It’s time to give your car a TWIRL before holiday driving


Motorists are being urged by the NZ Transport Agency to help keep their family and friends safe this holiday season by giving their car a TWIRL before heading off for their annual summer holidays.

“No matter the age, make or model of your vehicle, there are regular checks you need to make to ensure your car is safe and running well,” says the Transport Agency’s Director of Safety Ernst Zollner.

“It is the vehicle owner who is responsible for maintaining their vehicle in a roadworthy condition at all times. A Warrant of Fitness check is a minimum safety check and shouldn’t be confused with a vehicle maintenance or service check.

“You don’t have to wait until your Warrant of Fitness is due to give your vehicle a TWIRL: check the Tyres; Windscreen, wipers and mirrors; Indicators; Rust and Lights.”

Mr Zollner says it doesn’t take long to complete a quick safety check but it is critical before heading away for the holidays; drivers should check their vehicles and take it to an expert if you think anything is wrong. “Always adopt the principle: if in doubt, be safe and have it checked out.”

A TWIRL quick car safety check involves:


  • Check the tread depth (minimum legal depth is 1.5mm but the more tread you have the better the grip and safer you’ll be)
  • Check the tyre pressure – correct levels can usually be found on the inside door frame
  • Look for cracks or bubbles in the sides
  • Look for sharp objects stuck in the tyres

Windscreen, wipers and mirrors

  • Check the wiper blades for wear and tear
  • Clean your mirrors and windscreen inside and out
  • Get your windscreen fixed if it’s chipped or cracked
  • Check your windscreen washer fluid is full and the spray is working


  • Turn your hazard lights on and walk around the car – check all indicators are flashing


  • Look for obvious areas of corrosion that can weaken the car’s structure


  • Check lenses are clean and not cracked or hazy
  • Check your headlights, reversing lights and brake lights are working. Check your back lights by reversing close to a wall so you can see the reflection in your rear view mirror.