, Insurance, Origin Loading Ocean Freight to get it on the boat, say $5K then at this end likes of MAF charges, Port charges etc etc, all around $1000 in total. Then there is GST etc on CIF (Cost, insurance and freight) value. A rule of thumb the total all up charges would be $8-10 K for a vehicle valued around $20K.
6 Compliance: Again ask around. VTNZ do it in most areas however there are also licensed compliance companies that may be more sympathetic to your particular vehicle. EG the firm I used in Lower Hutt had previously processed an MG ZT V8 so we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. VTNZ quoted 2-3 days yet the one we used did it while I waited?
You hear of many bad experiences with vehicle imports however there are also many who have turned out to be completely satisfactory. Use reputable firms and if you are unsure then shop around and ask advice from those you trust.