Backpacker’s Car Market, Christchurch, New Zealand

So we needed to sell our van, and we’d heard about the Backpackers’ Car Market in Christchurch. We went down to check it out and found Richard, Gary, and Sam, the folks that run the place, as busy as ever.

At the beginning of our trip we’d been to the car market in Backpackers Car Market, ChristchurchAuckland, and had been disappointed with the way we were treated, and the price of services. In Christchurch we were pleasantly surprised to find that they are a separate company, and don’t apply any of the pressure and dodgy selling tactics we’d experienced in the North.

Backpackers Car Market, Christchurch, New ZealandThey are also much more reasonably priced. $85NZ gets you 3 days’ worth of parking for a van at the car market (cars are cheaper still), a kitchen, shower and toilets, and that’s all you pay as a seller as they don’t take commission. We did two lots of three days but didn’t manage to get our Cow sold in time, so we arranged to go for their long-term option. It costs a little more, but the money we’d already paid was taken off the price, and then they keep the van until it sells, probably at the beginning of high season in September or October.

They also offer full mechanical checks and Gary, the resident Mechanic, Backpackers car market, Christchurch, New Zealandmechanic, has a full inspection rig on site. They’ll do a legal check for buyers too, so you know there’s no money owing; they can sort you out with insurance, and as a final touch they have great value ferry tickets across the Cook Straight.

Backpackers car market, christchurch, New ZealandIf you want to check them out they’re on Battersea St., just off Columbo St., which is the main North-South street in Christchurch. It’s a 5 minute walk South from the free Orbiter bus from the city centre, and from the big supermarkets. They’re also on the web at:

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6 Responses to Backpacker’s Car Market, Christchurch, New Zealand

  1. Chris says:

    Did you ever get the van sold? I’m thinking about the long term option atm and not sure if its such a good idea to just park it there and leave the country for fate to decide if and when and for how much my van gets sold… Thanks for any reply!

  2. Max says:

    to Chris:
    Hello we sold a car via the Backpacker Carmarket in Christchurch in 06/2014. Gary, Sam and Richard seems very serious and we had a good time there. We used the Long term option and after 1 month they sold the car for us.
    Now, six months later, we wait for our money. No contact, no feedback.
    For us a very bad experience.
    We will publish in the next days the whole story on our website ( and other blogs.

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  4. Elaine Regan says:

    We bought a van here in September 2014. Had a great time and were very happy at the time with the service. The mechanic Gary passed our van on the WOF before we bought it as they include this in the ‘services’ they offer. Now 6 months later we are trying to get a new WOF and have been told by numerous mechanics and garages that the structural damage the van had before we bought it should never have passed a WOF. We now face a very large bill to have this fixed in order for our van to pass a WOF so that we can sell it. Very annoyed as we never would have bought the van if Richard or Gary had told us it shouldnt have passed the WOF.

    • admin says:

      Dear Elaine,

      Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the Christchurch Car Market. I don’t represent them at all, but at the time I was there my partner and I found them to be great. That said, I have heard a number of negative things recently, partly via the blog and via email, so maybe things have gone downhill in the past few years. While it doesn’t help you, it might help other travellers to note that there is now at least one other car market in Christchurch. I can’t remember the name, but a quick Google search will find it I’m sure.

      I really hope you get things resolved, and best of luck with the rest of your travels.


  5. Ariel Hayoun says:

    I had a Nissan Homy DX van sold through this “BACKPACKERS CAR MARKET CHRISTCHURCH” when I left it there around March 2014. I was told by Sam the van was sold on January 14th. 2015 and provided my bank details for the money transfer. Although I was told the money would be transferred within a couple of days it hasn’t arrived in the account and it’s been two and a half months already. And of course no one answers my mails and phone goes to answering machine.
    Don’t trust them with your van or your money!

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