Survey: 9% Of Cars Have No WOF, Rego


A survey carried out recently by the Motor Trade Association claims 9% of all the vehicles surveyed had neither a current warrant of fitness (WoF) nor were currently licensed.

Vehicles more than six years old are required to be inspected for a WoF every six months, while vehicles younger than this are re-inspected every 12 months. Failure to display either a current WoF or a vehicle license label can incur a fine of $200.

This survey of 500 vehicles was carried out at 25 service stations across the country and looked at a range of vehicle ownership and compliance issues. Using teams of MTA staff, the survey included a check of the vehicles’ WoF and license status.

The vehicles found not to have a current WoF or be licensed tended to be, but weren’t always the same vehicle, even though a vehicle is required to have a current WoF before it can be relicensed. With almost 2.8 million light vehicles in the national fleet, these findings indicate as many as a quarter of a million of them may not be compliant.

Commenting, Ian Stronach, MTA Marketing and Communications General Manager said “These results, while not a surprise, were a concern. We have already seen the lack of attention that drivers are paying to vehicle servicing, and it seems that this attitude is also making its way into areas of formal vehicle and safety compliance.”

Not surprisingly, 31 percent of drivers whose vehicle had an expired WoF were from the lowest income group (less than $25,000 pa). A similar picture emerged for those whose vehicle was unlicensed, with 43 percent also coming from this income group. There was however, a much wider spread in terms of the age of those driving vehicles with no WoF or license, who were represented across all age bands in similar numbers.

Of the vehicles that were unlicensed, the majority were less than 100 days overdue, with the largest number of those being less than 10 days out of date.

Failure to have a current WoF was more significant. While the majority were again less than 100 days overdue, the largest number were between 31 and 100 days out of date. Remarkably one vehicle had not been issued with a WoF for almost six years!

How many cars should not be on our roads?

Stronach  says what’s especially disturbing is the number of potentially unsafe vehicles that may be on our roads.

“Too many drivers are avoiding what is a standard safety check, at the same time we have a steadily aging fleet, that’s not being serviced in too many cases. That trend represents a growing risk to the safety of all road users, and we would encourage the NZ Transport Agency, Police and councils to ensure that compliance of these basic requirements is stepped up.”




  1. ChrisW says:

    I wouldn’t mind betting a similar percentage of drivers are unlicensed. Why do the NZ police have such difficult enforcing the law? In NSW, your WOF and license are checked every time at random breath tests.

  2. KarlHansen says:

    Because NZ believes too much in “education” and shies away from “enforcement”. The police, and even more so, the politicians, need to get a bit of a spine and thoughen the rules.

    Hard to do so with a minister like Joyce who balances every toughening of the enforcement on the “won’t some people dislike it?” scale, as he has continously done even on such live-saving matters like reducing alcohol levels or increasing the teen driving age. It’s always with an eye on the short-term poll ratings, not with a view on reducing the road toll.

  3. Duncan says:

    I strongly disagree Karl. There is more enforcement than education.

    Just look at our licensing processes. Learner licence = scratch and win. Restricted = a short drive around the block. Full licence = a drive around the block with a stretch of motorway driving. Piece of piss.

    There’s no professional driver development anywhere in the process.

  4. Harry McDonald says:

    ChrisW: cars are checked for WOFand registration, and drivers for licences at all check points. What makes you think this doesn’t happen?
    I’m not convinced that reducing the evidential breath level would have much of an effect other than criminalising yet more members of society.
    More effort towards recidivist offenders would produce better results.

  5. KarlHansen says:

    Harry - how is reducing the allowable breath alcohol level criminalising anyone? The countries with some of the lowest criminal rates, like Scandinavian countries, also generally have some of the stricted alcohol road rules. While correlation is not causation, that does imply to me that the reverse (lower breath alcohol rules = big rise in “criminals”) is untrue.

    I think as a society we are too lax on minor, but very dangerous misdemeanors and crimes, and then try to park an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff by calling for harsher treatment against the “real offenders”, when our whole social culture essentially enables them.

    As a somewhat related example, in Europe, I never met someone who considered putting a radar warning device in a car as a normal, understandable means to avoid “entrapment” and “revenue gathering” of police. He’d be seen as a guy who wants to speed illegally. Full stop.

    Here we just nod and treat it as a permissible infraction. No WOF? Speeding 10-20 km over the limit? One or two drinks too many? Ah, that’s not so bad really…

  6. Scott says:

    “What makes you think this doesn’t happen?” I have been through a few check points and never had my license checked any any of them. Im unsure if they checked my Wof or Rego.

  7. Antz says:

    “Learner’s License” Scratch & Win….

    Very true, as a student myself, I heard of students at my school who won thier learner’s license while not even reading the road code…..

  8. geoff_184 says:

    Harry, 99% of checkpoints do NOT check driver licenses. Most checkpoints glance at your rego/wof and wave you on, or they check your breath and wave you on. Checkpoints don’t do licences, as it would hold up the traffic flow.


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