Page 1 of 4 1234 Last
Results 1 to 25 of 77

  1. Post
    • Introduction
    • Car lots vs. Private sales
    • What should I be thinking about when buying a car
    • What’s the best I can get for my money
    • Car Insurance
    • Extra: My responsibilities (WIP)
    • Extra: Maintenance (WIP)

    Whether you’re 15 or 30 – buying your first car can be a daunting task. Not only for those that have basic knowledge on cars but even to those enthusiasts that buy every copy of New Zealand Performance Car or Fast Fours magazine that hits the shelf.

    You’ve been saving for months and months, maybe your parents are buying you something for your birthday or maybe you’ve just come into that trust fund that has been waiting for you. But what do you buy and where should you buy?

    Car lots vs. Private sales.
    It has long been argued what is best to buy from, a car yard or a private sale? Really, when it comes down to it each has their Pro’s and Con’s and none is better than the other, just be aware of what’s out there and what you can encounter.

    Car Yards:

    Expensive Cars – Quite often car yards are more expensive however some yards you may find the odd diamond in the rough just waiting for you. Remember don’t let the stickered price put you off, even with a dealer you can negotiate the price.

    Salesmen – Beware the salesmen, this is sometimes exaggerated but not a myth. Some car yards have excellent sales people, but others can have very pushy sales men who may not sell you the car you want or can really afford. Remember what your set budget is, and if he isn’t asking you questions he isn’t really helping you.

    Tip: If you’re younger, take a parent with you that has a clear head for saying no as some sales people can be quite pushy.

    Financing – Car yards are excellent for offering finance on your vehicle making it easier to afford that car which is just a bit more than what you can afford in cash but is a real bargain. But remember, always check on what the interest rate is, who the finance company is backed by and also obtain a final figure on the cost including interest before signing any documents!

    Extra’s – If the car is financed through the car yard, the finance company will require insurance on a secured loan; take this as an opportunity to see “what the yard can do for you”. Also if you’re paying a premium for the car, enquire about mechanical insurance for the 1st year, don’t be shy to check the service history and if required soon ask about a service, new tires, cam belt, etc… Reputable car yards get a very good rate on these type of extra’s and will often not cost you an extra cent but you have to ask!

    Fault Cover – A huge win for buying a car from a Car Yard is the assurance that if there is something mechanically wrong with the car, this will be covered by the vehicle dealer. Buying from a Car Yard, some yards may provide some sort of mechanical warranty. While this isn’t a common occurrence (unless for an additional fee), be assured the car will be covered by the Consumer Guarantee’s Act – should the dealer fail to take action to resolve any issues a claim may be filed with the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal. You may find more info at Consumer Affairs:

    Private Sales:

    Cheaper Cars – Generally as a private seller is just trying to make their money back and not run a profit, you will find advertised prices cheaper. Again if you don’t believe the price is right and the person can go cheaper, negotiate, however this is not a car yard. Give them a realistic figure, do not try and buy a Ferrari for the price of a Corolla or you will soon be burned with what could have been a good deal when the seller has had enough.

    Cash talks – Car yards don’t mind financing as if anything they can generally get away with having you buy additions you may or may not want, however when it comes to private sales – cash talks. A good way to bring the price down on a buy is to offer cash then and there; this makes your offer that much more appealing and you may get away with quite the bargain.

    “Lemon” Checks & VIR’s – When browsing cars, you may check basic information on the cars history via for info such as Odometer readings, WOF/Reg. When purchasing privately, always complete a VIR report ( or similar, to obtain the full history of the vehicle. With this you will want to pay particular attention to:
    1. Ownership of the Car – is the person selling the actual owner (ask for ID before handing cash over)
    2. Security on the Car – does the car have money owing on it from a secured loan?
    3. Car’s history – does the Odometer match, is the WOF/Rego current

    If you’re a serious buyer, also have a check completed of the vehicle to ensure it is in expected mechanical & structural condition. Have an inspection completed, such as the AA Pre Purchase Inspection:

    What should I be thinking about when I buy?
    There are a few main things you will have to think about when purchasing your car.
    1. Do you actually need a car right now? A car can be a huge financial burden, so always insure you
    infact need a car or should you only want it – that your financial situation is ok to do so.
    2. The purchase price of the car – what can you afford? (we’ll talk about this one more later)
    3. Can I get insurance for the car – if so can I afford it?
    4. Can I afford the petrol to run the car? How many km’s will I be travelling
    5. Can I afford to have the car serviced regularly?

