Things to Consider Before Buying a New Car in New Zealand


Ready to buy a new car in New Zealand? Before the excitement of choosing the make, the model, and the colour, one of your first steps should be choosing a car loan. While researching and applying for a car loan may sound tedious and tricky, there are a few easy steps that can simplify the process and make your search for a perfect car more enjoyable.

  1. First, it’s time to take a look at your finances. Before you can choose a car, you need to know how much money you can afford to spend. Review your current budget with care and determine what you can afford before looking into your car finance options in NZ. Your car loan should be able to fit into your normal budget without having to change it drastically. Reviewing your budget can also help you identify expenses that you can reduce, or cut out completely, allowing for a little extra in your car loan budget.

Take a look at your weekly coffee expenses, lunch outings, and  after-work excursions as a place to start for cutting back expenses. Additional ideas to help you save even more are located here. Even small expenses like these can add up quickly, and eliminating them can help get you to your dream car.

It’s also important to think about the future when reviewing your budget. Your car loan will be a part of your budget for some time, and it’s a good idea to factor this in when looking at your long term budget plans.

  1.       Along with your budget, it’s important to review your credit rating so there are no surprises when applying for a car loan in NZ. You can get your credit score report by visiting the website If you’ve got some flexibility in your timeline to buy a car, knowing your credit rating ahead of time can allow you to raise your score prior to applying for a car loan. The higher your score, the better car financing options you’ll have.

Even if you do not have flexibility and are looking to purchase a car right away, it is still helpful to know what to expect when applying for a car loan. A low credit score does not always mean you cannot qualify for great car financing options, but a few things you can do to help widen your options is to make your credit card payments on time, pay down your balances as much as possible, and close any unused credit accounts. These simple fixes can help quickly raise your credit score to help you get the best car loan. You may also want to review this list of additional tips for increasing your score.

  1.       Next, start researching your options for loans. Car loans in NZ can come in many different forms, and you will want to determine which fits best with your budget.

The main difference in car loans is the repayment terms. Most terms run one to three years, but there are many options available to you depending on your needs.  This is why it is important to know what your current and future budget is when deciding your loan term.  A shorter term loan will mean a larger payment, but will result in less interest paid over the long run.  Longer term loans may mean more paid in interest, but can accommodate a smaller budget and buyers with a lower credit rating.

Oxford Finance, located in Wellington, is a company known across NZ as a leader in the car finance industry, and can help you easily find the car loan that you are looking for and the repayment term length that fits your needs.  Oxford Finance makes it incredibly easy to apply and be on your way to an exceptional car finance rate in NZ.

You should also know what interest rates you qualify for. This is where knowing your credit rating comes in handy. Your credit rating is correlated with the rate you can expect to qualify for, and knowing your approximate interest rate will ultimately help you in determining your budget. You can receive fast and accurate interest rate information from Oxford Finance to help you plan.  Visit their website at to make an enquiry today.

You may also want to consider pre-arranging your car finances with Oxford Finance. Pre-arranging means that you are equipped with knowing the exact amount of money you have to work with. It also eliminates the possible disappointment of finding the car you’re looking for, only to realise your finance options don’t match up with the price of the car.

Finally, remember to keep these few additional tips in mind:

  •         Have an open mind about the type of car you want to buy, especially if your credit rating or your car loan budget is not as flexible as you would like. New cars may have lower interest rates, but if you have done your research, it is quite possible to find a great deal on a used car as well.
  •         Take your time reviewing the fine print and make sure you really understand the car loan.  It is always best practice to be fully informed before making a big decision such as buying a car.  Oxford Finance is always there to walk you through your application, and is happy to provide exceptional and personalised client care to ensure you are comfortable and informed about your car loan.

Buying a car in NZ is exciting and should be an enjoyable experience, and it can be when prepared with the few simple steps outlined in this article. Determine your budget, cut back on expenses, check out your credit score, and review your loan options and interest rates, and you’ll be more than ready to move on to choosing the perfect car.

How to Start A Business in New Zealand


Men and women looking to open their own businesses often focus on certain aspects of achieving this goal. For example, a person may spend countless hours looking into business lending in NZ, but completely overlook the marketing needed to get the business off the ground. Following are some things, other than finance in New Zealand, that every business owner needs to be aware of.

