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Automotive Articles & Resources

Useful information relating to car ownership and care, car service and repair, auto servicing, warrant of fitness / WOF requirements and anything you may need to know to fully enjoy your car!


Warrant of Fitness or WOF

Warrant of Fitness or WOF explained

A warrant of fitness (WOF) is a regular check to ensure that your vehicles meets required safety standards. Under New Zealand Transport Agency rules, it is the vehicle owner's job to keep their vehicle up to WOF condition at all times. Stewart Motors is an approved WOF Inspection Centre so we can certainly help you out. 

However, you might still have some questions about it and wonder if it is necessary since your car is new, or it "looks" all right, so she'll be right? You might also be nervous about whether the car will pass the inspection. Well, we are here to set your minds at ease!

Firstly, SAFETY. 

At the end of the day, the WOF regime was deisgned to ensure that only road worthy cars are on the roads. This helps keep all road users safe, and therefore the rules are necessarily stringent.These rules need to be applied consistently across New Zealand. It is actually illegal to drive a vehicle on the road that does not meet WOF requirements or if a valid WOF label is not displayed. 

How often is a WOF required?

This is an annual inspection, so it must be done once every year. At the time of writing, a newly registered vehicle will have a WOF that is valid for 3 years.

What does a WOF cover? 

The WOF inspection is a general safety check and covers these main areas:

  • tyre condition (including tread depth)
  • brake operation
  • structural condition (rust is not allowed in certain areas)
  • lights
  • glazing (is your windscreen safe?)
  • windscreen washers and wipers
  • doors (do they open and close safely?)
  • safety belts (must not be damaged or overly faded; buckles must work properly)
  • airbags (if fitted)
  • speedometer (must be working)
  • steering and suspension (must be safe and secure)
  • exhaust (there must be no leaks and the exhaust must not be smoky or louder than the original exhaust system)
  • fuel system (there must be no leaks).

What a Warrant of Fitness doesn’t cover

It is important to note that a WOF is not a pre-purchase inspection. It also does not dig deep into a vehicle’s condition. For example, it doesn’t check the engine, clutch, gearbox and differential condition, lubricant levels and condition, brake pad thickness or life expectancy (unless they are visibly below safe limits), paintwork condition and rust in non-structural areas.

However, as experienced technicians, we often go above and beyond and highlight to our customers what we think in our professional opinion might be required. We can often sort out your issues on the spot (with your authorisation of course) so that you don't have to keep bringing the vehicle back. One stop shop!

Useful tips:

  • Combine your regular car service with a WOF inspection! That way, you will never forget
  • Some simple checks can be done beforehand, eg making sure the wipers are working properly, lights are not dim

Call us at 07-308 8670 to get your WOF sorted today!