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FAQ - UK to NZ - Shippio

FAQ – UK to NZ

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand committing to a service you’ve never engaged with people is a big thing, let alone when it involves shipping your car, motorcycle, caravan or even motorhome across the world. Below are some of the frequently asked question we receive in the hope they may help you with finalising your commitment.

Shipping UK To New Zealand FAQs

Is my vehicle insured during shipping?

Not Automatically, you need to speak to us and we will arrange insurance for you.

I lost my purchase invoice for the car, what can I do?

If you bought the car from a dealership, you can contact them and hope they have a copy
In their system they can send to you. If it was a private sale you can do a statutory declaration. Notified by a Justice of the peace (this must be done in NZ) with all the details of the purchase and the price paid. (Please note this is at the discretion of NZ customs to accept)

What exactly is a consolidated container?

Basically, Containers all the time are used to ship your goods via Sea Freight.
So, to save on costs you can ship your vehicle in a container with other goods (belonging to different clients). When you pay for vehicle shipping, you are paying for your space in the container and not the entire cost of the container.

What documents do I need to ship my car?

We will work with you to obtain these documents, with shipping from the UK you will. Need a copy of the purchase invoice and V5 (UK Vehicle registration form)

Can I deliver my own car to the packing depot?

Yes, you can – we will need to have a booking for you in place to provide you a reference number prior to dropping your vehicle off.

How often are consolidated containers shipped from the UK?

Dependant from where you ship from the UK, from most places it will be a weekly service.

What is Import GST and how do I pay it?

Import GST is currently 15% of CIF (Cost, insurance and Freight). Basically, the purchase price of the vehicle, cost of the freight and insurance. If you have purchased a freight package from a NZ freight forwarder this will be your freight price. You add it to the NZD purchase price including insurance and Import GST works out at 15% of that sum. At the time of import your UK purchase (using the invoice you provided), Import GST will be worked out by a NZ customs broker based on the NZ customs exchange rate at the time of import. This will be billed to you with your freight bill. There are some exceptions whereby you don’t have to pay Import GST, this is vigorous criteria you must meet, mainly involving around Importing a car you have owned for 2 years or more and must have been based outside of NZ for more than two years.
Contact us for more information regarding this.

Can I send other items in the vehicle I am Importing?

Yes, you can, this may result in additional handling fee’s depending on what you ship.
If it is your own items, you will need to include a list of the items and values they will be customs cleared. If they are new items, you have purchased you will have to provide invoices and they will be customs cleared also with any Import GST or Import duty on the goods included.
Please speak to us first if you intend on shipping other items with your vehicle.

What about Import Duty?

There is currently no Import duty on cars, Import duty on caravans is at present 5% and Motorhomes attract 10% Import duty.

Is my car safe while waiting to be shipped at the packing depot?

These packing depots are customs bonded which makes them more secure than just a packing warehouse, only authorised staff can operate in them. Also, there is 24-hour CCTV In place.

How are the cars packed?

Once checked the cars are driven into the container or pushed in, they are locked into the racking and battery disconnected. (Please ensure you have only ¼ tank of petrol prior to shipping the vehicle). We use a special Racking system designed for shipping cars, they allow cars to be stacked in a container thus bringing down the price. These racking systems have been used for high end cars to Drift and racing event cars for many years. They stop any sway or movement of the vehicle once inside the container.

What are the basic steps involved in shipping a car to NZ?

Once you have finalised the purchase of your vehicle, the vehicle then is transported
To a packing depot to go in a consolidated container (shipped with other goods in one container)
It is checked on arrival and a pre-packing report is done, noting any damage or issues with the vehicle prior to shipping.

The vehicle is then packed in the container with other shipments and export cleared
And in our depot in the UK we do all MPI inspections and it is cleared by NZ MPI in the UK
(that way you have less delay in NZ arrival)

The Container will arrive into NZ in approx. 6 weeks (this is the shipping transit time)
Just prior to the Container arriving it will be customs cleared.

