How To Buy a Motorcycle in New Zealand: Ultimate Guide [2024]

For some people, a motorcycle is a key to freedom and enjoyment while on the road. New Zealand has some of the most scenic drives every motorcyclist will appreciate. But if you plan to buy a motorcycle in New Zealand, especially as a foreigner, you need to be aware of several things, such as having a suitable licence for the right vehicle and valid registration.

In this article, we are covering all the aspects from the costs, registration, licensing, and essential tips — we’ve got you all the information you need.

Buying a motorcycle in New Zealand as a foreigner

Can a foreigner buy a bike in New Zealand?

It doesn’t matter which nationality you belong to; everyone can buy a motorcycle in New Zealand. However, the key points to keep in mind as a foreigner are that you must register your vehicle first, and you must obtain a motorcycle license eventually.

Also, you can ride with a foreign driving license initially if it’s a full license, but it won’t be useful in the long run. Yes, visitors can use a valid foreign license in New Zealand to drive a bike. But it will be valid only for up to 12 months only. Hence, you can legally run around on the road until this period only.

How do you purchase a motorcycle in New Zealand?

Now comes the real question of registering a motorcycle in New Zealand. Yes, we know registration sounds like a very nasty and exhausting process. But we have made it easier for you by turning it into just four simple steps (details given in the registration part).

Before you can use a motorcycle on the road, knowing why registration is so important is crucial.

Registration is like doing a major part to add the details of your vehicle to the official Motor Vehicle Register. It’s mainly about keeping people safe.

And making sure that the vehicle is in line with the safety standards of a certain place. Having the particular of vehicles helps with law enforcement and safety regulations.

The process 

Before buying a motorcycle, you should always do a whole background check on it. This includes considering the following things:

  • Whether the bike has been imported and whether it have any structural damage
  • If the motorcycle has been registered or licensed before
  • The ownership history of the bike
  • If there are any security interests on the motorcycle
  • History of registration plates that have been used for the vehicle

Places where to buy a motorcycle in New Zealand

Motorcycles have become trendy in New Zealand ever since the pandemic struck. As of 2021, the Motor Industry Association has finalized its sales figures for motorcycles, with a total of 10,646 bikes registered and running.

The best place to buy motorcycles is New Zealand’s largest online marketplace – TradeMe; there, you will find both private sellers and dealers.

In addition, you can always check dealers like Holeshot Motorcycles in Auckland, Motomart in Lower Hutt, and Boyd Motorcycles in Hamilton. 

Online dealers have various choices, from adventure bikes to off-roads, new and old, cheap and expensive, and much more. 

Rules and requirements

New Zealand is one of the best countries to own and run a motorcycle in. Not only because of the mindblowing view and scenery but also because of the entire system, which helps one learn and develop as a motorcyclist.

But before you begin your journey, you need to know where to start. Below are some beginner tips you have to keep in mind when buying a motorcycle in New Zealand.

  • Search thoroughly: Don’t stop at one option. Search for multiple options and multiple dealerships.
  • Size up your prospects: Don’t just go with the flow of the biker image you have in mind. Explore a range of options before you decide.
  • Know the real cost of ownership: This doesn’t only include the cost of the bike itself. It also goes on to the cost of insurance, equipment, maintenance, registration, licensing, gear, paperwork, and so on.
  • Always try before you buy: Most people make the mistake of not doing this and just fast-forwarding to the purchase.

Make sure you are familiar with the characteristics of the motorcycle, such as ease of use, comfort, how to handle it, and power.

Main costs

The scariest news you can bombard a motorcycle lover with is that cost is not only restricted to the bike’s price. It includes all the factors associated with the ownership of a motorcycle.

But, first things first. The actual sole cost of a motorcycle can vary considerably depending on the type of bike. If you are buying a motorcycle suitable for a beginner, you will spend anywhere between NZ$5,000 to NZ$10,000.

And it also depends on the type of bike you are looking for — used, new, registered, licensed, and so on.

If you are looking for a more adventurous and sporty-looking bike, then be ready to have your budget reach NZ$20,000.

The next thing is insurance. If you have no records of any misbehaviours, then you are bound to get insurance for under NZ$500 annually. 

Then comes the difficult part of equipment and maintenance. This is where your budget goes out of hand.

From tires to chains, drive belts, oil changes, spark plugs, and considering any emergency odds, you can imagine your costs rising to NZ$1,000 annually just on maintenance.

Besides this, you need to keep the cost of licensing and registration, sometimes they are included if you buy a bike from a dealer. All vehicles require a WOF (Warrant of Fitness), which costs about NZ$50 – NZ$80 per year.

