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What class is my vehicle?

Updated: 9 December 2014

Classifying the vehicles that get to travel on our roads is an important part of ensuring they are safe. In New Zealand we use two classification systems, one for vehicle equipment standards and the other for registration purposes. Table A lists the classes used for vehicle equipment standards. Table B lists the registration classifications.

A. Vehicle equipment standards classifications

Class Description
AA (Pedal cycle)

A vehicle designed to be propelled through a mechanism solely by human power.

AB (Power-assisted pedal cycle)

A pedal cycle to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors having a combined maximum power output not exceeding 300 watts.

LA (Moped with two wheels)*

A motor vehicle (other than a power-assisted pedal cycle) that:

  • has two wheels; and
  • either:
    • has an engine cylinder capacity not exceeding 50ml and a maximum speed not exceeding 50km/h; or
    • has a power source other than a piston engine and a maximum speed not exceeding 50km/h.
LB (Moped with three wheels)

A motor vehicle (other than a power-assisted pedal cycle) that:

  • has three wheels; and
  • either:
    • has an engine cylinder capacity not exceeding 50ml and a maximum speed not exceeding 50km/h; or
    • has a power source other than a piston engine and a maximum speed not exceeding 50km/h.

An LB 1 motor vehicle has one wheel at the front and two wheels at the rear. An LB 2 motor vehicle has two wheels at the front and one wheel at the rear.

LC (Motorcycle)

A motor vehicle that:

  • has two wheels; and
  • either:
    • has an engine cylinder capacity exceeding 50ml; or
    • has a maximum speed exceeding 50km/h.
LD (Motorcycle and side-car)

A motor vehicle that:

  • has three wheels asymmetrically arranged in relation to the longitudinal median axis; and
  • either:
    • has an engine cylinder capacity exceeding 50ml; or
    • has a maximum speed exceeding 50km/h.
DEFINITION:
Side-car

A car, box or other receptacle attached to the side of a motorcycle and supported by a wheel.

LE (Motor tri-cycle)

A motor vehicle that:

  • has three wheels symmetrically arranged in relation to the longitudinal median axis; and
  • has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding one tonne; and
  • either:
    • has an engine cylinder capacity exceeding 50ml; or
    • has a maximum speed exceeding 50km/h.

An LE 1 motor vehicle has one wheel at the front and two wheels at the rear. An LE 2 motor vehicle has two wheels at the front and one wheel at the rear.

DEFINITION:
Passenger vehicle

A motor vehicle that:

  • is constructed primarily for the carriage of passengers; and
  • either:
    • has at least four wheels; or
    • has three wheels and a gross vehicle mass exceeding one tonne.
MA (Passenger car)

Example of Class MA (Passenger car).

A passenger vehicle (other than a class MB or class MC vehicle) that has not more than nine seating positions (including the driver's seating position).

MB (Forward control passenger vehicle)

Example of Class MB (Forward control passenger vehicle).

A passenger vehicle (other than a class MC vehicle):

  • that has not more than nine seating positions (including the driver's seating position); and
  • in which the centre of the steering wheel is in the forward quarter of the vehicle's total length.
MC (Off-road passenger vehicle)

Example of MC (Off-road passenger vehicle).

A passenger vehicle, designed with special features for off-road operation, that has not more than nine seating positions (including the driver's seating position), and that:

  • has four-wheel drive; and
  • has at least four of the following characteristics when the vehicle is unladen on a level surface and the front wheels are parallel to the vehicle's longitudinal centre-line and the tyres are inflated to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended pressure:
    • an approach angle of not less than 28 degrees;
    • a breakover angle of not less than 14 degrees;
    • a departure angle of not less than 20 degrees;
    • a running clearance of not less than 200mm;
    • a front-axle clearance, rear-axle clearance or suspension clearance of not less than 175mm.
DEFINITION:
Omnibus

A passenger vehicle that has more than nine seating positions (including the driver's seating position). An omnibus comprising two or more non-separable but articulated units shall be considered as a single vehicle.

MD (Light omnibus)

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 5 tonnes.

MD 1

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes and not more than 12 seats.

MD 2

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes and more than 12 seats.

MD 3

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 4.5 tonnes.

MD 4

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 4.5 tonnes but not exceeding 5 tonnes.

ME (Heavy omnibus)

An omnibus that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 5 tonnes.

DEFINITION:
Goods vehicle

A motor vehicle that:

  • is constructed primarily for the carriage of goods; and
  • either:
    • has at least four wheels; or
    • has three wheels and a gross vehicle mass exceeding one tonne.

For the purpose of this description:

  • a vehicle that is constructed for both the carriage of goods and passengers shall be considered primarily for the carriage of goods if the number of seating positions multiplied by 68kg is less than 50 percent of the difference between the gross vehicle mass and the unladen mass
  • the equipment and installations carried on special purpose vehicles not designed for the carriage of passengers shall be considered to be goods
  • a goods vehicle that has two or more non-separable but articulated units shall be considered to be a single vehicle.
NA (Light goods vehicle)

A goods vehicle that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes.

NB (Medium goods vehicle)

A goods vehicle that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes.

NC (Heavy goods vehicle)

A goods vehicle that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 12 tonnes.

DEFINITION:
Trailer

A vehicle without motive power that is constructed for the purpose of being drawn behind a motor vehicle.

TA (Very light trailer)

A single-axled trailer that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 0.75 tonnes.

TB (Light trailer)

A trailer (other than a class TA trailer) that has a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes.

TC (Medium trailer)

A trailer that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 10 tonnes.

TD (Heavy trailer)

A trailer that has a gross vehicle mass exceeding 10 tonnes.

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B. Registration classification

Classification Description
Motorcycle

means a motor vehicle running on 2 wheels, or not more than 3 wheels when fitted with a sidecar; and includes a vehicle with motorcycle controls that is approved as a motorcycle by the Agency; but does not include a moped.

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