An economist is warning against reading too much into higher vehicle sales as an indicator of how the entire economy is performining.
Sales of used imported cars fell by more than a third in 2009, and this year have shot up 36%.
Sales of new vehicles, which had dropped 28%, have risen by 14%.
Motor industry bodies attribute the gains to an improving economy, better used stock being available and businesses upgrading their fleets.
Bank of New Zealand chief economist Tony Alexander says he is not using the sales figures as a barometer of how the overall economy is going.
Otherwise, he says, there would be a more vibrant housing market and there would have been a big spend up prior to the GST increase.