Boat Loans

How much is the boat you want to buy?

Applying will not affect your credit score
"Super friendly and helpful staff. Very quick and easy approval process"
John Ngata - Auckland
Shane Ford Shane Ford
General Manager

"We've made comparing boat loans super simple". Apples with apples.

Boat loans are the key to one of our favourite Kiwi pastimes; fishing and getting out on the water. Whether it’s a quick weekend escape or a longer fishing trip in the summer, boats, yachts, and other watercraft can be found all across New Zealand shores.

If you’re looking to finance a boat, yacht (or even a Jet Ski!) then the team at Vehicle Loans can assist in helping you find the best deal on offer. Here’s everything you need to know about marine and leisure finance in New Zealand.

What can I finance with a boat loan?

A boat loan can be put toward:

  • New or used trailer boats and outboard engines
  • New or used launches or luxury yachts
  • Repowering existing vessels
  • Personal watercraft (e.g. Jet Ski)

How marine loans work

A boat loan is a type of vehicle finance that is secured by the vessel purchased with the funds. They work similarly to other types of vehicle finance:

  • You’ll borrow an amount of money to finance the purchase of a boat or vessel
  • You’ll make regular repayments to the lender to repay the total loan amount

The total loan amount includes the principal borrowing amount, and may include:

  • Interest charges applied to the loan relative to the lender’s interest rates
  • Establishment fees
  • Early break fees
  • Ongoing monthly fees
  • Other costs or fees

The repayment period is the frequency you will make repayments. These will differ between lenders but are generally flexible to suit the borrower, and usually offered as either weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

What do I need to provide for a marine loan?

Not every marine loan will have the same lending criteria. Below is an overview of the individual collateral requirements for each type of secured vessel or vehicle loan.

Type of vessel or vehicleSEcured usingrequirements
New or used trailer boats and outboard engines The boat
The outboard engine
The trailer
Hull number if available
Outboard engine number
Trailer registration number
New or used launches or luxury yachts The vesselHull and engine numbers
Repowering existing vessels The vessel being re-poweredHull and engine numbers
Personal Watercraft (e.g. Jet Ski) The watercraft
The trailer
Hull number
Trailer registration number

Who can apply?

Any person living in New Zealand over the age of 18 and currently holding a learner driver licence can apply for a boat loan. However, every application is different, so be sure to check the qualifying criteria for the specific loan you wish to apply for.

In general, the majority of lenders will require borrowers to be:

  • 18 years of age or older; and
  • a New Zealand citizen or hold a work permit or permanent resident (PR); and
  • currently employed or have regular income; and
  • holding a minimum of a New Zealand Learner Licence.

When you apply, you will also need to provide photo identification and proof of address to verify your identity with the lender.

Do I need anything else to apply?

Even if you meet the minimum requirements for a boat loan, there are many ways you can improve your chances of receiving approval and the best interest rate possible.

Depending on your personal circumstances and credit history, there will be variations on how difficult the process is and how much you can borrow. If you have a history of defaults or bad credit, you may find it more difficult to gain approval or obtain a competitive rate.

Likewise, if you are a younger borrower, you may not have the credit history to offer a lender peace of mind in approving your application. In both cases, there will often be stricter qualifying criteria.

Pre-assessment checks

Want to see if you qualify for a marine loan? The team at Vehicle Loans can conduct a quick-and-easy No Credit Check Pre-Assessment if you call 0800 651 480 now and speak to one of our trusted vehicle finance brokers.

The cost of a marine loan

Boats, yachts and even Jet Skis are generally quite expensive, which means extra care should be taken in understanding the true cost of your loan, and ensuring you take the time to find the best deal possible for your circumstances.

The cost of your loan will depend on the:

  • Borrowing amount
  • Term
  • Interest rate
  • Fees
  • Other required expenses

Loan minimum and maximum amount

Marine loan lenders generally offer finance at a minimum amount of $5,000 with no maximum limit. The cost of watercraft or boats will vary depending on their type, and can range anywhere from the low thousands up to $100,000 for a launch, and into the millions for larger yachts.

Minimum loan amountMaximum loan amount
$5,000.00No Maximum

Loan term

The term of your loan is the number of months or years you agree to make repayments to settle the loan balance. In New Zealand, the maximum term for a marine vessel or boat loan is often 5 years.

What other expenses may I need to account for?

