Car Prices in New Zealand: New & Used [2024]

“Toyota Mark X I bought earlier this year in New Zealand”

There are plenty of cars in New Zealand, Kiwis own about 4,5 million cars, and the entire population of the country is just 5 million! Fortunately, most of them are very well-priced. In fact, you can buy a Japanese car in good condition just for a few thousand dollars.

Car prices in New Zealand range with your preferences and budget, but most cars are selling below the $20,000 threshold. Used cars listed on had a median price of $12,000 in 2022. The median price of all new vehicles has increased from $41,990 in 2019 to $45,990 in 2022.

Currently, there are over 32,000 cars listed on New Zealand’s largest marketplace In large cities, you will have an endless choice among different price categories.

It’s better to buy a vehicle in one of New Zealand’s main hubs, like Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, and then just drive to your final destination. This way, you will get the best value for your money. So, let’s finally dive deeper into how much cars actually cost here. Want to buy the cheapest car? Read this post.

Before buying your own car (or instead), you can rent one at – the best car rental in NZ! Or you can lease a car.

What is the average cost of a car in New Zealand in 2024?

“Queenstown and its cars”

It’s hard to say what is the average price of the car, as people tend to buy vehicles in various price categories. Generally, the most sold cars on a more expensive spectrum, like the Toyota Rav4, cost about $40,000, even used.

On a budget side of things, many people buy a Toyota Prius, which goes for about $15,000 in good condition and around 2015 year made.

The cheapest, older cars are selling for anything between $500 and $2,000, and yes, they are still roadworthy. You will see plenty of these, too, especially Japanese-made, like Toyota and Mitsubishi.

Finally, the median price of the car listing on was $12,000 in 2022 for used cars. Three years ago, the average listing was at two thousand lower – $9,990.

When buying a car, don’t forget about the insurance. Check out Cove – a digital car insurance. They offer you one month of coverage for free when signing up with SimpleNewZealand.

The median price for secondhand late-model cars listed on Trade Me has increased from $41,990 in 2020 to $53,990 in 2022. Cars are getting expensive in New Zealand, as is pretty much anything else.

But how much do new cars cost in New Zealand? The median price of all new vehicles listed on Trade Me has increased from $41,990 in 2019 to $45,990 in 2022.

The best resource to see current car prices in New Zealand is the website, it’s the largest marketplace in the country where both private sellers and dealers publish listings. Simply type the car brand and model you are looking for, and you will see all current offers.

That said, cars in New Zealand are still very affordable compared to many other countries.

For instance, the Toyota Mark X that I bought earlier this year in New Zealand (see above) cost me just $10,000. I would have to pay much more if I were buying it in Europe, for example. The proximity of New Zealand to Japan allows one to purchase an amazingly high-quality car for a fraction of the price! Love it!

I bought my car from the Urbanauto dealership in Christchurch, and would highly recommend them!

Used car prices

Most people buy used cars because it’s just smarter. One can get a very decent one-year-old car for about 30% less than a new one would cost. Is it a great deal?

The average used car that is listed on in 2022 was priced at $12,000. That’s average, but you will see many vehicles above and below this threshold.

Checklist when buying a used car

Used cars come with some risks, so it’s crucial you follow all the best practices when choosing a vehicle. Here are the essential points to check when buying a secondhand car in New Zealand (ranked by its importance).

  1. Car’s mileage – a car’s mileage plays a significant role in a car’s condition. The fewer km it has gone, the better. A 15,000 km per year is appropriate and an average for a typical driver in New Zealand. If you see that numbers are significantly lower, it can be a concern.
  2. Take a car to the pre-purchase inspection – any service will provide a smaller inspection of a car before you commit to buying it. You can usually do it with most car dealers, but also many private sellers will go the extra steps if they are trustworthy.
  3. Ask about any previous accidents and repairs.
  4. Check overall condition – check whether you can in the car and to the extent of your understanding, including under the hood and under the car as well.
  5. Test things like lights, radio, AC, etc. Make sure everything is working.
  6. Go for a test drive – this goes without saying. Both, dealers and private sellers should allow a test drive.

Moreover, before you choose a particular car in New Zealand, it’s advisable to read a review of this model provided by the New Zealand Automobile Association (AA).

New car prices


Prices of new cars were on a steady decline over many years, but from the second quarter of 2022, we see a rapid increase of about 5% each quarter (see graph above). Therefore, the median price of new cars listed on New Zealand’s marketplace has increased from $41,990 in 2019 to $45,990 in 2022.

For instance, a popular Tesla Model 3 sells for about $75,000. There are only 5,850 new cars that are selling at the moment in New Zealand, out of 32,000 in total.

