Skip to content

Access keys for nzta.govt.nz

  • h Home
  • m Menu
  • 0 Show list of access keys
  • 2 Skip to content
  • 3 Skip to top

Modifying your vehicle

Any changes you make to your vehicle must not put you or others at increased risk when you’re on the road. That’s why any modifications you do make may need a low volume vehicle (LVV) certification to get a warrant of fitness (WoF).

Before you change a thing...

Invest in making your modifications properly. Though it might cost you more upfront, it could save your life.

Do I need to complete the LVV certification process? 

Do I need to complete the LVV certification process?

Do I need to complete the LVV certification process?

View the LVV certification process.

Getting an LVV certification

You need to get an LVV certification if you heavily modify your vehicle – and you’ll need the certificate before you can get your WoF.

Your first step is to find an LVV certifier (external link) .

The certifier will check the modifications – the costs depend on the extent of the modification.

Where the modifications meet the specified standards, the certifier will arrange the LVV certification plate.

When the plate arrives, the certifier will fit it to a permanent part of your vehicle. You must get the plate fitted within two months of the certification inspection.

Without the plate, you cannot legally drive your vehicle on the road.

If you make more changes to your vehicle, you may need new certification.

Modifications most likely to need certification

These modifications are most likely to require LVV certification:

  • modified suspensions, which could alter vehicle handling (an LVV certifier must check any modifications exceeding the specified threshold) (external link)

  • engine conversions or modifications – an LVV certifier will need to check any potential effects of engine modifications on the adequacy of your vehicle's braking system

  • racing seats, which can provide you with better support but, if incorrectly attached and positioned in the vehicle, can reduce the effectiveness of your safety belts

  • steering modifications, which are particularly high risk and should be done only by experts.

How you can ensure your vehicle remains safe

Want more info on modifying your vehicle?

The Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association website (external link)  has a lot of helpful information about vehicle modifications and the required standards.

Innovative designs

Many modifications are already defined in the LVV Code, infosheets, standards and Hobby Car Technical Manual published by the LVVTA. If your modification uses an innovative design that is not defined in any of these documents, you can apply to the LVVTA’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for approval for a variation from a technical requirement. 

The TAC will review your proposal or modification to determine if it is safe, and may ask for additional testing or calculations to back up your design. If the design is approved you can proceed with your build or modification – if it’s declined, the TAC will advise you of the reasons so you can work towards meeting the required safety standards.

The TAC will treat your application in commercial confidence if required. Some approved variations will be posted on the LVVTA website to provide guidance and transparency.

Check out some case studies where an innovative approach was taken to a vehicle modification.

Review of certification system 

We are reviewing the Low Volume Vehicle certification system, to ensure the process upholds the safety of road users while providing a positive user experience for customers of that certification process.

We commissioned an independent survey with a wide range of users of the system – we analysed the resulting Standards NZ report and identified a set of actions for implementation.

View more information about the review.

If you have further questions about the review, please email lvreview@nzta.govt.nz

Top