Which LHD vehicles are allowed to be registered in New Zealand?
Under Land Transport Rule: Steering Systems (2001), it's generally illegal to register a LHD vehicle for use on New Zealand roads. However, the rule allows some specific categories of LHD vehicles to be registered and operated. The main categories are listed below.
Category A: Special interest light vehicles less than 20 years old
The vehicle must be class MA (https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/vehicle-types/vehicle-classes-and-standards/vehicle-classes/#MA , and
- be issued with a category A left-hand drive vehicle permit by the Transport Agency, and
- be manufactured in a country other than New Zealand less than 20 years before the vehicle is certified for entry in New Zealand.
The vehicle must not be operated in a transport service and must be registered in the name of the person who obtained the original category A LHD permit for a period of four years.
Requirements that the vehicle must meet
To issue a vehicle with a category A LHD vehicle permit, the Transport Agency must either deem it to have historic value, or it must be a vehicle that was not manufactured in right-hand drive form that meets three of the following four requirements:
- the vehicle (or its make, model and submodel) is identified as being a collector's item in a commercially produced motoring publication
- the vehicle's make, model and submodel has been (or was) manufactured in annual volumes of 20,000 units or less
- the vehicle is, and was manufactured as, a two-door coupe or a convertible
- the vehicle is, and was manufactured as, a high-performance vehicle.
The Transport Agency may issue up to 500 category A LHD vehicle permits per year.
Find out more about obtaining a Category A LHD vehicle permit (https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/importing-a-vehicle/exceptions/importing-a-left-hand-drive-vehicle/category-a-special-interest-left-hand-drive-vehicles/
Category B: Light vehicles that are 20 years old or more
These are light vehicles that were manufactured 20 years or more before the vehicle is certified in New Zealand.
The vehicle must be class MA, MB or MC (https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/vehicle-types/vehicle-classes-and-standards/vehicle-classes/#MA with a gross vehicle mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes, or a class NA (https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/vehicle-types/vehicle-classes-and-standards/vehicle-classes/#NA vehicle, that was manufactured in a country other than New Zealand 20 years or more before the vehicle is certified.
The vehicle must not be operated in a transport service.
Category C: Specialist vehicles
- C1: Vehicles with dual steering controls. The vehicle must have dual steering columns and controls.
- C2: Identified categories of specialist vehicles that may, in some circumstances, be LHD. The vehicle must be used solely or principally as:
- a mobile crane, or
- a vehicle which operates wholly or partly on self-laying tracks, or
- an agricultural tractor or self-propelled agricultural harvesting machine, or
- an earthmoving machine.
The Transport Agency must confirm in writing that it is satisfied the operation of the vehicle requires it to be a left-hand drive vehicle or that the vehicle is only available as a left-hand drive vehicle.