Shopless: cost to own a car in NZ

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Car in New Zealand?

If you’re thinking about buying a car in New Zealand, you need to look past the price tag and think about the true cost of owning a used car. There are far more expenses to pay for than just the initial price to drive away in it. This article describes many of the variables that you will need to pay for, such as car service cost, fuel efficiency, replacement parts, and more. These all contribute towards what you’ll end up spending when you own a car. That way, you can get a deeper understanding of the true cost to own a car before you make a decision on which car to buy.


The first expense you will incur when you are buying a car is the insurance. Don’t leave your car uninsured because if something happens to it, you will not be reimbursed. Get an insurance policy in place as soon as you purchase a vehicle so that if you’re in an accident, your insurance company will cover the cost of repairs or a new car.

Insurance costs vary greatly, as they are dependent on a range of factors, including the type of car and its age. Your age, accident history, and area you live in are also considerations. You can choose whether you want to have comprehensive cover or just third-party. All of this has a significant effect on how much you will pay.

Estimated Yearly Insurance Cost:

$350 – $700 (comprehensive cover)

Car Service Cost

When thinking about the cost to own a car, many people don’t consider the car service cost. Vehicles should be serviced around once a year to make sure that they stay in excellent condition.

The car service cost might include things like checking indicators, lights, replacing wiper blades, and changing the oil in the engine.

Estimated Yearly Car Service Cost:



The Warrant of Fitness proves that your car has passed inspection and is roadworthy. These checks are a great way to catch any upcoming repairs early before you are put in danger.

Getting a WOF can cost about $50 – $65. If you have a car registered after 1 January 2000, you will need to get a WOF once a year. If your vehicle was registered before then, you would need one every six months.

Estimated Yearly WOF Cost:

$50 – $130


To be able to legally drive your car in NZ, you will need to get it registered. You can renew your registration every 3, 6, or 12 months. It’s most cost-effective to renew your registration on a yearly basis, as you end up paying more if you do it for shorter intervals.

Estimated Yearly Registration Cost:


Car Maintenance

Car maintenance and repairs are the most challenging costs to estimate. When you get your WOF, the mechanic may tell you that you need to fix some things first or give you a list of things that need to be repaired before the next WOF. This is the best way to know what repairs or maintenance your car may soon require.

There are some parts that you can expect to replace. The tyres are a great example, as they will almost certainly need to be replaced at some stage. The type of car has a considerable influence on how much replacement parts will cost. For example, the cost of owning a used car that was made in Asia is often lower because these parts are cheaper to replace in New Zealand.

Estimated Yearly Maintenance Cost:



The true cost of owning a used car in NZ has to include how much you will spend on petrol, as this is one of the most significant expenses you’ll incur. It is difficult to estimate how much petrol you will use each year and the less you use, the less you’ll spend.

However, finding a car with excellent fuel efficiency can significantly reduce your petrol costs. Fuel efficiency ranges from 1 – 6 stars, with six being the most fuel-efficient. Note that the amount estimated below will vary depending on how fuel efficient your selected car is and how much you travel.

Estimated Yearly Fuel Cost:

$2,310 (based on a car with 4-star efficiency travelling 14,000km each year)

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Car in New Zealand?

If you add up all of the individual estimated costs, the true cost of owning a used car in NZ is around $3,119.16 – $3549.16 + maintenance costs and repairs.

If you’re ready to start the search for your ideal low-maintenance, fuel-efficient car, check out the used car listings on Shopless. There are thousands of second-hand cars to choose from, so you’re sure to find a model to suit your budget.  

2 thoughts on “How Much Does It Cost to Own a Car in New Zealand?”

  1. Pingback: What Do You Need to Buy a Car in NZ? - Shopless blog

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