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Warrant of Fitness backlog puts garages under pressure

Posted at 11:38am Tuesday 27 Apr, 2021

Tracey warns motorists who had a hard time getting a Warrant of Fitness appointment last year that the same thing will happen this year. And, probably next year, to.
Tracey warns motorists who had a hard time getting a Warrant of Fitness appointment last year that the same thing will happen this year. And, probably next year, to.

A Warkworth mechanic is warning motorists to book their vehicle in early or face being caught out, as a looming wave of Warrant of Fitness expiry dates approaches.

Following the first Covid-19 lockdown last year, the Government extended all warrants that expired from January 1 until October 10, 2020.

As a result, mechanics are expecting a wave of warrants to expire in May and October 2021, with a lull in between.

Tracey Proffit, of STR Automotive in Warkworth, is bracing herself while there is a quiet before the storm.

She says last year there was an influx of drivers renewing their warrant in May when the first lockdown ended.

“Then, when the extension ended in October, the phones went nuts with people who hadn't had a warrant since February,” she says.

She is warning vehicle owners that they may struggle to get an appointment in May and especially in October.

“Unfortunately, just because there are thousands more people who need their warrant, doesn't mean there are more hours in the day. Each workshop can only do so much.”

STR takes bookings in advance, meaning those who think ahead can reserve themselves a slot.

However, if a vehicle does not pass its warrant in October, she says it may be another two weeks before it can be booked in for repairs.

Tracey says the New Zealand vehicle fleet is aging and around 40 per cent of vehicles do not pass their warrant on the first go.

“This could impact your insurance. Often you're not covered without a current warrant,” she says.

The fine for an expired warrant is $200.

Tracey's advice is simply to book a warrant well before the October “storm” hits.

“We are offering a free warrant with a service, so it will be no loss to drivers if they bring in their car early. Look for packages like that with your local mechanic.”

She says it is also a little-known fact that mechanics can forward-date warrants by two weeks, so it is in a driver's interest to book their vehicle in early by at least a fortnight.

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