New Zealand was once again placed under lockdown Level 4 on the 18th of August. Unless you are an essential service worker, it is not possible to obtain a WoF at Level 4. The use of motor vehicles is restricted to buying basic supplies such as groceries and medicines.
WOF Testing Exemption Period Granted
There was a grace period of six months for drivers to renew their warrants and licenses last lockdown. With this lockdown, The Minister of Transport has elected to issue an exemption for all WoFs, CoFs, regos and drivers licences that expired between 21 July and 30 November 2021.
Graeme Swan of the MTA repair sector estimates 600,000 vehicles are currently unwarranted due to the national Level 4 lockdown, and every week Auckland is in Level 4, that number increases by 40,000. Imagine how many unwarranted cars there will be at the end of November if everyone leaves getting their WOF until the last week.
WOF testing companies are likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer demand if you don’t book early enough. So, while you are not likely to face fines from WOFs that have expired during the lockdown, if you don’t have one in place come 30th November 2021 that changes.
Nonetheless, driving around with an expired WOF comes with risks far greater than a fine, as insurance is not so straightforward.
Are You Covered By Insurance If Your WOF has Expired?
In the event of an accident, your car insurance will still apply as long as there are no existing safety issues that would prevent you from getting a WOF, such as worn tyres. So sounds positive, but in essence, if the accident is caused by a safety issue that would have been picked up during a WOF, then you may be left thousands of dollars out of pocket.
There are 58 WOF checks in total, although not all apply to every car; it does go to show how comprehensive a WOF check is. Many safety checks must be passed, aka hurdles, before your insurance will payout. To legally drive on the road, a vehicle needs a current WoF as well as registration. In the event of an accident, insurers have the right to reject any claim if one or both of the conditions is not met.
Should you drive if your WOF has expired?
If you’re in doubt as to your vehicle’s safety, you may want to consider using public transport for essential items. Otherwise, you could be up for some hefty repair bills in the event of an accident. If you do opt to use your vehicle, maintain as much of your car as you can during this period. Check fluid levels, windscreen, wipers, mirrors, indicators, lights and look for rust. Pump up your tyres, and if your tyres do not meet the minimum thread-level – don’t drive. It’s not worth it. If you have an accident, and your tyres were deemed the cause of the accident, it’s unlikely you’ll be covered.
WOF Testing Rules for Alert Level 3
On the 31st of August, the rest of the Country South of Auckland moved down to Level 3. At Level 3 you can access WOF testing and car repairs and servicing however there are strict protocols in place at Level such as:
- No customers are allowed on the premises
- Mask wearing, using the Covid scanner or manually recording your visit is compulsory
- Contactless key drop-offs must be in place
- Customers must provide their name and phone number to the business, alongside the date and time they were present.
- Some dealerships may require you to remove all personal belongings from your car, including car seats.
Whilst the rest of the country can obtain WOF testing and access car servicing and repairs, Auckland remains at Level 4. So what does this mean if your WOF has expired? Book now! Find a local WOF testing station or dealership that performs WOF Checks and try to get first in line. The sooner you pass your WOF, the sooner you can drive safely with confidence.
Do everything you can to protect your vehicle, for safety reasons and insurance. Don’t use the Ministry of Transportation’s extension as an excuse to delay. A little bit of money saved now could end up costing you a lot in the long run.
Book a WOF check today. Hamilton WOFs are available at Arnel Service Center.