New Zealand in December... Looking for help

Asking for a friend.

He will be in Auckland starting early December.

He is looking for a used car.

Anybody have any suggestions on where to look?

Anybody have a car for sale?

Looking for dependable.

Any help is appreciated

New zealand has their own version of craidslist called TRADE ME  try that .

Hey Chris- I lived in New Zealand in the late 80’s( in Wellington) & actually thats where I learned to surf & windsurf. I cant tell you much about renting or buying cars, but there is a good spot to surf on the east side of the island,just south of Auckland called Mt.Maunganui near Taranga.I was also told that Gisborne can be good & me might also check up in the Bay of Islands area north of Auckland. Also, heading south along the west coast of the north island, try the area around Mount Taranaki & Wanganu.I only mountain biked the south island so I can’t really offer any suggestions down there.

I hope this helps your friend.

Kia ora Chris,

I live in NZ, Trade me is great, he wants to look for cars that have their WOF (Warrant of Fitness) and at least 6 months Registration. The problem being just like buying anything online you have no idea how it runs. Safer options are to buy one at the airport, travellers who are flying out are often selling their car before they leave, it must be drivable to have got them to the airport and around NZ (no flat motorways here), alternatively there is a place called the backpakers car market, they will do mechanical checks etc before they sell some old battered station wagon or camper/converted work van, lots of great surf rides here. Things to consider though; if he wants to use it for a while (months), obviously better to use latter options to be safe, if he wants it for surfing certainly a lot of the best surf spots down here on the south island and a few I’ve managed to hit on the north are accessed via some pretty gnarly unsealed roads, so sometimes at least a bit of grunt if not four wheel drive is a bonus.Some pretty good surf spots listed above, some “crowded” by NZ standards i.e. more than 20 people in the water, Taranaki is a must on the North Island.  


There’s a place in Auckland caled “Turner’s Auctions”. Go to their budget auction and you’ll grab a pretty sweet car for a couple of grand. They’ll uaually have about 100 cars. You can test drive the cars beforehand. You can also purchase mechanical insurance for about $400. 

Sent PM.

A relevant subject for surfing in a sense because nz still has uncrowded breaks away from the big cities and a car is essential.

Just to share an experience. I went to a used car yard near Wellington. I looked at maybe 100 cars briefly(!!) . Of those I looked at 30 in more detail. Then I actually physically inspected about 20. I found about 7 or 8 total lemons. By that, I mean deposits under the oil cap, oil in the radiator, what sounded like compression leaks (I’m not too sure about this… Just sounded a bit crap on start) , and finally just overpriced stuff.
I found that the only way to get something acceptable was a Japanese import for about $7k. This was about $3k more than my budget, which was already increased. I walked away. I then went private market and got very very lucky!

Kiwis don’t look after their cars in the main. They just do what works, what’s necessary but rarely go beyond like the Japanese tend to do.
I never saw a car with service history yet.

You have to be careful but it’s possible to get deals. Also bear in mind price varies a lot by the season due to backpackers.

You can also get cars tested by mechanics before you buy as well… I found that didn’t work for me - there was just too many failures!

The WOF is safety only - if the car is going to break down that isn’t tested - it’s safety only.

Hope this helps. And, if you can figure me a place to build boards please let me know!

Always welcome to use my bay down in Christchurch when its free Jago, bang on about cars here, I must be one of a handful of people who service their car and thats cos I’m British.



I’ve sent you a PM.  I was hoping you could give me some info on local conditons.



I’m heading to Dunedin tomorrow. I’ve spent a bit of time looking at forecasts - looks like protected places won’t have swell and places with swell will be too windy.

I’ll be there for 3 days so maybe my luck may change. It wasn’t so good a few days back on the NE coast.

If PM is preferred, any suggestions are appreciated.




There probably won’t be any swell on the North Coast over the next few days, but there’s a cracking SW swell on the South Coast that’s gonna be around all week. Probably too big for the Dunedin city beaches, but there are some protected bays and points here and there that are worth a check. If I could go anywhere I’d be heading down to the Catlins. Plenty of options there in big swells. 

Thanks spuddups. I checked the spit and it was clean but super tiny. The guy where I’m staying at St Clair reckoned it was surfed this morning. It’s not as unruly as I’d thought but breaking way off the point.  I just checked things before dark - just when I think it is moderating a boomer comes through with a 100 yard section

Is Brighton worth checking? I’m only here for a couple of days and caitlins is probably not feasible as I’m here with my wife.



You might want to give it a few months rest.  Several multi-story buildings etc have been condemned and are on slate for demolition.  Many roads,streets and highways are blocked or badly damaged. Wellington got it really bad.  Weird storms, winds, thunder and lightening.         Apocalypse type weather conditions. Can we say 7.8!???  Plus December is summer.  Small swell.

PM send Bob.

I got the pm. Many thanks.

It’s trying to clean up out front, but I suspect the swell has knocked the banks around. The swell angle doesn’t seem to agree with the local point. Wind? Every site I look at reports a different direction.

If there is nothing around on the low tide and soem of the spots you suggested, I may go for the drive.  


I live in Auckland, New Zealand - the best place to buy cheap cars for travelling is going to be the Ellerlise Car Fair which is on every Sunday morning. If you have any other questions send me a pm!