The cheapest new car (made in 2023) is Mitsubishi Mirage, priced at just under $20,000. Kia Picanto is another cheap new car that goes for about $20,000 as well as a 2023 MG 3 that is priced in the same range.

Suzuki Swift is also popular among Kiwis and won’t cost you a fortune. New 2023 models are listed at $23,000.

Whether buying a new car instead of a slightly older model worth the money is for you to decide, but facts are facts; a car from the last year will cost you 20-30% less.

You can see new car prices for each model you are interested in on the AA website.

Tesla prices in New Zealand

Teslas aren’t very expensive in New Zealand, so Model Y sells for $76,200 for a new vehicle. Another popular model is Tesla Model 3, which goes for $76,943.

Electric cars have become more popular in New Zealand; in 2022 alone, 15,670 new electric vehicles were registered in the country. 

Apart from Tesla, models like the Polestar 2, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Lexus UX300E are also popular but cost significantly more, from $80,000.

Car insurance in New Zealand

Car insurance isn’t mandatory in New Zealand, but everyone should get it anyway. You can either sign up directly at the car dealer or take insurance later. I bought a comprehensive plan which will cover me and the other cars involved if anything happens.

There are several insurance companies you can choose from. The price of coverage is significantly lower than in the US or the UK. I pay around $800 per year – that’s a steal!

If you want to manage your insurance online, check out Cove – a digital pioneer in the NZ insurance industry. Sign up for their digital car insurance and get one month of coverage for free.

Car financing in New Zealand

If you don’t have a full car price in cash on hand, you are most likely going to take a loan. Car loans are very common in New Zealand, available for both new and used vehicles, and you will see them at almost every dealership.

There are two main types of car loans in New Zealandfully secured and partially secured. First, it’s when the car’s value covers the entire loan amount, and second, when it costs less than what you borrow. In the second case, interest rates will be higher.

Are you thinking of getting a car loan? Learn how to take one in our guide.

In terms of where one can obtain a loan, there are also several options. One of the most popular forms to finance a car in New Zealand is a bank loan. Another option would be through car dealerships; most of them offer financing options. Their interest rates may be higher than those offered directly by banks.

Lastly, you can get a car loan from finance companies, such as Simplify Loans. This is the last option if, for some reason, you are unable to obtain a loan from the above-mentioned providers. Finance companies typically have the worst interest rates and may charge additional fees. Some financing options require a deposit, but most do not.

Interest rates

​Interest rates on car loans range from around 8-10% p.a. to as high as 25% p.a., plus lending fees: the better your financial situation and credit history, the lower the interest rate. For instance, Simplify offers an interest rate of 9%, and AA Money offers rates from 9.15% to 16.15% p.a.

Once the loan is approved, the bank sends the money to you or pays directly to the person or organization you’re buying the car from. In New Zealand, repayments are made weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. The loan term is typically between one and five years.

The cheapest interest rate deals will be on secured loans – this means the lender has a right to sell your car if you can’t make the repayments (exactly like a bank can sell a house if the mortgage isn’t repaid). 

Most car finance terms are up to 5 years in length. Early repayment can be beneficial, but check the lender’s fees and charges to know how much that will cost.

The main requirement for a car loan in New Zealand:

  1. To have a valid NZ Drivers license or passport
  2. To have proof of address
  3. To have proof of income e.g., employer’s contract
  4. To provide the previous three months of bank statements

Only New Zealand citizens, New Zealand residents, or work visa holders can apply for car financing.

If you prefer renting vs buying, check out – the best car rental in NZ!

Cheapest cars in New Zealand

Some of the cheapest used cars are several models of Toyota, such as Corolla, Prius, and Camry. These models can cost anything between $1,500 and $3,500. It’s generally pretty difficult to buy a functioning car for under $1,000.

Other brands also have some cheap older models, such as Audi A4 2006, Ford Escape, 2007 Holden Astra, BMW 525i, Ford Mondeo, and 2010 Honda CR-Z. These cars are selling for as low as $1,000. Keep in mind this means that the vehicle is very old because, for this price tag, you won’t find anything younger than 12 years old.

Most popular cars in New Zealand

“Beloved by Kiwis Toyota RAV4”

So what are the most popular cars in New Zealand, and how much do they cost? Below we list car models that were sold the most across the country, as well as the average price of a used vehicle (2020 year made).

