With everyone feeling the pinch, it’s become even more important to get the best bang for your buck.  When it comes to replacing your car battery, you’re going to want something that is reliable, goes the distance and comes at a fair price; our comprehensive guide explains everything you need to know.  We appreciate there are other guides out there, but noticed that a fair whack seem to represent only one brand, which isn’t what we would consider objective, so in the interest of an honest and fair guide, we’ll take a look at a wide range of brands, so that you the consumer, can make an informed decision.

​Car batteries are an essential component to keep your car running. Given they’re so integral, in this guide, we will help you understand the basic concepts you need to know to buy the best battery in New Zealand and thus make an informed decision based on your personal preferences and needs.

Our Car Battery Buying Guide Covers:​

  • Car battery types and classifications
  • Important things to know when buying a car battery in New Zealand

Car battery types and classifications

So you need a new car battery, here we’ll take you through some  of the important things you need to know.

When it comes to car batteries, it is not a matter of ‘one size fits all’ as we will explain there are many types and classifications and it’s important you get the right match for your car and intended use.  Largely the different types come down to power, as modern cars have different power needs, so car batteries differ in order to meet those needs.  Car batteries can be categorised by their size, the technology they employ, their intended purpose and so it goes on. This sheer volume of information can be utterly confusing and quite frankly overwhelming, so we’re going to break it down and simplify it for you.   For the purpose of this guide, we will classify the car batteries according to their technology, this should equip you with the necessary knowledge to distinguish one battery type from another when you go shopping for your car batteries.


1.Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries, also known as Starting, Calcium, Lighting and Ignition Batteries (SLI)

2.EFB Batteries (Enhanced Flooded Batteries)

3.Gel Cell Batteries, also known as Dry cell batteries and Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) Batteries

4.AGM Batteries (Absorption Glass Mat Batteries)


Lead-Acid Batteries

Lead-Acid Batteries – pros:

Affordable. They are the oldest and most common  type of car battery and have a low manufacturing cost, which makes them one of the most affordable batteries on the market.

Widely and readily available.

Good for standard vehicles that do not have too many accessories

Available in a wide range of sizes, post configurations and capacities.

Lead-Acid Batteries – cons:

May require periodic maintenance.

Can be susceptible to leaks. Since these types of batteries are flooded with acid, they These batteries can only be used in the position indicated by the manufacture.   As they are flooded with acid, tipping them or putting them in on an incorrect angle would most likely lead to an acid spill.

They don’t work with newer cars.

Do not like sitting idle for more than a month. 

AGM Batteries

AGM Batteries – pros:

Higher power output than lead acid and EFB batteries. Perfect for newer cars that have      higher power demands.

Maintenance free

More versatile in terms of positioning. Can be positioned, diagonally, vertically or horizontally, , without the worry of a potential leak.

Reliable power source and vibration resistant which makes them great for off road use.

AGM Batteries – cons :

More expensive. The most expensive out of the batteries covered.

Low resistance to heat. AGM batteries are generally located outside the engine compartment for this reason.  They’re usually  located in harder to access places such as below the passenger seats or in the boot.

Better resistance to deep discharging than EFB and SLI batteries, but outperformed by gel batteries in this regard.

Lifecycle. This is both a pro and a con.  They significantly outperform EFB batteries in this regard, but Gel batteries are the most superior. In terms of lifecycle.

Gel Cell Batteries

Gel Cell Batteries –  pros:

A great choice for deep cycle applications. This is an especially good choice if you like to go off grid and explore remote places.  It has the capacity to run  your  lights etc in the evening without running your battery completely down.

Reliable power source. Gel cell batteries  share a lot of the same features as AGM batteries and then elevate some of these features even further.  They are one of the most reliable batteries on the market.

Excellent life expectancy

Fast charge rate.

Gel Cell Batteries – cons:

More expensive than AGM.

Low resistance to heat.  Whilst having a better tolerance than AGM, they’re still heat sensitive.


Enhanced Flooded Batteries

Enhanced Flooded Batteries – pros:

Affordable. Whilst slightly more expensive than standard lead acid batteries they still remain one of the more affordable technologies available on the market.

Increased performance in comparison to a lead acid battery

Available in a wide range of sizes and capacities

Can be used in Stop/Start/ISS vehicles


Enhanced Flooded Batteries – cons:

May require periodic maintenance.

