What paperwork will I need when selling my car?
When you list your car for sale, make it as easy as possible for buyers by having all the paperwork ready to go.
When you list your car for sale, make it as easy as possible for potential buyers. You should have all the paperwork ready to go.
Change of ownership
We recommend you complete a New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) change of ownership form as soon as you’ve completed the sale – this way you’ll avoid any potential fines, parking or speeding tickets incurred by the new owner. You can do this online or through one of their agents.
You’ll need both your own and the buyer’s details, so try to do this together as part of the handover process.
Let your insurance company know that you want to cancel your car insurance, but only when it’s 100% confirmed as sold. Do this as soon as possible once the change of ownership papers have been completed to stop your payments.
Before any car can be driven on New Zealand roads it must be registered – most cars only need to be registered once. When registered, the car is inspected for safety, certified, added to the Motor Vehicle Register and, if needed, licensed. Don’t confuse registration with vehicle licensing (rego) – cars need both to drive on New Zealand roads.
Vehicle licensing (rego)
The buyer needs to drive away in a car that has an updated vehicle licensing (rego) or they could be fined $200 by the NZ Police or parking enforcement. You’ll find the rego in the corner of the vehicle's windshield.
- If your car doesn’t have a rego, you should drop your price slightly to make up for this fee – if you haven’t already priced your vehicle to reflect this.
- If your car has been without a rego for less than a year, you can apply to the NZTA for renewal and back pay outstanding licence fees.
- The seller is liable for money owed on the licence fees up to the point of sale – either pay online or to receive an instant rego label, go to your nearest AA, NZ Post shop, VTNZ, VINZ or an independent outlet displaying the NZTA logo.
- If the car has been unlicensed for more than 12 months, its rego will be cancelled and getting it renewed involves a bit more work including inspection, certification, re-registration, new vehicle licensing and getting new plates.
- If you have personalised plates and want to keep them, work out a transfer agreement with the buyer.
Warrant of Fitness (WoF)
It’s illegal to drive a car without a current Warrant of Fitness (WoF), so make sure your buyer knows this. They can legally drive straight to a testing station or authorised mechanic to get one, but nowhere else. It’s a good idea to sell your car with at least one month left on its current WoF. If your vehicle has less than 28 days left, you’ll need to let the buyer know.
Road user charges (RUC)
All diesel-powered cars need to have a current distance licence in the windscreen showing up to date payment of road user charges (RUC), or mileage. If the RUC on the car you’re selling has expired, it will need to be up to date before the buyer takes ownership – you’ll still be liable for the outstanding costs until it’s paid.
Vehicle sale receipt
Download a copy of our vehicle sale receipt and have both parties sign it – it will protect you both if there are any future problems. Include your names, the vehicle, the price and the date and time.
By getting all of this paperwork sorted you’ll be ensuring the smoothest possible handover process, for you and your buyer. Meaning they can get on with enjoying their new purchase, and you can finish your selling journey on a positive.
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