How to Deregister Your Car in New Zealand

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YourDrive’s User Friendly Guide to Scrapping and Deregistering Your Car in New Zealand.

So you’ve failed your latest WOF because of rust, which will cost $1250 to fix, regardless of the fact that your car is only worth $500. You have two options really: risk selling your car on Trademe or sell it to a scrap yard and deregister it.

If you decide to be environmentally responsible and recycle it by sending it to the scrap yard, here’s what you’ll need to know.

What to do when scrapping your car:

  1. Ring around for a quote from the ‘cars for cash’ or ‘scrap car removal’ car yards. A quick Google search will give you some phone numbers. They can be pushy to arrange a collection, so be prepared to phone a few and negotiate.
  2. Choose the best offer price range and arrange for collection.
  3. When they arrive, try negotiate into the upper half of the range they originally offered you. Often when the driver arrives, he will take photos of your vehicle and send these back to the main office for assessment.
  4. Remove the registration card from your windscreen and your number plates.
  5. Write down your vehicle VIN number (ideal but not necessary).
  6. Collect the cash for your scrapped car before handing over the keys and waving goodbye.

That moment when the tow truck drives off with your car is epiphanic. You feel a sense of freedom and relief as the weight of car ownership is lifted off your shoulders. Life without a car is magical. No WOFs/COFs, services, breakdowns, car insurance or worrying about where to park.

Deregistering your car:

  1. Take the plates, rego card and VIN number to any AA, VTNZ or VINZ. You are no longer able to deregister a car from the PostOffice.
  2. Fill out an MR15 form. You will need to be the registered owner of the car and show ID, i.e. driver’s licence.
  3. Hand this form in along with the number plates and rego card.
  4. There is a $9.10 processing fee. Any outstanding registration fees or Road User Charges (RUC) will also need to be settled.
  5. Any remaining registration will be reimbursed via cheque in the mail to your registered address. If you’re like us and you don’t live in the stone age, you can ask for your refund to be sent to your bank account by phoning NZTA Motor Registrations on 0800 108 809. They will most likely ask you to email in your number plate, full name, address and bank account details to Crown Revenue department who will process your refund electronically.
  6. Say goodbye to the last remanence of your car.

For the official spiel, check out NZTA’s Cancelling your registration.

But do not despair. Life without a car is now possible in New Zealand without too much hassle. Your modern transport options include public transport, Uber, Zoomy, rides with mates, cycling, walking and for those longer adventures – YourDrive. Car sharing bridges the gap between short journey options like Uber and car ownership. You can now easily rent a car for the weekend, off someone in your neighbourhood, without the hassle of actually owning one.

If you've just deregistered your car and want to live car free, send us a photo of your deregistration form and we'll give you a $20 promo code to use on YourDrive, to kick start your new car free life!

Find out more about the benefits of car sharing how to live car free. 


Written in memory of Dub, my 1996 Honda Odyssey, a van with more beach sand in it than the beach.

Posted by Andrew Norman on 25th of May, 2017