Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Huge regional variation in vehicle age raises concerns


Media Release 5 December 2012

Huge regional variation in vehicle age raises industry safety concerns

New Zealand’s average vehicle age belies huge regional variations, and many of the vehicles outside of the main cities are much older and have many fewer modern safety features, MTA says.

The commonly-accepted average age of vehicles on New Zealand roads is 13 years – which is still old, compared to those we benchmark ourselves against. However, Ministry of Transport (MoT) figures obtained by MTA also show startling variation across the country, with a significantly older fleet outside of the three main population centres. As an ‘average’ is effectively an arithmetic midpoint, for every brand new vehicle you see, its 26-year-old counterpart is still operating, somewhere in New Zealand.

MTA has found the average registered vehicle age also generally gets older the further south you travel, with huge regional variation. By region, Waimate has the oldest fleet in the country, at an average age of 17 years, followed by Tasman and Waimakariri. The newest cars in the country, by region, are registered in Auckland, North Shore City and Wellington – not surprising, as this is where the majority of company-owned vehicles are based.

“This isn’t just about driving a new car with all the mod-cons – the increasing number of old, often poorly-maintained, vehicles has serious safety implications for anyone who travels on the roads of New Zealand,” MTA spokesman Ian Stronach says.

Features like airbags and ABS braking, once only installed on high-end luxury models, have become standard on newer vehicles. Vehicle construction technology has got much better, too. These factors drastically increase the chances of survival for vehicle occupants in serious crashes.

“The world was very different in 1996, but the majority of our vehicle fleet was built then or before.”

Our slow-moving economy and our poor maintenance culture are in head-on collision.

Economic factors are forcing people to keep old cars longer than they used to. MoT data shows that, in 2000, NZ new vehicles were being scrapped at 18 years (on average), and used imports scrapped at 15 years (on average). However, as more modern vehicles are increasingly reliable and durable, and many New Zealanders are feeling the economic squeeze, they are holding onto their cars longer. In 2011, NZ new cars were still being scrapped after 18 years, but the average scrapping age of imported used vehicles had climbed to 19 years.

Added to the unique New Zealand driving environment, many New Zealanders adopt a casual approach to vehicle servicing. An MTA survey carried out in July this year found 51 percent of vehicles needed work done on the day they were booked in for a warrant of fitness, so they could pass the minimum test for road safety. The most common faults picked up were bald tyres, non-functioning windscreen wipers, and broken indicator, stop and headlights – easily noticeable, fundamental and worryingly overlooked requirements for safe driving.

Old cars, poor maintenance and challenging roads add up to make driving in New Zealand more dangerous than it needs to be. MTA considers this is even more reason to keep the current vehicle inspection system – the best time to consider changing the frequency of warrant of fitness inspection is when the average vehicle on the road is 10 years old.

MoT’s figures show:
• Waimate has the oldest average vehicles in the country, at 17 years old.
• Next is Tasman, at 16 years old, followed closely by Waimakariri, at 15.75 years old.
• The newest average vehicles in the country are still not that new – those in Auckland are 11 years old, North Shore City are 11.25 years old, and in Wellington city are 12 years old.
• The “light vehicle fleet” includes cars, vans and trucks up to 3.5 tonnes.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news