Understanding The Characteristics Of A Successful Business Owner

To be successful in business, a person needs certain characteristics. First and foremost, they must be passionate about what they are doing. Those who aren’t often give up when they are confronted by their first challenge. Sacrifices need to be made when the business is new, as money may be tight and time limited. These sacrifices will be worth it in the long run. Business owners have to be good when it comes to managing risk simply because it may take a period of time before the revenue flow becomes steady. Furthermore, the entrepreneur needs to be persistent, even when things aren’t going their way, and must be willing to acquire new skills to keep the business up and running.

Ask For Help

Don’t make the mistakes others have made. Ask for help when starting a business. With numerous issues to deal with, including compliance, payroll, resource consents, and more, a new business owner often feels overwhelmed. A mentor becomes of great help at this time, as they provide advice on these issues. An accountant is a good place to start because they work with small businesses regularly. They will be able to answer many of the questions new business owners have.

Research The Competition

Entrepreneurs need to know what they are up against. Who are the main competitors? How is the new company different and how it will better meet the needs of the target audience? Answering questions such as these is critical to establishing a foothold in a crowded field. This information must then be communicated to consumers through marketing.

With the help of small business loans in NZ, you will find you can get your business up and running quickly. A reputable NZ finance company, Oxford Finance ( works with clients to find the best solution for their needs. We will happily do the same for you, as we want to see you achieve your dream of being your own boss.

How to Achieve Your Bucket List Goals


A bucket list is a collection of activities a person hopes to do before they die. Having a written list of goals helps people stay on track and know they are accomplishing something in life. Many people write these lists as they near retirement and have a lot more free time on their hands. Others start their list when they are younger and have more time to save for big adventures. No matter when a person starts their bucket list, it’s essential to plan for the cost to achieve each goal. Some goals will cost money while others may require a significant investment of time.

Make the List

A good bucket list consists of adventures involving travelling, items that promote learning, and challenges that build personal relationships. People should take some time and reflect on what they want out of the rest of their lives before writing their bucket list. Fortunately, this kind of list is not set in stone, so items can be added, changed, or deleted at any time. Married couples should work together to ensure both of them are able to do everything they want, both individually and together.

Determine the Cost

The first step to achieving the goals included on a bucket list is determining how much each item will cost. It’s essential to be as accurate as possible to ensure there is enough money available for each adventure. Careful planning is helpful in making investment decisions. More-affordable bucket list items might be paid for out of personal savings, whereas expensive trips or adventures might require investing for a number of years.

Consider Investment Options

There are a number of ways to accumulate the money needed to complete a bucket list. Many people plan for their expensive activities far in advance so they don’t have to stress about it when the time is right. By working with a professional who understands personal finance in NZ, a person who has a long list of adventures they want to complete can get a good idea of what it will take to get the money they need to make their dreams realities. The stock market is the ideal place for long term investments but other options are much better for short term savings.

Financing a Bucket List

Depending on the time a person has to travel, start a business, or complete any other item on their bucket list, they may need to borrow money. Personal loans in NZ are one option for financing. People who weren’t able to save the necessary funds in time to accomplish goals, and who don’t have any family or friends who will give them the money they need, don’t have to forgo any items on their bucket list. By borrowing the money and paying it back over time, individuals and couples can live their dreams without the stress of trying to save and wait for years to cross one item off the list.

Reevaluate Goals

Goals and aspirations often change over time. An item that someone put on their bucket list when they were 20 might not seem very important when they retire. By reviewing the goals from time to time and changing them if necessary, a person can ensure they do everything they set out to do in life. This periodic evaluation is also necessary to make sure there is enough money to achieve all the goals on the bucket list.

Many people have big goals but don’t have a lot of income. When it comes to a bucket list, using the available financing options from Oxford Finance ( can help you get the most out of your life even if you don’t have the cash to do it on your own. We work with people in all kinds of financial situations and help them get the cash they need to travel, start businesses, or achieve any other goal they might have dreamed of. Contact a knowledgeable lending professional from Oxford Finance today to get started on the path to reaching your lifelong goals and crossing items off of your personal bucket list.

