In a twist of irony, now might be the best time to buy a new car.

As rising fuel prices burn Kiwi wallets, the Vehicle Industry Association (VIA) has released a statement saying a glut of imported cars has created excessive supply, pushing down retail prices.

VIA chief executive David Vinsen said car import listings for vehicle dealers and traders such as Trade Me and Turners were at a recent high.

"The timing of this is especially ironic, given we'll be looking at probable increases of around 15 per cent for imports over the next 6-12 months," Vinsen said.


"If you're in the market, and especially if you're in Auckland, now is the time to buy."

Several car shipments were turned away at New Zealand ports earlier in the year after it was discovered they were infested with the brown marmorated stink bug.

The hard-to-see, hard-to-kill, fast-breeding scourge managed to spread around the world from East Asia and is one of New Zealand's "least wanted" pests.

At the time, disruption to the vehicle import industry was severe and significantly fewer cars were available on the market.

However, this has now turned around.

Trade Me spokesperson Millie Silvester said the online marketplace had a record number of used cars listed on its site, the result of backlogged stock flowing through.

"The stink bug disrupted car importing for a lot of dealers earlier this year and left them waiting longer than usual for stock while vehicles were treated for the pest and held up at our borders," Silvester said.

"Now this backlog has cleared and so as a result we've seen a flood of vehicles come onto site."


Turners chief executive Greg Hedgepeth said the car dealership had plenty of import stock but not at record levels.

"Retail car sales (including imports) have been tracking well for us. In fact, we just had our best ever retail volume month and we are very confident as we come into the summer months which are normally quite buoyant for our business," Hedgepeth said.

Many New Zealand dealers specialising in imports had stock issues earlier in the year which had a negative impact, particularly on smaller operations, he said.