What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?
I'd buy here. There are tons of used cars for sale. Japanese cars are the norm. I understand that it's difficult and expensive to retrofit a US car to their standards but I have not tried. - Jun 2019
I'd recommend against shipping a car due to stringent restrictions on imports, most of which seem arbitrary and whimsically enforced. Even if your current vehicle is right-hand drive and meets the necessary emission standards, it might still take several weeks and thousands of dollars to have the headlights realigned. Secondhand cars are cheap and widely available for purchase, although many have been salvaged from either Australia or Japan. Expect to have an unusable FM band, as well as a GPS programmed in a foreign tongue. On start-up, one of my colleague's cars would always announce something like "Konnichiwa, honorable driver, please to fasten seatbelt for safe driving pleasure experience." Maintenance costs are slightly higher here, especially with replacing tires due to the poor quality roads. Car insurance is not compulsory, but it's inexpensive (~$500 NZD/year) and highly recommended. - Mar 2016
I believe there are a lot of restrictions; it was the first post we went without bringing any cars in. We bought from a transitioning employee and one from an online auction. We sold back to a car dealership for an amazing price - After trade-in, we paid a total of $2K for both cars for two years. Spent $12,000 on them, got $10,000 back. - Apr 2015
NZ has very stringent requirements for cars coming into the country. It must pass their inspection or it can't be brought in. Most people buy a car here, or have one shipped from Japan (IBC specializes in cars being shipped to NZ and have a certified inspector in country to make sure the cars can be shipped to NZ with no problem). - Aug 2011
Don't bring an American car, although we brought ours since we came from Asia and had no other car...., but it is surely a handicap, since traffic is on the left side of the road. There are little or no parts available and hard to find a good mechanic who knows the American models. Although, we had a small American car (GeoPrizm), which was then okay to use. We brought our car from Nepal, where they also drive on the left-hand-side, and I had no problems. - Aug 2008