Top Cheapest Cars in New Zealand in 2024

“New Zealander’s favorite – Toyota Corolla, image credit – NZ Car Freak

Whether you’re a budget-conscious buyer or someone seeking affordable transportation options, the New Zealand market has plenty of cheap cars available in new and used conditions. After reading this article, you will have no difficulty choosing the right one for your needs and budget. 

The cheapest cars in New Zealand in 2023:

  1. Suzuki Swift:
  • New: Average Price – NZ$17,000
  • Used: Average Price – NZ$10,000
  1. Hyundai Accent:
  • New: Average Price – NZ$18,500
  • Used: Average Price – NZ$11,000
  1. Kia Picanto:
  • New: Average Price – NZ$19,000
  • Used: Average Price – NZ$11,500
  1. Ford Fiesta:
  • New: Average Price – NZ$19,500
  • Used: Average Price – NZ$12,000
  1. Mitsubishi Mirage:
  • New: Average Price – NZ$20,000
  • Used: Average Price – NZ$12,500

Please note that the prices mentioned above are approximate averages and may vary depending on various factors such as model, trim level, optional features, mileage, and vehicle condition.

In this article, as we delve into the details, you will discover some of the most cost-effective vehicles on the market. Also, read the full article on car prices in New Zealand.

What cars are the most affordable in New Zealand?

In the affordable New Zealand’s car market, Japanese brands are highly regarded for their reliability, affordability, and cost-effective maintenance. Toyota, in particular, offers a range of models at a very fair price, especially if you buy a used car.

The Toyota Corolla, Prius, and Camry are among the most budget-friendly options, with prices typically ranging from NZ$1,500 to NZ$3,500 for used cars. Yet, we are talking about vehicles that are over ten years in age.

When it comes to finding inexpensive used cars in New Zealand, there are other brands that also offer affordable older models. For instance, you can find the Audi A4 2006, Ford Escape, 2007 Holden Astra, BMW 525i, Ford Mondeo, and 2010 Honda CR-Z selling for as low as NZ$3,500 – NZ$8,000. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that vehicles within this price range are usually older, often surpassing 12 years in age.

To explore the available options, Trade Me is a popular online platform where you can find a wide range of listings for both new and used cars in New Zealand. This website has listings from both – private sellers and dealers, where the latter will offer more security. provides an extensive selection of vehicles from various brands, allowing you to filter your search based on price range and condition. 

Japanese brands are renowned for their reliability and affordability, and they continue to excel in this segment. For instance, models like the Honda Jazz, Nissan Micra, and Subaru Impreza offer attractive prices, typically ranging from NZ$2,500 to NZ$8,500 for used cars. 

Other brands also have affordable older models, including the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Mazda2, and Volkswagen Polo, which can be found for as low as NZ$3,500. These choices provide buyers with a range of reliable and budget-friendly vehicles to explore.

Don’t forget about car insurance, check out Cove – a digital pioneer in the NZ insurance industry. Sign up for their car insurance and get one month of coverage for free.

Cheapest new cars in New Zealand

While buying used cars is a popular choice for its cost-effectiveness, there are also options for cheap new cars in New Zealand. Affordable new car options can be found on platforms like Trade Me, where prices vary but offer opportunities to fit your budget. 

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

Here is a list of some cheap new cars you can get your hands on in New Zealand: 

1. Suzuki Swift – starting from NZ$19,990: 

The Suzuki Swift is not only affordable but also offers a lively driving experience thanks to its responsive handling and peppy engine. With its sleek design, comfortable interior, and advanced safety features, the Swift is a practical and stylish choice for those seeking a compact hatchback.

2. Kia Picanto – starting from NZ$16,990: 

Kia Picanto stands out with its eye-catching design and well-appointed interior. Despite its small size, it offers surprising interior space and a generous array of features, including a touchscreen infotainment system and advanced safety technologies. With its excellent fuel efficiency, the Picanto is a smart choice for urban adventures.

