Avoid the queues and consider getting an early WoF in April


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is encouraging people to consider getting early warrant of fitness (WoF) inspections to take advantage of a lull in demand for inspections one year after the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.

As a flow-on effect of last year’s nationwide lockdown when people across New Zealand stayed home, Waka Kotahi and the vehicle inspection industry expect the demand for vehicle inspections will be much lower this April than in previous years.

During the 2020 lockdown, most people were unable to have any expiring warrant of fitness (WoF) renewed. Many vehicle owners took their vehicles for inspection straight after lockdown, and this has resulted in increased demand for vehicle inspections in May-July 2021, when 12-monthly WoFs issued from May to July last year expire.

Nicole Botherway, Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Safer Vehicles, is encouraging people who have WoFs or Certificates of Fitness (CoFs) due mid-year to consider going for an early inspection in April as they’ll be more likely to book a time that suits and avoid longer queues.

“We’re also reminding people to do a basic vehicle safety check(external link) themselves, and get any repairs sorted before taking the vehicle in for a WoF or CoF inspection. This increases the likelihood that the vehicle will pass first time around.”

Following the lockdown and the extensions granted for vehicles inspections that ended 10 October 2020, there remains around 131,000 active vehicles that are yet to renew their WoF or CoF (excluding exempt vehicles, trailers, caravans, tractors, agricultural machines). This is about 3.5% of the total 3.6 million vehicles granted exemptions from 1 January to 10 October 2020.

“It’s pleasing that so many people have ensured their vehicles have been inspected following the 2020 extensions, but there are still too many outstanding”, says Ms Botherway. “It’s important for safety reasons that people have their vehicles inspected, and April is a great time to do that given the lower than normal demand expected.”

Vehicle inspections play an important role in ensuring vehicles remain safe on New Zealand roads as they check that safety systems within a vehicle such as brakes, safety belts and steering are working correctly.

Non-compliant vehicles may incur a fine of $200.

In brief:

  • Vehicle inspections in April are expected to be lower, increasing your chance of getting a booking time that suits or queueing for a shorter time.
  • Complete a basic vehicle safety check yourself(external link) and get repairs done before taking your vehicle for an inspection.
  • If the WoF on your car is current when you go for a new one, the expiry date of the new WoF can be extended by up to 14 days, which means you won’t ‘lose’ any period of your current WoF being valid. For CoF it can be extended by up to 28 days. 

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