    What’s the best I can get for my money?
    There is a huge variety of cars out there and what you can get really depend on how deep your pockets are, and what you’re after. There are plenty of cars out there so your best bet is to jump on the likes of or and see what is currently available for your price range – however we will run through some of the ranges below.

    As a general rule though – think of what you’re prepared to spend, now take 20-25% of that total away, this is how much you have to spend on your car. The remainder will go towards your insurance, maintenance & other running costs of owning the car for the first year.

    Remember: there is no perfect first car – buy what you want and are happy with. If you’re intimidated by driving, then feel free to go for a lower displacement front wheel drive car; if you’re more comfortable then go for a more expensive, faster car. The choice is up to you!


    In this bracket, be looking at FWD (front wheel drive) and/or small capacity engine cars (under 2L), there is a huge array of cars that fall into this category as they’re generally cheap to maintain, light on fuel economy & cheap to insure. This will include cars such as:
    Honda Civic / Integra
    Toyota MR2 (AW11) / Corolla
    Mazda MX5 / Familia
    Nissan Pulsar / Skyline (GTS)
    Ford Laser
    BMW 318i


    This opens you up to a much larger selection of cars, you can start looking at higher performance FWD cars (VTEC Honda’s), and other RWD/AWD vehicles including forced induction (turbocharged) or higher capacity engines.
    Subaru Legacy/WRX
    R32 Skyline (GTS25 & GTST)
    Holden Commodore (while available in the cheaper range these are harder on the gas)
    Honda Integra/Prelude VTEC
    BMW 325i
    Toyota Levin / Celica


    This brings you into the enthusiast selection of cars, those who want to make cars a lifestyle more than a simple A > B. This range opens you up to higher performance cars including big displacement and/or larger turbocharged engines. This range will also allow you to buy a newer , sleeker model car even if performance isn’t a factor.
    Subaru WRX STi / Legacy B4
    Nissan R33 Skyline GTS25t / R34 Skyline 25GT / S15 Silvia (S-Type) / S14 Silvia (S-Type)
    Toyota Levin BZ-G / Celica GT-4 / Altezza
    Audi A4 Quattro
    VW Golf GTi
    Ford XR6
    Honda Integra Type-R / Civic Type-R

    Car Insurance
    When choosing a car, you must always take into account car insurance. Just because you can afford a car, doesn’t mean that the world thinks you’re ready to have it! Always check with insurance companies prior to purchase on if you can be insured for the car.

    Always check who the insurance company is backed by, and their strength rating as an insurance company – the most preferred being those backed by IAG ( such as State, NZI, NAC, etc….

    Due to being your first car, you will most likely find the following restrictions:
    1. Restricted or less & under 20, no forced induction cars
    2. Under 25 & first car, very strict on “high risk” cars
    3. Restricted or less, strict on high displacement engines

    There are a few things you must also take into account when costing out your insurance:
    1. My premium, how much will I pay each month/annually?
    2. My excess, how much will I pay if I have to claim?
    3. Does my restricted/learners licence increase my excess?
    4. Does my age increase my excess?
    5. Do I need 3rd Party, Fire & Theft (RECOMMENDED MINIMUM!) or Fully Comprehensive?
    6. Do you offer any extras I need such as Window Cover & Roadside Rescue?

  2. Post
    A+++ guide, I suggest you put in an auction section aswell, turners always has some great deals.

  3. Post
    All good, but AW10 MR2?

    They're rare as hell and who wants a 3A-LU MR2 anyway

  4. Post
    Roadskin wrote:
    All good, but AW10 MR2?

    They're rare as hell and who wants a 3A-LU MR2 anyway
    It's actually meant to say AW11 Will update, have owned an AW11 & AW11 Supercharged, and both were very good cars

    cheers Therk - will add in an auction section along with the private & yard sales

  5. Post
    Have an inspection completed, such as the AA Pre Purchase Inspection
    I thought that sucked?

    In this bracket, be looking at FWD (front wheel drive)
    Half the cars you've listed are RWD.