On Arrival the container is unpacked and an NZTA inspection is done on the vehicle

Once the NZTA inspection is complete as long as there are no fumigation or customs exams
Needed (which are sometimes requested by NZ customs / MPI) then the vehicle can be released
To you, in most cases it will be delivered to a compliance centre or address of your choice to
Go through the process of compliance and registration.

Once compliance and registration are done you can drive on NZ roads.


“The main difficulty was finding someone that I could trust. We were sending GBP 20,000 to the UK for purchasing a car and with no guarantee of ever seeing it again. I came across your company via the UK AUDI AGENT who assured me that all was 100% fine. He had dealt with you for some years. Further I found out that you supply 150 Cars to Auckland each year so why would you wish to destroy such trade.”

Mr. T Munns

Christchurch, New Zealand

Vehicle Sourcing FAQs

Why do I need to use a sourcing company?

How we add value to finding your car:

We protect your purchase, you know who you are purchasing from, the condition of the car, guarantee that it is not stolen or has any Liens on the vehicles

A lot of UK car dealers prefer not to deal with overseas purchasers as the VAT reclaim process can be a headache and Car dealers here are very mindful of fraud.
We handle the VAT reclaim for you.

We Know what cars comply with the different markets, so you won’t get stung buying a vehicle that can’t pass your countries compliance standards.

Due to the volume of cars we export for our clients we can often get a better deal coming to us direct.

We control the whole chain, we sourced the car and deliver it to the packing depot and control the whole shipping process, so you wont need to chase up Car dealerships or other companies, we handle it all for you.

Is it safe to send money overseas?

Over the years we have sourced over GBP 5,000,000 of deal for clients, we have facilitated in single purchases over GBP 250,000

We can help twofold:

If you have sourced your own vehicle already we can act as an Escrow for your funds and make sure what you agreed to purchase from the seller is what you end up getting

If you source the vehicle from us we can secure with a deposit and balance payable at date of export (proof of export is shown)

Why do you charge to reclaim the VAT?

Most main vehicle dealers will block a sale if they believe the vehicle will be leaving the UK. Dealers are under pressure from manufacturers not to sell overseas, plus the margins dealers look to make tend to include ongoing servicing on a vehicle.

We are involved to enable the selling dealership to make a normal UK sale with full payment of UK VAT. This enables us to instantly supply to you VAT free. We reclaim the VAT back from the UK government at a later stage.

In order to register your new vehicle at destination, you will need the UK V5 registration document. Our Motor trade insurance policies enables the selling the dealer to register the vehicle to us. We then courier the original V5 registration document to you for your local registration on arrival.

How is import GST calculated?

Import GST is calculated as 15% of a CIF price, which stands for:

Cost – the price of the vehicle, including any costs involved with exporting it.
Insurance – the insurance cost to cover the shipment
Freight – the cost to ship your items to NZ

At the time of import the purchase price of the item in local currency is converted an NZ customs exchange rates. And this figure is used in the CIF equation. If you can show a paper trail at the time of purchase showing the exchange rate when you sent your funds over, customs will process it at that rate.

How do I know what cars I can import into NZ?

Please have a look here at the import requirements for New Zealand. Click here

What vehicles Qualify for VAT free?

Only brand new vehicles or used vehicles always owned by company are VAT qualifying. As soon as a vehicle enters private ownership, the VAT can never be claimed back. This tends to cover:

– New and used cars up to 1 year old
– Most commercial vehicles
– New Caravans

Can you check the vehicle out mechanically before I purchase?

The majority of our vehicles are sourced directly from the manufacturers stock or approved used stock at main dealerships. An ‘approved used’ vehicle has to pass the stringent checks and meet the exacting standards outlined by the factory before they may be released for sale. This means we can be sure of the quality.

For vehicles sourced elsewhere, we can arrange full Independent inspections prior to purchase. Charges will just depend on the vehicle type.


Sourcing Enquiry

If you would like to source a vehicle from the UK please submit an enquiry. We will get back to you within 24 hours.

– or –

Calculate Quote

If you already know the price of the car you want, please use our landed calculator here to get an accurate estimate of.

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