auckland backpacker car market - avoid!!!

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11. Posted by redcadence (Budding Member 28 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Yeah, we are not fans of BCM either. We did visit a few times when we were looking for a van, but we didn't really like what we saw for the money. And the staff were a real pain. They tried to push several cars on us that we didn't want.

We ended up buying a vans from some guys on gumtree who buy Toyotas and kit them out. We were the first backpackers to have the van and so it had super low mileage compared to the others we had seen. We will try and sell it on when we are done, but we are defo not going there to do it!!

12. Posted by Cat501 (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I still wouldn't recommend the place, even if weaponheat has obviously had better experience than the rest of us (lucky you!).

By the way I also met three English guys who bought a shaky old Toyota van from BCM at $ 4.200 I've seen cars like that one being sold for not even $ 1.000... and the Englishmen also told me about someone else they met - same story.

13. Posted by erinvoe (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Where's the best place for travel vehicles if you're buying in the UK and intending to go to Europe? Many thanks in advance for advice!

14. Posted by Keno (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


There is something very shady, when you cant test drive your new vehicle & you cant chat to its previous owner to ask a couple of q's! After we signed and bought the van, within 1 minute of driving, I noticed that the steering was way off! Veering a lot to one side.
The garage across from the market charged us more than they quoted for the work to do.
Other things, like faulty seatbelts, faulty electrics, faulty stereo only became apparent after a couple of days of driving & by this stage we were too far from auckland to turn back.
The engine overheated regularly. This van was definately not worth the $5,500 we paid for it! Rip Off Market for sure, preying on freshly landed backpackers unsure of what the going rate is for vehicles.
The owners Nina & Scott have a sweet deal going on, buying in cheap vans and selling them on at inflated rates. By the looks of the posts on this thread they seem to be at it a while now.
I only hope enough people read this before wasting their time at that 'market'
Ellersie Market on a Sunday gives you 10 times more choice with average prices 50-60% of the Backpackers Market. Believe me, I've done my homework.

Happy Travels

15. Posted by Cat501 (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for keeping this thread alive. That may give other people the chance to avoid an expensive mispurchase!

16. Posted by Globaldude (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Haha Auckland and all its glory huh? It has been a long while since this post had started, but for what it's worth for any future reference, I would probably start by checking out the popular website here called 'Trademe', it is along the same lines as ebay etc, it convenient and generally you are dealing with legit people as reputation etc is on the line. Cheers!

17. Posted by kazzonhols (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

We are currently going through the realisation that we have been ripped off by the BCM. We purchased our car from them in the beginning of January. The guy we dealt with was actually really nice and seemed very genuine. Looking back now we can see his selling tatics and how foolish we were to fall for them. It is a place to be avoided for sure. Its just sad that we can't seem to spread the word fast enough to prevent backpackers from going there.

We are now trying to sell a car that we bought for $4,200 (which was most of our savings) in a market where the car is only worth $2500 - $3000. The so called 'mechanical check' was also a waste of money as pointed our earlier in this thread. The check only came back with three things that needed doing all of which came under the WOF which we were informed the seller was going to pay for. Great news for us that is until we drive 200km down the road and find the CV Boot totally disintigrated. We paid out $100 to get it fixed and the garage we took it to informed us that there was no way it could have just happened and the mechanical check should have picked it up. We then drove a little further and the cambelt tore. We had to pay out a further $400 to get this fixed (another thing the mechanic should have mentioned when he completed the WOF). Overall a complete waste of time getting a check done. The other thing to be aware of is when looking closly at the sheet the mechanic completes every item listed to be checked is circled. If you look at the fine print it tells you that the circle means 'satisifactory'. They basicly ring everything so that if anything happens after the check you can't go back to them. A complete rip off!!!

After our experience and after reading so many of your comments I would advise anyone looking to buy a car to steer well clear of the BCM. We realised that we could have flown to Christchurch and bought a car there and it would have cost us less than buying the car in Auckland. We also had to fork out the money in accomodation which certainly isn't cheap and then combined with the ferry the total amount we've spent just creeps up and up. For thoughs of you who would like to know it cost us $220 for the ferry crossing (one way) which is the very cheapest you can buy it and it would have only cost $120 for the plane. Shocking!!!

Please please avoid it.

18. Posted by Jonbee82 (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

My experience of this place............. Overpriced rust buckets!! I would not recommend...

They have some nice looking ex-wicked type campers with sweet paint jobs but knocking 10,000 bucks for a 1998 van with over 200,000km ...come the f** on!

Dont bother with the mechanical check as mentioned, unless you want some really expensive toilet paper. VTNZ do a check for $50 less.

The staff were ok with me, they were not at all pushy, I had a fellow pom help me so maybe he had something against ripping of his fellow countrymen?

My advice if you have to go, have some good mechanical know how, even so, prices are still inflated. I thought 4200 was not too bad for my heap, i mean van, until if found a better condition model on trade me for over a grand less!

So do your research, go on trademe, AA & VTNZ do better checks...

19. Posted by Galoed (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!


For all the new arriving backpackers in this beautiful country. Dont even think of buying off these guys, my girlfriend and I did after there being very few options and us wanting to leave. Ofcourse it was our fault for not checking everything that we could. But just to show their intentions of not being fairdinkum either way. The car needed an oil change, had 4 different tyres on it, the job on the curtains was flimsy and hiddious, had 50.000 km more on it than the sales guy initially mentioned, and the owner wanted prices on all the second hand stuff that can buy you brand new gear at the "warehouse" or "kmart".

Also with the sale they tried REALLY HARD to sell us their "backpacker friendly" insurance, claiming any other insurance would not accept, or cover, you because of your wrking holiday visa, rather than other permanent visas. THIS IS B****. I insured with AA over the phone while buying the car and the sales personnel talking to me while I'm in my phone call. The AA knew my situation and sorted me out. Later this year my car burned out and AA sorted it with full value.

We're so glad I didnt take that backpacker insurance that would probably try to find all kinds of ways to get out of paying me. Nor the Interisland boat ticket, which you can get anywhere, and DONT SELL OUT !

All in all I'd say these guys dont deserve your money!

Buy off another backpacker or go to the Turners auction !

20. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1735 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Anybody coming to New Zealand who wants to buy a car or van to get around the country ought to have a look at Trade Me. Dealers do sell on there but many of the cars and vans are advertised by private sellers who are just trying to sell their older car having bought a newer car. To avoid having to go straight to a mechanic or VTNZ, get one that already has a current Warrant of Fitness (WOF, similar to an MOT in the UK) and is currently registered although a mechanical check is advisable. Insurance isn't compulsory in NZ but many drivers here have at least third party insurance. There are many insurers but AMI and the AA can set you up instantly over the phone.

Most people here go for Japanese cars because the local mechanics find them easier to fix and the parts are cheaper than European cars.