Get a free vehicle report

Certificate of Fitness (COF)

Below is a list of alerts relating to vehicle licensing and registration. Simply click on the appropriate heading for more information.

1. Certificate of Fitness (COF) expired on ...

The COF is a vehicle inspection that checks minimum safety standards are met, and the vehicle is roadworthy.

Without a current COF, this vehicle cannot legally be on the road.

A COF applies to commercial vehicles (for example, taxi, rentals, passenger buses, delivery vans and tow trucks), or any vehicle with a gross laden weight of 3,500 kg or more.

COFs are issued for a 6-month period.

Our recommendation

If you decide to purchase the vehicle without a current COF ask to see the most recent COF inspection checklist to see exactly why the vehicle failed its inspection.

The checklist is always given to the vehicle owner.

2. Certificate of Fitness (COF) will expire on ...

This is an advisory message telling you that this vehicle's COF will expire in the near future.

Commercial vehicles, and those with a gross laden weight of 3,500 kg or more, must have a current COF to legally be on the road.

These certificates are issued for a 6-month period.

3. Certificate of Fitness (COF) has not been issued

This vehicle requires a COF before it can legally be on the road; however there is no record of an inspection ever having been performed on this vehicle.

The vehicle is either a brand new vehicle, a recent import or is never used on a public road (for example a farm vehicle).

If you want to buy the vehicle and drive it legally on the road you must have a COF inspection done.

This can be done at any number of COF inspection stations across New Zealand (for example VTNZ).

4. The vehicle did not pass its last Certificate of Fitness (COF) inspection

The vehicle failed its last COF inspection and it is legally unfit for use on the road.

A vehicle can fail a COF inspection for many reasons that, could require either minor or serious repairs to fix.

Our recommendation

We strongly recommend you obtain the new COF before buying this vehicle.

This can be done at any number of COF inspection stations across New Zealand (for example VTNZ).

If the problems are fixed within 28 days of the last COF inspection, you can have the vehicle re-inspected by the same COF agent at no extra charge.

If you decide to purchase the vehicle without a current COF, ask to see the most recent COF inspection checklist to find out exactly why the vehicle failed its inspection. The checklist is always given to the vehicle owner.