Warrant of Fitness changes confirmed

Changes to warrant of fitness requirements, including longer warrant periods, will be introduced from the start of next year, the Government has confirmed.

Under the changes, New Zealanders with light vehicles (under 3.5 tonnes) registered after the start of January 2000 will only have to undergo annual warrant of fitness inspections rather than every six months.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said the changes would save New Zealanders $1.8 billion over 30 years.

The changes will apply from the beginning of next year to all light vehicles registered here between 2004 and 2008 and from July to cars registered after 2000.

“Also from this date new vehicles will receive an initial inspection, another one when they’re three years old, then annual inspections for their lifetime,” Brownlee said.

Vehicles first registered before January 1, 2000, will remain on six-monthly inspections for their lifetime.

Motorists won’t have to do anything different in relation to getting their Warrant of Fitness, Brownlee said.

A $2 million public awareness campaign will also be introduced to remind people they were responsible for the safety of their vehicle throughout the year, and there would also be extra police enforcement activities, Brownlee said.

From July 1 next year, well-maintained heavy vehicles can have a certificate of fitness applied from a range of three to 12 months, increased from the present three to nine months, while the default frequency will remain at six months.

Brownlee said extending the inspection frequency would “encourage and incentivise transport operators to maintain the safety of their vehicles”.

The changes were signed into law this week.

“The changes will save New Zealanders $1.8 billion … over 30 years, without compromising road safety outcomes,” he said.

Main change points are:

– new light vehicles (vehicles weighing under 3.5 tonnes) to have an initial WoF inspection, then no further inspections until the vehicle is three years-old.

– light vehicles three years or older, first registered anywhere in the world on or after 1 January 2000, to move to annual inspections.

– light vehicles first registered anywhere before January 1, 2000, to remain permanently on six monthly inspections.