What is the Clean Car Programme?
The Clean Car Discount is part of the Clean Car Programme, one of the Government’s initiatives to reduce climate change and CO₂ emissions to net zero by 2050. Around 47% of CO₂ emissions in New Zealand are produced by the transport sector, including privately owned cars, and it is this group that the Clean Car Programme is looking to influence.
The Clean Car Programme is made up of the:
- Clean Car Discount – encouraging customers to purchase lower emission new and used import vehicles.
- Clean Car Standard – encouraging vehicle importers and distributors to sell low or no emission vehicles.
The Clean Car Discount
On April 1 2022, the second stage of the Clean Car Discount will be introduced. Under the programme you will be able to buy a low or zero emission vehicle and be able to claim a rebate or partial refund.
Initially the Clean Car Discount programme only included EV and plug-in hybrid models. From April 2022 other petrol and hybrid vehicles, like non-plug-in hybrids (Swift Hybrid) and very economical petrol cars will now qualify for a rebate. Those with very high emissions, such as utes and large SUVs, will incur a fee and some vehicles in the mid-low emission range will have no fee or rebate.
The vehicle will need to be a new or a used import registered for the first time in New Zealand between 1 April 2021 and 31 December 2022 and have at least a three star safety rating (as published on the Rightcar website). The purchase price of the vehicle also needs to be under $80,000 including GST and on-road costs.
Designed to be self-funding, the fees collected from the Clean Car Discount Programme will cover the rebates given out.
The Clean Car Standard
The Clean Car Standard is a target set by the Government (subject to legislation being passed) aimed at regulating importers of vehicles and incentivising them to bring cleaner cars into New Zealand. The targets are based on vehicle weight so a small, light vehicle will have a much tougher CO₂ emission target to achieve than a heavier vehicle. Imported vehicles that exceed the target will incur a penalty and those with low or no emissions will receive a credit.
The Clean Car Standard targets have commenced from 2022 and will progressively become lower each year. Distributor penalties or credits will commence from 2023
How is the Clean Car Discount calculated?
From 1 April 2022, the Clean Car Discount will change from a flat fee to a sliding scale based on the CO₂ emissions of the vehicle.
For consistency, the Government has converted all of the car manufacturer’s fuel economy and CO₂ emission figures to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (3P-WLTP) emissions testing regime. The Clean Car rebate or fee is then calculated using these figures.
The higher the CO₂ g/km rating the greater the fee you will have to pay – up to $5,175 for a new car or $2,875 for used import. The lower the CO₂ g/km rating the greater the rebate. You will be able to claim back up to $8,625 for new car or $3,450 for a used import. With a vehicle over 146 CO₂ g/km and under 192 CO₂ g/km, you will not have to pay the fee or receive a rebate.