Whether you’ve sold a car or two in your lifetime, or if this is your very first time, there are always at least a couple of things that you might forget or neglect to take care of prior to selling your car. Then, when it comes time to post it, you might not be fully aware of all the ways to advertise and what the current best places to advertise are, online and in public. So for all of you looking to sell your car for the best price and in the quickest time, here’s a guide to selling your car in New Zealand.

Update your Warrant of Fitness

Before you even start to think about posting your car, you should probably know if your vehicle will pass the Warrant of Fitness (WoF). While you might be able to get out of needing an up to date WoF if you and the buyer have negotiated the terms, you’ll most likely need it. It also needs to be less than 30 days old when you sell the vehicle, so timing is important here.

One suggestion is to find out what, if anything, needs to be repaired or updated prior to bringing it into a car service facility for the WoF. The best case scenario is if the repair is something small that you can do yourself, which will make the WoF process that much simpler. If not, it’s still a good idea to find out if anything larger or more expensive will need to be repaired first in order to pass the WoF. It’s easy enough to bring your car into an auto electrician to check out your car’s battery, or a tyre service centre in Christchurchto give your car a quick check for any other major issues. You’ll want to be prepared if you’ll be spending a chunk of money prior to selling your car.

Once you know what needs to be done, or you were able to fix anything small on your own, you can probably be safe with posting your car and getting the WoF shortly after. Just make sure you’re able to sell the car within 30 days so you’re within your time frame, and so you don’t risk needing to get another, more up to date, WoF.

Consider the season

Just like fashion, selling a car has a season. In New Zealand, with the large amounts of backpackers and travelers coming through the country during the summer, the best time to sell your vehicle is in high tourism times. Low season for backpackers is typically March through November, and therefore might be a bit more difficult to sell a car. Older, cheaper vehicles, or campervans will be especially marketed towards this group of potential buyers, so just keep that in mind if you’re selling an older vehicle.   

Pay fees

Any tickets, fines, road user charges (RUC) or licensing fees are your responsibility to pay prior to selling the car. You might think you can get out of them by simply selling your car, but ethically and legally these are your fees, and therefore your responsibility.

Where to sell it and how to advertise

The basic premise of advertising your car is to advertise to as many possible groups of people in as many different places as well. Your greatest advertisement will always be incredibly simple, just a sign in your back window. Your car itself is the best way to get people to notice, and a sign in the window will be visible when you go to work, the supermarket, or parked out in town. Keep your advertisement simple, with just your phone number and your asking price, as well as the year of the car. Remember to keep your car clean and uncluttered when you’ve got the sign up to keep your car looking its best to potential buyers.

The next obvious way to advertise your car is on Trade Me, or any other local internet community boards and posting sites. It’s imperative that your advertisement is well written, has good grammar, and no spelling errors. You will also want to follow these tips to really help your advertisement stand out from others.

Other, less likely places to advertise your car, which may help you reach an untapped market, are hostels. Countless backpackers make their way into hostels potentially looking for a vehicle to pick up quickly to travel the country with. If you’re selling an older or cheaper car, this can be a great market for you to unload a car quickly.  You could even try different dealerships, like this tyre dealer in Christchurch to post your car as well.

Get it cleaned

When you’re going to show your car to potential buyers, remember that first impressions go a really long way. Have your car professionally cleaned so it smells and looks squeaky clean and feels like a brand new car to the buyer. When you allow them to test drive, they’ll more than likely poke around and open any compartments in your car, so make sure they’re void of personal items and also cleaned well.

Complete change of ownership forms

Finally, once the car is sold, it’s time to complete change of ownership forms. Use the New Zealand transport agency forms to either complete online or on paper. The process is fairly quick and easy, and should not be avoided as there can be some penalties for not completing it immediately after the sale. You may even end up having to pay for the new owner’s tickets or fees if you don’t transfer it right away, as the car will still be under your name.

Now that you’ve got this guide, you have got the basic tools for selling your car in New Zealand. Just remember to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes as well when you’re selling your car, and be honest and fair because at some point, you might have to purchase a used car and will want the same respect and courtesy. Use this guide as a starting point, and you’ll sell your car in no time.

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