What You Need to Know About Your Wellington Car Financing Options


Residents of New Zealand bought over 95,000 brand-new passenger vehicles in 2015, according to trade group MTA, a striking but suitable total for a nation that ranks eighth worldwide in per-capita car ownership. The vast majority of these purchases involved some form of financing, with outright cash sales being by far the exception.

As New Zealand’s second most populous city, Wellington always ranks near the top itself when it comes to passenger vehicle purchases. Working with the right Wellington car financing provider can be an excellent way for residents and those elsewhere on the southern end of North Island to save money for years to come. Mastering a few simple concepts is typically all that it takes to figure out which car finance deal in Wellington will make the most sense for a given buyer, as well.

Breaking Down the Basic Car Financing Equation

When it comes to financing, would-be buyers will often focus mostly on the monthly payments they will be required to make, but car loan finance is actually a little more complicated than this. While knowing that a given monthly payment will be easy to accommodate within a certain budget, failing to account for the overall costs of a loan can prove to be expensive in the longer term.

Fortunately, this important total can be calculated easily enough, given these contributing figures:

Amount to be Financed: The final price of the vehicle to be purchased, on the day of the sale, as configured with options and any other extras.

Down Payment: The amount handed over in cash at the time of sale, typically varying from 10 to 20 percent. While “zero down” offers are sometimes available and can be tempting, they come with associated costs in terms of how long it will take to pay off a loan, how much interest will be paid, and an increased risk of loan principle exceeding the value of a vehicle as depreciation sets in.

Interest Rate: Of all the figures that buyers typically emphasise as they make their financing decisions, the interest rate charged on a loan likely ranks second behind monthly payments. This can be helpful in general, but, as with an excessive focus on monthly payment levels, the interest rates charged by different New Zealand finance companies should be viewed in the context of other important factors, like the overall cost of a loan.

Loan Term: Where financing terms used to typically top out at 36 months for passenger vehicles, many lenders in New Zealand today will extend loans that are to be paid off over 48, 60, or even 72 months. All else being equal, a longer loan term will result in lower monthly payments, and stretching things out can make sense in certain cases. On the other hand, paying off a loan over a longer period of time also means incurring a correspondingly larger tab in terms of accumulated interest charges.

Any One-Time Fees or Payments: Another way by which lenders sometimes seek to lower monthly commitments for borrowers is by including one-time payments, typically due at the very end of the loan term. These “balloon payments” can easily make a loan seem much more attractive than other options at a glance, but they can also produce problems for borrowers who prove unable to live up to that final commitment.

Taken together, all of these factors determine both the overall cost of a given vehicle loan NZ and the monthly payments that a borrower will be required to make. While it is possible to do the associated math by hand, it will typically be much easier to simply plug the figures into one of the widely available loan calculators online.

Judging the Trade-Offs

From that point forward, judging the attractiveness of any given loan offer becomes more personal. As with anything else, just about every choice will involve some trade-offs, and borrowers will always do well to think about how their personal situations might make certain of these more worthwhile than others. Some common considerations include:

Making a Larger Down Payment in Exchange for Lower Interest Rates: Lenders want borrowers to be invested in repaying their loans, and a larger down payment makes this more likely from the start. As a result, even borrowers with relatively weak credit histories can often lower overall loan costs and monthly payments by committing more money up front in the form of a larger down payment.

Tweaking Loan Terms to Reflect Other Goals: A shorter loan term at a particular interest rate will mean paying less for a vehicle in the end. A buyer who expects to keep a vehicle for a long time and who would benefit from access to a larger loan principle amount or lower monthly payments, on the other hand, might consider the increased costs worth the advantages they could confer.

Paying More on a Monthly Basis to Avoid Balloon Payments: Most experts advise against financing deals that include significant end-of-term payments, and the fact is that these arrangements can be dangerous for those who are unprepared. While some lenders will try to improve the attractiveness of their offers by including such terms, borrowers will often do well to prefer other options, even if that means paying more each month.