    Good guide, but needs a section on $0 - $2000 cars specifically as that's the sort of range most first-time car buyers will be looking at. Maybe give a quick rundown on what's good in this range and, more importantly, what one should stay away from. All too often people end up with Opel Vectras as first cars and it puts them off cars for life.

  6. Post
    AA Inspections in general dont suck, the AA Inspections are carried out by contracted mechanics, so you still have to be careful which mechanic you go to - but overall they're very good. People just give them shit because they're AA...I just give them shit because they're noob when it comes to rotaries (lawl @ new cambelt needed on my rx7 in the next 10,000km...right...)

    Says FWD and/or small capacity engined cars. All are small(ish) capacity, 4 are RWD.

    I'd be happy to split it into $0-2000 & $2000-4000 if someone makes up the lists, I just
    1. Couldnt be bothered making lots of pricing brackets (only did the whole thing in an hour)
    2. Didn't want to make something that had to be constantly maintained (changing price brackets)
    3. Didn't want to clutter the page with too much choice, its info about buying your first car, not a definitive on the exact car you should buy they're just examples, and info for people to make an informed choice

  7. Post
    Wow nice work trance didn't expect it to get done this quickly!!

  8. Post
    Might want to add auto trader website on to the list as well, some good deals on there.

  9. Post
    trancE wrote:
    Hi Guys - Carjam here - just a note to say you can get all the same information from Carjam - as you can from VIR and much cheaper. We offer the free reports of course which everyone loves but when it comes to the crunch you cany purchase the same make or break, is it a lemon info from Carjam

  10. Post
    Cheers Carjam.

    /shortened your quoted text.

  11. Post
    APESHIT wrote:
    Cheers Carjam.

    /shortened your quoted text.
    Thanks Apeshit- we changed the pricing model and report options today so its even cheaper now for the basic information !

  12. Post
    Nice guide mate
    GL to new buyers, find yourself a sweet deal!

  13. Post
    Good write up bro, I'd agree with alot of it, but like most others be quite happy to pick holes in certain bits, like perhaps the insurance side haha.

    And hello carjam! I use your site almost daily for work.


    And I hate AA inspections because I have had bad experiences, they charge $120 or so, and have missed glaring faults in one of my previous cars not to mention several others I know of. I'd say the best option is a competent mechanic.

  14. Post
    out of interest what didn't you agree with in the insurance part?

    yeah im not too huge on AA Inspections - but remember they are infact mechanics and overall they have done ok jobs on assessing friends cars. But it was just given as a starting point for, well really the people the guide is aimed towards

  15. Post
    Thanks for the help

  16. Post
    Personally I think VTNZ Pre Purchase Inspections are better than AA Inspections.

  17. Post
    expand on things to watchout for when buying car.

    e.g. leaks, smoke etc

  18. Post
    Don't buy off a dealer they are the scum of the earth. I bought off R N Byrne of Whakatane and after the sale my gearbox went, which they didnt want to know about, and suprize suprize the grooming clearcoat peeled off revealing the covered up rough paint on the roof. what a total rip off prick Perry Byrne is. plus i was told the cambelt was done but after i bought it turns out it wasnt.

  19. Post
    thats 1 users, opinion. dealers can be great places to deal with if you have a good dealer that doesnt rip you off everything under the sun - if you're a new owner to a car, a good dealer can make it much easier to sort things out when they go wrong, especially if you get mechanical insurance through them with reputable companies like autosure (for things such as your gearbox going)

  20. Post
    Martin Harwood is the man.

  21. Post
    Mutton wrote:
    Martin Harwood is the man.
    thank you for that endorsement i have been a dealer for now on 45years and only to happy to help any one on the forum if you are buying or selling
    hope to see you guys taupo next month as i want to give blakes skyline a run

  22. Post
    ^^ I here there might be 2 skylines in the family coming?

  23. Post
    I brought my first car 2 days ago, 1991 Toyota Corrola, 1.5L, White, four door, 220,000 + km's. $500.00

  24. Post
    if you goto you can get to a compare price section where it lists the selling price of cars they've sold.


  25. Post
    mehrofl wrote:
    I brought my first car 2 days ago, 1991 Toyota Corrola, 1.5L, White, four door, 220,000 + km's. $500.00

    Oh that is so awesome! LUCKY! I've been looking for one for ages for that cheap and just havnt had any luck...