Checking the car history before purchasing a used vehicle in New Zealand is important. A comprehensive vehicle history check can reveal if there are any outstanding debts associated with the vehicle. In New Zealand, if you purchase a vehicle with money owing to a financier, the car can legally be repossessed by the creditor.

The vehicle history includes details about past ownership, any accidents the vehicle has been involved in, and its overall maintenance history. This information is crucial for assessing the car's current condition and its longevity.

Accident history can significantly affect a vehicle's safety. A history report can tell you if the vehicle has been in major accidents and if it has been repaired properly. This is vital for the safety of future passengers.

The check can verify that the seller is the rightful owner of the vehicle. It also ensures that the vehicle is not stolen, which can prevent potential legal complications.

Finally, having a detailed understanding of the vehicle’s history gives you peace of mind that you are making a well-informed purchase decision, reducing the risk of unexpected issues after the purchase.

These factors highlight the importance of a thorough vehicle history check, which helps protect buyers from various risks associated with purchasing used vehicles.

How to Check A Car History in New Zealand - Top 10 Free Websites to Find the VIN

How To Check a VIN Before Buying a Used Car in New Zealand?

Locate the VIN: First, you need to find the VIN on the vehicle. It's usually located on the dashboard on the driver's side and can be seen through the windshield. It might also be on a sticker or plate on the driver's side door or door jamb.

Use an Online VIN Check Service: You can use various online services to check the VIN. Sites like CARJAM, MotorWeb, and AA New Zealand provide comprehensive vehicle reports that include details such as registration, money owed, theft records, and more

Review the Report: The report will give you details about the car's history, including past ownership, any accidents, and whether there's money owing on the car. Make sure to review all the information carefully to avoid buying a vehicle with potential legal or financial issues.

Verify Information with NZTA: You can also verify some of the vehicle's information through the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to ensure everything matches up, particularly if you have concerns about the car's past.

Consider a Pre-Purchase Inspection: Apart from the VIN check, consider getting a pre-purchase inspection by a professional to identify any mechanical or safety issues.

These steps will help you make an informed decision and avoid common pitfalls when buying a used car in New Zealand.

Top 10 Free Websites to Check Car History in New Zealand




CARJAM is a widely used website in New Zealand for checking the history of used vehicles. CARJAM provides a wealth of information, including ownership details, money owing, registration history, and more. It's particularly useful for checking debts associated with past and current plates.

CARJAM sources its data from reliable sources including the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), New Zealand Police, and other official databases, making it a trusted tool for prospective vehicle buyers in New Zealand to assess the risks and history associated with a used car before purchase.

2. That Car


That Car is a New Zealand-based service providing detailed vehicle reports to ensure buyers can make informed decisions. The service offers insights into various aspects of a vehicle's history, such as:

This site allows you to look up basic vehicle history, ownership, and any money owed. It's designed to ensure buyers are fully informed before making a purchase. That Car is particularly noted for providing a straightforward and user-friendly interface, where users can quickly get a report by entering the vehicle’s number plate or VIN.

3. MotorWeb


MotorWeb is another popular service in New Zealand for obtaining vehicle reports, operated by Trade Me. MotorWeb offers comprehensive Vehicle Information Reports (VIR), alerting buyers to potential issues like outstanding debts, stolen status, and odometer discrepancies.

MotorWeb is renowned for its thorough checks, which are designed to provide a high level of detail to potential buyers, helping to mitigate the risks involved in purchasing a used vehicle.

4. ​​​​​AA New Zealand

AA New Zealand
AA New Zealand


AA New Zealand offers a Vehicle History Report service that provides detailed information to help potential buyers make informed decisions when purchasing used vehicles. AA offers Vehicle History Reports that cover a wide range of checks, from finance owing to the legitimacy of odometer readings, to helping buyers make secure transactions.

AA's reports are designed to be comprehensive, helping buyers understand the full background of a vehicle, which aids in avoiding costly surprises after purchase. The service is accessible online, providing a convenient way for consumers to obtain crucial information before committing to a vehicle purchase.

5. Checka


Checka is a vehicle report service based in New Zealand that provides comprehensive information to assist buyers in making informed decisions when purchasing used vehicles. Checka provides detailed reports including financial encumbrances, odometer history, and stolen vehicle checks, ensuring buyers are aware of any issues before purchasing.

Checka is geared towards providing a clear and comprehensive view of a vehicle’s history, helping to ensure that buyers are aware of any potential issues before purchasing.

Read More: How to Check A Car History in the U.S - Top 10 Free Sites to Find the VIN

6. carVertical


carVertical, while a global service, offers detailed car history reports that are accessible for vehicles in New Zealand as well. carVertical uses a decentralized database gathered from multiple sources to provide detailed reports.

carVertical gathers data from over 900 global sources to provide detailed reports on vehicle history, helping buyers avoid costly surprises.

carVertical stands out by offering a blockchain-based report system, ensuring that the data provided is authentic and unalterable, enhancing the trustworthiness of the information. This service is particularly useful for buyers who are considering vehicles that may have been imported or have a complex history spanning multiple countries.

7. Carfax


Carfax is a well-known service primarily used in the United States and Canada that provides comprehensive vehicle history reports. Carfax reports can help potential buyers understand the history of a used vehicle before making a purchase.

Carfax gathers its data from various sources, including state DMVs, insurance companies, repair facilities, and police departments, making it a valuable resource for buyers wanting to avoid vehicles with hidden problems.


Link: is a New Zealand-based vehicle history checking service that offers detailed reports to help buyers make informed decisions when purchasing used vehicles.

This platform provides comprehensive checks on the history of used cars in New Zealand, ensuring transparency regarding any hidden problems, clear history, and accurate mileage of vehicles.

Vindocs aims to offer comprehensive and reliable vehicle reports, ensuring transparency in the used car market in New Zealand.

9. Detailed Vehicle History


Detailed Vehicle History provides vehicle history reports mainly in the United States, offering a wide range of data to assist buyers in evaluating the condition and history of used vehicles.

This site offers free vehicle history reports that are comprehensive and easy to obtain. It provides key information on used cars, helping buyers make informed decisions without the cost typically associated with such reports.

Detailed Vehicle History focuses on providing a thorough look into a vehicle’s past to safeguard buyers from purchasing problematic vehicles, enhancing buyer confidence in the used car market.

10. Autolife


Autolife NZ provides a range of articles and resources that help consumers understand various aspects of buying used cars, including how to check a used car’s history. They emphasize the importance of conducting a thorough background check on any vehicle to uncover potential issues such as inconsistent odometer readings, whether the car is registered as stolen, or if there are any financial encumbrances still on it.

Autolife suggests that buyers should also look for physical signs of wear and maintenance history by inspecting the vehicle, examining service stickers, and checking for recent replacements of significant parts like the cambelt. They stress the importance of these checks to avoid buying a 'lemon', a car that might seem a bargain but could lead to costly mistakes.


Each website offers unique features that cater to different needs, from basic ownership checks to detailed history and debt reports. They are invaluable tools for anyone looking to purchase a vehicle in New Zealand, ensuring transparency and security in vehicle transactions.

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