Dunedin Warrant of Fitness Centre inspector Phil Ward checks a car yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Low-income motorists driving older vehicles will avoid the
warrant of fitness inspection price rise by driving
illegally, Anglican Family Care director Nicola Taylor says.
From Tuesday, a law change will require an annual rather than
six-monthly Wof inspection for light vehicles registered
Mrs Taylor said the extra financial ''pressure'' from the
inspection price increase would result in more low-income
earners choosing not to own a vehicle or drive unwarranted
Dunedin Warrant of Fitness Centre inspector Phil Park said
the cost of a Wof inspection at the South Dunedin centre went
up from $50 to $55 on Tuesday.
About half the vehicles coming to the centre were registered
before 2000, he said.
The law change was ''diabolical'' and Dunedin driving
conditions meant vehicles needed to be checked more than once
a year, he said.
Vehicle Testing New Zealand South Dunedin manager Graeme
Lewis said the inspection cost had increased $1 to $52 on
Tuesday ''to cover our costs''.
Despite the station forecasting a third fewer inspections, it
had employed more staff for work including Wof, pre-purchase
and compliance inspections.
''We don't know what is going to happen in 12 months, but at
the moment we are busy.''
Customers with newer vehicles had commented they wanted
six-monthly inspections to remain because they preferred two
small maintenance bills a year, rather than ''struggling'' to
pay a large annual bill, he said.
Consequently, a new inspection service between Wofs was
available, which had been ''reasonably popular.''
Centre City Auto Repairs owner Stephen Fraser said he had not
raised his inspection price.
He wanted a law change to allow inspectors to make more
detailed inspections by removing wheels and brake drums,
which would result in more vehicles failing inspections and
ensure safer vehicles on the roads.
A spokesman for Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said the
price of a Wof inspection would be determined by the vehicle
inspection industry, ''which operates in a competitive
Six-monthly inspections were required for vehicles first
registered before January 1, 2000, so as cars were replaced,
the number requiring inspections twice a year would fall.
Road safety charity Brake director Caroline Perry said as
vehicles moved to annual inspections, it was essential
motorists checked their vehicle themselves and got it
''Take your vehicle to a mechanic if you think anything might
be wrong ... Your life is worth a lot more than the cost of a
Wof or vehicle repairs.''
• Check tyre tread and wear.
• Check tyres for strange bulges, cuts or embedded
• Check tyre pressure every week when tyres are cold.
• Check lights are clean and bulbs are not blown.
• Check oil and water levels, and wiper blades.
• Check wheels and wheel fixings for defects, including loose
• Check windscreen and mirrors.
SOURCE: Road safety charity Brake.