Work with the Right Lender from the Start

Oxford Finance is a leading Wellington car financing provider, with a simple application process and quick approvals making it easy for you to line up a pre-approved offer at With higher approval rates than just about any other car financing company in Kapiti, Wellington, or elsewhere on the southern end of the North Island, we make it easy for you to get the best possible financing for your needs and situation. Stop by today to learn more and get started.

Which NZ Used Car Should I Buy


It is virtually impossible to not lose money when you buy a car. Cars depreciate in value from the day they are bought brand new and continue to do so as the years go on. Don’t despair there are ways to minimise your losses and also pick up a bargain in the used car market in New Zealand (NZ).

Which NZ Used Car Should I Buy?

Do NOT buy a second hand Land Rover on impulse in a Trade Me auction without even looking at the vehicle let alone taking it for a test drive! Seriously, people do that? Buy a car without even taking it for a test drive or checking the tyres etc.

European or Japanese?

Fact is that based on consumer reports Japanese cars are more reliable and cheaper to maintain than their European equivalents. European cars such as Audi’s and Volkswagens, especially low kilometre versions do seem to hold their value well though. The most popular used car in New Zealand is the Toyota Corolla which holds its value and has a good reputation for reliability.

Is 100,000km on the clock really too high?

Age of the car is important up to 10 years old, after mileage becomes more important. It used to be that anything over 100,000km after 10 years meant high use. A regularly serviced and maintained car can do closer to 300,000km and still not suffer any major mechanical issues. When looking at higher mileage vehicles ask to see a full service history and take this into account along with age.

What age car is best to buy?

Somewhere between 5 and 10 years old is a good range for a second hand car. At 5 years old the car has depreciated to about half the original value. A new car will have lost approximately a third of it value after 3 years. At around 10 years old you would expect to be paying 20% of what the original value of the car was new.

What about an ex-lease vehicle?

Yes, there is the chance a lease vehicle may not have been treated well. However, they are regularly serviced and maintained so should be reliable mechanically.

What about a car with multiple owners?

If a car has had numerous owners it could be a red flag of a problem and the owners keep passing the vehicle on before it becomes an issue for them. Or it could simply be a matter of timing and finances. “One careful lady owner” used to be a great sales pitch and is certainly more preferable to “Treated badly by a boy racer and his mates”!

Can you afford the insurance premiums?

When looking at a vehicle to purchase keep in mind that performance cars and those with a higher value are likely to cost much more to insure.

Top 5 Tips for choosing your new vehicle:

1. Do not buy any car without taking it for a test drive!
2. Do not buy a car because it is your favourite colour!
3. Do not buy a vehicle on finance unless you can ‘really’ afford the repayments!
4. Do not choose a new vehicle based on the car seat covers!
5. Do not buy a car brand new unless you can afford to lose 50% of that value within 5 years!

Ok so you have found your next vehicle but need car finance in Wellington. Contact Oxford Finance via our website as we are a Kapiti car financing company. We can sort out the best car loan NZ for your next used car purchase and get you on the road.

What Kind of Documentation is Required When Buying a NZ Used Car


Paperwork isn’t exactly the most interesting part of buying a used car. But it is critical that you understand what documents are involved in the process and how they protect buyers’ rights. You’ll be encountering different documents along the way – from the seller/dealership, the car finance company Wellington, and the insurer (if you decide to get comprehensive or third-party or theft insurance for your vehicle). Here’s a look at some important documentation and what they stipulate.

Warrant of fitness or ‘as is where is’
If you’re purchasing a pre-owned car from a dealership, it must come with a current ‘Warrant of Fitness’ that’s at least one month old. A private seller can sell without this warrant, in which case, he/she must declare it ‘as is, where is’. It means that the seller won’t confirm if the car will start or whether or not it has any hidden faults, and that the buyer is responsible for moving the car after making the purchase. Here’s where a thorough vehicle inspection goes a long way in alerting you to unseen and potential problems.

Consumer information notice (CIN)
Every motor vehicle advertised for sale must have a CIN card that provides information about the vehicle. This includes the dealer’s name and address, the car’s price, the make, model, engine capacity, odometer reading, any re-registration on the vehicle, and more. Make sure that the dealer gives you a copy of the CIN.

