How to Buy a Car FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Buy a Car

How do I find the car that I want?

We get new stock every day! You can search by make, model, price and year plus a range of other criteria. Our website has a Saved Search tool that lets you set alerts for specific cars you are looking for. When we list a car matching your description, we will email you. You can also add listings to a watchlist that alerts you to an upcoming auction. To use Saved Search or Watchlist, you will need to register on our website.
Register now

Can I take a test drive?

You can test drive any of our cars before buying. We encourage you to test drive and carry out a thorough inspection before buying a car. To be able to test drive, you will need to bring your driver's license with you, you need to have a Restricted or Full license (or overseas equivalent) to take a test drive. For auctions, the cars are available for test driving before the auction. At some dealerships, there is a test driving area at the dealership. At other dealerships, a staff member will accompany you on a test drive on the road. You can book a test drive online, to find out how click here.

How do I know if the car I like has mechanical problems?

We recommend you get an independent mechanical check before buying any used car. This will tell you if the car needs maintenance, has problems or has been in an accident. 
We can help you arrange an independent check-call or email your nearest Turners dealership for more information.

What other problems could the car have?

Buying a car is a big investment. It is important to check the following:

Is there a debt owing on the car? If you buy a car with money owing on it, you can be made to repay the original debt.

Is the seller the legal owner? Make sure the car you are buying is not stolen.

When you buy a car from Turners, we guarantee that the car is not stolen and you will not have to pay if there is an unpaid finance debt on a car bought from us. This is called clear title.

Does the Consumer Guarantees Act apply to cars bought at Turners?

When you buy a car at Turners, you may be protected under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA). This means that you can be sure you’re not being misled about the nature of the vehicle you buy and that it is of acceptable quality taking into account its age and the price you pay for it. And if something goes wrong with the car you’ve bought, Turners will work with you to resolve the issue within a reasonable time.

Learn about how the CGA applies to cars bought at Turners here.

What is the difference between a NZ New car and an import?

Imported Cars
Cars first owned and used outside of New Zealand are called ‘imports’. In New Zealand, most imports come from Japan.
If the car is a new import you must pay to have it registered in New Zealand.
If you buy an imported car, you won’t receive a full history showing when the vehicle has been serviced and how many owners it has had. You may also find that any instructions and manuals for the car are in another language.

NZ New Cars
NZ New refers to a vehicle that was imported brand new by a new car manufacturer. e.g Ford or Holden, and was first registered in New Zealand. NZ New cars have only been driven in New Zealand. For NZ New cars, you can easily find information about their previous history and owners.

How do I know how much to pay?

Whether you’re buying or selling, it pays to research what the car is worth. Here are a few tips:

Research on Turners website: There are hundreds of cars on our website, with estimated auction prices and Buy Now prices for you to review.

Attend an auction: Anyone can attend our public auctions (or watch online via Turners Live) to see what cars sell for. View upcoming auctions.

How do I know whether the car is safe?

An independent mechanical check will tell you whether there are any problems with the car that might make it unsafe to drive. For help arranging an independent mechanical inspection, contact your nearest dealership.
You can also research general safety information for hundreds of cars at

How do I know how much petrol the car will use?

Most cars sold at Turners have a Fuel Efficiency rating of between 1 and 6 stars, using information supplied by the Government’s Fuel Saver programme.  This rating is displayed as a sticker on the car’s front windscreen and in its online listing.
You can find out more about these ratings by visiting

Does a car bought at Turners come with a warranty?

When you buy a car from Turners, we guarantee a number of things, including:
- No money owing
- Sold by the legal owner

For more information about what we guarantee, read our Buyer Terms and Conditions.
Cars sold by auction do not come with a mechanical warranty, however you can buy Mechanical Breakdown Insurance from us.

You can also learn about the Consumer Guarantees Act and how it applies to cars bought at Turners here.

How can I learn more about the car’s history?

You can view the history of most cars sold at Turners for free using the CARJAM link in the vehicle listing. This check gives details such as colour, registration details, VIN and engine numbers and mileage for free. Many of the details in this check are also available in the Customer Information Notice (CIN) that is displayed on every car, and on every online listing.
For a set fee you can purchase more detailed information about the car from CARJAM as well. For more information visit

What happens if something goes wrong with the car I’ve bought?

