Selling guide

Car selling dictionary

Familiarise yourself with any words or terms you're unsure of to gain a better understanding of the car selling journey.

All-wheel drive (AWD)

All four tyres are constantly getting power from the engine. Meaning if your back wheels hit a hazardous spill on the road, your front wheels will take over so you don’t skid and lose control.


Auctions have a reserve price, start price and sometimes have a Buy Now price. You can place bids and if you're the highest bidder when the auction closes (and the reserve price has been met), or you use the Buy Now, you'll be the winner. Auctions are used in our general and motors categories.


You can also place an auto-bid, which will keep you in the lead by placing a bid for you whenever you’re outbid. We’ll place the minimum allowable bid for you until you win the auction or your auto-bid is exceeded.

Background Check

Displays information from government and private databases about whether a vehicle has been reported stolen, is a damaged import or has been re-registered. The information is valid at the time the Background Check is generated but may be incomplete if the government or private databases are inaccurate or out of date.


When placing a bid, it needs to be equal to the start price or reach the next minimum bid amount. You’ll need to select your preferred shipping option so that your 'Total to pay' is accurate if you win.

Buy now

Buy Now allows the seller to specify a fixed price for which they’re willing to sell the item right away (separate from the start and reserve prices). You can use a Buy Now on an auction before the reserve is met.


Classifieds are like ads in the newspaper. The seller sets a fixed asking price, and if you're keen to learn more about the item, you can message them directly. Once you've reached a deal with the seller, they remove the ad from the site. The sale happens offline, so feedback isn't left. Classifieds are used for property, motors, and certain machinery and animals.

Consumer Information Notice (CIN)

The CIN gives consumers important information particular to the used motor vehicle they may be thinking about purchasing. Dealers must display these on their listing.

Damaged import check

This checks if the vehicle was flagged as a damaged import by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). The NZTA records whether or not inspectors identified any obvious damage or deterioration on imported used vehicles at the time of importation. The extent of that damage, or any damage that may have occurred in New Zealand, is not recorded. This check excludes Australian statutory write-offs. However, you can check Australian write-offs by entering the vehicle’s VIN on the NZTA site. Remember that all car history can be completed by getting a VIR report from MotorWeb.

Electric cars

Electric cars are becoming more popular, more readily available, and are the greenest choice of car you can make. But do you have range anxiety that it’ll be able to travel the distance you require between charges? Check out where your local charging stations are.

Fixed price offer

After the listing closes, the seller may choose to send out an offer to any trader who added the listing to their Watchlist or relist to start a new listing.

Four-wheel drive (4WD)

Four-wheel drive, also called 4×4 (‘four by four’) or 4WD, refers to a two-axle vehicle drivetrain capable of providing torque to all of its wheels simultaneously. It may be full-time or on-demand. A benefit of 4x4 is that it allows the driver to have more control when driving in tough conditions like ice, snow, mud or rock.


Horsepower is the total power output of an engine. Practically, horsepower (relative to weight) is a measure of the performance of your car. It can also be measured in KM/per hour.

Hybrid vehicle

Uses the combination of a petrol engine and an electric motor to help save on petrol costs.

Money owing check

This checks whether the vehicle has a security interest recorded on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR). If a finance company or person lends money to someone to buy a motor vehicle, the lender can register a security interest over the vehicle on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR). This means that the lender may have proprietary rights over the vehicle, and can have it repossessed.

Motor Vehicle Traders

Motor Vehicle Traders are considered to be someone who has a motor selling business, or sells at least 6 or more motor vehicles a year, or imports 3 or more motor vehicles a year with the primary purpose of gaining funds by selling.

New Zealand new

New Zealand new means that the vehicle was first registered in New Zealand and had no previous owners outside of New Zealand.

Re-registered check

This checks the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) Motor Vehicle Register. It will display if a vehicle has been de-registered and then registered again. The most common reasons for a registration being cancelled are a vehicle being ‘written off’ by an insurance company, a vehicle being destroyed or rendered useless, or a vehicle being unlicensed for more than 1 year.

Road User Charges (RUC)

Everyone using New Zealand’s roads contributes towards their upkeep. Most road users pay levies when they buy fuel. Others, such as drivers of light diesel vehicles and heavy vehicles like trucks, pay through road user charges (RUC).

Stolen vehicle check:

This checks whether or not a vehicle has been reported stolen to the New Zealand Police. The stolen vehicle information displayed is a snapshot of data from the Police vehicle of interest database. The Police aren’t able to guarantee the accuracy of this information because there can be a delay in stolen vehicles appearing, and in recovered vehicles being cleared from the list.


Tiptronic transmission is an automatic transmission that includes an option to switch out of automatic mode and upshift or downshift by using paddles behind the steering wheel or by using the gear lever itself.


Torque measures the amount of rotational force the engine can put out. In practical terms, torque is a measurement of force and how quickly your car can accelerate. Important if you are towing.


The job of transmission in a car is to make sure that the right amount of power goes to your wheels to drive at a given speed. The method is very similar to how gears shift on a multi-speed bicycle.

Two-wheel drive (2WD)

Two-wheel drive (2WD) describes vehicles with a drivetrain that allows two wheels to receive power from the engine simultaneously. The benefit of a 2WD vehicle is that it’ll be more fuel efficient.

Vehicle Information Report (VIR)

Vehicle Information Report (VIR) is a comprehensive vehicle history check within New Zealand that will alert you to important information such as hidden debts, inconsistent odometer readings if the vehicle is reported stolen and much more.

Vehicle licensing (rego)

Most vehicles need to have a vehicle licence before you can use them on public roads. You pay a fee for the licence and you get a vehicle licence label to display on the vehicle. Your vehicle licence is often referred to as your rego, but it's not the same thing as registration. Vehicle licences expire, so you need to make sure you renew yours regularly.

Warrant of Fitness (WoF)

Warrant of Fitness (WoF) is a regular check to make sure that your vehicle meets the required safety standards. How often a WoF is required depends on when your car was first registered and the year it was manufactured.