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AA welcomes changes to WoF system

AA welcomes changes to WoF system

The NZ Automobile Association is welcoming the government’s decision to reduce the frequency of the Warrant of Fitness (WoF) inspection.

The government announced today that it plans to reduce the inspection frequency from six months to annually for vehicles built from the year 2000 onwards. Vehicles built before the year 2000 will continue to have six monthly inspections.

The changes, along with improvements to the annual vehicle licensing system, are likely to come into effect in 2014.

“These changes are welcome news for Kiwi motorists, and will reduce unnecessary costs without compromising safety,” says AA spokesperson Mark Stockdale.

“The government’s decision is the logical result of a thorough analysis of local and international data which showed that very few accidents are caused by vehicle defects, and that New Zealand’s 6-monthly inspection is not cost effective. The arguments for retaining a 6-monthly inspection are no longer as valid today as they were decades ago when cars were less safe and reliable.”

“The changes also reflect public opinion, with 70% of AA Members surveyed supporting an annual Warrant of Fitness for vehicles up to 12 years old,” Mr Stockdale added.

The AA says reducing the inspection frequency for vehicles built after 2000 will benefit at least 900,000 motorists, saving them time and money.

“Even with these changes, New Zealand will still have the most frequent inspection regime in the world. Most other countries only inspect vehicles every two years, or only when it is sold.

“The reduced frequency will be accompanied by more roadside enforcement of unsafe vehicles and better education for owners about regular maintenance. The AA believes this will result in safer vehicles at less cost,” Mr Stockdale said.   

“The AA’s preferred option was retaining the 6-monthly Warrant of Fitness for vehicles over the age of 12, reflecting our members’ concern about the safety of older vehicles. The decision to have an annual inspection for vehicles built after 2000 acknowledges this concern while also recognising the improved safety and reliability of modern vehicles.

“With only 2.5% of accidents involving a mechanical defect, and just 0.4% where it’s the sole cause, the evidence does not support testing all vehicles every 6 months, or 4 times as often as most other countries,” Mr Stockdale said.

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