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Cars and passenger vehicles

There are three classes of passenger vehicles (up to 9 seats), depending on their body type:

Which is my vehicle class?

Passenger cars (class MA)

The most important standards for these class MA vehicles are the frontal impact standard and the exhaust emissions standard. To register your vehicle you must be able to prove it was manufactured to meet frontal impact and exhaust emissions standard unless:

  • it is over 20 years old
  • it is a special interest vehicle
  • you’re bringing it with you when emigrating or returning to live in New Zealand.

Find out more about these exceptions.

You can’t add frontal impact systems to a vehicle. If a vehicle wasn’t designed, manufactured and certified as meeting an approved frontal impact standard, you can’t change this.

See the more detailed requirements for frontal impact standards in the Land Transport Rule: Frontal Impact 2001

Check that your vehicle meets the exhaust emissions requirements or whether it qualify for an exception?

 Requirements for passenger cars (class MA)

Vehicle has to meet standard if made on or after...

What sort of standard?

Under what legislation?

1 January 2006

Rear fog lamps (if fitted)

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004

27 February 2005

Installation standard for lighting on class MA vehicles
OR
fitting requirements in Lighting Rule*

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004

1 October 2002

Seats and seat anchorages

Land Transport Rule: Seats and Seat Anchorages 2002

1 March 1999

Head restraints (if fitted)

Land Transport Rule: Head Restraints 2001

1 March 1998

External projections

Land Transport Rule: External Projections 2001

1 January 1996

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004

1 January 1996

Rear-view mirrors

Land Transport Rule: Glazing, Windscreen Wipe and Wash, and Mirrors 1999

1 January 1992

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004

1 January 1992

Interior impact systems

Land Transport Rule: Interior Impact 2001

1 January 1992

Light-vehicle brakes

Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes 2002

1 January 1992

Steering systems

Land Transport Rule: Steering Systems 2001

1 January 1992

Tyres and wheels**

Land Transport Rule: Tyres and Wheels 2001 and 
Land Transport Rule: Tyres and Wheels Amendment 2005

1 January 1991

Door retention systems

Land Transport Rule: Door Retention Systems 2001

1 January 1991

Glazing

Land Transport Rule: Glazing, Windscreen Wipe and Wash, and Mirrors 1999

1 January 1991

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004

Varies

Seatbelts and seatbelt anchorages*

Land Transport Rule: Seatbelts and Seatbelt Anchorages 2002

 

* The number, position and performance of lighting equipment on vehicles manufactured after 27 February 2005 must meet either an installation standard or the relevant requirements in 3.3, 4.3, 6.3, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 8.3 and 9.3 of Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004.

** You may fit components that meet New Zealand standard to your vehicle after it arrives in the country.

Forward control (class MB) and off-road (class MC) passenger vehicles

The most important requirement for these vehicles is that all MC class vehicles entering New Zealand on or after 1 March 2016 must be fitted with an electronic stability control (ESC) system unless:

  • it is over 20 years old
  • it is a special interest vehicle
  • you’re bringing it with you when emigrating or returning to live in New Zealand.

Find out more about these exceptions.

See the more detailed requirements for electronic stability control the Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes 2002 (external link)

See the more detailed requirements for frontal impact standards in the Land Transport Rule: Frontal Impact 2001

Check that your vehicle meets the exhaust emissions requirements or whether it qualifies for an exception?

Requirements for forward control (class MB) and off-road (class MC) passenger vehicles

Vehicle has to meet standard if made on or after...

What sort of standard?

Under what legislation?

1 January 2006

High-mounted stop lamps (if fitted)

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004

1 January 2006

Rear fog lamps (if fitted)

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004

27 February 2005

Installation standard for lighting on this class of vehicles
OR
fitting requirements in Lighting Rule*

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004

1 October 2003

Frontal impact systems

Land Transport Rule: Frontal Impact 2001

1 October 2002

Seats and seat anchorages

Land Transport Rule: Seats and Seat Anchorages 2002

1 March 1999

Head restraints (if fitted)

Land Transport Rule: Head Restraints 2001

1 March 1998

External projections

Land Transport Rule: External Projections 2001

1 March 1999
for class MB

Steering systems

Land Transport Rule: Steering Systems 2001

1 March 1998

Door retention systems

Land Transport Rule: Door Retention Systems 2001

1 March 1998

Interior impact systems

Land Transport Rule: Interior Impact 2001

1 January 1996

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004

1 January 1996

Rear-view mirrors

Land Transport Rule: Glazing, Windscreen Wipe and Wash, and Mirrors 1999

1 January 1996

Light-vehicle brakes

Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes 2002

1 March 1999
for class MB 1 March 1998 
for class MC

Steering systems

Land Transport Rule: Steering Systems 2001

1 January 1992

Tyres and wheels**

Land Transport Rule: Tyres and Wheels 2001 and 
Land Transport Rule: Tyres and Wheels Amendment 2005

1 January 1992

Rear reflectors

Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004

1 January 1991

Glazing

Land Transport Rule: Glazing, Windscreen Wipe and Wash, and Mirrors 1999

Varies

Seatbelts and seatbelt anchorages*

Land Transport Rule: Seatbelts and Seatbelt Anchorages 2002

* The number, position and performance of lighting equipment on vehicles manufactured after 27 February 2005 must meet either an installation standard or the relevant requirements in 3.3, 4.3, 6.3, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 8.3 and 9.3 of Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004. 

** You may fit components that meet New Zealand requirements to your vehicle after it arrives in the country.

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