NZ slow on scrappage
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.