'Pressure' from Wof price rise

Dunedin Warrant of Fitness Centre inspector Phil Ward  checks a car yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
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 after 2000.

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 vehicles.

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 market''.

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 serviced regularly.

''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.''

Before driving
• Check tyre tread and wear.
• Check tyres for strange bulges, cuts or embedded objects.
• 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 nuts.
• Check windscreen and mirrors.

SOURCE: Road safety charity Brake.

- shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

Vision Zero

The situation in Victoria is a little unique and can't really be compared to that in New Zealand. Victoria has chosen to adopt the Swedish Vision Zero philosophy, where the aim is to never to accept the loss of one life nor a single serious injury as a result of a traffic accident. An idealistic approach but it means that the system for improving road safety is never standing still. The Victorian government has completely restructured their roading network, changed speed zones, and increased the requirement for driver licencing. That is the reason why they have managed to rein in thier road toll, and continue to do so. With a stagnant roading development system such as we have in NZ, the road toll in Victoria would be increasing at a far greater rate. A new WOF is required in Victoria when selling a vehicle and the penalty for driving an unsafe vehicle is tough. So they don't escape the requirement for safe vehicles.

The point?

I dont understand what Nicola Wilson is saying. Is she saying that low income people will avoid a WOF because one mechanic in Dunedin is increasing his WOF inspections by $5? Anything that can be done to reduce the high cost of living in New Zealand is welcome.  Victoria in Australia has no WOF and has a lower road toll than New Zealand per population, so the WOF system is really an unnecessary burden. WOF inspectors should be grateful for the extra business they've received.


It's an election year

Got a WOF on my vehicle last week and said to my mechanic that I'd prefer the six monthly checks to stay as a lot of wear and tear can happen in a year. He said just about all of his customers had said the same thing.

It's an election year folks, and the government has been able to tell us how many millions the motorist can now save by only getting WOF's once, not twice a year. Realistically though for most it's $50. But millions sounds so much better right?

Less safe

Dunedin cars will be less safe now. Some people must be forced to be even slightly safe on the road. I would continue paying an extra $50 per year as insurance against the Dangerous Dunedin drivers. I deal with otherwise professional people who don't know about cars and assertively do not want to know either...they resent cars in their life, they are not driver types and really are totally unsuitable to be on the road for any reason...they view cars as others view a fridge, an appliance to go to work in....they pay the bill at warrant time for whatever is wrong with their car and quickly move on. Getting them to do regular basic tyre checks etc is basically impossible. [abridged]


What pressure? One has raised the price by $5, one by $1, and the other hasn't! Not to mention inspections are less frequest for some cars now also.

If you cant afford an extra $5 for your WOF you can't you afford tyres, oil, fuel, brakepads etc. In other words,  get off the road.


Mechanics do engines, cambelts and everything related to cars, but Warrants are just one thing to the side. I can't see why the prices would need to rise - most garages will insist on in-house repairs (usually no obligation) if the cars fail to make it more hassle-free for the customer, and the garage makes some money.

The whole WOF testing scheme is subjective because you could drove 100km down the road after getting a Warrant and the cars tread could have worn below the 1.5mm, whether it's 1 day, 6 months or a year. Cars new or old can become unroadworthy at any time. Even running out of washer fluid makes your car illegal.

Cost increase unjustified

Greedy, greedy, greedy! The scaremongering talk by WOF garages is ridiculous and not backed up by facts. Many countries do not have WOF inspections at all. The onus is on the vehicle owner to keep thei vehicle "safe" at all times. Garages are suddenly increasing their charges because of a potential loss of custom. The increase is not due to extra time to do the WOF check. The check requirements are not rocket science but these garages are trying to make it look complex.

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