The average age of cars in New Zealand has ticked over 14 years.
In 2000, the average age of cars was just under 11.5 years. It ticked over 13 years for the first time in 2010.
But when the Transport Agency publishes fleet statistics in a few weeks – it will show the fleet has passed the 14-year mark and experts in the motor industry say it will continue to age for some years to come.
The increasingly aged fleet is partly the result of a massive influx of used cars imported from overseas – in particular Japan.Import standards on emissions and safety are not barring the imports of older cars.
The average age of the 125,000 or so used cars imported last year was eight years- David Vinsen – chief executive of the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association said.
Vinsen said used car importers were concerned about the ageing car fleet, however.
‘We are not getting rid of enough older vehicles quickly enough’ he said.
David Crawford, chief executive of the Motor Industry Association (MIA) – which represents new car dealers – said rejuvenating the fleet required tougher import rules.
The MIA wanted to see the introduction of a ‘back door’ age limit preventing the import of vehicles aged over eight years.
‘New Zealand lets in an astounding number of used vehicles from Japan, and because the standards don’t get upgraded each year – older and older vehicles can be imported’ he said.
“‘ has got to the stage that a used vehicle that has cost practically nothing in Japan can be shipped here for $3000 – and sold to people for $5000 to $6000’.