The most popular brands among Kiwi drivers are:

  • Mitsubishi
  • Toyota
  • Suzuki
  • Kia

Most popular new cars

Top-selling cars in 2022 were:

  • Ford Ranger – $53,000
  • Mitsubishi Outlander – $42,000
  • Toyota RAV4 – $49,000
  • Tesla Model Y – $50,000
  • Suzuki Swift – $19,000
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross – $30,000
  • MG ZS – $20,000
  • Mitsubishi ASX – $26,000
  • Kia Sportage – $30,000
  • Toyota Corolla – $32,000
  • Tesla Model 3 – $65,000

Other popular models are Nissan Navara, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Triton, Toyota Hilux, and Hyundai Kona.

Most popular used cars and their average price

“Toyota Aqua is preferred model among used cars; Image credit: TTTNIS”

Below mentioned prices are for models that were made in 2020:

  1. Toyota Aqua – $23,000
  2. Mazda Axela – $20,000
  3. Toyota Prius – $29,000
  4. Nissan X-Trail – $33,000
  5. Honda Fit – $20,000
  6. Volkswagen Golf – $40,000
  7. Mitsubishi Outlander – $42,000
  8. Mazda Demio – $20,000
  9. Mazda CX-5 – $35,000
  10. Subaru Impreza – $30,000

You can buy a used car much cheaper than that if you are willing to opt for an older vehicle.

As you can see, Japanese brands are the most preferred cars among Kiwis. This is mainly due to the location of New Zealand and the strong trade between these countries. Also, people tend to buy cheaper cars in used conditions, while more expensive models tend to sell as new.

Moreover, if we look at the fuel types, electric/hybrid cars are rapidly growing in popularity. This is how it looks in 2023:

  • 37% petrol
  • 35% diesel
  • 28% electric/hybrid

Cost of running a car in New Zealand

Purchasing price of the car isn’t the only expense you should consider when buying a car in New Zealand. The cost of owning a vehicle plays an even greater importance as you will be faced by these expenses every year and even every day by some of them.

The cost of running a car in New Zealand ranges from $3,500 to $5,500 per year, depending on how much you drive, car insurance, and the service required.

1) Car insurance

Car insurance isn’t mandatory in New Zealand, but highly advisable to have one! And there is no point in not getting coverage as it’s inexpensive compared to other countries.

Basic liability insurance can cost about $300 per year, while the most comprehensive – is up to $800. I have comprehensive insurance and pay around $800 per year.

Also, insuring a European car will usually be more expensive than very widespread Japanese brands.

For insurance, check out Cove and get one month for free!

2) AA membership

AA is the New Zealand Automobile Association. They provide many resources and help to Kiwi drivers. I would definitely recommend joining their club, together with me and more than 1 million local drivers.

The main benefit of having a AA membership is the breakdown assistance they provide at any time of the day.

The cost of annual membership is $79-$89 in the first year, and the price goes down with the years. You can also upgrade to a Plus one for just $49 per year. It offers perks like a rental car if you have a breakage far from home. I just signed up for this one yesterday!

3) Fuel

Depending on the car, this may vary. An average Kiwi driver spends around $3,000 per year on fuel.

A litre of 91 petrol costs $2,98, 95 costs $3.18, unleaded 98 – $3.30. Diesel is the cheapest option – $2.35 per litre. Although diesel is the most cost-effective way to fuel the car, New Zealand charges an extra $62 per 1000 km road user charge on diesel. So, add this on top of your final bill.

In addition, fuel consumption depends on the car you drive. You can see estimations for many car models on the

4) Service and maintenance

All cars should be serviced at regular intervals, typically every 10,000 km or 12 months. Cars need an oil and fluid change & top up, and other routines which you have to pay for every year and more often if you drive a lot.

Also, if you don’t want to wash a car yourself, plan to spend at least $20 per simple wash every second week.

In addition, you can not predict something breaking in your car, so putting some money aside is a good idea. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to budget about $1,000 per year for unforeseen expenses related to your vehicle.

5) Registration and WOF (Warrant of Fitness)

WOF and car registration are mandatory expenses for drivers in New Zealand. All vehicles must have both of these points checked. WOF is due every year and costs between $50 and $80.

Car registration costs vary depending on the duration of the registration. Below are the current rates:

3 months 6 months 12 months
Petrol driven$28.97$53.61$102.90
Diesel driven$46.40$88.43$172.55
Electric driven$28.97$53.61$102.90

Visit the official website.

6) Repairs

Some common unexpected repairs that drivers face include:

  • Leaky transmissions
  • Falling suspension components
  • Bad wiring and electronics
  • Brake failure

You should always have some money aside if anything happens with your car. When buying a car from a dealer, you typically get a warranty for 3, 6, or even 12 months. So you can refer to them in case you have any issues.

7) Parking

Depending on your living situation and place of work, you might also need to pay for parking.

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