We always recommend getting an independent mechanical check before you buy a car. These are available through all of our dealerships, most of which have this service onsite.

You may be covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act, learn more about this here.

Mechanical problems are not covered by Turners, but you can buy Mechanical Breakdown Insurance from us that protects you if you have a breakdown.

How does BuyNow work?

Turners has a huge range of BuyNow cars on offer. These have a fixed price and you can buy them on the spot without having to wait for an auction. Learn more about BuyNow.

How do I find out what cars are being auctioned today?

The easiest way to find out what cars are being auctioned today is to view our online auction catalogues. You can find them here.

How do I bid?

Bidding is as easy as raising your hand, or bidders card in the air, but you do need to be registered to bid in a car auction.
Our auctioneer and bid spotters will be looking out for your bid. They know the difference between an itchy nose and a proper bid.
For more information, download our Auction Buyer’s Guide.

How do I bid online?

You can bid in any of our car auctions online using Turners Live. Bidding is as simple as clicking your mouse. Turners Live enables you to bid without having to attend the auction. To bid on Turners Live you will need to register on this website.

Go to 'FAQs for Turners Live' for more information. 

How do I pay for the car I’ve just bought?

Turners accepts most forms of payment, however, Turners cannot release your vehicle until the funds have cleared. You can make payment immediately using cash, EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard and Alipay. Turners do not accept cheques, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, Union Pay, UCB or Qcard. Direct credit or bank transfer are accepted, however, in most cases funds do not clear immediately.

If you require Finance, there are on-site consultants available at every branch that will be able to help you. Or you can sign-up online for pre-approved finance.  We can usually approve finance within 2 hours.

Please note:

  • As of 11th of May 2023, we are no longer able to accept cash payments of $10,000 or more under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation. For more information please click here.

  • Each bank sets different limits as to how much money can be transferred via EFTPOS in a 24 hour period. Turners has no control over these limits.

  • With direct credit or bank transfer funds usually take at least a day to clear. The vehicle cannot be released until the funds have cleared.

  • A 2% fee is charged on all Paywave, Alipay and credit card transactions. You will only be able to purchase to the limit on your credit card.

  • We are unable to accept cheques.

Buying at Auction:

You will need to pay a deposit of $500 or 10% of the auction price (whichever amount is higher) after the auction. This deposit is non-refundable. You must pay the balance by 12 pm the day after the auction. You can make payment by cash, EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard or direct credit/bank transfer. Please note the limitations above of each form of payment –Turners cannot release your vehicle until the funds have cleared and are in our bank account.

Buying with Buy Now:

You will need to pay a deposit of $500 or 10% of the auction price (whichever amount is higher). The balance must be paid within 24 hours. This deposit is non-refundable. Please note the limitations above of each form of payment –Turners cannot release your vehicle until the funds have cleared and are in our bank account.

You will need to pay a deposit of $500 or 10% of the auction price (whichever amount is higher). The balance must be paid within 24 hours.  The balance must be paid at the dealership. Please be aware that Turners cannot release the vehicle to you until the funds are cleared, and that this is usually at least 1 day for most banks. 

Do you offer finance?

Turners organises car and personal finance through a range of lenders. We'll work with you to get the best deal to suit your particular circumstances and affordability. Find out more about finance.

What are Buyer’s Fees?

When you buy a car at one of our auctions, we charge a Buyer’s Fee that covers our guarantee that the car is not stolen, that there is no money owing and the change of ownership. View our Buyer’s Fees.

I live out of town - how can I transport the car I’ve bought?

Turners can help you arrange to have the car you’ve bought transported to another city. For more information, call your nearest Turners dealership.

What Terms and Conditions apply when buying at Turners?

There are a number of Terms and Conditions that apply to sale by auction and Buy Now. 
View our Buyer Terms and Conditions.

What terms and conditions apply to Turners Live?

There are a number of Terms and Conditions that apply to Turners Live.
View our Turners Live Terms and Conditions.