ACC levy changes a backward step for safety
11 December 2018
The NZ Automobile Association is disappointed with the announcement by the Government to end ACC’s Vehicle Risk Rating scheme.
“Scrapping Vehicle Risk Rating is a backward step at a time when a rising road toll is demanding more actions to improve road safety,” says AA Principal Advisor – Regulations Mark Stockdale.
“Improving the safety of the vehicle fleet is acknowledged as a key action to improve New Zealand’s road safety, and much more needs to be done to promote vehicle safety to Kiwis. This is why the AA wants the Government to mandate the display of safety ratings at the point of sale – something the Vehicle Risk Ratings could have been used for.
“While Vehicle Risk Rating has only been in place for a few years, it has helped raise public awareness about vehicle safety and was a way to incentivise New Zealanders to make safer choices when purchasing cars.
“Vehicle Risk Rating helps to educate motorists that at any given budget, not all cars are equal in safety. Some old cars worth just a few thousand dollars are rated Band 3 or 4 (the safest), while some late-model cars rate poorly.
“The annual licence renewal serves as a reminder of the safety rating and may promote thinking about relative safety ratings. In the long run the AA believes Vehicle Risk Rating will help change the purchase behaviour of New Zealanders, and in turn influence the safety standard of vehicles imported and sold by car dealers,” Mr Stockdale says.
The AA also says that, whilst it has been claimed that ACC levies are not increasing for New Zealanders, this is not true for motor vehicle levies. As a result of scrapping Vehicle Risk Rating, the annual motor vehicle levy for 65% of car owners will increase. Levies for 38% of cars currently in the safest band will rise $28 – more than double the ACC levy they currently pay.