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Clean Car questions and answers

About the Clean Car Discount

  • Why has the Clean Car Discount been introduced?

    The Government is accelerating the response to climate change to achieve a carbon neutral target for New Zealand by 2050. The Clean Car Discount aims to help bring down transport emissions by making the purchase of zero and low-CO2 emission vehicles more affordable.

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  • What is the Clean Car Discount?

    The Clean Car Discount encourages the purchase of zero and low emission light vehicles by reducing the cost of eligible new and used vehicles coming into New Zealand and putting a fee on high emission vehicles from 1 April 2022. For vehicles first registered in New Zealand from 1 April 2022, fees and rebates will be applied according to the CO2 emission of vehicles. The higher the CO2 emission value the greater the fee in recognition of the increased environmental and economic costs they are imposing. The lower the CO2 emission value the greater the rebate. Vehicles with moderate emissions will not incur a fee or be eligible for a rebate.

    View larger image - Clean Car rebates and fees [PDF, 435 KB]

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  • Will the Clean Car rebate fund run out?

    The Clean Car Discount fund for rebates is not expected to run out. Fees incurred after 1 April 2022 by purchasers of imported vehicles the first time they are registered in New Zealand with high CO2 emissions are expected to fund zero and low emission vehicle rebates. In this way the scheme is intended to be cost neutral. However, if funds are exhausted at any given time, rebates will not be paid out. Once the rebate scheme restarts, only vehicles registered from the restart date that meet the eligibility requirements will qualify for a rebate. 

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What changed on 1 April 2022 for rebates and fees?

  • What rebates and fees apply for vehicles registered from 1 April 2022?

    From 1 April 2022 the Clean Car Discount is based on CO2 emission values. There is a zero band in the emission values with no rebates and no fees. A vehicle with a CO2 emission value above the zero band incurs a fee. The further above the zero band, the greater the fee up to a maximum value. Vehicles with CO2 emission values below the zero band are eligible for a rebate, up to a maximum.

    Vehicle carbon emissions* (grams per kilometre) Used vehicle rebates (excluding GST) New vehicle rebates (excluding GST)
    0 (zero emissions)  $3000  $7500 
    1 to 56  $2000  $5000 
    57 to 146  $3000 less (emissions X $20 X 130/145)  $7500 less (emissions X $50 X 130/145) 

    Note: All figures are exclusive of Goods and Services Tax (GST). Final amount of rebate paid will however include GST, except for public authorities, which cannot claim the GST.

    Fee amounts from 1 April

    Vehicle carbon emissions* (grams per kilometre)

    Used vehicle fees (excluding GST)

    New vehicle fees (excluding GST)

    192 or more

    (emissions* - 186) x $37.50

    Capped at $2500

    (emissions* - 186) x $50

    Capped at $4500.

    Note: All figures above are exclusive of GST. The fee (including applicable GST) must be paid to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles at the same time as the person pays for the registration of the vehicle.

    *The CO2 emissions of the vehicle must be calculated in accordance with the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Efficiency and Emissions Data 2022. 

    Find the indicative rebate or fee for a specific CO2 emission amount for a vehicle on Rightcar.(external link)

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  • How much is the 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 rebate?

    There are four rebates available, based on electric vehicle type and whether it is a used or new vehicle:

    1 July 2021–31 March 2022 (GST incl)

    New vehicle

    Used import

    Battery electric vehicle (BEV) (zero emission)

    $8625

    $3450

    Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) (low emission)

    $5750

    $2300

    GST is included in the rebate except for public authorities.

    The vehicle must be registered for the first time in New Zealand between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022.

    The vehicle must have a safety rating of 3-stars or more on the Rightcar website:
    www.rightcar.govt.nz(external link)

    The vehicle must have been purchased for less than $80,000 (New Zealand dollars), including GST and on-road costs (the purchase price).

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Rebates and Fees

  • How do I apply for a rebate?

    You can apply online once the vehicle has been registered and allocated a number plate. The rebate will be paid into the registered person’s bank account, except for lessors, who may be eligible when they are not the registered person.

    To apply, fill out the application form on the Waka Kotahi website and upload the required supporting information – you will need the vehicle plate number, a copy of the vehicle sale agreement and your bank account details. Registered motor vehicle traders will also need to provide the required statutory declaration. Lessors will also need to provide the Acknowledgment of Lease agreement.

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  • What vehicles are exempt from the Clean Car fee or rebate?

    Disability vehicles, which means a light vehicle that is used for the transportation of a person with a disability and is modified to do either or both of the following:

    • enable a person in a wheelchair to safely enter and exit the vehicle and enable the person and the wheelchair to be safely restrained while the vehicle is moving
    • provide a person in a wheelchair or of limited mobility with assistance to enter and exit the vehicle through the use of a swivel or swing-out seat

    Disability vehicles are exempt from fees, but not rebates.

    • Special interest vehicles are excluded from both fees and rebates (permit is required). See special interest vehicles
    • Vehicles manufactured 40 years or more before the date on which it was certified for entry into service in New Zealand (are excluded from both rebates and fees)
    • Motor sport vehicles, as defined in the Land Transport Rule: Frontal Impact 2001 are excluded from both fee and rebates. See Land Transport Rule(external link)
      Frontal Impact 2001 (external link)
    • A vehicle specified in paragraph (a) of the definition of low volume vehicle in Part 2 of the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002 that is certified in accordance with the Low Volume Vehicle Code (are excluded from both rebates and fees)
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Other frequently asked questions

  • What is the difference between a hybrid vehicle and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)?

    A hybrid vehicle gets its energy simultaneously from an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor. The ICE and the electric motor work together to power the car, which reduces petrol consumption and CO2 emissions. The ICE uses petrol to recharge the vehicle’s battery, which powers the electric motor.

    A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) also uses an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor, but it has a larger battery and electric motor than a hybrid. The battery can be plugged in and charged, and usually gives the vehicle a short electric-only range – up to 50km at lower speeds. When vehicle speeds or power demands are higher, or the battery is running low the ICE provides most of the power to the vehicle. The battery is recharged both from a plug-in charger and the ICE. Once the battery is mostly depleted the vehicle operates like a conventional hybrid until plugged in and charged again.

    In both a hybrid and a PHEV the battery is also charged as the vehicle slows down by using regenerative braking. This further reduces fuel usage and emissions.

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  • What is a light vehicle?

    A light vehicle is car, SUV, ute, van or truck with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of no more than 3.5 tonnes. The GVM is the weight of a vehicle plus the maximum weight it can carry. See eligibility criteria for details.

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Clean Car Standard

  • What is the purpose of the Clean Car Standard?

    The Clean Car Standard will incentivise importers/distributors to supply cleaner cars to those living in New Zealand. If more vehicle buyers purchase electric vehicles because there are more low-emission options available, the vehicle carbon emissions in New Zealand will be reduced, helping achieve the Government’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050, and its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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  • What environment concerns have driven the introduction of the Clean Car Standard?

    The goal is for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2050 and we have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (primarily carbon dioxide CO2) to 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.

    In New Zealand, approximately half of CO2 emissions come from transport, of which two-thirds come from light vehicles. Transport emissions have been rising faster than other sectors, almost doubling between 1990 and 2020.

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