3. MG3 – starting from NZ$18,990: 

The MG3 combines affordability with a sporty flair. Its youthful design and customizable options make it an appealing choice for those seeking a touch of personalization. It has a comfortable cabin, user-friendly technology, and a solid warranty package, making it a compelling package for budget-conscious buyers.

4. Mitsubishi Mirage – starting from NZ$17,990: 

The Mitsubishi Mirage impresses with its fuel-efficient engine and low running costs, making it an economical choice for daily commutes, especially within a city. Its compact size makes parking a breeze, while its user-friendly features, including a touchscreen infotainment system and Bluetooth connectivity, enhance the driving experience.

5. Suzuki Celerio – starting from NZ$16,990: 

The Suzuki Celerio may be small in size, but it offers surprising practicality and versatility. Its impressive fuel efficiency, comfortable seating, and nimble maneuverability make it an ideal choice for urban driving and navigating tight spaces. The Celerio’s affordability and reliability make it an appealing option for budget-conscious buyers.

6. Honda Jazz – starting from NZ$20,990: 

Honda Jazz is renowned for its clever use of interior space, providing exceptional cargo capacity and versatile seating configurations. With its smooth ride, advanced safety features, and reputation for reliability, the Jazz offers a comfortable and worry-free driving experience for those seeking a practical hatchback.

7. Hyundai i20 – starting from NZ$21,990: 

The Hyundai i20 combines affordability with a well-crafted interior and a range of modern features. With its comfortable seating, generous cargo space, and user-friendly infotainment system, the i20 delivers a pleasant driving experience and value for money in its segment.

8. Ford Fiesta – starting from NZ$25,990: 

Image credit: M 93 

Ford Fiesta known for engaging driving dynamics and precise handling, providing a spirited and enjoyable ride. With its stylish design, well-finished interior, and advanced safety technologies, the Fiesta strikes a balance between fun and practicality, making it a popular choice among small hatchback enthusiasts.

9. Nissan Micra – starting from NZ$19,990: 

The Nissan Micra offers a blend of affordability, compactness, and style. With its distinctive design elements, efficient engine, and comfortable cabin, the Micra is an urban-friendly hatchback that brings a touch of personality to the streets. Its modern features and agile handling make it a convenient and attractive choice for city dwellers.

10. MG ZS – starting from NZ$23,990: 

The MG ZS is a compact SUV that combines affordability with a spacious interior and a range of premium features. With its comfortable seating, ample cargo space, and advanced safety technologies, the ZS offers versatility and practicality for those seeking a budget-friendly crossover with modern amenities.

Cheapest used cars in New Zealand

“Good old Honda Civic on sale on”

Typically, purchasing a one-year-old car can save you around 30% compared to buying brand new. The average price for used vehicles listed on platforms like Trade Me in 2022 was around NZ$12,000, but prices can vary both above and below this average threshold. 

Exploring the market and comparing different listings can help you find affordable used car options that fit your budget. Here is a list of some used cars and their approximate pricing in New Zealand: 

