06 October 2013

In New Zealand, vehicles over 3500kg; or those under that don't run on petrol, are charged seperately for using the roads, with a couple of exceptions.  [Petrol users have this built into their per litre fill.]

Road User Charges (RUC), also called a Distance License, are paid per 1000km, must be purchased in advance and displayed on your windscreen.  There are a number of places where they can be purchased, each having their own administration fee to factor into the overall amount you pay.  Obviously the more kms you purchase together, the more any adminstration fee is amortised over the total cost.

The clincher is that you need to purchase your RUC on the gross laden weight of the vehicle - the amount it potentially is allowed to carry if it were full.  New Zealand has weigh stations on the sides of the road in various locations and these are used to spontaneously stop motorists to check their loads.

Most of the recreational vehicles on our roads fit into the following 3 classes:

How much will you pay on top of fuel?

Car, vans and utes fit into the under 3500kg band.

Many of the motorhomes are made to fit into the type 2 tier and under 6 tonnes, meaning that you pay the lowest per km charge of $57 (1000km).

[Remember that these vehicles are able to be driven on a regular car license.]


A bus however will cost between $230 and $351 per 1000 km.  That's a huge difference in a trip that could be 5000+ km.

[The under 18000kg requires a class 2 drivers license 2 and the over 18 tonne a class 4]


The other important note is that if your vehicle weighs over 3500kg you must record your distance travelled per trip from an approved hubometer or electronic distance recorder.


You can download the entire RUC booklet from the New Zealand Transport Agency here.


Note: the rates in the above image have since been updated, with the inclusion of a specific sub-section 413 / 414 for 3 and 4-axle motorhomes.  


30 September 2013

New Zealand has 6 classes of drivers license, surprisingly numbered 1 - 6.

In order to get you class 2 you must have a class 1 (regular motor vehicle); to get class 3 or 4 you must have a class 2; to get class 5 you must have class 4. Class 6 is a motor cycle license and is separate.

The license levels relate to the maximum weight of the vehicle (including what it can carry) and the type - whether it is one rigid unit or a flexible combination of units (think truck and trailer).

You can also get endorsements on your license for driving particular kinds of vehicles that don't require an all-together new class of license.   Taxi and bus drivers may get a "P" passenger license to show that they have consideration for the responsibility of carrying passengers.  An "F" denotes forklifts.

For most small to average campervans and motorhomes available for rental, all that is required is a Class 1.  The basic rule is that you can drive a vehicle up to 6000 kg, but there are several exceptions to this.

For larger vehicles that are rigid over 6000kg but under 18000kg, you need a Class 2. This may include some of the larger 5-wheelers depending on how much you have on board.  It does apply to larger buses.

Class 3 is for vehicle combinations that weigh between 12000kg and 25000kg.  

Class 4 is for rigid vehicles over 18000kg and Class 5 for combination vehicles over 25000kg.  Passenger coaches are often Class 4, because when you think about it if they then are loaded with 35-45 people weighing an average of 80kg, then that is an additional 2800 - 3600kg, added to the luggage of perhaps another 700 - 900 kg, on top of a base coach weight around 18000kg.

For more specific information, see the New Zealand Transport Association website.

How far are you willing to push yourself beyond your comfort zone towards your goals?

14 April 2013

As part of looking at what mobile homes are available overseas and what the likelihood would be of importing something, we had to find out what the maximum vehicle dimensions were for New Zealand.

In short it is 2.5m wide, 4.25m tall, 11.5m long if towing a trailer or 12.6m if not towing.

There are other factors to consider as well, like front overhang, turning circle diameter etc.  You can see all of that here.

The choice of mobile homes in a country such as America are huge, with only a tiny few being imported here.  The main differences are that they run on 110-120v; are left hand drive (if you aren't talking about a 5th-wheeler) and end up having their entry doors and pull-outs opposite to what we would design.  The prices seem very competitive for the features - it is hard not to get envious and frustrated.

The process and cost of importing varies per country of origin, and initially looks enough to put anyone off.  I won't say the door is firmly closed, but it would take quite a bit of research and organisation to bring something out.

Have you taken a step back and got the facts about all the options you have?