Backlog of vehicles needing a Warrant of Fitness getting dangerously out of hand

John McKenzie
Source: 1News

The effects of the Covid-19 lockdown continue to be felt nationwide, the backlog of vehicles needing a Warrant of Fitness (WOF), now getting dangerously out of hand.

Motor Trade Association (MTA) advocacy and strategy manager Greig Epps says more than a million vehicles nationwide need to be tested between now and the end of October.

“With the backlog, we just need people to be patient,” he says.

The backlog is down to an extension given to motorists following Aprils nationwide lockdown. All vehicles who had a WOF expiring after January 1 2020, given until October 10 to be tested.

With that date fast approaching, garages like Dunedin’s P D Auto Services, are booked out weeks in advance.

“It’s just going to be a case of keeping our heads above water,” director Nick Johnstone says.

It’ll likely mean extended queues at WOF specialists like VTNZ.

VTNZ country manager Greg O’Connor urging people not to wait until the deadline.

“Anyone that needs to get a warrant of fitness between now and the tenth of October, get in now,” he says.

O’Connor believes the workload is manageable, but others in the industry say they want help.

Epps calling on retired inspectors to lend a helping hand.

“Our members are certainly nervous about the volume of work coming through. But they’re also nervous about the fact we may not get all of those vehicles inspected,” Epps says.

The late rush is also expected to have a follow-on effect, with twelve-monthly WOF’s due to expire in September and October every year. While April on the other hand looks to be extremely quiet, following the nationwide lockdown in 2020.

Some in the industry are proposing slightly shorter WOF’s over the coming months, as a way to stagger the expiry dates. That would need Government sign-off.

NZTA told 1NEWS its working with the industry, on ways to address this.