Buying or renting a car in New Zealand is a question we were debating for a long time and at first we wanted to buy one but it wasn’t as easy as we thought so here some tips:
- If traveling in high season try to get organised in advance
- BUT if buying from another backpacker you have to make sure that his and your timing matches i.e. you are both in the specific town at the same time
- Most people arrive in Auckland hence buy their car there and leave from Christchurch so they sell it there – if we’d have found that out in advance we might have arrived in Christchurch as there is a much bigger offer for cars for cheaper and there is a higher demand in Auckland for pricier.
- As per above point competition to sell your car in Christchurch is fierce and I heard it can take weeks (or you have to drop the price a lot in the end)
- Don’t put too much hope in it if you get an appointment to see a car – backpackers who sell need to leave so if someone is available to see it before you and is willing to buy, the seller will not wait for you or double check if you’d have bought it too (happened to us, we put too much hope into a nearly done deal which didn’t work out)
- Be sure you check that the car is still registered, has a recent WOF (warranty of fitness) and is well maintained (if possible get it checked out by someone who knows his way around cars)
- I found a great source with lots of tips on buying a car here http://www.workingholidaystarter.com/guide-buy-a-car-in-new-zealand/
As our deal didn’t work out, wanted leave the next day and were not very eager to spend more time in Auckland we finally decided to rent our car with Backpacker car world. They are significantly cheaper than pure rental companies as their core business is selling and buying and not the rentals. This might not work out for anyone staying longer than 5/6 weeks but for us it was still an OK deal as buying the car would have cost us around 3600NZ $ (even though we could maybe have sold it for 2000NZ $ in a good case scenario).
We ended up paying 3000NZ $ for 6 weeks but as we were a bit late the Camper van was only available a week after the date we’d have liked so we had to get a normal car and come back to swop.
And here it is our baby: Toyota Estima with mattress, small kitchen and fully equipped – can’t wait to tour NZ with our home on wheels 😊
(Pics by backpackers car world)