- Automotive News
age limit plan: Car prices 'to soar'
Prices of imported used cars are likely
to rise sharply because of Government
plans to get old vehicles off the
Yesterday, the Government said it
was directing the Ministry of Transport
to consider options to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions from vehicles.
They included setting minimum fuel
economy standards and a limit on the
age of imported cars.
That is likely to result in a 20 to
30 per cent increase in the price
of used imports from Japan.
An age restriction would probably
allow importers to bring in from Japan
only cars made after 1999, when new
emissions standards were introduced
Cars made before 1996, when frontal
impact regulations were toughened,
are already banned.
Independent Motor Vehicle Dealers
Association chief executive David
Vinsen said an age limit would mean
NZ car dealers would have to bid against
rivals from many more countries to
buy newer vehicles.
"More than 100 countries import
used cars from Japan, so we're in
competition with them," he said.
"With our exchange rate and our
low-wage economy we cannot compete.
"If we're limited from bringing
in older cars, there is going to be
increased demand for the newer ones
and the prices at auction in Japan
will go up."
the IMVDA backed moves to upgrade the
country's vehicles, Mr Vinsen said,
and the Government should provide greater
incentives for people to junk old cars.
From October 27, a visible smoke test
will be part of the warrant of fitness
But Climate Change Minister David Parker
says further action is needed to meet
climate change objectives. "The
energy outlook to 2030 shows that if
we do not change our policy settings,
transport greenhouse gas emissions will
increase by 45 per cent over the next
25 years. We cannot, and will not, let
Associate Transport Minister Judith
Tizard said a rise in secondhand car
prices was not inevitable, as buyers
could be forced to buy smaller cars
which met fuel economy and emission
"We are trying to achieve better
health outcomes, better fuel efficiency
and better carbon dioxide efficiency,"
Ms Tizard said. "I think the price
of petrol has meant that a lot of people
are realising that a cheaper car may
not be, over the life of the car, a
"We are takers of vehicles, we
don't manufacture here so we can't set
the standards, but what we can say is
that we don't want other countries'
junk being landed on our shores."
New-car sales fell in the first half
of the year. Between January and June,
37,115 new cars were sold; in the first
six months of last year, the figure
The Cabinet will consider a report on
the policy proposals next month.
Greens co-leader Russel Norman said
it seemed inevitable that imported car
prices would rise, so affordable public
transport should be a Government priority.
"If you don't have a lot of money
and you're in Auckland and you're relying
on an old dunger to get around, you
need to have real public transport alternatives,"
Mr Norman said.
New cars will also be subject to new
emission and fuel economy standards.
The Motor Trade Association supports
Government moves to improve NZ's vehicles,
spokesman Andy Cuming said.
Having a totally deregulated import
trade posed problems in introducing
some of the proposed changes, but the
industry knew the Government was taking
first steps in a right direction.
"That is not to say that these
difficulties cannot be overcome and
addressing the real issue of 'rogue
importers' will be a good start."
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