Transfer of ownership
A new Certificate of Registration is issued every time a vehicle is sold. Buyers must complete the Notice of Acquisition (M13B) and either hand over the form to the NZTA or notify the same online. You must also request an acquisition of transfer receipt and show it to the seller as proof of the change of ownership.

Loan agreement
The car loans NZ company must describe all the key terms of the loan in an agreement, and confirm that you have understood your obligation as well as theirs, before signing on the dotted line.

Insurance policy
After you get a car loan in Kapiti, you may want protection against future damage to your vehicle, with an insurance policy. The insurance carrier must provide an insurance policy document outlining all the details, terms and conditions about the coverage.

Finance Your Next Car with Ease and Confidence

Oxford Finance delivers swift, professional service that makes the car buyer’s journey straight-forward and painless. When your goal is to buy a used car with flexible vehicle financing in Wellington, Kapiti or Porirua, explore your options with our friendly representatives. We look forward to working with you.

How to Best Finance Your Motor Vehicle in Greater Wellington

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When you’re ready to buy a used car, there are multiple options in Wellington car financing that you can consider.

A car financing company

You’ll first need to apply to a car financing company. Once your car loan is pre-approved and you know how much exactly you can spend, you can go ahead and choose a suitable car.

Car financing companies offer a number of payment plans to suit borrowers’ requirements perfectly. Oxford Finance, for instance, offers flexible payment alternatives and personalised support throughout the process. The payment term is also short (one to four years), which means while you pay more every month, the accrued interest and overall loan cost is less. With a structured process and Oxford Finance representative to guide you – the lending process goes smoothly.

Make sure you go through all the terms and conditions before you sign a contract. These include pre-payment, collateral, insurance and options available to you in the event that it’s difficult to meet the scheduled loan payments. Note the fees and charges applicable to consumer contracts. These include fees for account maintenance, establishment, dishonoured payments and reminder letters or text messages.

A dealership

You’ll find several used car dealerships as well as new car dealerships selling used cars in Wellington, Kapiti and Porirua – that offer financing. They usually offer a longer loan term (up to six years), so you can end up paying a substantial amount in interest. With a dealership loan, you are limited to purchasing a car from that dealer. In contrast, motor vehicle finance allows you to explore used cars from private owners, used car websites, auctions and even mechanics who may be running an ancillary business selling pre-owned vehicles.

Dealerships tend to pass on their overhead costs to customers. Keep an eye on extra costs such as ‘dealer origination’ or ‘dealer delivery’ fees, which are charged for undertaking loan paperwork.

Assess the quoted price to avoid paying more than what the vehicle is worth. Should the dealer offer a zero-interest loan, look for hidden fees and double-check that you’re not paying an unjustifiably large sum for the total cost of the car.

Last, but not the least, make sure that the car is still covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Also appraise the retail price, which is the amount you will pay when you buy a used car from a dealership. The retail price factors in the dealership’s profit margin.

An increasing number of consumers are buying used cars online. You can check out used car websites that either provide links to dealer websites or the contact information of private sellers. Another option is an online auction or to obtain car finance online. Before signing up with an auction site, make sure you understand how an auction works.

Four tips for first-time car buyers

1. Bargain hard. Don’t shy away from bargaining. If the private seller or dealership isn’t prepared to push down the price, see if they can throw in some optional extras.

2. Negotiate on multiple cars at once. If you’re shopping at a dealership or mechanic, don’t bargain on just one car, look at four or five vehicles. Negotiating on all of them will determine where you can find the best deal.

3. Look beyond superficial features. Making a buying decision based on the sound system or leather upholstery alone may be short sighted. Delve deeper and look at safety features, fuel consumption and engine reliability.

4. Seek out extended warranties. An extended warranty extends the coverage period on a standard warranty, and is aimed at owners who intended to drive their vehicle for several years.

Let the experienced team at Oxford Finance get you the best car finance deal in Wellington. Visit to find out more.

