Buying a car in New Zealand

Trip Start May 18, 2003
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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Since I arrived in New Zealand it has rained every day. There have been some bright sunny days but they have not been without their short showers. People have been jokingly telling me that I must have brought the rain with me; "From Australia?" I reply. This weekend has been different though - I didn't see a drop of rain all day yesterday, although it was quite overcast on the way to archery practice. And so far today it has been dry also!

Seeing as I have only got five more months here I thought it was high time I got myself a car and start my touring, so I headed off to the Ellerslie Car Market today (held every Sunday morning from 9 to 12 midday) to see if I could pick up a suitable vehicle to take me around both islands. There were many to choose from, all makes and models, but only a few caught my eye.

Anyone planning on spending more than a couple of months travelling in New Zealand should seriously consider buying a cheap car to tour around in. Relative to other countries car ownership is quite affordable in New Zealand. It's not surprising that this country has the highest car ownership per capita in the world. Travelling by car is a lot more flexible than the bus and train network, and so much cheaper than the tour companies. Most travellers choose to buy a car rather than rent a vehicle, as the rental excess is usually more than the cost of buying a cheap car.

I have made arrangements for a test drive later today, so hopefully I'll be the proud owner of my own car soon enough.

Ellerslie Car Market Top Tip: Halfway through the morning the sellers start to drop their poster prices, so unless you have your heart set on a particular car it pays to wait a while to see how far they will drop. None of them are keen to take their unsold cars back home with them at lunchtime.
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