Not compatible with newer cars that have high-performance application demands

Key considerations When Buying a Car Battery in New Zealand


  1. Battery type. This is determined by the technology the battery is based on. The main ones for the purposes of this guide are Lead-acid, calcium, AGM, Gel, etc.
  2. Price. One of the biggest disparities here will be between the AGM batteries and the lead acid batteries.  Whilst AGM batteries usually carry a higher up front cost, they can last up to three times longer, so it’s a matter of considering what fits with your budget and how often you want to be having to replace your car battery.
  3. Intended usage. Depending on how you use your car  one type of car battery may give you better performance than another, so it’s important to be clear about the intended use.
  4. Battery size. You need  to get your battery size right to ensure your new battery can fit within the compartment for which it is designed for and so it can be adequately braced down.  You can easily work out your battery size by measuring the height, length and width..
  5. Terminal type. Purchasing the wrong terminal configuration may prevent battery cables from reaching the battery terminals.  There are a wide array of terminal types along with, different terminal positions, and different terminal polarity (i.e. which side has the positive terminal). So it’s important to understand and pay careful attention to this.
  6. Reserve capacity. This is the amount of time the battery can run on its own charge without the aid of the alternator before discharging. Having a good reserve capacity is important as it can help you out  in such times as accidentally leaving your car lights on.
  7. CCA – Cold Cranking Amp. is a measure of the number of amps a battery can support for approx. 30 secs that points to the ability of the battery to start a car at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, before the battery voltage drops to unusable levels, impacting the ability to start your car.. The higher the CCA the higher the output of the battery.
  8. Maintenance. Maintenance free batteries come sealed and require no maintenance of electrolyte levels, which generally makes them a better option.


Four of the Best Car Batteries to buy in New Zealand now

We’ve compiled this list  based on performance and value for money.

1.Best Lead-Acid Battery

Endurant MMF24/680  

Endurant MMF24/680 Key features: 

  • More details: Endurant MMF24/680
  • ​Pricing: From $283.99 
  • Affordable
  • Good for daily use
  • Excellent warranty
  • Heavy
  • Has the limitations of a ‘standard’ lead acid battery
  • Recommended for: daily usage, stock battery replacement
  • Battery type: Lead-acid
  • Battery size:  277mm (L) x 175mm (W) x 175mm (H) x 175mm (TH)
  • Reserve Capacity: 63AH
  • Type of terminals: standard post
  • Cold Cranking Amps (CCA): 690CCA
  • Maintenance: maintenance-free
  • Marine rated
  • Warranty: 36 months
  • Weight: 15.5Kg


2.Best EFB Battery


Varta Q85LFB Key features:

  • More details: Varta Q85LEFB
  • Pricing: From $345
  • Compatible with ISS vehicles
  • Expensive
  • EFB technology
  • Slightly higher reserve capacity
  • Not as reliable as AGM or gel batteries
  • Heavier
  • Last longer than standard batteries
  •  Recommended for: daily usage, off-road, performance applications
  • Battery type: Calcium
  • Battery size: 230mm (L) x 175mm (W) x 205mm (H) x 225mm (TH)
  • Type of terminals: standard post
  • Terminal orientation: L [B7]
  • Cold Cranking Amps (CCA): 660
  • Maintenance: maintenance-free
  • Warranty: 24 months
  • Weight: 19 kg


3. Best Calcium Battery

Endurant 55D23L Start Master 

Endurant 55D23L Key Features:

  • More details: Endurant 55D23L
  • Pricing: From $218 
  • Calcium technology
  • Good off road performance
  • Huge reserve capacity
  • Can withstand heat and vibration
  • Not as reliable as AGM or Gel batteries
  • Recommended for: daily usage, off-road
  • Battery type: Calcium Technology Lead-Acid
  • Battery size:  227mm (L) x 170mm (W) x 198mm (H) x 220mm (TH)
  • Reserve Capacity: ? 90RC
  • Terminal orientation: L[B7]
  • Type of terminals: standard post
  • Cold Cranking Amps (CCA): 550 CCA
  • Maintenance: maintenance-free
  • Warranty: 24 months
  • Weight: 14.9kg

4. Best value AGM Battery – for small European Cars


Varta D52 Key Features:

  • More details: Varta D52
  • Pricing from $432.99
  • Above-average reserve capacity
  • Incredible CCA output. Moreover, since AGM batteries have
  • Great deep discharge capabilities
  • Superior starting power
  • Longer lifespan and superior performance.
  • Expensive
  • Heaviest of the list
  • Recommended for: daily usage, off-road, performance applications
  • Battery type: Calcium (AGM)
  • Battery size: 239mm (L) x 172mm (W) x 190mm (H) x 190mm (TH)
  • Type of terminals: standard post
  • Terminal orientation: L [B3]
  • Cold Cranking Amps (CCA): 680
  • Maintenance: maintenance-free
  • Warranty: 24 months
  • Weight: 17.7 kg