Changes announced in January to New Zealand's decades-old vehicle warrant of fitness (WoF) system will be introduced during the first half of 2014, reports the NZ Transport Agency's (NZTA) group manager of Access and Use, Celia Patrick.
“The government’s January announcement gave the NZTA clear direction to proceed with changes to the WoF system designed to save motorists and businesses time and money,” said Ms Patrick.
“Over the next year, we’ll get the necessary transport rules updated to legalise the changes, update our IT systems and work with vehicle inspecting organisations to develop the new process,” she added.
Starting in early 2014, new light vehicles will have an initial WoF inspection, then no further inspections until the vehicle is three years-old. Vehicles three years or older, first registered anywhere on or after 1 January 2000, will move to annual inspections. Vehicles first registered anywhere before 1 January 2000 will remain permanently on six monthly inspections.
The changes will see the approximately 900,000 cars manufactured after 2000 that are currently on a six-monthly WoF, move permanently to annual inspections.
“The NZTA will run a public information programme to remind people about the changes and when they come into effect closer to the time they’re introduced,” said Ms Patrick. “Until that time, people should continue with their current inspection frequency.”
One thing that won’t change under the new system is people’s ongoing responsibility to keep their vehicle in a roadworthy condition. This includes checking tyres for depth of tread, punctures or cracks, and keeping tyres at their recommended pressure. Making sure a vehicle’s brakes and lights are working properly and windscreen is free of chips that could affect the driver’s vision, are easy things people can do to help keep their vehicles safe.