Environmental standards for vehicles

Vehicle exhaust noise

If a vehicle inspector considers that your vehicle's exhaust system may be too noisy, your vehicle will undergo an objective noise test. 

Find out what the objective noise test involves

The noise of your vehicle may not be related to your exhaust system and the police have different penalties for noise depending on what causes it. If the cause is a noisy exhaust, they can issue you with an infringement notice and/or withdraw your warrant of fitness.

Read the detailed requirements for exhaust systems in the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Equipment 2004.

Fuel consumption information

We collect information about the fuel consumption of every light vehicle (except motorcycles) when it is entry certified. The consumption information helps us to develop policies to improve the fuel economy of New Zealand’s vehicles and reduce fuel consumption. This information can be helpful when choosing your next vehicle. To find out more, visit:

Read the detailed requirements for fuel consumption information in the Land Transport Rule: Fuel Consumption Information 2008.

If you’re importing a vehicle

You can use our online tool(external link) to provide the fuel consumption compliance information. Just enter your vehicle data on the website. You’ll then receive a fuel consumption certificate which you take to the entry certifier.

Exhaust emissions

Most vehicles entering New Zealand must be manufactured to meet an approved emissions standard. 

Entry certifiers check the vehicle’s compliance with emissions standards as part of assessing a vehicle for registration for use on our roads.

You may not have to prove your vehicle complies with this requirement if:

  • it is more than 20 years old

  • it is a ‘special interest’ vehicle

  • you’re emigrating to New Zealand and seeking to bring a class MA, MB or MC vehicle with you.

Is your vehicle a hybrid or electric?

For hybrid and plug-in electric hybrid cars you must:

  • show that they are certified to meet appropriate emissions and safety standards

  • provide fuel consumption information.

For a battery electric car – totally powered by electricity – you must show it meets safety standards. But you don't need to provide:

  • evidence that it meet emissions standards

  • fuel consumption information.

Emissions standards

The approved emissions standards we recognise are from Japan, USA, Australia and Europe. The tables linked to below set out which requirements apply to the different vehicle types. These are for vehicles certified for use on New Zealand roads on or after 3 January 2008.

Find out which standards apply

Your vehicle is:

See the detailed requirements in the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Exhaust Emissions 2007.

Synthetic greenhouse gas levy

Owners of passenger vehicles and goods vehicles that contain a synthetic greenhouse gas (SGG) in the air conditioning unit are required to pay a synthetic greenhouse levy when their vehicle is registered.

The levy needs to be paid in addition to the registration fees above. The levy is collected by the NZ Transport Agency on behalf of the Environmental Protection Authority.

For more information on the synthetic greenhouse gas sector in New Zealand, please visit the Ministry for the Environment website(external link).

Check the levy you will need to pay when registering your vehicle