Six-monthly WOF checks 'wasteful'

A report by a leading Australian university claims New Zealand's six-monthly warrant of fitness (WOF) checks are not cost effective, just days ahead of a decision on whether to switch to annual checks.

Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne compared the vehicle inspection regime in Victoria, where checks are compulsory when a vehicle is sold, with New Zealand, where a new WOF is required every six months once a vehicle is six years old.

They found that while six-monthly checks were likely to cause a reduction in the number of accidents caused by mechanical faults, the drop could not justify the costs of the additional checks, estimated to be $250 million a year.

"Despite these safety benefits estimated, the costs to the motorist of the six-monthly inspections over and above the annual inspections were estimated to be considerable.

"This means that the six-monthly inspections compared to annual inspections were not considered to be cost effective."

The study comes just ahead of a government decision on its review of New Zealand's vehicle licensing system, expected before Christmas.

The Dominion Post