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.

23 September 2014

Gemma's lego home

For those leaving an owned or rented property behind to travel, here are some items to consider in the months ahead to make your transition easier.
You've probably been paring down and getting rid of some possessions (do they possess you or you them - hmmm?) but will also have some to store. 
  • Will you use an off-site storage facility?  
  • Store them in a loft / shed / container on your property?
  • Lend large items to friends and family to use?
  • Stash some boxes with friends here and there?
  • Leave your stuff right where it is as you are renting your place furnished?
  • Will you install an alarm system to protect your stuff?  Who will monitor it or respond if it goes off?
  • How will your contents insurance be affected by the various options?
  • What will you do with any vehicle(s)?
  • Will you loan it to a friend?  Will they insure the vehicle or will you need to name them on your policy?  Will they pay the excess in case of an accident; and tickets/fines in the case of traffic infringements?


  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Catalogues
  • Subscription products
  • Invoices
With the advent of electronic correspondence aka email we often have the choice whether we receive invoices/receipts/mail in our letterbox or via our inbox.
When there is no alternative you can consider having your mail forwarded.
As for magazine and/or subscription products, now is the time to evaluate if you want to continue these.  Will you still NEED them on the road?  Can you switch from a tree mail version to an email edition?
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Telephone
  • Internet
  • Rates
  • Water
  • House insurance
  • Contents insurance
Some utility companies will allow you to suspend your account so you don't have to go through the application process all over again nor lose your credit rating; others won't.  Give them a call now to find out.  If you are continuing any services for tenants, and are paying the bill yourself, can you get it sent to your email account?  Generally it is NOT advisable to continue your own account and have the tenant pay that, unless you can guarantee it will be paid in full and on time.
Will you set up a direct debit for the regular foreseen costs?
If you are retaining a property and not selling off all your material possessions to travel, then you may also have a few ongoing maintenance and service costs to (budget &) pay for.
Which one of these applies to your situation?
  • Lawn or gardening services
  • Chimney cleaning
  • Pool maintenance
  • Pest control services
  • House cleaning / painting
  • Roof cleaning / painting
  • Solar panel / energy system maintenance
  • Gutter clearing
  • Septic tank waste collection
  • Rubbish removal services
  • Emergency repairs


If you are renting your property out to tenants:

  • Will you appoint a property manager to co-ordinate tradesmen and do inspections?  
  • Will you negotiate a service contract directly with the tradesperson instead; and have a friend or family member do inspections?  
  • Will you permit the tenant to contact service personnel themselves if something goes wrong?  
  • Will you set up an automatic payment or direct debit from the tenant to a separate housing account?
  • Will a friend/family member or colleague have access to a housing account to pay bills; or will you do everything online?

If you need a tenancy agreement, the basic one can be bought from local booksellers, or downloaded from MBIE where there is also more information about tenancies.

Make sure that you lodge the tenant's bond with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment along with the appropriate form.


If the property is not being lived in:

  • Have you checked with your insurance policy on any exclusions?
  • Will you put a padlock on your letterbox if you have someone clearing it on your behalf?
  • Do you have automatic security lights installed outside?
  • Do you have lights on timers inside?
  • Does the house looked lived in from the the outside?  Washing on line? Shoes or gumboots at back door?
  • Might you allow a neighbour to park their car in your driveway?
  • Consider adding security stays to some of your windows so that you can leave them ajar to aid air circulation.

Take a look at the list on the NZ Police website of how to protect your property.