New Zealand Law
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How much does he owe? It is not always fast getting a court judgment as this will take at least 6 weeks before you can get a judgment, if he doesnt dispute the debt. Once you get that then you can get the court bailiff to seize the car. But that may not be fast enough for you. If you think he is leaving the country with the intention of avoiding debts then you can in some cases stop him at the border but it would need to be a reasonable sum to justify the costs. If he agreed you put a personal security agreement on the car and this would show on the Personal Property Securities Register and anyone who tried to buy the car would see you were owed money.
If you had the car to do work, in your possession you can keep the car until he pays as you can claim a workers lien. But I assume he has the car back after the repairs.
I think the best way for you is to quickly file a claim in the local Disputes Tribunal, then get an order for payment. At this point you can choose to ask the court staff to help you get an attachment order on his wages, or get a warrant to seize the car. It's worth noting for the future that if you think someone won't pay their bill, that you are allowed to hold onto the car until they do pay
I hope this is useful