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Changes to vehicle inspection frequency

Changes to vehicle inspection frequency

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) today welcomed Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee’s announcement that consultation is open on proposed amendments to the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance, including changes to the frequency of in-service vehicle inspections.

The NZTA’s group manager of Access and Use, Celia Patrick, says public consultation is an important step in the process of implementing changes announced by Cabinet in January 2013 to modernise New Zealand’s vehicle inspection systems while maintaining road safety.

“This Rule amendment will incorporate into law changes to the frequency of in-service vehicle inspections, including warrant of fitness (WoF) for private vehicles and certificate of fitness (CoF) for heavy and commercial vehicles.

“We’re asking stakeholders and the public to provide feedback on any implementation or compliance issues we should consider as we design the new system,” says Ms Patrick.

“A key feature of the proposed system is the way we plan to phase-in the introduction of WoF inspection frequency changes.

“For most vehicles it is proposed to introduce the new WoF inspection frequency on 1 April 2014. However, in order to help the vehicle inspection industry adapt to the change in inspection volumes and provide for a smooth transition, we propose that vehicles first registered anywhere between 2004 to 2008 (inclusive) should receive a 12-month WoF following their next successful inspection from 1 October this year.”

The consultation also covers extending the CoF variable inspection frequency range to three to 12 months, from the current three to nine months, with the default frequency remaining at six months. The change to CoF inspection frequency range will encourage and reward transport operators for maintaining the safety of their vehicles.

In January 2013, Cabinet announced the following initiatives related to WoF inspection frequency:

• after initial inspection, no further inspection until vehicles are three years old

• annual inspections for light vehicles three years and older, that were first registered anywhere, on or after 1 January 2000

• six-monthly inspections for vehicles first registered anywhere before
1 January 2000

• a greater emphasis on information to encourage New Zealanders to keep their vehicle roadworthy

• additional Police enforcement activities.

As well as the changes to WoF and CoF inspection frequencies as agreed by Cabinet, the consultation paper canvasses opinions on two other aspects of vehicle inspection that were discussed during last year’s consultation:

• The frequency of WoF inspections for vintage vehicles:

Submitters on the Vehicle Licensing Reform discussion document commented that vintage vehicles should have less frequent inspections than six-monthly as they usually have a lower usage than other vehicles. They also noted that vintage vehicles were well-maintained but could not be expected to achieve the safety standards of modern vehicles.

• The frequency of CoF inspections for rental vehicles:

Under current legislation, rental cars receive six monthly CoF inspections. They are not eligible to receive reduced or more frequent inspections. The consultation paper asks what people think about applying the variable inspection frequency to rental cars.

Submissions will close at 5pm, Friday 31 May 2013.

The consultation documents and more information, including how to make a submission, can be found on the NZTA’s website.



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