Who needs to register?
The interactive tool below is a quick way to get an indication of whether or not you need to be registered as a motor vehicle trader. To begin using this tool, select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to answer the first question. Depending on your response we will ask you some further questions, or a statement will appear indicating your registration requirement.
Please note, there are additional criteria around who is not required to register, or is unable to register. We recommend you view this information before using the interactive tool below.
Adobe Flash Player is required to view the calculator.
This information should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon to determine whether or not you should be registered.
We encourage you to seek independent legal advice if you are unsure whether or not you need to register as a motor vehicle trader.
The Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 (MVSA) sets out the criteria for who must register as a motor vehicle trader. Sections 7 and 8 of the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 define who is a motor vehicle trader. Basically, all persons carrying on the business of motor vehicle trading are required to register under the MVSA.
A person is treated as ‘carrying on the business’ of motor vehicle trading if:
- The person holds out that they are carrying on the business of motor vehicle trading; or
- The person sells more than 6 motor vehicles, unless that person proves that those motor vehicles were not sold for the primary purpose; or
- The person imports more than 3 motor vehicles, unless that person proves that those motor vehicles were not imported to be sold for the primary purpose of gain.
The definitions above include but are not limited to:
- car auctioneers and car consultants
- specialist motor vehicle auctioneers
- insurance or finance companies and storage providers that sell vehicles to the public (unless they do this through a registered motor vehicle trader)
A ‘motor vehicle’ is defined in Section 6 of the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003 as:
“a road vehicle that is drawn or propelled by mechanical power and is of the kind ordinarily acquired by consumers for personal, domestic or household use.”
The key part of the definition is in bold. This definition would include but is not limited to:
- a car
- a motorhome
- an off-road vehicle
- a motorcycle over 60cc
If you are carrying on the business of motor vehicle trading and selling motor vehicles such as these you will be required to register as a motor vehicle trader.
The same section also defines what is not considered to be a motor vehicle:
- an invalid carriage
- a moped
- a motorcycle under 60cc
- tractors or farm machinery
- trailers (including caravans)
- wrecks and dismantled vehicles
If you are selling vehicles such as these you will probably not be required to register as a motor vehicle trader, however you may wish to check with your legal advisor.
Note: A four wheeler farm bike would normally not be considered a ‘motor vehicle’ under the MVSA as it is classified as farm machinery. However, if the four wheeler is being purchased to be used on the road or for personal use it will be considered a ‘motor vehicle’.
If you are involved in selling vehicles to other motor vehicle traders (but not directly to consumers) you are required to be registered as you are classified as a wholesaler and carrying on the business of motor vehicle trading.
An overseas company that is carrying on the business of motor vehicle trading in New Zealand will need to register under the MVSA. There are two ways to do this.
- One is to incorporate as a company on the New Zealand Companies Register and then apply to register as a motor vehicle trader. More information on how to register on the Companies Register is available on the Official New Zealand Companies Office website.
- The second is to have a representative of the company register as an individual; this individual will take on all legal liability on behalf of the company within New Zealand.
More information on how to register on the Companies Register is available on the Official New Zealand Companies Office website.
See the Who does not need to register? section for more information.