Our History

Auto Court is Dunedin’s leading Japanese imported vehicle retailer proudly serving the motoring community since 1963.

Neil Cottle commenced business at C&C Motors with his father Syd soon after leaving school in 1954. In 1959 he went on to Civic Motors.

In 1963 Neil established Auto Court in a new purpose-built showroom on Ardmore Drive. Staff included his brothers Mervyn in the service department and Barry in sales.

Neil’s mother Mavis joined Auto Court in 1965 as Office Manager until her retirement in 2000 . Bob Woodford joined the Auto Court sales team in 1964 and is still with the company today.

Auto Court shifted to King Edward Street in 1969 when the Ardmore Drive site was required for the Southern Motorway.

In the early days new cars were strictly controlled by import licencing. Waiting lists of two years were not uncommon for a new car and the buyer had to sign a covenant that they would offer the car back to the selling dealer if they sold it within two years of purchase. Because of this a second hand car was often more expensive than a new one!

In 1988 import licencing was abolished and Auto Court became involved as one of the pioneers directly importing vehicles from Japan. Neil’s oldest son Mark set up a network of contacts in Japan to source only genuine late model, low kilometre quality cars. The demand for these high spec vehicles soon became so great that it became essential to find larger premises to accommodate the extra vehicles and additional staff required to meet demand.

In 1989 Neil sold the King Edward Street premises and moved to a large indoor/outdoor site on the corner of Andersons Bay Road and Crawford Street and his son Nelson joined the staff fulltime having previously worked at Auto Court part time during weekends and school holidays.

After 24 years at the Andersons Bay site Auto Court are pleased to announce that they are now operating from their new 1500 square metre purpose-built showroom on the corner of Burns and Neville Streets, near the historic Carisbrook Rugby Ground.

It has always been Auto Court’s goal to establish long-term loyal relationships with our customers and we pride ourselves on our aftersales service. Your inspection will confirm we have the best range of quality low kilometre Japanese cars around.

At Auto Court every fresh import that arrives from Japan goes through a comprehensive VTNZ compliance check followed by a service that includes changing the oil and filter and fitting a FM band expander. The car is then detailed by one of our experienced groomers. All our fresh imports include on road costs.

We have thousands of satisfied customers throughout the country. Ask about our nationwide transport options and our flexible finance packages at competitive rates.

You can view our full range or Japanese imported cars, NZ made cars and Nissan Leaf electric cars online here or call us on 03 455 3002 to book a test drive.