Frequently Asked Questions about Damaged Cars

Water and Silt Damaged Vehicles

Safety Warning about Water and Silt Damaged Vehicles

Given recent events in New Zealand. Large amounts of vehicles are being written off by Insurers. There are foreseeable hazards. Accordingly, Turners have put together this safety guideline. You can read this here.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Buy a Damaged Car

How do I find the car that I want?

We get new stock every day, and all of our cars are listed on this website with detailed information and photos.
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.

What do I need to watch out for when buying a registered vehicle?

There are several reasons why a vehicle that appears not to be accident damaged is sold in a damaged auction including:

Stolen and recovered vehicles
These vehicles have been part of an insurance claim; they may have been recovered with minor panel, cosmetic and or mechanical damage and uneconomical to repair. The vehicle may have been driven in a reckless or careless manner, which is likely to have caused stress on the mechanical components such as the engine, brakes or transmission.

Repossessed or Court seized vehicles
Vehicles that are sold on behalf of finance companies or Ministry of Justice at a damaged auction are there for a variety of reasons; they may simply not have a key and have been deemed uneconomical to obtain a new key. They also are likely to be in a poor condition or have mechanical issues. Regular maintenance is not likely to have been undertaken for a period of time.

Registered Motor Vehicle Trader (RMVT)
A RMVT may accept a poor quality trade-in vehicle. The vehicle is not suitable for sale on their dealership as it is in poor condition

Private seller vehicles
We accept bookings from anyone that has a car to sell.  Vehicles may have accident damage, mechanical problems, have failed a WOF or just have come to the end of their life and are uneconomical to repair.

Note: Turners does not comprehensively inspect damaged and end of life cars and any vehicle sold through a damaged and end of life car auction may have further unexpected damage.  We recommend you view the vehicle, and contact the consultant for further details.

We recommend you get an independent mechanical check before buying any used car and obtain a new WOF before driving on the road.  You should have it towed or transported by another means until it has been inspected and deemed road worthy.

I'm considering buying a de-registered vehicle to repair. What is the process?

It can be costly to restore or repair a damaged or deteriorated vehicle to a condition where it's suitable for re-registration.  In some cases, the costs could be higher than the value of the vehicle. Some Transport Service Delivery (TSD) agents may offer a preliminary check (for a fee) to give you an indication of the work needed to bring the vehicle up to the necessary standard.

It's advisable to go to a TSD agent before the vehicle is repaired. The TSD agent will assess if the repair needs to be certified under the supervision of a specialist repair certifier. The repair certifier is responsible for ensuring that the repair is carried out correctly.

If the vehicle has already had structural repairs, the TSD agent will assess whether the repair needs to be certified.  If it does, the repair certification may involve taking parts of the vehicle apart, because the repair certifier has to be satisfied with the quality of the repair.

Once the repair certifier is satisfied, they issue a repair certificate, which will be sent with the vehicle back to the TSD agent.

In addition to the cost of certification for registration, you'll need to pay the costs of repair and the costs of repair certification.  If a vehicle is so severely damaged or so poorly repaired that it's unsuitable for repair certification, it won't be given a repair certificate and then can only be used for parts/dismantling.

TSD agents are:

Note: Until the re-registration and relicensing process is complete, a vehicle can't be driven on the road – it must be towed or transported by another means.


Compliance processes may change depending on the vendor selling the vehicle, please feel free to contact the consultant listed for more information.

What if my vehicle has forklift damage?

As damage vehicles are transported by forklifts and this happens often before they arrive at Turners. Occasionally fork hoist damage does occur. Turners are NOT liable for any fork hoist damage.

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 

Can I take a test drive?

We do not offer test drives of our damaged cars and motorbikes, but talk to a consultant and come in to your local branch and have a look. 

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 for understanding car values:

Turners Valuation (Sometimes called Price Check): An online tool that gives the prices of cars recently sold at Turners. Try it now.

Research on Turners website: There are hundreds of cars on our website, with estimated auction values 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?

If the car is still registered, 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 branch. You can also research general safety information for hundreds of cars at

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 finance debt owing
  • Sold by the legal owner

For more information about what we guarantee, read our Buyer Terms and Conditions.

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

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

Some of the car's details are available in the Customer Information Notice (CIN) that is displayed on every car and on every online listing. You can also 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. 
For a set fee you can purchase more detailed information about the car from CARJAM as well. For more information visit

How do I bid?

Bidding is as easy as waving your hand, or bidders card in the air, but you do need to be registered to bid in an auction. Our auctioneers 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.  Register for Turners Live.

See the section ‘Tips & Tools for Using Turners Live’  for more information.

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

When you buy a car at auction, you need to pay a deposit of $500 or 10% of the auction price (whichever amount is higher) after the auction. You can make payment by EFTPOS, Visa or Mastercard or direct debit. You can pay with cash at certain branches only; please call to confirm prior to payment. You must pay the rest by 12pm the day after if the auction. Please note that we charge an extra 2% on all Paywave, Alipay and credit card transactions. We are unable to accept cheques.

