Frequently Asked Questions
Question not covered? CCW are happy to answer any additional questions you may have
What is the cost of compliance?
Compliance costs vary between $400+gst to $500+gst depending on the type of vehicle you are importing and where you are importing it from. This is because some vehicles require more time and precaution when going through the process e.g. exotics & classics and some countries require extra steps to verify documentation. Contact us directly for a quotation.
What types of vehicles do you comply?
At Custom Compliance Workshop, we can comply light passenger vehicles with a GVM of 3,500kgs or less. We do not currently comply motorbikes or heavy vehicles with a GVM over 3,500kgs.
How long does a compliance inspection take?
Compliance inspections take longer than your standard WOF check due to the many steps involved. See Compliance Process. Therefore, you can expect the check itself to take anywhere between 2-3 working days depending on your vehicle make & model (some vehicles take longer e.g. European vehicles may be more time consuming to strip). Keep in mind that if your vehicle requires lengthy repairs or certification, this could potentially add weeks to the process.
What are the most common things needing to be fixed for compliance?
There are common problems with imported vehicles, however most of the problems are a consequence of the environment the car has come from. For example, due to the lack of general maintenance in Japan, most of the vehicle’s consumable items such tyres, brake and small suspension components will need to be replaced during the compliance process.
If you are importing a vehicle from Singapore, it is not uncommon to see electrical faults resulting from the hot and humid climate.
Generally speaking, vehicle regulations are different to New Zealand’s. The condition of mechanical parts or structural components of your vehicle may be deemed unacceptable here, however overseas they may be considered in acceptable order and vice versa. It is this difference in opinion which may result in a “perfect car overseas” failing on some items in New Zealand.
How do I get a de-registered vehicle back on the road?
If your registration has been cancelled and you want your vehicle back on the road, you need to put the vehicle through Compliance. The process is very similar to compliance for a vehicle import. The difference is the documentation required and the fact your vehicle already has a New Zealand vin number so another one does not need to be issued.
For documentation, you just need to prove that you are the person entitled to register the vehicle. If you were the last registered owner prior to the registration lapsing we just need to see your ID. If not, you need to provide an ownership trail e.g. registration documents, bill of sale, invoices etc and a statutory declaration in relation to vehicle ownership.
The same level of tolerance applies for de-registered vehicles as it would for new vehicle imports. If your vehicle needs any repairs to pass, these will need to be remedied within 21 working days before it will require a full re-inspection.
Once your vehicle passes compliance, you will be issued a WOF and a special registration form that will allow you to re-register your vehicle. When you go to register your car, you will be issued with a brand-new set of plates (your old plates will need to be disposed of unless they are personalised).
What documents do I need for compliance?
When you import a vehicle, you need to provide original documentation that verifies you are the legal owner of the vehicle.
Standard Proof of Ownership documents required for vehicles imported from the most common countries:
Japan – Japanese Export Certificate
United States – Certificate of Origin & an invoice, bill of sale, receipt etc.
In most cases, the Proof of Ownership documents can also verify some of the vehicle standards which it needs to meet when imported into New Zealand e.g. emission standards
What if I do not have the original documentation?
If you do not have the original documentation to verify ownership, you will need to apply to NZTA for permission to use alternative documents to prove it. You can find the application form here. A fee is applicable and there is no guarantee your application will be approved.
What is a Statement of Compliance and when is it needed?
When the inspector cannot verify all the required NZTA standards on your vehicle through the inspection process or after assessment of the standard documentation, you will need to apply for a Statement of Compliance. A Statement of Compliance is a statement from an authorised representative of a vehicle's manufacturer which lists the standards to which the vehicle was certified when it was made. If these standards are approved vehicle standards, as listed in New Zealand rules and regulations, the statement of compliance is acceptable proof that the vehicle meets the required standards. Your vehicle can then be passed.
What if my vehicle does not meet the required standards?
Where your vehicle meets some but not all the standards and you cannot get a Statement of Compliance, you may be able to apply for an exemption, however this is not guaranteed. See the exemption form.
