car insurance nz

Bought a car? Here’s what you need to do next…

When you purchase a new car, there are a number of things that you need to keep in mind. If it is your first car, then it can be a little tricky knowing exactly what needs to be done and when.

Transfer ownership

After you have bought a vehicle from a private seller, the first thing you will want to do is to transfer the ownership. The quickest and easiest way to do this is online via the NZTA website.

To transfer the ownership, you’ll need:

  • Your new vehicle’s licence plate number
  • Your New Zealand driver’s license
  • A credit or debit card to pay the processing fee (currently $9.00 incl GST)

You also need to ensure that the seller has let the NZTA know that they have sold the vehicle. The seller can also do this via the NZTA website.

Once this process is complete, you become the registered person for the vehicle. This simply means that you become responsible for the vehicle and ensuring it meets all the requirements that allow it to legally be driven on the road. View the section below Keeping your car legal to find out what your new responsibilities include.

Organise insurance

digital insurance nz

Car insurance protects you from unexpected events. There are a number of car insurance providers in New Zealand, offering a range of different levels of insurance.

When it comes to car insurance, the three main types of coverage are:

  • Third-party car insurance
  • Third-party fire & theft car insurance
  • Comprehensive car insurance

There is a full explanation of what these three types of insurance are, and how they differ, in our cheap car insurance article.

Cove currently offers comprehensive car insurance, which you can learn more about on our website before getting a quote online.

Keeping your car legal

Owning a car means you have a few extra responsibilities to ensure it remains legal and safe. These new responsibilities include paying the licensing fees and any traffic or parking fines that the vehicle may receive, among others listed below:

  • Ensure the vehicle meets all safety requirements (warrant of fitness/certificate of fitness)
  • Ensure the vehicle remains licensed, or apply for an exemption which will put your vehicle license on hold
  • Telling the NZTA if you as the registered person changes your address
  • Pay any road user charges required
  • Notifying the NZTA if/when you decide to sell the vehicle to a newly registered person

Warrant of Fitness (WoF)

One of the main responsibilities to keep your car legally roadworthy is ensuring the vehicle passes regular Warrant of Fitness inspections.

A WoF inspection takes between 30 minutes and an hour, and costs between $20 and $50. The inspection can be done by most mechanics or auto repair shops.

Once you have a WoF for your vehicle, it is valid for a set length of time, which varies depending on the vehicle’s date of first registration in New Zealand. You can view how often a WoF is required for your vehicle by referring to the warrant of fitness section on the NZTA website.

Your vehicle’s WoF is displayed on the upper right corner of the windscreen and states when it will expire.

Licence, registration, or ‘rego’

Often simply referred to as your vehicle’s ‘rego’, your vehicle’s license is a standard ongoing fee that the registered person must pay to use the vehicle on public roads.

Vehicles in New Zealand must be licensed at all times. You will receive a reminder in the post from the New Zealand Transport Agency shortly before your vehicle’s current licence expires, and you can purchase a new license online from the NZTA website, or from one of their agents (such as NZ Post or VTNZ)

Your vehicle’s license is kept within a pouch in the lower left corner of the windscreen and also states when it is valid until.

The content presented on this page is provided for informational purposes only. Cove Limited makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information. Each person should consult a qualified advisor for advice specific to their circumstances. Cove Limited assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.