25 November 2014

Don't know the difference between a WoF (Warrant of Fitness) or a CoF (Certificate of Fitness)?  Which one does your vehicle need?

Here's our little flow diagram to get you started:



Passenger service and rental vehicles include taxis, shuttles, buses, rental cars, campervans, and motorcycles.

[If your vehicle is modified you may also need other documentation/inspections before your CoF or WoF is issued.  CoF vehicles also need a certificate of loading, road user charges licence for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes (3500kg) or if powered by diesel or another fuel not taxed when sold, and an approved hubodometer for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes (3500kg).]


Here is what a check covers:


  • tyre condition
  • brake operation
  • structural condition
  • lights
  • glazing
  • windscreen washers and wipers
  • doors
  • safety belts
  • airbags (if fitted)
  • speedometer
  • steering and suspension
  • exhaust
  • fuel system


  • tyre condition
  • brake condition and operation
  • structural condition
  • towing connection condition and certification
  • load restraints such as load anchorages, log bolsters, or curtain systems for condition and applicable certification
  • certificate of loading
  • transport service licence number (if required)
  • lights 
  • glazing 
  • windscreen washers and wipers
  • doors 
  • safety belts 
  • airbags (if fitted)
  • speedometer
  • steering and suspension
  • exhaust 
  • fuel system


An authorised agent of New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) can issue a WoF or CoF. While I hoped that I could give a specific link to a Yellow Pages search there is no comprehensive term that results in all of the supposed 3200 agents that NZTA say there are so the link is for some that do WoFs.  Most mechanics will issue WoFs and set their cost currently around $50.

Not all agencies can do a CoF. CoFs are able to be issued by the the Automobile Association (AA), Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ), and Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ).  CoFs are required every 6 months and cost around $150.


WoF durations however have just been reviewed as at July 2014:


NZTA advise that a WoF or CoF are not the same as a pre-purchase check as there are some additional items you might want to check if you were buying a vehicle.  [So far I have only found businesses that will do a check on a light vehicle not a heavy one. If you find otherwise please let us know and we will update our information.]




18 November 2014

When Atlas proofed the post last week on Running Costs, he asked if I'd like a calculator for those equations down the bottom of the post.  "Ah, YES!".  So here is his first prototype.  

If this helps you, we'd sure appreciate your feedback.

11 November 2014

An important part of purchasing a mobile home after the major initial cost is knowing what the ongoing expenses are ie how much it costs to keep your vehicle on the road.  We don't often remember to factor this into our buying decision but it can make a difference on a tight budget.


Each year you will have the following REGULAR COSTS:

  • Insurance
  • Registration
  • Self containment certificate (where applicable every 48 months)
  • Warrant / Certificate of Fitness - usually 6-monthly for an older vehicle and 12-monthly for a new one.
  • Warrant of Electrical Fitness - valid for 48 months


The FLEXIBLE REGULAR COSTS are relative to how much you will use the vehicle:

  • Fuel costs
  • Road user charges (if not petrol)


The VARIABLE COSTS consist of routine preventative maintenance and one-off repairs.

Each of the following need checking, and if necessary servicing:

  • Air conditioning gas
  • Anything that moves like a sliding door which may need greasing
  • Battery terminals and fluid level
  • Brake pads & fluid levels
  • Chassis nuts and bolts
  • Electronics (if applicable)
  • Fuel, air conditioning and air filters
  • Light bulbs, headlight glass, and fuses 
  • Locks, latches and hinges
  • Oil & filters
  • Radiator coolant level & condition
  • Rubber boots
  • Rust
  • Spark plugs
  • Timing belt
  • Transmission & power steering (if applicable) levels
  • Tyres - rotation & wheel alignment, balance, pressure & tread
  • Window & skylight seals; skylight condition
  • Windscreen water resevoir and wiper blades 


Some QUESTIONS to have in the back of your mind when assessing a vehicle are:

  • Is the vehicle a common make?
  • Are parts still available? 
  • Can I find a manual for this vehicle?
  • What am I able to do myself?
  • Is it controlled by an on-board computer that only a mechanic can diagnose?
  • Is there a service / repair person in our local area?



To calculate the cost per kilometre of a diesel vehicle:



Yes, this is the long way to do it, but I wanted to see what the total $ amount to budget was too, otherwise you can do it like this:




To compare a diesel vehicle to a petrol vehicle per litre of fuel:



Note: Neither calculation includes the admin fee for purchasing RUCs.

To find the RUC charge per kilometre for your type of vehicle (and the various admin fees) visit the NZTA website





For mileage rates you can try asking the vendor / manufacturer, generally searching online or you may find something (in the future) at Fuelly especially if you choose to contribute.


* 6200km - this is an estimate for how many kilometres a decent round trip of New Zealand might be.