‘Clunkers’ keeping city on the move

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Dirt cheap . . . Michael Trillo and his 1986 Ford Econovan outside the Dunedin Warrant of Fitness Centre in Hillside Rd on Tuesday. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Welcome to Dunedin – a city of “clunkers”.

Dunedin motorists own older passenger vehicles than the average New Zealander.

Of the nearly 85,000 light passenger vehicles registered in Dunedin at the start of this year, more than 40% were first registered before 2000.

Maintenance contractor and DJ Michael Trillo (20), of Dunedin, is among the 40%.

He bought his 1986 Ford Econovan about a year ago, for $400.

“It’s a clunker but it was dirt cheap, so I thought ‘why not?'”

Since he bought the van, it had passed two Wofs at the Dunedin Warrant of Fitness Centre in Hillside Rd but the brakes needed attention before it could get a Wof last month.

He said he wanted to upgrade to a 2008 Toyota Hilux ute, to avoid the six-monthly Wofs.

A law change in 2014 means cars registered after 2000 only have to pass a warrant of fitness annually rather than every six months.

Six-monthly inspections remained for vehicles first registered before 2000.

If the law had not been changed, he would happily keep the van.

“Definitely .. it’s a genuinely good van and gets me from A to B.”

An Official Information Act request to the NZ Transport Agency revealed nearly 85,000 passenger light vehicles were registered in Dunedin as of New Year’s Day this year.

Of those, nearly 60% were first registered after 2000.

On the same day this year, more than 3.3million light vehicles were registered in New Zealand. Of those, nearly 70% were first registered after 2000.