A search on the banks of the Tairua River after the car of a missing man was found submerged has been suspended until Monday.

The car was empty when it was found off Hikuai School Road west of the Coromandel Forest Park at 6pm on Sunday.

The registered owner of the car had been reported missing at 5.30pm on Sunday, after leaving a friend's house.

Police said the search would resume at 7am on Monday.