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, there is no money owing and (if the car is registered)  the change of ownership. View our Buyer’s Fees.

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 branch.

What Terms and Conditions apply when buying at auction?

There are a number of Terms and Conditions that apply to sale by auction. 
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.

What do I do with a water damaged vehicle

This is a change to the previous requirement where only those items below the water line were required to be replaced.

The change is in response to concerns about the risk of poor quality repairs. “Safe repair of water damage requires all affected electronic and pyrotechnic safety components to be replaced, to guard against components failing or not functioning properly in the event of a crash.

“When water damaged vehicles are repaired properly, they are safe, and we had confidence in appointed repair certifiers to safely implement the previous requirements.

“However, determining the extent of water damage has become difficult to achieve with certainty when vehicles have been groomed prior to being presented to repair certifiers, so please do not groom vehicles before a certifier has inspected it.

 “Not replacing water damaged safety components creates significant road safety risks.”

The new requirements apply to vehicles that have been water damaged in New Zealand and require re-registration, and to imported water damaged vehicles – the main source of which is Australia.

Please Note: there maybe other work required to be done to get this vehicle back on the road and Turners advise that you should contact an NZTA Specialist before bidding on this vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Sell a Damaged Car

How do I sell a car through auction?

Selling by auction is easy – we take care of everything, including advertising, buyer negotiations and change of ownership.
Learn more about selling by auction.

How do I sell for CashNow?

CashNow is great if you’re in a hurry to sell or don't want to sell by auction. Simply bring your car in and we’ll make you a cash offer. If your car is not driveable please contact your nearest branch. Learn more about CashNow.

If I'm selling by auction, how do I set my reserve?

Our auction consultant will help you decide on a fair reserve price.
Before you set your reserve, it pays to do some research. Here are a few tips for getting to grips with car values:

Research on our website: There are hundreds of cars on our website, with estimated auction values 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. Find upcoming auctions.

Get an appraisal: We offer auction sellers a free appraisal to help set their auction reserve.

Will Turners advertise my vehicle?

All of the vehicles we sell are advertised on our website and on many other major car sales websites in New Zealand.

What are Seller’s Fees?

When you sell a car at one of our auctions, we charge a Seller’s Fee that covers the time we spend managing the sale process – from marketing your car to arranging the change of ownership if applicable. We also charge an administration fee each time the car goes through an auction. View our Seller’s Fees.

What Terms and Conditions apply when selling by auction?

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

Frequently Asked Questions about Turners Live

What is Turners Live?

Turners Live allows you to view, bid and buy from our live auctions held at any of our branches without having to attend the physical auction.

To use Turners Live, you must register on our website. Register now, 

PLEASE NOTE: To be able to bid online using Turners Live, you must register a credit card before the auction. After that, simply click on the Turners Live icon next to any auction to watch it live. You can watch more than one auction at once. Bidding is as easy as clicking the ‘Bid’ button on your screen. 

Who can I call for help with Turners Live?

If you’re having problems using the new Turners Live please contact our Helpdesk on 0800 887 637 during the following hours:

  • Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays: 8am - 6.15pm
  • Wednesdays & Fridays: 8am - 4.30pm
  • Saturdays: 10am -12.30pm
What do I need to do to be able to bid?

All you need to do is log into your account and register your credit card here.

How do I access my Turners website account for the first time?

Once you have registered on our website, your account will need to be activated before it can be used. 

An activation email will be sent to the email address you gave when you registered. It will contain a link that you need to click on to activate your account. 

Once your account is activated you will be able to log in with your email address and password.

If you do not receive an activation email, please call our Helpdesk on 0800 887 637 or email us at 


Important note for all online users:
If you have an email address, or your email is handled by Yahoo or Xtra, you may not be able to receive our activation email unless you add us to your address book in your webmail.

(Please note this has to be done in your webmail and cannot be done using a desktop application like Outlook).

The activation email could also be in your spam or bulk folder so we suggest you check in all junk mail/spam or bulk folders as well.

Do I have to register just to view a sale?

You can watch any live auction using Turners Live without registering, but you cannot bid.

How early can I log in to an auction on Turners Live?

Any auction with a green VIEW LIVE link can be viewed in Turners Live.

All our vehicle auctions are accessible both in person at the branch and via Turners Live.

How do I register my credit card?

In order to register your credit card you need to be registered on our website and logged in.  
1. Once you are logged in, go to ‘My Account’ and select ‘Account Details – Edit’ 
2. Click ‘Bid Online’ from under ‘Turners Live Bidding Status’
3. A DPS (Direct Payments Solution) form will appear. Enter your credit card details
4. An automated credit card check will take place and your credit card will be approved 

PLEASE NOTE: All credit card entries and information are not kept in the Turners Live database. All credit card information and the check is done by the credit card company itself. As part of this process $1 will be held temporarily against your card, it will be back in your account within a few days.
Once your credit card has been approved, you will be able to bid. Register a credit card now.

