March 2023

Clean Car Programme

The New Zealand Government’s aim is to reach zero emissions by 2050. Transport is responsible for 47% of CO2 in domestic emissions and their target cannot be reached without decarbonising transport.

The Clean Car Programme is one of the ways the Government plans to help to achieve this goal. It is made up of two parts – Clean Car Discount and Clean Car Standard.

The Clean Car Programme only applies to light vehicles (under 3500gvm) being registered for the first time in NZ, and impact new and fresh used imports.

Let's dive in and explain what they are, and how they will affect the motoring public when buying a new or imported vehicle.

Clean Car Discount

The Clean Car Discount (CCD) focuses on the buyer of a new or used vehicle, aiming to make it more affordable to buy low CO2-emitting vehicles.

Up until 31 March 2022, people buying new or used electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles could receive a rebate of up to $8,625 when the vehicle was first registered in New Zealand.

From 1 April 2022, the CCD scheme changed and is based on CO2 emissions of the respective vehicle.

Vehicles with CO2 emissions between 0 and 146 gms/km will attract a rebate.

Vehicles with CO2 emissions of between 147 and 191 gms/km will be treated as neutral and will not attract either a rebate or a fee.

Vehicles producing higher levels of CO2 emissions (192 gms/km and higher) will be charged a fee.

Clean Car Standard

The Clean Car Standard (CCS) focuses on the supply of vehicles coming into NZ.

As of 1 January 2023, importers will earn credits for low CO2 emission vehicles and incur fees on high CO2 emission vehicles.

More information on the Clean Car Programme can be accessed on the Waka Kotahi website >>


What is the difference between the Clean Car Discount rebates available for vehicles registered between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022 and the CCD rebates from April 2022?

The Government introduced the first part of the Clean Car Discount Scheme on 1 July 2021, and at that time it only applied to EVs and PHEVs. From 1 April 2022, the scheme was expanded to cover all light vehicles being registered for the first time in NZ.

A wider range of low CO2-emitting vehicles now attract a rebate, while higher CO2-emitting vehicles attract a fee.

More information on the respective rebates and fees can be accessed here >>

How much are the rebates or fees?

Rebates for new and used vehicles first registered in NZ from 1 April 2022:

  • Used Vehicle with 0 emissions: $3000
  • New Vehicle with 0 emissions: $7500
  • Used Vehicle with 1-56 emissions: $2000
  • New Vehicle with 1-56 emissions: $5000
  • Used Vehicle with 57-146 emissions: $3000 minus (emissions X $20 X 130/145)
  • New Vehicle with 1-56 emissions: $7500 minus (emissions X $50 X 130/145)

Please note the above figures do not include GST, however the rebate paid will include GST.

Fees for new and used vehicles first registered in NZ from 1 April 2022:

  • Used Vehicle with 192 emissions or more: (emissions - 186) x $37.50 to a maximum of $2500
  • New Vehicle 192 emissions or more: (emissions - 186) x $50.00 to a maximum of $4500

Vehicles already registered for use in NZ prior to 1 April 2022 will display an emissions and fuel consumption label, but will not be subject to the CCD scheme.

To look up a specific vehicle’s emissions and fuel consumption ratings, visit here >>.

I bought a low or zero-emission car! How do I apply for my rebate?

The buyer of an applicable vehicle must apply online via the Waka Kotahi website once the vehicle has been registered and allocated a number plate.

The rebate will be paid into the registered person’s bank account.

I bought a high-emission car! How will the fee be collected?

The fee has to be paid at the time of registration.

The dealer will likely add the applicable fee to the price of the vehicle and will complete vehicle registration and on-payment of the fee on your behalf.

Why has this Clean Car initiative been introduced?

The Government is hoping this will lead to and increase in the number of electrified cars available to the NZ market (both new and used). They want vehicle owners to think about a more fuel-efficient vehicle for the next car purchase.

Smaller light passenger vehicles and hybrids are very fuel-efficient, so the benefit of purchasing a lower CO2 emitting vehicle is that you will spend less money on fuel.

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