October 2, 2015

Let’s just say you’re newly arrived in the country. You’ve come to New Zealand for a job, backpacking, following the love of your life, or you’re just trying to start over. No doubt you’ve seen signs everywhere that say WoF, or Warrant of Fitness, and you’re probably wondering what they mean. Well, wonder no more! We’ve put this short article together to explain exactly what a WoF is and why you need one!

So what is a Warrant of Fitness?

The Warrant of Fitness, or WoF as it’s known here, was introduced in New Zealand back in the 1930s as a way to ensure that all vehicles were safe enough to drive in public. Cars were pretty new back then on New Zealand’s road, so the government had to be sure no-one was going to get killed by them. A Warrant of Fitness is basically a certificate to say your car is road-worthy.

Where do I get a Warrant of Fitness?

As you’ve probably seen around New Zealand, pretty much every mechanic is authorised to do a WoF. They’ll cost around 50 bucks, and shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes.

How often do I need a Warrant of Fitness?

The regularity of a Warrant of Fitness is dependent on the age of the vehicle. If your car was first registered after January 1st 2004, then you’ll need one every 12 months. If your car is older than that, then a WoF is needed every 6 months.

How do I pass a Warrant of Fitness?

A WoF test checks tyre condition, brake condition, structural condition, lights, glazing, windscreen wipers and washers, doors, seat belts, airbags (if fitted), speedometer, steering and suspension, exhaust, and fuel system. A vehicle must meet certain criteria in each category to pass the Warrant of Fitness.

What happens if I fail my Warrant of Fitness?

If your vehicle fails its inspection, then you’re legally not allowed to drive it, unless you’re on your way to get it fixed. If you get all repairs done within 28 days of the initial inspection, then your vehicle will be inspected by the same WoF agent at no extra charge. If a vehicle lacks a WOF sticker, or its WOF is expired, the driver is liable for a $200 fine. If a vehicle is found parked on a public road without a valid WoF sticker, the fine may instead be sent to the vehicle’s registered owner.