The six month warrant of fitness check may be a thing of the past under reforms being looked at by the government.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee's thrown up a host of ideas around vehicle licensing reform, with the aim of saving millions in unnecessary costs and times for both households, businesses and the government.

In the spotlight is our inspection system, which he says is one of the most frequent in the OECD.

Under the current system a warrant's required every six months unless your car is less than five years old - then it's an annual check.


The AA is pleased the licensing system is getting the once over.

But spokesman Mike Noon says any changes must be based on the evidence.

"Particularly in terms of things like the certificate of fitness and the warrant of fitness - foremost we're keeping road safety in mind, when we're looking at the review of these."

Mr Noon says such areas haven't been looked at for a long time.

"In Australia we don't have warrant of fitness checks. In New Zealand we have warrant of fitness checks every six months. So it is possibly timely to look at the frequency of these checks, and the processes that we're using."

Mr Brownlee wants to make sure the 5.5 million warrant inspections a year which cost car owners around 250 million in inspection fees, are justified.

As for the likelihood of inspections becoming less frequent, Mr Brownlee says it's too soon to say.

Warrant of Fitness rules around the world


- Each state has different rules. Although there are small differences between states, cars being registered must be tested for roadworthiness. In New South Wales vehicles more than five years old must pass an annual safety test.

United Kingdom

- Cars older than three years must pass a Ministry of Transport (MOT) test. Vehicles are then tested annually.


- All cars older than four years must undergo a National Car Test (NCT). Cars older than 10 years must be tested every years. Cars under 10 years old only need to be tested every two years.


- Cars older than four years must be tested every two years.


- Cars older than three years must be tested every two years.

United States

- Each state has different rules. Seventeen states have either annual or biannual testing, while other states require vehicle inspection when cars are sold or when registered from another state. The majority of states have periodic emissions tests for vehicles.

South Africa

- Cars must be tested for roadworthiness before it can be registered with a new owner. There are no further checks required.


- Cars older than three years must pass a safety test, called a Shaken, every two years.