Ship A Car From Australia To New Zealand

Cars from Australia need an Australian Design Rules compliance plate.

There are specific requirements for shipping a car from Australia to New Zealand. The New Zealand Transport Agency imposes strict standards on imported vehicles from any country that must be met before a vehicle can be registered for use on New Zealand roads. Before contacting shipping agents, consult an entry certifier who is qualified to give advice about importing cars to New Zealand and will assess the car to ensure that it meets the registration requirements. All cars registered in Australia should have an Australian Design Rules compliance plate that proves the car meets national safety and emission standards.



1. Tell the vehicle licensing authority where the vehicle is registered that you wish to export your car to New Zealand. Each Australian state or territory has a different licensing authority and the deregistration procedure differs, although you will be required to present your registration documents to receive your export documents.

2. The car must meet New Zealand vehicle safety and emissions standards,

Gather all the documentation required by the New Zealand Transport Agency. You must prove that you are the lawful owner of the car with a sales invoice or receipt and the deregistration documents. You also must prove that the car meets New Zealand vehicle safety and emissions standards. This information can be found on the ADR compliance plate, which is fixed to the car by the Australian manufacturer before it is sold and once it meets approved safety standards. It is mandatory under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 to have a compliance plate fitted to your car.

3. Contact an entry certifier for advice about your vehicle class and to check that you have the correct information about ownership and safety and emissions standards. You can find information about vehicle classes and requirements along with a list of entry certifiers on the website of the New Zealand Transport Agency.

4. Roll-on, roll-off is the simplest way to ship a car.

Obtain estimates from several shipping agents in Australia. The simplest way to ship cars is the roll-on, roll-off method, where they are simply driven on and off the ship. Alternatively, they can be shipped in a separate container or, if you are immigrating to New Zealand, along with other household items. Ensure that your car will be fully insured while in transit. The shipping agent can arrange this for you.

5. Arrange an entry certification inspection

Contact your entry certifier and arrange an entry certification inspection. All vehicles that enter New Zealand must pass this inspection and the entry certifier can check that all the paperwork is in order and do the inspection for you.

6. Your car must be thoroughly cleaned before arrival.

Speak to your shipping agents to arrange a steam clean for your car immediately before departure. This is to meet the high standards required for the quarantine inspection on the vehicle. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry/Biosecurity New Zealand carries out a quarantine inspection on arrival. If there is any soil, plant or animal material still on the car, it must be cleaned at the owner’s expense.

On Arrival

7. Obtain customs clearance for your car. You will need your passport, invoice or sales document for the purchase of the car, deregistration documents or export certification, and residence documents. Some shipping agents can do this on your behalf.

8. Ensure that your car is inspected and checked for vehicle compliance by a Transport Services Delivery agent. TSD agents are licensed by the New Zealand Transport Agency to carry out this inspection and a vehicle compliance check before your car can be registered in New Zealand.

9. Register your vehicle with the TSD agent so you can obtain a valid vehicle identification number and a certificate of fitness.