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Special interest vehicles

This page applies to class MA vehicles (passenger vehicles) only. Please confirm your vehicle belongs to class MA before importing under the ‘special interest’ category. 

Class MA vehicles (passenger vehicles)

Ask an entry certifier if you are unsure of your vehicle category, before you import.

Entry certification

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.

The requirements mean motoring enthusiasts are able to bring in non-compliant vehicles that are designated as special interest vehicles, provided that all the specified requirements are met.

This information should be read in conjunction with Factsheet 44 Importing a motor vehicle, which outlines the overall requirements for importing a vehicle into New Zealand.

Factsheet 44 Importing a motor vehicle

To import a class LC, LD or LE vehicle under the ‘special interest’ category see the special interest motorcycles page.

How do I apply for a permit to register a non-compliant vehicle in New Zealand?

You will need to apply to an entry certifier to obtain a special interest vehicle permit. A fee will be charged to process your application.

You need to fill in an SIVVP Application for a special interest vehicle permit form, which includes making a declaration that you have met the current requirements and will also meet future requirements. The indicative fee for processing an is $184. This is based on the hourly rate for processing exemptions of $184 per hour (including GST) and has to be paid before the Transport Agency starts work on the application.

SIVVP Application for a special interest vehicle permit form(external link)

The file will then be referred to the Transport Agency to 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.

Note: 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.

What requirements have to be met before my vehicle can be registered in New Zealand as a special interest vehicle?

You must make a declaration that:

  • you are a New Zealand citizen or New Zealand resident
  • you will register the vehicle in your name
  • you will use the vehicle for personal purposes and the vehicle will not be operated on the road for commercial purposes or for hire and reward
  • you will not sell or lease the vehicle to a third party within four years of the vehicle’s first registration in New Zealand
  • the vehicle will not be operated in a transport service
  • you have not been granted a special interest vehicle permit in the last two years.

Note: it is an offence to provide a false or misleading declaration.

Requirements that the vehicle must meet

To have a vehicle identified as a special interest vehicle, the 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).
  • Less than 20,000 units of the vehicle’s make and model have been (or were) manufactured annually.
  • 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.

Other requirements for importing a vehicle into New Zealand

Additional requirements attached to special interest vehicles

In addition to the declaration on the application, you must:

  • have another vehicle (eg car, ute, minivan) for your everyday use
  • not have any other special interest vehicle registered in your name
  • prove that the vehicle otherwise complies with the Land Transport Rules.

Is there a limit to how many special interest vehicle permits can be issued in any one calendar year?

The Transport Agency may not issue more than 200 special interest vehicle permits in any one calendar year. As a result, 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 that ceases to be valid in the calendar year it was issued will not be counted in the quota total mentioned above.

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.

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.

Does the Fuel Consumption Information Rule apply to special interest vehicles?

The Land Transport Rule: Fuel Consumption Information 2008 (the Fuel Consumption Information Rule) sets out requirements for the provision of fuel consumption information for light motor vehicles that enter the New Zealand fleet and are manufactured on or after 1 January 2000. The Fuel Consumption Information Rule 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.

Does the Land Transport Rule: Light Vehicle Brakes 2002 apply to immigrants’ vehicles?

Under the Land Transport Rule: Light Vehicle Brakes 2002 special interest vehicles do not have to comply with the electronic stability control requirements of the rule but must meet the other requirements for that vehicle.

What about left-hand drive vehicles?

A special interest vehicle permit is not a left-hand drive permit.

Where can I find out more?

Factsheet

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