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Land Transport Rule: Fuel Consumption Information 2008

Sets out requirements for the provision of fuel consumption information for light vehicles ( 3500kg GVM or less) that enter the New Zealand fleet and are manufactured on or after 1 January 2000.

About the rule

The rule is available in consolidated format (ie, a full, up-to-date, version of the rule including all its amendments) or as the original, unamended rule with separate amendment rules. Choose the option that best suits your needs from the list below.

To access the consolidated version of the rule (available only in PDF format), click on ‘Consolidation’ below.

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  • have no official status
  • are made available for information only and should not be relied on as the authoritative text.

About the questions and answers

Questions and answers are provided to accompany a new rule or amendment rule when it is signed. These versions of the questions and answers are not updated to take into account any later amendments to the rule and are retained for historic interest only.

Land Transport Rules - Questions & answers

Fuel Consumption Information Rule 2008

(Rule 33020)

Note: On 1 August 2008, Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand became the NZ Transport Agency. The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is a new organisation that brings together the functions of Land Transport NZ and Transit to provide an integrated approach to transport planning, funding and delivery.

What is the purpose of this Rule?

This Rule provides for the collection of accurate and reliable information about vehicle fuel consumption, and clarifies the legal process for collecting fuel consumption information before vehicles are certified for entry into service in New Zealand.

How has fuel consumption information been collected up until now?

Since 2005, the NZ Transport Agency (formerly Land Transport New Zealand) has collected fuel consumption information for vehicles entering the fleet. This includes new vehicles manufactured after January 2005 and imported after February 2005 as well as previously registered (used) vehicles from Japan that were manufactured after January 2000 and imported after February 2005. Fuel consumption information is stored on the Motor Vehicle Register with other details about a vehicle. The fuel consumption figures (by vehicle type) can be accessed over the internet through the websites www.fuelsaver.govt.nz(external link) and www.rightcar.govt.nz(external link).

Why does the system for collecting fuel consumption information need changing?

Since 2005, fuel consumption information has been collected using a form completed when a vehicle is first registered in New Zealand. This form is designed to record basic information, such as engine size, fuel type and colour. However, it does not record specific information about the standards or technical requirements for obtaining the required fuel consumption information. The collection of fuel consumption information can be complicated because the information can be derived from any one of four international test standards. This gives rise to the risk that inaccurate or unreliable information may be recorded on the Motor Vehicle Register.

To help ensure the accuracy of fuel consumption information, the Rule provides for the setting-up and maintenance of a database of fuel consumption information, and contains procedures for ensuring that information is entered on the database accurately, and is corrected as necessary.  In developing the Rule, consideration was given to best practice in relevant overseas jurisdictions.

Why do we need to have accurate, reliable fuel consumption information?

Accurate and reliable information on vehicle fuel consumption is needed to support government initiatives on climate change, energy efficiency and energy conservation measures. In particular, the Rule will contribute to achieving three policy initiatives aimed at improving fuel economy and reducing fuel consumption:

  •  requirements for the display of fuel consumption information in connection with the sale of motor vehicles;
  • maintenance of the Fuelsaver fuel consumption website, which displays fuel consumption information to help vehicle buyers make informed choices about purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles; and
  • the development of a Vehicle Fuel Economy Standard, intended to improve the fuel economy of vehicles entering the New Zealand fleet. 

Is ‘unknown’ allowable for fuel consumption information?

Entry of ‘unknown’ on the Motor Vehicle Register for a vehicle’s fuel consumption is allowable for three types of vehicle.  These are:

  • low volume vehicles;
  • vehicles that are exempt from this Rule under section 166 of the Act; and
  • vehicles whose fuel consumption is recorded as ‘unknown’ on the NZ Transport Agency’s website.

The NZ Transport Agency maintains fuel consumption information for used vehicles that is available to importers at: http://importer.fuelsaver.govt.nz/search.html(external link)

The information is sourced from overseas government information.  It contains a list of fuel consumption figures for a large number of used vehicles entering New Zealand.  However, despite best efforts, some used vehicles on that list, while identified, are recorded with ‘unknown’ fuel consumption information.  The number of vehicles listed with ‘unknown’ is expected to reduce over time as more data is obtained.

What changes does the Rule make to the process for collecting fuel consumption information?

The Rule requires that people having vehicles certified for entry into the New Zealand fleet must provide fuel consumption information at the time of certification. Fuel consumption information has to be provided to specified standards.

The Rule also allows the NZ Transport Agency to correct fuel consumption figures that are incorrect, and gives vehicle owners an opportunity to have figures corrected.

It will be illegal to knowingly provide fuel consumption information that is false or to knowingly provide inaccurate information.

Which vehicles does the Rule apply to?

The Rule applies to light vehicles (vehicles with a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes), manufactured on or after 1 January 2000, when they are first certified for use in New Zealand. The requirement will apply to light vehicles manufactured to operate on LPG, CNG, diesel and petrol. The Rule applies to the following vehicle classes: passenger cars (Class MA), forward-control passenger vehicles (Class MB), off-road passenger vehicles (Class MC), light omnibuses (Classes MD1 and MD2) and light goods vehicles (Class NA).

