The Ministry of Transport is not considering switching to 24-month Warrant of Fitness inspections but will soon examine if the current test needs updating.
The United Kingdom is preparing for a potential move that makes MoT (the same as WoFs) inspections a 24-month occurrence rather than the current 12.
Like New Zealand, the UK requires cars older than three years to be inspected once every 12 months.
Making MoTs last twice as long is a move the UK Government is considering to keep living costs down.
Those directly involved in the MoT industry say the idea reduces jobs, revenue and is potentially dangerous.
So, we asked those who determine New Zealand’s WoF frequency what they thought of the idea and whether they have ever considered making WoFs last 24 months.
Short answer: no.
“WoF frequency was last considered through the Vehicle Licensing Reform in 2013–2014, which extended WoF inspection frequency from 6-monthly frequency to annually for vehicles manufactured in 2000 or later,” Manager of Mobility and Safety Matthew Skinner said.
“Though other jurisdictions with good safety ratings have a longer period between inspections, or even no inspections at all, extending the WoF period to 24 months is not something Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport is currently considering.
“Part of the reason for this is that our fleet is older than many of our OECD counterparts, averaging 14.3 years old in 2020 compared to 11.8 years (USA, 2019), 10.4 years (Australia, 2019) and 9.7 years (Canada, 2017).
“Every year of age brings increased mechanical wear to a vehicle, which can contribute to reduced safety performance if not regularly maintained.
“Further extensions to the WoF period would have to account for New Zealand’s experience with periodic roadworthiness inspections and have appropriate safeguards to ensure our safety outcomes are maintained.”
So, it’s unlikely we’ll see 24-month WoFs anytime soon.
However, we could be on for some changes to the current test.
“With that said, the Road to Zero Action Plan includes an action to examine whether the current WOF test needs to be updated to account for changes in vehicle technology,” Skinner said.
“Our main focus will be to look at opportunities to introduce methods to improve current testing procedures, but we will consider a range of relevant matters to ensure vehicles in New Zealand are as safe as they can be.”