The automotive industry is everchanging, which can lead to a lot of questions. We’re doing our best to cover off some of our more frequently asked questions here.

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Electric Vehicles

The Government’s Clean Car Programme disbanded on the 31st of December 2023. You can no longer apply for a rebate.

Finance & Insurance

A balloon payment is a larger one-off payment that occurs at the end of the loan term. In comparison to your weekly payment figure the amount is usually significantly larger. Speak to one of our Finance Specialists about adjusting a balloon payment or weekly payment figure to suit your lifestyle.

Guaranteed Future Value is an increasingly popular finance product that can offer a more affordable purchasing option with more assurance and freedom. We’ve elaborated extensively on Guaranteed Future Value, here.

T’s, C’s, fees, and credit criteria apply.

Test Drives

  • Drivers license
  • Something to document your experience, take notes and photos. This is especially important if you’re driving multiple vehicles. Your phone is perfect for this.
  • Your cargo. Think items you regularly travel with, anything from car seats, push chairs, golf clubs, surf boards, even your favourite takeaway cup!
  • If you want extra support, a trusted friend or family member can be very helpful as they may have questions you mightn’t had thought of, and it’s always good to have an extra set of eyes and moral support.
  • Wear clothes that you normally drive in.

If you’re going through a private sale, as many as you want.

It’s much the same at a dealership, it’s best to discuss your needs with a vehicle specialist.

Read our full comprehensive Test Drive Guide for more information.

For new vehicles it’s worth noting:

  • Visibility from the drivers point of view
  • How comfortable you feel after adjusting your seating
  • How much passenger space is there?
  • Does it have all the technology and safety features you desire? E.g. wireless phone charging, a touch-screen infotainment system, adaptive cruise control?
  • Can you easily get in and out of the vehicle, and access the boot space?
  • Can it fit the cargo you normally carry?

For used vehicles it’s well worth checking:

  • Why are they selling the vehicle?
  • How many previous owners has it had?
  • Does the vehicle match the description/information the seller has provided?
  • Exterior condition, are there any dings or scratches on the car?
  • Interior condition, such as wear and tear on the upholstery, stains
  • The ground beneath where the car was parked, is there anything leaking?
  • Check under the hood for leaks, rust etc.
  • If you can, have a trusted friend or family member have a look over as well.

Read our full comprehensive Test Drive Guide for more information.

At a dealership you’ll fill out a Test Drive Agreement. In doing so this means that both you and the dealership are covered under insurance. Insurance on a test drive works similarly to the insurance on your personal vehicle where an excess is payable, should something happen.

There’s a good chance you won’t be covered by insurance if you test drive a car sold privately. Check your own car insurance – you are looking for the words on the policy that says you can ‘drive another car with the owner’s permission’. This is known as DOC or Driving Other Cars cover.

Read our full comprehensive Test Drive Guide for more information.

Before you head out you and the dealership or private seller will set out expectations on how far you can go, where you can go etc. At Miles Group dealerships, we offer overnight test drives, encourage you to take the vehicle home (even if home is Kaiapoi) and can even bring the vehicle out to your house.

For private sales, it comes down to what you and the seller agree on. It’s common practice to leave an item of value with the seller (e.g. your current car keys). Make sure you also have their contact details as well while you’re out on the drive.

Read our full comprehensive Test Drive Guide for more information.

There’s many things to look out for on a test drive.

First and foremost, how the car handles. On the drive, make sure to take it on the routes you normally drive, and aim to cover a variety of driving situations and speeds. Cover straight roads, corners, hills and motorway driving if you can. Make sure to test how easy you find it to park, parallel park and reverse. Essentially, try cover as many driving scenarios as possible. Take note of how the steering handles, and how the brakes feel.

For used vehicles, it’s a great idea to get a pre-purchase inspection done as this will cover any potential mechanical faults. If you’ve brought a trusted friend or family member along, get them to have a listen out for any noises and check features such as the radio, speakers, air conditioning etc.

Read our full comprehensive Test Drive Guide for more information.

General Questions

The Miles Group began in 1983 when Bruce Miles purchased the Christchurch Nissan dealership. With the acquisition of Archibalds Motors in 2021, the Miles Group inherited over 100 years of the one of Christchurch longest standing businesses. Learn more here.

All of our brands are experiencing variations record supply and demand issues as a result of the global pandemic. For example, some Toyota purchasers are currently waiting six-seven months for their new vehicle to arrive, though each model is different. Other brands such as Audi, Kia, and Nissan have models available right now or a two-three month wait time, depending on the model. During this ever-changing purchasing environment, we recommend getting in touch with your preferred dealer to find out more.

We are New Zealand’s leading independent automotive group and have a variety of jobs in the car industry, across the country. All roles come with exceptional levels of support, training, and opportunities for career advancement throughout our group.

You can learn more about our careers and get in touch with us here. Please note that we may have positions available that aren’t yet listed. Please contact us if you have a specific role in mind.

Our Locations

The Miles Group head office doesn’t currently have a physical location. Our teams are scattered over the country, with a large portion in Christchurch. Find out more here.

Vehicle Purchasing

ORC – or on-road costs – is the mystified acronym affixed to the end of a vehicle price. Necessary and omnipresent, these three letters encompass the costs to get your vehicle road legal, safe, and shiny. They vary in cost, depending on fuel types, engine sizes, and more, so each dealership will be a little different. Our Miles Continental Volkswagen dealership can elaborate, if you’d like to know more.


A warranty will give you peace of mind that you are covered for the unexpected. If you are selling a car with a warranty, it will be more attractive to potential buyers, giving them confidence in their purchase.

News & Advice

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Recognition at the Volkswagen Dealer of the Year Awards 2024

The Volkswagen Dealer of the Year Awards for financial year 2024 recently took place in Auckland, with recognition for Miles Continental.