There are some circumstances where you can import a vehicle which may not meet the usual standard requirements:
you’re emigrating here or returning to New Zealand and you want to bring your vehicle with you (see the exception requirements)
the vehicle you’re importing is a ‘special interest vehicle’ – it has historic value or is a collector’s item (see the exception requirements)
the vehicle is a motorsport vehicle for which you're seeking exemption through a MotorSport New Zealand card. Find out how to arrange a card.
We always recommend that you seek professional advice if you are unsure about whether your vehicle meets the standards prior to importing. Contact us if you have any concerns or queries about this.
What happens if I am importing a modified vehicle?
Modified vehicles overseas, especially from Japan, are extremely common due to the street culture and relaxed rules on modified cars. There are certain modifications which will fail at compliance. You have two options here. One option is to return the vehicle to its factory state by removing the modifications. However, in some cases this is not practical or you may wish to keep the modifications. The second option then is to certify the modifications in a process called LVV Certification.
The most common modifications we see through compliance needing LVV Certification are modifications to the suspension and seatbelt & seatbelt anchorages. For a list of modifications which do not require LVV, please see the modification threshold guide.
What is LVV Certification?
Low Volume Vehicle Certification is required when your vehicle has modifications which need to be approved prior to being issued a WOF. Put simply, once a vehicle is modified from its original state or is scratch-built, there needs to be a method of ensuring continued compliance.
The process involves a LVV Certifier, assessing the modifications and ensuring they meet the specified standards. If they do, your vehicle will be issued a LVV tag and can be rechecked and passed for compliance. If they don’t, you may need to do some additional work to your vehicle as directed by the certifier to get it up to standard.
For more information about the LVV process, please see the official LVVTA website.
Who do I contact if my vehicle requires LVV Certification?
Due to the specialist nature of LVV Certification, there are only a select few certifiers in New Zealand. Please follow this link to review the list of motor vehicle LVV Certifiers currently practising.
What is Repair Certification?
A simple explanation of this process is when a vehicle is found to have structural damage whether this be from an accident or corrosion, the vehicle will require a specialist engineer (called a Repair Certifier) to determine that the vehicle is safe for New Zealand registration. If they find that it isn’t, they will determine what repairs need to be made on the vehicle so it can be restored to a similar condition – within 'safe tolerance' – to when it was manufactured. This usually means a panel beater will have to amend these issues for you e.g. through sand blasting or replacing entire structural components. After the process is complete, your vehicle will be issued with a Repair Certificate and it can be brought back to the Compliance Inspector for a recheck. For more information about the Repair Certification process, please follow this link.
Who do I contact if my vehicle needs Repair Certification?
Due to the specialist nature of the repair certification process, this is not something CCW can facilitate. It will need to go to a third-party workshop who host repair certifiers. Please follow this link to review a list of Repair Certifiers. Upon contacting one, they will direct you to an appropriate workshop.
How often should I service my car?
CCW recommend that you should service your vehicle every 10,000km or every six months. Whichever comes first. Even if you don't drive often or long distances you still should service your vehicle regularly. This is because very low usage creates its own set of problems. The lifespan of vehicle components is not solely reliant on distance travelled, they can reduce in quality and reliability based on time. For example, fluids will begin to deteriorate regardless of whether you are driving your vehicle or not.
Do I need to service my vehicle to pass compliance?
It is not a requirement to service your vehicle in order for it to pass compliance. All mechanical issues will be picked up on in the compliance inspection and will need to be remedied in order for your vehicle to pass. However, the compliance inspection will not cover your general maintenance components e.g. oil & filter, fluid condition, air-conditioning & cooling system etc.
Lots of countries have poor attitudes towards vehicle maintenance, so we recommend that you consider at least a basic oil & filter service when you get your vehicle complied. It is not uncommon for us to see vehicles arriving from overseas with very low and poor engine oil quality.
What oil do you use?
We use high quality Penrite oil and only use the best grade of oil specifically for your vehicle.
What happens if the service uncovers additional problems?
If we uncover the need for additional work, we will always contact you first to discuss the findings and provide you with an estimate for the recommendations. Please rest assured that CCW believe that servicing should be a preventative maintenance approach. With regular maintenance you should be able to prolong the life of your vehicle parts and therefore you should not need to be replacing parts every single time you go for a service. We only recommend part replacements if they are borderline and won’t make it to the next service, or if they are in an unacceptable condition that compromises vehicle performance and safety.