VIA has been approached by the NZ Motorhome Caravan Association (NZMCA)
They note that over the last ten years we have experienced an exponential growth in the registration of motorhomes, close to 50,000, the majority of which are imported from Europe and the UK.
NZMCA are concerned that most of these vehicles are based on van chassis with a secondary manufactured caravan body attached. Many have a tare weight close to 3500kgs but are imported with a 3500 kg GVM plate affixed by the secondary manufacturer and this figure is used for registration purposes in NZ. Often the vehicle manufacturers GVM is higher.
Some customers see advantages of being registered as a light vehicle in NZ and running on a WoF, however this often leaves the purchaser with a ridiculously low payload, sometimes hardly enough for two passengers, let alone fuel, water, food and clothing or associated camping equipment, bicycles etc. which could be construed as "not fit-for-purpose" under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).
Many dealers are not pointing this out to purchasers who are often inexperienced in these areas and only see the benefits of longer-term inspections and less stringent regulations.
VIA recommends dealers and private importers to apply to Waka Kotahi NZTA for a Chassis Rating for the vehicle before putting through for compliance especially if the primary manufacturer’s GVM is higher than that accorded by the secondary manufacturer. Click here for the application form
We understand many of the vehicles with lower GVMs have been imported at the behest of the customer who only wants a WoF and not the (perceived) hassle the CoF regime brings with LT400 certification and 6 monthly inspections.
We also advise importers to have all recalls on vehicles purchase overseas actioned and closed out before export as the CGA defines the importer as the "Manufacturer". MIA members will not action any recalls on these vehicles unless they are paid for by the importer or owner. Here is the MIA Used Vehicle Recall Code of Conduct April 2018