Close this search box.

Classic logistics: buying from overseas

13 August, 2017



It wasn’t all that long ago that purchasing a car from overseas required an enormous amount of trust in the vendor, or an expensive trip abroad to ensure your purchase was legitimate. But the effects of globalization and the internet have changed the game in terms of breaking down borders for car importers, professional and private alike. 

If you now find yourself in the market for a piece of American muscle, for example, your first port of call will likely be a Google search of American cars for sale. The same goes for searching in the UK or Australia, or any other nation trading with ours. The world of cars is now ours for the taking.

The hunt itself is a barrel of fun, and hours can be lost poring over details and researching specific cars, years, engine types, and provenance. Most likely, you’ll find yourself in a wormhole of listings, you’ll get an idea of values, and your research will indicate the pitfalls of the particular vehicle you’re looking to buy. Eventually, you’ll find ‘the one’ and you’ll pull the trigger. At this point, you’ll be tempted to transfer funds to an overseas bank account, and there will be a case of the butterflies and a hint of buyer’s remorse until you get word that the vendor has received the money. Then, suddenly, you’ll own the car. But the car will still be overseas. And you’ll need to get it here.

That is why we recommend doing things the other way around when possible – sorting out the logistics first, before buying. Whichever way you do it, you’ll need to find a good logistics/shipping company to get the car back to New Zealand safely. Luckily, there are players in the New Zealand market with an abundance of experience at bringing in precious metal from all around the world.  You’ll want to pick a company with the necessary contacts in the country you’re importing from. Often these companies will have relationships with brokers and agents with which they can liaise and organize to get the vehicle inspected.
Often, specialist logistics companies have a network of brokers and trusted vehicle inspectors they work with to give you the peace of mind you’ll want when purchasing and importing a classic or specialist vehicle sight unseen.

Once the car is in New Zealand, a lot of freight and logistics businesses can help you get the car complied and road legal, but it will certainly pay to ensure that the vehicle is able to be registered for New Zealand roads (if that is its purpose) prior to purchasing it.
Of course, many of the vehicles featured in this very magazine have been brought in from around the world. In fact, the cover feature car in next month’s issue was hand-picked in the US and brought back to New Zealand by its owner.

Famous Pacific Shipping

Famous Pacific Shipping (FPS) takes pride in the vehicle importing side of its business. It certainly helps that the owner of the business is himself a car nut and appreciates what it takes to get a car to New Zealand while ensuring that the vehicle is of the quality expected. Its staff have worked with a number of collectors and purchasers over the years, bringing in all types of wild and wonderful automobiles. It currently has a ’56 Packard convertible and a Ford Mustang both tightly packed into the same container and bound for New Zealand.

The experienced team at FPS has an excellent track record in vehicle safety; it has never had an incident while shipping a vehicle, and the company treats each of its customers’ cars, motorcycles, motorhomes, and boats with the utmost respect and care.

FPS offers a full-service import process, meaning it can arrange getting your purchase from its current location, anywhere in the world, to New Zealand, through customs and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) cleared. FPS has a base at Auckland Airport and access to facilities right across New Zealand. It can even help you get your vehicle complied and on the road once it hits our shores.

For more information on the services FPS can offer, visit

Jenner Cargo International

Jenner Cargo International specializes in moving vehicles and boats around the world. The team has seen many cars in its 36 years of handling vehicles — from Bugattis to Zephyrs and everything in between.

Offering a full range of services, including international air and sea freight, MPI clearance, NZTA border inspections, and customs clearance, Jenner Cargo International can handle your shipping needs. From overseas pickup all the way to delivery to your compliance yard here in New Zealand — or, if you’re selling or exporting your car, the team can handle the pickup in New Zealand through to delivery to door overseas. Jenner Cargo International makes it easy for you to move your car around the world. 

Visit for more details. 


Aironaut is a customs agent and tariff and freight consultant. Whether your vehicle is a 1920s Model A Ford, a new Porsche, or a 9m motorhome, Aironaut staff members will pack, secure, and ship it, with the same care and responsibility they’d use if it were their own.
Partnering with other car-shipping specialists throughout the world, Aironaut makes it easy. Its agents understand shipping cars and motorhomes, and provide services such as steam cleaning and container load and lashing.

Aironaut knows which is the best shipping service, route, and transhipment point for your budget and requirements. Whether you prefer flat-rack, roll-on roll-off, or containerized, Aironaut will help to make the best choice for you.

Head online to for more information.

CFR Line Group

How do you ensure that the vehicle you have found online is as described? CFR Line can arrange a pre-purchase inspection to ensure you are getting what you expect. Once inspected, CFR can arrange pickup of your vehicle at the point of origin, and place it in the capable hands of one of its trusted overseas agents. You deserve to know that your cargo is in safe hands, so CFR Line employs dedicated vehicle specialists to handle your cargo.

CFR Line uses specialized packaging and the R-Rak system to minimize any damage in transit. Once your vehicle has arrived in New Zealand, CFR Line is certified to perform customs clearance, MPI inspections and cleaning on-site. This allows it to eliminate any delay in the release of your vehicle, and you can get on with what really matters — enjoying it.

To find out more, head online to

CNZ Small freight

CNZ Small Freight offers a special service to car clubs and enthusiasts
around New Zealand for importing car parts into the country. It specializes in small freight, which is normally shipped loose, and can be 10kg or over 10m3. This focus allows CNZ to
consider all options to move your small shipment in the most efficient and cost-effective way, whether by air, sea, or courier. 

In addition, CNZ Small Freight can provide export crating at most cities worldwide, in-house border clearance and customs brokerage services, and the delivery of import shipments anywhere in New Zealand. Let CNZ Small Freight’s practical understanding of small freight maximize efficiency and optimize cost within your arrival time frame.

Contact Alan Stokes at [email protected], or [email protected]

Extreme Global

Looking for your dream car, a collector’s item, a model that isn’t sold in New Zealand, a new addition to your work fleet, or simply a drive-around-town vehicle at a more affordable price than New Zealand retailers can offer? Extreme Global makes the importing of vehicles from the US, UK, Europe, and Australia extremely easy and seamless.

Every new car has an engine number; therefore, by law, it should also have a title or ownership document. It is difficult to register your car in New Zealand without this and should be avoided.

Only purchase from sellers who are accessible and reply promptly. Check their selling history, and, most important, make sure there are no finance holds on the vehicle. The Extreme team can help you with this process. 

Extreme Global aims to make your shipping experience an enjoyable one. Call 09 256 0013, or visit, for more information or to get a quote.

McCullough Limited

McCullough Limited has been in the business of shipping cars to New Zealand for over 25 years. It offers roll-on, roll-off services and container shipping from Australia, Japan, Singapore, the US, and the UK, and discharging to numerous ports around New Zealand. McCullough can also help with getting boats, caravans, motorhomes, motorcycles, and machinery into the country. It offers a door-to-door service including and can advise on offshore tax and forex issues and deal with compliance, navigation, and radio conversions, taking the hassle out of the importing process.

McCullough has experience freighting some extremely enviable cars to New Zealand from all around the globe, including everything from a plethora of Porsches to Maseratis, Bentleys, Audis, Land Rovers, and even the odd Tesla. The company can help with sourcing cars from overseas and sending your classic from New Zealand to anywhere in the world.

Visit for more information and to check out a full range of its services. 


The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?