What are the legal obligations to sell a car in NZ?

Date: February 12, 2017 | Author Name: Car Wreckers

When selling a car in New Zealand, you will need to provide some important information and paperwork to the NZ transport agency. Here are some legal requirements that you will need to complete to ensure a safe and smooth selling procedure.



These are some important points you must follow:

  • Make sure that your vehicle’s (WOF) Warrant of Fitness is no more than 30 days old when you sell it;
  • Make sure that Road user charges (RUC) are up-to-date;
  • All outstanding license fees have been paid by you;

As a seller, when the sale completes, you must immediately notify your Department of transport (DOT) agency. Because if you don’t, you will be liable for the following fines that could be incurred by the buyer after buying your vehicle.  

  • Parking tickets;
  • Car licensing fees;
  • Fines for displaying a WOF older than one month;
  • Speed camera fines;
  • Fines for not showing the automobile licensing label;

Be wary from Scammers

Before handing over the vehicle to the buyer, make sure that he has notified the transport agency that he have bought the vehicle from you. Particularly, if you are selling a car online.

You can either ask the buyer to do that in your presence or show you a receipt or email confirmation.

What’s next?

Once you have updated the Motor Vehicle Register with your notification, you will receive a letter acknowledging that they have received the form. Also, confirm whether or not the buyer has completed their notice.

Important Note – Sometimes it may happen that Motor vehicle register may prevent sending you the letter.

What if you don’t notify the sale or acquisition?

In case, if you forget to notify the NZ transport agency about the sale of your automobile. You will be charged a fine up to $ 1000 as an individual and $5,000 as a company.

If you have sold your vehicle to a trader or dealership then they will complete all the legal obligations on your behalf. But still you should confirm that the trader has completed all the formalities in a correct manner.

Up-to-date Warrant of Fitness (WOF)

Generally, Buyers accept a WOF which is not more than 30 days old. This is because it protects them if some issues or problems have developed in the automobile since last WOF check.

However, if your vehicle’s buyer is willing to accept a WOF that is older than 30 days, you must get a written confirmation from him. This will save you from future problems and confirm that the buyer is aware that the WOF is older than one month.

In fact, the automobile’s without appropriate WOF must be listed for sale “where is” or “as is”. If the purchaser is willing to buy it, they should give a written confirmation to the seller. It should state that the automobile won’t be driven on roads except taking it for new WOF inspection or to repair and maintenance centers.

What if you own an unregistered or unlicensed vehicle?

Of course, you can sell your unregistered vehicle, but you will be liable for any outstanding fees up to the date of acquisition. However, the buyer will have to get the automobile registered. Find out how to sell your unregistered vehicle in Auckland.