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

 

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news