CarUsed car priceFeatures
Toyota CorollaNZ$5,000 – NZ$8,000The Corolla is a reliable and fuel-efficient compact car, perfect for daily commuting. It offers a comfortable ride and has a reputation for long-lasting durability.
Honda CivicNZ$4,500 – NZ$7,000The Civic is known for its excellent fuel economy and spacious interior. It offers a smooth and comfortable ride, making it a popular choice among budget-conscious buyers.
Mazda3NZ$5,500 – NZ$8,500The Mazda3 combines sporty styling with a comfortable and well-built interior. It provides an enjoyable driving experience and boasts good fuel efficiency.
Ford Focus NZ$4,000 – NZ$7,000The Focus offers responsive handling and a comfortable ride. It has a practical design with ample cargo space, making it suitable for small families or individuals with an active lifestyle.
Hyundai ElantraNZ$4,500 – NZ$7,500The Rio is a compact car with a modern design and a comfortable cabin. It offers a smooth ride, decent fuel economy and comes with a range of features, making it a good choice for budget-conscious buyers.
Nissan TiidaNZ$3,500 – NZ$6,000The Tiida is a practical and affordable hatchback known for its spacious cabin and decent fuel economy. It’s a reliable choice for daily commuting and offers good value for its price.
Suzuki SwiftNZ$3,000 – NZ$6,000The Swift is a compact and fun-to-drive hatchback. It has agile handling, good fuel efficiency, and a comfortable interior, making it an ideal option for city driving.
Kia RioNZ$4,000 – NZ$7,000The Impreza is a versatile compact car that provides a comfortable ride and excellent handling thanks to its all-wheel-drive system. It offers good fuel efficiency and has a reputation for safety, making it a popular choice among budget-minded buyers.
Mitsubishi LancerNZ$3,500 – NZ$6,000The Lancer is a compact sedan that offers reliable performance and a spacious interior. It has a reputation for durability and is equipped with features that make it a practical choice for everyday driving.
Subaru ImprezaNZ$3,000 – NZ$8,000The Impreza is a versatile compact car that provides a comfortable ride and excellent handling, thanks to its all-wheel-drive system. It offers good fuel efficiency and has a reputation for safety, making it a popular choice among budget-minded buyers.

Remember to conduct a thorough inspection and consider factors such as maintenance history, fuel consumption, mileage, and overall condition before finalizing your purchase. You can buy a very cheap car and spend hundreds on gas because of its high consumption.

Cheapest electric cars

“Nissan Leaf, Image credit – Andra Febrian

In recent years, the popularity of electric cars in New Zealand has been steadily increasing, with more and more people embracing the benefits of zero-emission vehicles. 

While some electric car models, such as the Tesla Model Y and Tesla Model 3, have a higher price point, there are also affordable options available that offer excellent value for money. Let’s explore the cheapest electric cars in New Zealand and their benefits:

1. Nissan Leaf (Price: NZ$30,000 – NZ$40,000): 

The Nissan Leaf is one of the most affordable electric cars on the market. It offers a range of approximately 150-220 kilometers on a single charge, making it suitable for daily commuting. 

The Leaf’s compact size and smooth handling make it maneuverable in urban areas. Its low operating costs and zero tailpipe emissions contribute to long-term savings and environmental sustainability.

2. MG ZS EV (Price: NZ$40,000 – NZ$45,000): 

The MG ZS EV is another affordable electric option available in New Zealand. With an impressive range of around 260 kilometers, it offers practicality for everyday use. The ZS EV features a spacious interior, a modern design, and a generous level of standard equipment. 

Its affordable price point makes it an attractive choice for those looking to transition to electric vehicles without breaking the bank.

3. Hyundai Kona Electric (Price: From NZ$69,990): 

While slightly higher in price compared to the previous options, the Hyundai Kona Electric still offers excellent value for money. With an extended range of up to 400 kilometers, it provides greater flexibility for longer trips. 

The Kona Electric boasts a comfortable and well-designed interior, as well as advanced safety features. It’s a practical and versatile electric SUV suitable for various lifestyles.

The benefits of these affordable electric cars extend beyond their price tags. They contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and promoting sustainability. 

Electric cars offer lower operating costs compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, as they require less maintenance and have lower fuel costs. Additionally, owning an electric vehicle means taking advantage of New Zealand’s expanding public charging infrastructure, making long-distance travel more feasible.

As more affordable electric car models enter the market and government incentives continue to support electric vehicle adoption, the transition to sustainable transportation becomes more accessible for Kiwis. 

Car financing in New Zealand

If you don’t have a full car price in cash, 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 popular lending companies include:

Some financing options require a deposit, but most don’t.

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. Luckily, 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 with SimpleNewZealand and get one month of coverage for free.

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