New Zealand is a developed country with excellent public transport services. You don’t have to buy a vehicle, right? That’s only partly true. Major cities such as Wellington or Auckland have extensive public transport. You can get around usually through buses and rail.

If you wish to explore other regions, you can ride similar vehicles. You can even board the scenic trains. If you are settling down here, though, living in less-populated areas might mean fewer transport options. The country still has many open spaces with not a lot of people. A car, therefore, becomes essential.

The question is, how much it will cost you to own a car?

Car Ownership in New Zealand

You will come across vehicles that would break the bank, but overall, cars in New Zealand are affordable. You can already own one for less than NZ$2,000. A significant reason is the influx of Japanese cars. The high supply drives the cost down.

Many people, however, mistake car ownership cost as the vehicle price only. Even if they can afford to buy the unit, they might still struggle holding on to it. This is more impactful for new settlers who still have to look for work or get used to the cost of living in the country. For these people, it might be best to explore cheaper options. These include used Skoda cars for sale.

Auckland City

But how much does it cost to run a vehicle here? New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) provides a list of possible costs. These include:

  • Licensing
  • Warrant of Fitness (WOF)
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Petrol
  • Tires

The licensing fees can differ according to the purpose of the vehicle and type. For a private passenger vehicle like a car, the cheapest cost is $30.56, and that’s for a three-month use.

If you plan to use it for the whole year, the fee goes up to more than $100. This already includes other related expenses like online administration fee and the levy. You can also process your license online, saving you both time and money.

WOF, meanwhile, refers to the inspection the government does to ensure your vehicle is road-worthy. If you pass, you will receive a label. This happens every six months if the registration of your car is before 1 January 2000. It is yearly for models registered after this date. WOF can range from $50 to $60.

Vehicle insurance is the strangest expense on the list. Unlike other countries, car insurance is not compulsory in New Zealand. You can drive your car without one as long as you have an active license. Interestingly, in a 2009 survey, about 94% of the vehicles have insurance coverage. That’s comparable to countries with mandatory auto insurance policy.

The government recommends getting third-party insurance. This covers costs due to property damage. For personal injuries, New Zealand has a government entity called the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). It pays for injuries regardless of who’s at fault. It’s not the employees but their employers that fund it. They do so without deducting the salaries or wages of their workers.

Like anywhere in the world, owning a car in New Zealand comprises a significant part of your monthly expenses. When you know what to pay and their costs, though, you can plan your budget effectively.