When it comes to motorcycle registration, it’s more on the expensive side and depends on the length you want to use the bike.

Generally, it will cost NZ$405.71 per year to register a motorcycle which is 61cc-600cc. Registering the engine’s power output above that limit will cost you NZ$519.87 annually. If you are only temporary in New Zealand, registration can be significantly cheaper – NZ$104.67 for 3 months for a bike between 61cc and 600cc.

Best motorcycles in NZ

As of 2021, the Motor Industry Association has seen a rise in motorcycle sales. This year broke all records, with sales increasing to more than 10,000 registered bikes.

According to locals, the best motorcycles in New Zealand are Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, KTM, and Harley Davidson. 

The figures for the total sales are as such; Suzuki (17.6%), Honda (9.6%), Yamaha (9%), KTM (7.8%), and Harley Davidson (6.6%).

According to the sales of 2021, the following models had the most success.

  1. Suzuki DR650SE – 358 
  2. Kawasaki Ninja 400 – 204
  3. Suzuki GSX250 – 300
  4. Honda Rebel 500 – 159
  5. Suzuki GN125H – 179

Motorcycle license in New Zealand 

New Zealand is pretty straightforward when it comes to rules regarding driving licenses and their exchange.

Generally, foreigners can use a full driving license from abroad in New Zealand for driving a bike for up to 12 months. After this period, they are required to either exchange it for a New Zealand driving license right away or pass additional exams if their country of origin isn’t on the list of approved ones.

Here is the process if you want to get a driving license from scratch in New Zealand.

Obtaining a motorcycle driving license in New Zealand consists of three basic stages. It goes from getting a learner’s license to upgrading to a restricted license and finally acquiring a full one.

  1. For a learner’s license, you need to be at least 16 years old and pass the theory test of road rules. You must also pass the skills handling test, which covers your ability to handle a motorbike in a controlled situation.

At this step, learners are required to put an ‘L’ indicating ‘learner’ on their plates, and they are not allowed to carry any passengers with them.

  1. The second step is the restricted license. Once you have had a learner’s license for six months or more, it is time to apply for the restricted license.

It includes a practical riding test that judges your ability to drive on the road amid traffic.

You can now carry passengers, but you are still limited to certain speed limits and alcohol prohibition.

  1. Lastly comes the full license. After having the restricted motorcycle license for a minimum period of 18 months and after being 18 years of age, you can apply for the complete motorcycle license. 

This is the most challenging stage and requires riders to pass an advanced form of the practical riding test, which is a part of the competency-based training assessment.

Eligibility to this license removes any restrictions previously being subjected to the rider.

As for the use of a foreign license, visitors can use a valid foreign license in New Zealand for driving. But this validation comes with a time limit of up to 12 months only. You can legally run around on the road until this period only. 

After this period, an individual must have a legal New Zealand motorcycle license to continue on the road.

The application process for foreigners states that one can apply for a motorcycle license in New Zealand if they have been in the country for over six months, have a valid foreign motorcycle license, and are required to pass a theory as well as a practical test.

The test is overseen by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), which is a nationwide organization responsible for all the safety and regulations related to transport by land.

Registering a motorcycle in New Zealand

The registration of a motorcycle in New Zealand consists of four basic steps. These are:

  • Inspecting the vehicle for safety regulations
  • Ensuring that the bike is certified by an official and authorized organization
  • Ensuring the details of the motorcycle have been added to the Motor Vehicle Register
  • And if applicable, it must be licensed

After completing these steps, the last stop is at the vehicle registration office. Now, you might be wondering where to get in touch with a vehicle registration organization.

Down below is a list of trustworthy organizations you can contact in case of registration or buying number plates.

  • The Automobile Association (AA)
  • Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ)
  • Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ)

Motorcycle prices in New Zealand

Now that we have it all covered with how to buy a motorcycle, how to register it, how to obtain its license, and tips to keep in mind, let’s get to the fun part of figuring out the prices of motorcycles in New Zealand.

The price of a motorcycle depends on several factors, such as the model, engine, horsepower, seat height, the type of journey it is made for, and much more.

The Ninja 400 KRT (LAMS) model has an engine of 12/399 and weighs 168 kilograms. It is one of the most successful and frequently bought models of Kawasaki and costs NZ$9,995.

The F3 800 Rosso is an imported Italian motorcycle of MV Augusta. It is an ultimate horsepower sports bike with features built to the extreme. The engine is 13 / 798 and costs NZ$37,990

The 300SR ABS is a model of CFMOTO Australia and is designed for everyday usage. The maximum horsepower is 28.7, providing a comfortable and sophisticated ride for only NZ$5,790.

Similar Posts