Wanting to buy second hand cars? Here are what you should know

19 Dec Wanting to buy second hand cars? Here are what you should know

To come to live and study in New Zealand, besides other issues like eating and accommodation, one of the very troubling thing is transport. A very instinctive impression you will get is “no cars means no legs”, especially if you’re from big cities with convenient public transportation. In Christchurch, we have so said the most complicated and convenient bus system, but comparing to bus system in other countries, it has a permanent timetable instead of the bus coming and going every 3 minutes. Sometimes if you miss a bus, another 30 minutes waiting there is normal. Moreover, if you are living in small towns with no public transport, the only way is to drive. Second hand cars in New Zealand is quite normal, the procedure of purchasing a second hand car is easy, but to find the right one is hard. What are the options?

1. TradeMe

TradeMe is the biggest bidding and trading platform in Australasia, big amount of personal sellers and business sellers put car information on TradeMe for customers to view. The information coverage is overall, and TradeMe allows online communication between buyers and sellers for discussion and meeting up for trial.

For those international students who didn’t own a car or had no knowledge in cars, it is a very easy channel to get familiar with car brands, engine size, models and his/her own estimated price range. One thing needed to be addressed is if you want to make a bid on TradeMe, you need to create a TradeMe account and link with payment card information.

Additionally, for personal sellers, you need to verify with them about the car history like WOF and maintenance just in case.

2. Facebook

There are two ways of buying second hand cars on Facebook, one is the Marketplace and the other is private second hand car group.

2.1 Recently Facebook put out a new function called Marketplace, allowing users to search other users who put their own stuff out to sell. One of the categories in the Marketplace is automotive. Setting a reasonable range around you and then you’re good to go car hunting.

2.2 Private second hand car groups are very popular and more focused. Here are some big second hand car groups in Canterbury region, feel free to join and browse:

l CHCH area buy sell – FOR CARS ONLY !!


l Christchurch Cars (Only) Buy and Sell

l Cheap Cars n Motorbikes CHCH / Buy, Sell & Trade

l Cheap Cars (under $2500) Canterbury

Every group needs to grant your access to join and then you can see the information inside. Thus, the information inside the groups are always fast and new, and you can find a lot of choices with cheap price.

In general, Facebook provides a lot of channels for us to second hand cars, but the disadvantage is that car information is very limited, there is no standard information about car engine, transmission, model year and mileage, etc. So to get more information, it takes time to communicate with the seller personally.

3. Car dealers

I know there are few students thinking about buying cars online is unreliable, no worries, there are plenty of second hand car dealers, and they are mostly pretty good, too. Here are some choices of car dealers worth checking out since their car is comparably affordable for international students.

l Turners

l 2 Cheap Cars

l Morrison Cars


After you bought the car, don’t forget to check if you have a valid driving license in New Zealand. Especially for students who hold licenses in different language other than English, remember to translate the license in authorised places first. And if the license is not valid anymore, please remember to make a booking in AA to apply for New Zealand driver’s license 🙂