If you’ve bought a car in New Zealand after deciding that it fits into your budget and your plans, what happens then to your car when you’re leaving New Zealand for good? Here’s a quick guide to how you can sell your car in New Zealand after completing your working holiday!

Check out my other articles here too that may be useful for you if you’re still at the deciding phase of whether you should buy a car or not:

Step 1: Give your car a good scrub to prepare for a photoshoot

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The first step to selling your car is to give it a good scrub inside-out. If you have a vacuum and a water gun, that’s the best to clean your car thoroughly. I was fortunate then that my landlord then owned both items in their own garage and so I borrowed them. Then, take some bright and clean photos of your car. Make sure you highlight points that would increase its saleability – large boot space, good condition of seats and steering wheel, speedometer for the authenticity of mileage etc.

Any buyer looking for a second-hand car would want to buy a car that looks like it was well-kept by the previous owner. I had this in mind throughout the time I was driving my car and put in great effort to maintain it during my journey too. So, it was relatively easy for me just give it a quick tidy-up before I sell my car in New Zealand. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. When I was buying my car, I rejected a few cars I test drove because of how unkept it was. Weird smells, faulty seatbelts and air-conditioning, yellow and unclear windows because of accumulated dirt. All these are red flags to buying AND selling a car. So make sure you avoid committing them yourself!

Step 2: Make it known that it’s for sale!

There are many ways you can make it known that you’re selling your vehicle.

  • The easiest to make it known is to write on a piece of paper in thick ink that your car is “FOR SALE!” Then, put this paper at the front and back windows of your car. Make sure you include your contact details so any potential buyer passing by can easily note down your contact.
  • List it on Facebook Buysell Groups in New Zealand too. This proved to be the most effective for me. Do reference the template of your sale posts to include details that buyers look out for too. Things like REGO and WOF validity etc. Here’s one group I would recommend: Backpackers Cars Buy&Sell New Zealand
  • Look out for Buy & Sell noticeboards displaying at certain supermarkets too. You can put down your contact details and the model of the car you’re selling. Hopefully, someone contacts you too!
  • List your car for free on TradeMe, but note that you have to pay a certain fee when it sells!

Step 3: Prepare to be in a location long enough to offer test drives

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Offering test drives would increase the saleability of your car too. Hence, I recommend you to plan for a few days in bigger cities so that you can offer test drives to potential buyers! Make sure you’re either together in the car with the other party or you hold onto something significant of the other party before you hand the keys over for the test drive. Just being careful here!

Step 4: Hand over the keys and IT’S SOLD!

Congratulations you found a buyer!! Now, make sure the transaction is made either in cash or a bank transfer, and that it is successful before you hand over the keys. This may seem really obvious too, but do remember to clear out everything from your car before you sell it. I almost forgot I left stuff n the front pocket

How it felt selling away my car

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Buying a car in New Zealand was such an exhilarating experience as I was so excited about owning my first ever car in my life! It brought me through almost the whole of New Zealand for 6 whole months. It really felt like I lost my partner in crime when I handed the keys over to the buyer. That sense of loss was so real that I actually felt sad 🙁 It also did not register in my mind that my car was sold until that very night. Who knew I could feel so emotionally attached to a car…

I’m probably being all emotional here about a car but oh man, it really did mean so much to me! I’m glad I managed to take many photos with it and created so many memories with it too throughout New Zealand. All in all, I’m still happy I managed to sell my car timely in New Zealand and as planned as I also know of others who did not manage to sell it even after leaving. Hope you do find a good buyer for your car too when you part ways with it at the end of your working holiday!

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