NZ slow on scrap­page

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - Contents -

New Zealan­ders’ re­luc­tance to dump older, un­eco­nomic cars is con­tribut­ing to re­duced scrap­page rates, and in turn is con­tribut­ing to an in­crease in the size of the na­tional car fleet, says the Mo­tor Trade As­so­ci­a­tion ( MTA).

The MTA says that de­spite sound eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal rea­sons to trade out of older ve­hi­cles, a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors means many mo­torists are still un­able or un­will­ing to do so.

In 2012, MTA es­ti­mates that 138,000 pas­sen­ger cars were scrapped, a fall of 13,900 ( 9 per­cent) over 2011. In the same pe­riod New Zealand’s pas­sen­ger car fleet grew by 22,623 units ( 0.9 per­cent) to reach a to­tal of 2,425,332 units or 547 cars per 1,000 people.

New Zealand’s pas­sen­ger car fleet has an un­usual age pro­file with 1996 reg­is­tered cars be­ing the most com­mon – a fac­tor that has re­mained un­changed since 2004. It is the re­sult of the large num­ber of 1995–1997 reg­is­tered used im­port cars which flooded in to the coun­try dur­ing the early 2000’s. Most of these cars are still be­ing used and skew the age pro­file of our car fleet. To­day, the aver­age age of New Zealand’s car fleet is 13.8 years; that is old by world stan­dards and prob­a­bly be­yond the orig­i­nal de­sign pa­ram­e­ters of some mod­els.

As ve­hi­cles age, they tend to be sub­ject to more fre­quent break­downs and face sig­nif­i­cant main­te­nance is­sues. Ve­hi­cle age is a proxy for safety tech­nol­ogy, amongst other things, and MTA says the grow­ing age of the fleet fur­ther sup­ports the Govern­ment’s di­rec­tion un­der its Safer Jour­neys pro­gramme.

As part of this pro­gramme, the Govern­ment will be look­ing at ways to re­duce the num­ber of older, less- safe ve­hi­cles, as well as im­prov­ing the per­for­mance of the fleet through ini­tia­tives such as in­ser­vice emis­sions test­ing.

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