Four Critical Factors in Deciding Whether to Purchase a New or Used Car


The decision whether to buy a new or used car can be a tricky one. While buying a used car is cheaper, a new car provides a sense of value and pride. Your final decision will have a big impact on the value of your investment. Here are four of the most important things to consider:

1. Your Budget

These days, how much you have on hand when buying a car doesn’t matter much. Credit services are now easily available to help you finance your car purchase. But even with a loan, you have to consider the down-payment and monthly payments. Do your calculations and decide what monthly payments your income can easily afford. If your income is good, a new car will not be a huge financial burden. If you are more constricted budget-wise, you might have to start shopping for a used car.

2. Credit Status

Your credit status matters a lot when a lender is processing your request for car finance in Wellington. For buyers with good credit, it is often possible to buy a new car with little or no down-payment. This reduces the amount of money you need to have at that moment to drive off with a new vehicle. If your credit isn’t great, buying a new car will be considerably more expensive because a large down-payment may be needed. You may also have to incur bigger monthly payments. Decide whether your credit status means a used car could prove to be the smarter option.

3. Depreciation Cost

There is one very big cost that you may forget to consider… depreciation. Depreciation is the biggest cost incurred by car owners. When you drive off with your new car, it immediately loses 20 to 30 percent of its value. By the end of three years, most cars are valued at 50 percent of their original value. New cars undergo greater depreciation than used cars.

When you are weighing up whether a new car is better than a used car, consider whether you can handle the depreciation cost. Again, this will depend primarily on your income level.

4. Repair Costs and Time

A new car will often not need many repairs in its first few years of service. However, a used car is a different case. Even a good used car will wear out much more quickly than a new one and you can expect to spend a considerable amount of money on repairs relating to age.

Whatever decision you make, you will most probably need financing. And this is where Oxford Finance comes in. If you are in Wellington or surrounding areas and want to discuss car finance, then head over to to discover which services you can most benefit from.

Oxford Finance is one of the best and most reputable Wellington car finance companies. Experience the difference for yourself today.

Seven Practical Tips to Grow Your Business


New Zealand businesses are expanding, especially in the cities of Wellington, Porirua and Kapiti. Your Wellington business expansion plans can be greatly supported by commercial loans, provided by banks and other Wellington financial institutions. Take advantage of the following practical tips to grow your business:

1. Get Organised

The first tip to successfully grow your business is to get organised. Being organised on all fronts allows a business to finish tasks on time, while making efficient use of all available resources. How can your business get organised? Begin by creating a to-do list for every department. Ask them to show you the list of completed tasks, checked off on a spreadsheet by a predetermined time. Ensuring all tasks are systemised, allows for growth and expansion to occur. Being organised is the foundation successful businesses are built upon.

2. Maintain Detailed Records

Growing your business can only happen when you get smart about maintaining detailed records. Accurate record-keeping allows you to gain an understanding about the financial standing of your business and the possible challenges you might face in the short and long term. Having sufficient time allows your business to build strategies and overcome any obstacles that may prevent your business from growing successfully.

3. Be Creative

Business growth is impossible without innovation. If you want to increase your reach and target a wider range of customers, you need to look for ways to enhance your product or service offerings. To gain an edge over your competitors, it is important to consider new approaches and ideas.

4. Analyse Your Competition

A business cannot undertake expansion without analysing existing competition. By understanding your competitors, you can learn a lot. Which areas do they excel in? Research what they are doing to see if you can implement the same concepts in your business. In order to get a comprehensive understanding of your competitors undertake
market research and fieldwork to discover the opportunities for growth you may be missing out on.

5. Consider Physical Expansion

Before expanding into other locations carry out detailed planning and research to manage physical expansion carefully. Analyse both consumer and economic trends to gauge an understanding about your firm’s staying power. Ensure your management and administrative system are capable of physical expansion. Before setting up in multiple locations, remember to create a business plan.

6. Form Strategic Alliances

Which existing groups already have a similar target market to you? It is smart to align your business with similar businesses where you can both benefit. For instance, if you sell sportswear, you could team up with popular gyms in your city and sell your products through them. In return, popular gyms get to advertise their services to your client base ensuring a win-win solution.

