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Special interest vehicles

As from April 2010, the rules for importing a left-hand-drive vehicle changed. For certain LHD models aged under 20 years of age, no longer must you own it overseas for 90 days or otherwise convert it to RHD. Instead, provided the car meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Special Interest Vehicle permit.

A Special Interest Vehicle, or SIV, refers to those enthusiast vehicles, aged under 20 years, which currently cannot be imported into NZ because they don't comply with certain regulations all other imports have to meet, namely the Steering Systems Rule (LHD vehicles) and Frontal Impact Rule (left or right hand drive). Eligible vehicles must meet 3 of the following 4 criteria:

  • the vehicle is a coupe or convertible;
  • it is a high-performance vehicle;
  • the make and model was manufactured in annual volumes of 20,000 or less;
  • the vehicle is identified as a collector's item in approved car magazines or websites.

And for LHD vehicles, the model must also not have been produced in right-hand-drive.

Want to know more? This article explains all.

To find out how to apply for an SIV permit, read this NZTA factsheet. For LHD vehicles, refer to this document for more information on obtaining a (Category A) SIV permit, or download the SIV application form. For a list of LHD models that have been approved to date, click here.

For background questions and answers on the amendment to the Steering Systems Rule (for LHD), click here.

More information is also available on the NZ Mustang website.

If you have more questions, email us at: