We’ve put together answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help make getting your next WOF an easy and stress-free process.

Do all cars need to get a WOF or just older ones?

A passed WOF inspection is mandatory for all vehicles to demonstrate that your vehicle meets the required safety standards. If your car fails its WOF inspection, you are not legally permitted to drive the vehicle. You must display a valid WOF label on your vehicle on the inside of your front windscreen, on the driver’s side.

You are only permitted to drive your vehicle without a valid WOF when driving it somewhere for repair or to get a new WOF, providing it is safe to do so.

How often do you need to get a Warrant of Fitness?

In New Zealand, all light motor vehicles need a valid warrant of fitness (see below for exceptions). If you do not have a valid warrant of fitness, you are prohibited from driving the vehicle.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency provides the information below to summarise how often you need to get a WOF, depending on the age of your vehicle:

The length of time a WOF is issued for is calculated based on the vehicle’s date of first registration in New Zealand or overseas, and is described in more detail in the table below.

Length of WOF for light motor vehicles
When was the vehicle first registered anywhere in the world?
How long the WOF is issued for

New vehicle that’s never been registered

WOF is issued for three years

Less than two years ago

WOF is issued to the vehicle’s third ‘birthday’ (third anniversary of when it was first registered)

More than two years ago, but less than three years ago

WOF is issued for 12 months

On or after 1 January 2000

WOF is issued for 12 months

Before 1 January 2000

WOF is issued for 6 months

(Source: ; information valid at the time of publishing.)

Are there any exceptions to vehicles needing a WOF?

A WOF is for vehicles that are privately owned, for personal use and under 3,500 kg (light motor vehicle).

If you own a vehicle that is over 3,500 kg or one that is used for commercial purposes – such as a campervan, truck, larger trailer, taxi, Uber, shuttle, rental car, etc – you may need a Certificate of Fitness (COF) instead. 

What is checked during a WOF inspection?

A warrant of fitness inspection is a comprehensive check that ensures your vehicle is safe to drive. Some of the main aspects checked include:

  • 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 is not covered by a WOF inspection?

A WOF is not a pre-purchase inspection. It doesn’t include many areas of 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 some rust in non-structural areas.

Please note, an engine oil check and tyre pressure check aren’t WOF requirements, but at Roskill Auto Mechanical we are happy to include this in our WOF inspection as an added service.

How much does a WOF cost?

At Roskill Auto Mechanical, we are currently offering a WOF inspection for $70 (incl. GST).

Other service centres might charge you between $70 and $80, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. If you’re shopping around for the best price on a WOF inspection, it’s important to keep in mind a couple of important points.

First of all, there is a fee for the WOF inspection itself, and then there may be additional costs for repairs or any work that needs to be done for your vehicle to pass its WOF. These are two separate costs. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples if you’re shopping on price alone. Regardless of where you take your vehicle for its WOF, any extra work will be charged for, such as an oil top-up, a tyre rotation, etc.

We recommend that you take a bigger picture look, and not just shop on price alone. It’s best to have your WOF done at a mechanic that you use regularly. At Roskill Auto Mechanical we build a relationship with all of our customers and we get to know you, your vehicle and your driving habits. This all helps us provide you with the best service and guidance about what your vehicle needs to run in the best shape possible.

Where is the best place to get a WOF?

The best place to get a WOF next time you need one is at a mechanic or auto collision service centre where any needed service or repairs can be made to speed up the process – preferably one that you use regularly so they understand your driving habits and needs. Always ensure that they are a qualified WOF inspector.

At Roskill Auto Mechanical, when we do your WOF inspection, we’ll let you know right away if your vehicle needs any parts repaired or replaced. We’ll do this while we have your car up on the hoists to minimise the time we have your car in the shop.

We’ll always let you know what needs to be done in order for your vehicle to pass its WOF, and whether any items can wait until your next service appointment.

Your WOF is much more than just a sticker showing that your car is compliant. A WOF is a regular check to help ensure that your car is safe to drive – safe for the driver, the passengers, pedestrians- and cyclists nearby and other vehicles on the road.

Contact us online or call us on 09 242 1870 to book your next WOF inspection.

wof services at roskill auto