Only vehicles that are subject to the certification requirements in Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002 (the Compliance Rule) are covered by the Rule. The Rule does not apply to certain special purpose vehicles, special interest vehicles, motor sport vehicles or immigrants’ vehicles. Low volume vehicles are also excluded from the requirements to provide fuel consumption information. 

How is fuel consumption measured?

Most vehicles imported into New Zealand are new vehicles or used vehicles from Japan. Fuel consumption data for used vehicles from Japan is derived from Japanese test procedures. Data for new vehicles may be derived from Japanese, European, Australian or US test procedures. Results from Japanese tests, however, are not comparable to results from European or United States (US) tests and vice versa. Australia is in the process of aligning its regulated fuel consumption methodology with Europe.

All procedures involve a standardised test carried out under laboratory conditions where outside influences, such as driving style, weather, gradient and road condition, are controlled. This allows test results to be compared to results obtained from tests on other vehicles carried out under the same conditions.

New vehicle testing is carried out by independent test organisations or by manufacturers at their own test facilities. The test results are normally part of the vehicle’s official certification in the country in which it is sold. Under the Rule, test results will be accepted from recognised jurisdictions, and the Rule allows for fuel consumption information to be provided in either metric or imperial measures.

For more information on how fuel consumption figures are derived, go to:www.fuelsaver.govt.nz/explain.html(external link) 

What is acceptable as evidence of fuel consumption information?

To verify a vehicle’s fuel consumption information, one or more of the following must be provided:

(a)  a statement of compliance; or

(b)  a type approval; or

(c)  if the vehicle is a used vehicle, one of the following must be supplied:

(i)  a fuel consumption statement from the NZ Transport Agency website; or
(ii)  evidence from the manufacturer’s website; or
(iii)  evidence from a recognised foreign government website.
 

Who does the Rule affect?

The Rule affects people who apply to have vehicles certified for entry into the New Zealand fleet. These are usually vehicle importers. 

What do the Rule changes mean for importers of new vehicles?

By being prescribed in a Land Transport Rule, the requirements for fuel consumption information will be more transparent than requiring the information at first registration as has been the practice. The Rule will better enable some manufacturers to obtain accurate fuel consumption information from their head offices.  On the other hand, some changes may be required, to computer systems used by new vehicle importers, in order to deliver more accurate fuel consumption figures to government. 

How does the Rule affect importers of used vehicles?

In the past, only importers of used vehicles from Japan were required to provide fuel consumption information. The Rule requires importers of used vehicles from all countries to provide fuel consumption information for vehicles they import.

The Rule expands the number of sources from which people certifying used vehicles can obtain fuel consumption information. Minor system changes might be required for importers of new vehicles who will now be required to supply urban, extra-urban and combined cycle figures where applicable.  

Will the introduction of the Rule increase costs for vehicle importers?

The cost of the Rule to vehicle importers is expected to be negligible. 

When is the Rule due to take effect?

The Rule will take effect on 1 February 2009.

What is the legal authority for making the Rule?

The Land Transport Act 1998 (the Act) allows the Minister of Transport to make Land Transport Rules. Rules are drafted in plain English and go through an extensive consultation process with interested groups and the public. This is to ensure that they are better understood and are widely complied with. Rules are usually prepared by the NZ Transport Agency under contract to the Ministry of Transport and, like regulations, have the force of law.

The Rule is empowered by sections 152(f), 155(a) and 155(f) (iii) of the Act. These sections give the Minister the power to make rules to improve environmental sustainability, set out standards and requirements concerning vehicles, and provide for the recording and availability of information about vehicles.

Was the public consulted?

Yes. The then Land Transport New Zealand consulted on the Rule, with the release in February 2008 of a yellow (public consultation) draft. About 900 organisations and individuals who had indicated their interest in the Rule were advised of the release of the yellow draft, and copies were sent to key industry and other groups.  In addition, Land Transport New Zealand publicised the availability of the yellow draft in metropolitan newspapers and in the New Zealand Gazette.  The draft was also made available, together with Questions and Answers, on the Land Transport New Zealand website.

Land Transport New Zealand received nine submissions on the draft Rule. Comments received were taken into account in redrafting the Rule.  The Rule was submitted to Cabinet, before being signed by the Minister for Transport Safety.

How does the Rule fit with other legislation?

The provisions in the Rule are linked with provisions in the Vehicle Standards Compliance Rule, which provides the legal basis for the collection of fuel consumption figures, as one of the many items that entry certifiers are required by the Vehicle Compliance Rule to check when certifying vehicles. The Rule will be implemented by entry certifiers appointed under 2.2(1) of the Vehicle Compliance Rule and the information they enter is similar to that recorded under 4.3(f) of that Rule.

How can I obtain a copy of the Rule?

Final rules are available on the website

A copy of the final Rule will be available for purchase from selected bookshops throughout New Zealand that sell legislation or direct from the Rule printers and distributors, Wickliffe Limited, telephone (06) 353 2700. 

How can I obtain further information about the Rule?

Further information about the Rule can be obtained by calling the NZ Transport Agency Contact Centre on freephone 0800 699 000.

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