If you’re applying for a marine vessel, keep in mind you’ll need to finance any necessary additional costs as well. This may include:

  • Trailers to transport the vessel - Trailers will be a requirement for smaller boats and personal watercraft that aren’t permanently moored. Generally, the cost of the trailer will be included in the total loan amount, with the value of the trailer used as security on the loan.
  • Safety equipment - Safety equipment is a requirement and can cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000, depending on how you plan to use the boat and the maximum number of passengers.
  • Boating equipment - If you’re looking to buy a boat for the great New Zealand fishing holiday, you’ll likely want to budget for the fishing equipment as well. Prices can vary drastically between various types of equipment and can cost anywhere between $100 and $10,000 (or more!).
  • Storage and servicing - Be aware that, depending on where you choose to store your vessel (particularly if it’s a launch or larger fishing boat), you may have to pay marina fees, and you’ll need to account for annual servicing to ensure your boat stays in good condition.

Where to apply for a marine loan

In New Zealand, you can generally acquire a vehicle loan for a marine vessel or recreational vehicle from:

  • Banks
  • Finance brokers
  • Boat dealerships

Below we’ll look at an overview of these lenders and their relative pros and cons.


Banks are a popular option for financing boat or recreational watercraft purchases. Most borrowers have an existing relationship with their bank, which can mean slightly lower initial fees when agreeing to finance. However, some banks may not have loans designed specifically for marine vessels, and this can mean missing out on the best deal or the lowest rate on offer.

Finance brokers

Brokers specialise in assessing the personal circumstances of an individual and presenting them with the most suitable option for finance. Brokers will usually work with a small pool of regular, trusted lenders - their expert understanding of lending criteria enables them to match borrowers with the best lenders for their situation.

Finance brokers:

  • Will understand your financial position to find a suitable loan product
  • Assist with completing and submitting your application
  • Advocate on your behalf to assist with approval
  • Are bound by the Responsible Lending Code for consumer protection rights
  • Are impartial and independent - they only get paid if you choose to work with them

A vehicle broker may charge a fee; however, they are often a highly useful option if you are unsure about loan products, or are unsure about your application.


Many boat dealerships will offer finance. Finance acquired at a dealership can feel convenient and often includes an easy application process; most dealerships allow you to apply when you purchase the asset.

The downside to acquiring finance through a dealership is that it’s rarely the best deal on offer. They may still provide competitive deals, but spending a few minutes to compare your available options instead of agreeing to the first offer presented at a dealership could save you thousands of dollars.


A boat loan is a type of finance used to purchase a boat, yacht, personal watercraft, or other water vessels.

A boat loan is secured by the value of the vessel (and any additional assets required, such as a trailer or outboard engine) which means you’ll get better rates - and a cheaper loan - than applying for unsecured finance.

You can apply online or you can call us free on 0800 651 480, and one of our experienced consultants will run through your application and finance solutions with you.

Marine Loan FAQ

How fast can I get approval for finance?

Once our team has your finance approved, most lenders will allow an approval window of between 15 - 20 days. This is to ensure that borrowers have some flexibility in their choice of vessel or vehicle and allow them to carry out all necessary checks before committing to the purchase.

Can I get pre-approval on a marine loan?

Yes. To see if you qualify for finance, simply call 0800 651 480 now and speak to one of our trusted vehicle finance brokers for a quick No Credit Check Pre-Assessment.

Can I get a boat loan if I have bad credit?

Yes. Vehicle Loans has a number of lenders that will overlook previous credit issues. Our brokers can assess your individual situation with a No Credit Check Pre Assessment.

Do I need a deposit for a boat loan?

For loans under $50,000, you generally do not need to provide a deposit on a boat loan or recreational vehicle loan. However, providing a deposit can reduce the risk to the lender (by reducing the total principal amount owing) which may allow you to access slightly lower rates. For loans over $50,000, a number of criteria will be taken into account to determine any deposit amount required.

Can I buy a vessel or vehicle from a private seller using a marine loan?

Yes. If you are purchasing the vessel or vehicle privately - e.g. through TradeMe - the Vehicles Loans team can perform necessary checks to ensure the vehicle is encumbered (still under finance) or reported as stolen. We can then help generate a private sale agreement and mediate the process between the purchaser and the seller.

What fees does Vehicle Loans charge to apply for finance?

There is no fee to apply for finance.

Lenders and insurers pay Vehicle Loans a fee, commission or brokerage fee for processing the application and settlement of a finance agreement. Any fees that are charged by the financiers are fully disclosed and agreed with you before the loan documents are signed by you.

Vehicle Loans operate under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA) and all financial arrangements provided by Vehicle Loans are compliant with this Act and follow the guidelines under the Responsible Lending Code advised by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.