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Special interest vehicles

This page applies to class MA vehicles only. Please confirm your vehicle belongs to class MA before importing under the ‘special interest’ category. Ask an entry certifier if you are unsure of your vehicle category, before you import.

You may be able to import and register such a vehicle without needing an exemption, but to do so you will need to meet a number of specific conditions and apply for a special interest vehicle permit.

What requirements have to be met?

Requirements that the vehicle must meet

To have a vehicle identified as a special interest vehicle, the NZ Transport Agency must deem it to have historic value or it must meet three of the following four requirements:

  • The vehicle (or its make, model and submodel) is identified as being a collector's item in one of the following magazines or their respective websites – Australian classic car, Car and driver (US), Automobile (US), Motor (Australia), Motor trend (US), New Zealand autocar, New Zealand classic car, Road and track (US), Top gear (UK), Top gear NZ,Unique cars (Australia) or Wheels (Australia).

  • The vehicle's make and model has been (or was) manufactured in annual volumes of 20,000 units or less.

  • The vehicle is, and was manufactured as, a two-door coupe or a convertible.

  • The vehicle is, and was manufactured as, a high-performance vehicle.

You may be requested to submit additional information.

See the other requirements for importing a vehicle into New Zealand

You must also comply with the following requirements:

  • You must be a New Zealand citizen or resident.

  • You must not have received a special interest vehicle permit during the two years before your application.

  • You must have another vehicle (eg car, ute, minivan) for your everyday use.

  • You must not have any other special interest vehicle registered in your name.

  • You must prove the other necessary standards for the vehicle year.

How do I apply for a special interest vehicle permit?

You will need to apply to an entry certifier for a permit. A fee may be charged to process your application. The file will then be referred to the Transport Agency, who will make an assessment and decision.

If you do not complete this process, your vehicle will not be entry-certified and will not be able to be registered for use on New Zealand roads, unless you can prove that it meets approved frontal impact and emissions standards by other means.

Is there a limit to the permits?

Under the amended Frontal Impact Rule, the Transport Agency may not issue more than 200 special interest vehicle permits in any one calendar year. You may not be issued with a special interest vehicle permit if 200 such permits have already been issued in the calendar year in which you apply.

A special interest vehicle permit ceases to be valid if the vehicle is not inspected at the border or certified for entry within six months of the date of issue. A special interest vehicle permit that ceases to be valid in the calendar year it was issued will not be counted in the quota total mentioned above.


  • A special interest vehicle cannot be sold or leased within four years of its registration in New Zealand.

  • A special interest vehicle cannot be used for hire or reward or in a transport service.

Is there a list of vehicles that have previously been granted a special interest vehicle permit?

All permit applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and are required to meet the criteria set out in legislation. If a vehicle is on the below list, this does not mean another vehicle of the same make, model, sub-model would automatically be approved. This list cannot be used as proof that a vehicle meets the criteria and you will still be required to provide the supporting documentation to confirm that both you and your vehicle meet the criteria set out on the application form. The NZ Transport Agency is not obligated to grant a permit if it is not considered appropriate and may impose conditions to any permit.

View the list of vehicles that have previously been granted a special interest vehicle permit [PDF, 229 KB]

Can the Transport Agency grant exemptions?

The Transport Agency cannot grant exemptions from any conditions for special interest vehicles, including the quota total.

Fuel consumption

The Land Transport Rule: Fuel Consumption Information 2008 does not apply to 'special interest' vehicles. This means fuel consumption information does not have to be provided when the vehicle is first registered for use in New Zealand.

What about left-hand drive vehicles?

Find out more about importing a left-hand drive vehicle

Download Factsheet 44B – Special interest vehicles [PDF, 57 KB]