Warrant of Fitness (WoF)

A Warrant of Fitness (WoF) is a periodic safety inspection that is compulsory for light vehicles - and with a VTNZ WoF, you collect Fly Buys points! A light vehicle is a car, station wagon, van or 4WD vehicle. It can also be a moped, motorcycle or similar, including a trike.

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Changes to the WoF inspection requirements came into effect from 1 January 2014.  They are: 

  • after an initial inspection, new vehicles won’t require another WoF inspection until the third anniversary of their first registration
  • vehicles less than three years old will be issued a WoF that expires on the third anniversary of their first registration or 12 months after their current WoF expiry – whichever is longest
  • vehicles first registered on or after 1 January 2000 are inspected annually for the lifetime of the vehicle
  • vehicles first registered before 1 January 2000 remain on six-monthly WoF inspections for the lifetime of the vehicle.

As an authorised agent of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), VTNZ follows the Vehicle Inspection Requirements Manual (VIRM) issued by NZTA.

No bookings required at most stations. Find your closest WoF station here. If you need a motorbike WoF, we recommend you give your preferred station a call beforehand to ensure there's a qualified motorbike inspector there on the day you're planning to visit.

Legally, to operate your vehicle on public roads, you must have your vehicle inspected for a Warrant of Fitness (WoF) and maintain it at the WoF standard in between WoF inspections. How often you are required to get a WoF inspection is changing for some vehicles throughout 2014. 

A Warrant of Fitness inspection includes the following safety checks:

  • Tyre condition (including tread depth)
  • Brake operation
  • Structural condition (rust isn't allowed in certain key areas)
  • Lights (are all bulbs working?)
  • Glazing (is your windscreen safe?)
  • Windscreen washers and wipers (do they work?)
  • Doors (do they open and close safely?)
  • Safety belts (must not be faded or damaged; buckles must work properly)
  • Airbags (if fitted - SRS light should work correctly)
  • Speedometer (must be working)
  • Steering and suspension (must be safe and secure)
  • Exhaust (there must be no leaks and the exhaust must not be too loud or too smoky)
  • Fuel system (there must be no leaks).

After your vehicle passes its Warrant of Fitness check, it becomes your responsibility to keep it in the condition that it was in when it passed the inspection.

Please note that a Warrant of Fitness inspection isn't a Pre-Purchase Inspection though you can book a thorough Pre-Purchase Inspection at many VTNZ stations. The Warrant of Fitness doesn't cover areas of a vehicle's condition such as:

  • Engine, clutch, gearbox and differential
  • Lubricant levels and condition
  • Brake pad thickness or life expectancy
  • Paint work condition and rust in non-structural areas.

WoF expiry dates

The WoF starts from the date your vehicle passes the inspection. However, if you bring your vehicle to us a few days before the current WoF expires, the expiry date of the new WoF can be extended, equal to the number of days you had left on the old WoF (to a maximum of 14 days).

What happens if your vehicle fails its Warrant of Fitness inspection?

If your vehicle fails its Warrant of Fitness inspection and your old Warrant of Fitness has expired, you are not allowed to drive it on the road (unless it is being operated solely for the purpose of bringing it into compliance and obtaining a new WoF, and provided the vehicle is safe to be operated for that purpose).

When all the areas that required attention have been fixed, the re-check is free of charge as long as you return the vehicle to us within 28 days of the first inspection.

Our primary concern is your safety

If your vehicle fails its inspection, we will explain where it failed and list what needs to be fixed. Unlike many other testing stations and all garages, VTNZ doesn't carry out repairs - so our customers can be confident that we only fail vehicle when there is a safety issue.  Our customers then take it to a repairer of their choice and tell them exactly what is required to be corrected to enable VTNZ to pass their vehicle and issue its warrant.

Information for modified vehicles

If you modify your light vehicle, the modification may need to be inspected and certified before the vehicle can pass its Warrant of Fitness.

Inspections to modified light vehicles are performed by low volume vehicle (LVV) certifiers. They are represented by a group called the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association (LVVTA).

Not every modification needs to be LVV certified — it depends on the extent of modification. This is set out for each inspection item in the Vehicle inspection requirements manual (VIRM) issued by the NZTA.