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Questions!! RE: Driving in New Zealand

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Questions!! RE: Driving in New Zealand

Last Post This thread is marked as being about New Zealand
1. Posted by redcadence (Budding Member 28 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


Myself and my partner are off to NZ next year for 12 months. We are planning on buying a campervan to travel the country, and we need a few questions answered by those in the know!!

- Best places to buy second hand in or around Auckland?
- Petrol or diesel?
- General prices for insurance
- Automatic or manual? Can we pick up an automatic easily?
- Does the dreaded car tax exist in NZ?
- What about MOT's or the equivelent?
- Can someone explain RUC licences and prices?
- Any other information greatly appreciated!!!

We are just trying to get and idea of how much money we will need initially, to get set up and sorted.


2. Posted by kiwisteve (Budding Member 24 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi There ,

A RUC licence is Road User Charge . This applies to Diesel power
vehicles . This is paid by 5000km blocks purchased in advance . So you will be paying aprox $1 NZ per litre of diesel and around $165.00 NZ for 5000km for a 2 Tonne Vehicle for a 3 Tonne its more but I dont know the price . If you choose Petro the RUC equivalent is built into the price at the pump around $1.50 NZ a litre at the moment .
Im not sure what MOT is you refer to perhaps its the yearly Vehicle registration you refer to if so Around $250 per year or you can buy 3 or 6 months for a lower fee . Car tax ?? well the fuel is made up of heaps of tax plus %12.5 GST on everything .
Re Auckland I live at opp end of Island so cant comment ,
personally I prefer manual and if you are not doing a big distance then prob Petrol would be easier .
Insurance shop around its NOT compulsory in NZ but highly recommended esp 3 party just in case you hit some ones Roller !! Try NZ automobile Association as a starter they offer insurance via their insurance partner

Have a good trip


3. Posted by Moorf (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Make sure you familiarise yourself with the "right turn rule" - while the driving rules are pretty similar to the UK, this one catches out many visitors.

More info here:

Also, be aware that the police can get you for speeding whilst travelling towards you, as well as from behind...

Canterbury, New Zealand

[ Edit: personal website removed - sorry no promos on the forums ]

4. Posted by Queen Bee (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

And be careful of lunatic drivers. There are plenty of them, especially in the cities. It seems to be an unwritten rule, that no male driver shall be behind another driver. i.e. the one behind must always get in front of the other one.

That when you are merging into traffic, that male driver already in lane that u want to merge into will not let you in. You will speed up to get in, he will speed up to not let you in. See above, do not let anyone get in front of you. You will slow down, he will slow down. Just turn indicator on, and boot it, in my experience.

Then you will get the tailgaiters, because you are not driving like a madman, and they think you are going to slow.

People on cellphones (it's not illegal to talk and drive). These people are the ones driving 40kms on a motorway. Changing lanes without indicating. Speeding up and slowing down for no reason. Swerving around. Stay away from these guys.

And going around roundabouts. They are everywhere now. And nobody seems to know how to use their indicators.

Good luck

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

Thanks for the responses. An MOT is something that we have in the UK to say that your car is road worthy. Is there an equivalentin NZ?

6. Posted by Gareth88 (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

All you need for you car is an up to date warrant of fitness (WOF) and registration - the equivalent of MOT.

Best place to buy vehicles... in Auckland go to the Ellerslie Car fair (check out the link), its a darn good place to start and you'll prob pick up a bargain on the day.

Also you might like to check out for cars, thats another good one.

Manual/Auto... it depends on what model/make/type of car you get, both options are available for all cehicles, but in different preportions. If you lok around enough you'll fins what you want.

Enjoy your trip!!!! :)