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Agency tackles dealers over discount rules

Traders reminded of their obligations under feebates scheme after listings risk falling foul of laws.
Posted on 04 March, 2024
Agency tackles dealers over discount rules

A number of dealerships have been spoken to by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) after it discovered sales listings for about 300 cars that have recently received the clean car discount (CCD).

The action comes following allegations of dealers selling electric vehicles (EVs) after registering the cars in their name and securing rebates before the CCD scheme ended on December 31, 2023.

The Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (VIA) says several consumers concerned about the issue have contacted NZTA, which in turn found hundreds of such cars listed for sale. The agency has since spoken to eight dealerships about those listings.

Greig Epps, VIA’s chief executive officer, sent an email alert to members on March 4 reminding dealers of their responsibilities under the clean car legislation. 

Motor-vehicle traders wanting to claim a discount at registration time had to sign a declaration saying they would use the vehicle as a company car, courtesy car or demonstration vehicle for at least three months.

Epps notes while the policy offering rebates or enforcing penalties on certain vehicles finished at the end of last year, dealers need to be aware the scheme is still being managed until the end of June.

“This includes the need to hold onto electric cars for three months if you received the CCD for the vehicle yourself,” he explains.

“If you’re a dealer, make sure to check your listings and mark any cars that need to be held onto.

“The last three-month period ends on March 31, so let’s make sure we’re all doing things right by then.”

Simeon Brown, Minister of Transport, has reiterated that while the government has axed the feebates scheme its rules still need to be followed by the automotive industry. 

He has asked NZTA to check CCD registrations and claims and seek the return of any money owed, the VIA alert adds.

“We appreciate that NZTA seems to be taking a balanced approach to this issue,” says Epps. 

“They recognise that mistakes can happen and they appreciate it when dealers work with them to fix the issue. If you need help understanding what rules apply, just ask VIA.”