NZ’s ageing motor vehicle fleet

It’s commonly understood that New Zealand vehicles are generally older than most other first-world countries.  It’s not a new phenomenon and long precedes the used-Japanese-import industry. The logistics and cost of importing our earliest cars was exacerbated by great distance from markets.  These rules no longer apply though, so why has New Zealand’s car fleet remained so old?  

There are some safety risks involved, particularly with pre-2000 models and the Herald article this morning highlights the main issues.  The problem is far less prevalent with company-owned cars which are often leased for 36 – 48 months only so its primarily a poblem with privately-owned vehicles.  We often see damaged (often uninsured) cars of early 1990’s vintage – that’s 20yrs old+!  The havoc they cause due to old technology and lack of safety features, and often poor or no maintenance is well documented.  These old cars are often un-warranted and un-registered too.  This would seem to be an obvious mechanism for eliminating dangerous vehicles – if only our legislators would take the matter seriously and make the penalties meaningful.  

This morning’s article worth the 2 minute read.  How old is the car you’re driving?


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