How do I change my credit card details?

Simply log into your account and go to ‘My Account’ and select ‘Account Details – Edit’. You will then see a button to update your credit card details.

How do I know when you have debited my credit card account?

We will not deduct any money from your credit card unless you make an online purchase. When registering your credit card, $1 will be held temporarily against your card, it will be back in your account within a few days. 

When you buy online through Turners Live, a deposit of $500 or 10% of the purchase price (whichever is greater) will be deducted immediately following the auction.

You will need to pay the rest by EFTPOS, credit card, direct debit or cash by 12pm the next day.

Please make sure you have sufficient credit funds on your credit card to cover the initial deposit before you bid.

Are my credit cards details secure on the Turners’ website?

Turners does not record or store your credit card details.
All credit card entries and transactions are done on the website of DPS (Direct Payment Solutions) who are certified with banks in Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Singapore, South Africa and Malaysia.

How do I get approved for Dealer-only auctions?

When you register for Turners Live you can opt to be registered as a dealer. Once approved you can access trade only sales and enjoy the many benefits of being a trade approved client.

You will be contacted by Turners Credit department within 2 working days of your initial registration to verify your dealer details and set up your dealer account.

In the meantime you can register as a non-dealer which will allow you access to all public auctions.

If you require access to trade areas sooner please contact our credit department directly on (09) 580 9376 or

What browsers does it work on?

It works on all modern browsers. It does not work on IE8 and below.

I’ve placed a bid but it hasn’t been accepted. Why?

In an auction there could be a lot of bidding activity whether is on site, over the phone or online. 
All bidding gets processed during the auction and if you are bidding online it may take a moment for it to register with the clerk.

What happens if I win an auction?

When you win an auction, a message will appear on your screen saying ‘Congratulations on your purchase’

A system generated email will then be sent to you. A consultant will be in touch to arrange payment and pick up of the car.

A deposit of $500 or 10% of the purchase price (whichever is higher) will automatically be deducted from your credit card. Please ensure you have enough funds on your credit card to cover this charge. You will need to pay the balance owing before you pick up the car.

How can I look at other cars coming up later in the auction?

Mobiles and tablets – this will be at the bottom of your screen.
Other devices – this will be at the top right hand corner of your screen.

This will automatically scroll as the auction progresses, displaying the current lot and the next lots to be offered. If you want to look at lots further down the list, simply scroll down.

Why is the bidding page stuck on the first lot?

The sale has not yet commenced. Once the sale is underway the screen will automatically change to the lot that is being auctioned.

How do I know if the bidding has reached the Reserve (minimum) price?

When a good is getting close to the reserve ‘getting close’ will be displayed.

When the reserve has been met ‘now selling’ will be displayed.

What if the Reserve (minimum) price is not reached?

The words ‘getting close’ will appear on the bidding screen if the bidding is close to reserve.  If you are the highest bidder a consultant will contact you after the auction to see if a sale price can be negotiated.

How do I know I am not bidding against myself?

Turners Live has been set up so it can’t accept double bids from the same bidder once the item is selling (has met reserve).

However, before the item meets reserve you are able to bid against yourself so that the you can met the reserve and buy the item.

You will see ‘You Lead’ if you are currently the highest bidder.

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.

Does it work on mobiles and tablets?

Yes, it works on all modern mobiles and tablets. 

How do I know if the auction is closing?

When the auctions is closing you will see ‘last chance to bid’. This is the auctioneer calling for last bids.

It will be displayed for three seconds and will then start flashing, at which point the auction can be closed.

What happens if there are multiple lanes in the auction?

Simply check the top of the Turners Live page where a drop down list will be if there are multiple lanes.

What does the watchlist icon look like?

If a good is saved to your watchlist, and you’re logged in, you will see the icon below.

How do I view vehicle details, comments & notes and Q&As?

Simply click on the tab in the relevant section.

How do the audio notifications work?

This is what the audio device look like.


As a default, the audio will provide the following notifications:

1.    New lot is opened. The voice will say ‘Lot 1’, ‘Lot 2’, ‘Lot 3’ etc.

2.    A lot has been opened that is on your watchlist. A bell will sound and the voice will say ‘This lot is on your watchlist’.

3.    A click sound will be made each time a bid is made.


Can I choose my notifications?

You will have the option of hearing all announcements or turning some of them off.  You can also adjust the volume or mute the sound altogether. To do this, simply click on the settings button shown below.

You will then see the options shown below where you can select your preferences. 

Will you store my credit card details after I purchase?

No, we do not store your credit card information.