7. Seek Financial Help

Whether you are thinking about expanding globally or to a few selected areas in your country, you will need the funds to support increased operations and productivity. Businesses usually need to invest in a bigger workforce, increased inventory and advanced machinery and equipment in order to grow and expand. This need can be met with the help of commercial loans in Wellington. Business lending in Wellington is increasingly popular with a greater demand for business expansion in the areas of Porirua and Kapiti.

Is now the time to expand your business and grow it to the next level? Talk to Oxford Finance today about a commercial loan. To find out more, visit today.

The Definitive Guide to Buying a Used Car in New Zealand- Finding a Vehicle


Buying a used car is not the scary proposition it once used to be. With online car auction sites you can purchase a used car anywhere in NZ. You can access all the information you need to quickly make the best decision to obtain the best used car for your money. Of course, you’ll need to do your due diligence throughout the process to make sure you buy a reliable model and a get a vehicle loan that you can afford from a NZ finance company.

Once you become the new owner of a nice set of wheels, you’ll enjoy driving your car on Wellington, Porirua or Kapiti roads. At the end of ten years, a car will still hold 20 per cent of its value. That means you can get good value out of a five-year old car if you drive it for more than this period. Replacement part costs on a well-maintained pre-owned vehicle can work out cheaper than the depreciation costs on a new car.

The First Step: Inspecting a Pre-Owned Car

It is critical that you inspect the car thoroughly to ensure that it is in decent shape and have it professionally checked by your mechanic or a car inspection service. Both will perform their legal obligations under the Consumer Guarantees Act.

Test drive

Take the vehicle out for a spin to gauge how it drives and also to discover any problem areas. If you’re dissatisfied with the test drive, you can move onto a different vehicle immediately.

Test the car on the open road as well as on sloped and hilly terrain to check the brakes, transmission and engine performance. If it’s drizzling or raining outside this allows you to check the wipers and tyres in wet conditions and identify any potential problems.


A complete inspection can only be done by a professional. It will cost you anywhere from $100 to $120. This amount is worth the investment after you apply for car finance in Wellington.

 Want to inspect the car yourself? Here are some key components to check for:
  • Check for rust on the car’s exterior, panels under the doors and wheel wells.
  • Observe if the car is sitting level at the front and rear. During the test drive, see if there is a jarring impact, bounce or if the steering feels loose – as this may indicate a suspension problem from extended road use.
  • Inspect the lenses and reflectors for obvious signs of damage, moisture fog or is missing altogether.
  • Check the odometer hasn’t been tampered with. Original tyres typically last up to 60,000 miles. New tyres on a car with an odometer showing 30,000 miles are a cause for suspicion. If you suspect that the odometer may have been wound back, see what the Consumer Information Notice (CIN) says.
  • Test out interior comfort. If a mouldy or mildew smell emanates from the interior or the trunk, it could point to a water leak. Scrutinize the upholstery for damage and see if the seats can be adjusted for a comfortable driving and seating position.
  • Turn on the air-conditioning and radio to ensure the heating, airconditioning and sound system is to your liking.
  • Check under the hood using the vehicle owner’s manual for guidance. Components to check for include hoses and belts, transmission fluid, engine fluid, radiator and battery.


Whether you’re buying from a dealership or private seller, don’t hesitate to ask questions that can help you form an accurate opinion about the car. Besides inquiring about the number of miles on the vehicle, and its exterior, interior and standard equipment, also ask the following questions:

  1. “Can you describe the car’s overall condition?” The seller can reveal something that you may not have considered. It also doesn’t hurt to ask a private seller his/her reason for selling the car. It will give you clues about the authenticity of the seller and the reliability of the car.
  2. “Has the car ever been involved in an accident?” If the damage is cosmetic, you don’t have to worry. But think twice if the accident has caused unseen structural damage or issues with the engine or suspension. An inspection by a mechanic will alert you to these problems.
  3. “Has the vehicle been repaired as part of a safety recall?” For safety reasons and to accurately calculate the car loan amount needed, enquire if the vehicle has been recalled or if the work is still pending.
 After you are convinced that the car is mechanically robust, the next step is to arrange finance. If you are looking for car loans in Porirua, Kapiti or Wellington – contact the Oxford Finance team at for a free car finance quote today.