The Warrant of Fitness. It is every Kiwi Car Owner’s worst nightmare…and if you’re a foreigner with an 18-year old van, it’s even worse.
The Warrant of Fitness (WOF) is a certificate which every vehicle must pass in order to be driven legally in New Zealand. In theory, it’s simply a safety inspection – lights, brakes, tires, suspension, fluids, etc., just to make sure you’re not putting yourself or anyone else in danger while driving. In reality, it’s a royal pain in the ass.
Our WOF expired at the beginning of October which meant we needed to pay a quick trip to the mechanic to have our van inspected. Considering the age of our vehicle, we anticipated the need for a few repairs. We had a broken steering rack boot, which the mechanic said he could repair easily, but there was some severe damage to the cross member which he was not qualified to fix.
Mechanic: “In order to get your WOF, you’ll need to get this work completed or signed off by a certified Panelbeater.”
Katie: “I beg your pardon?”
Mechanic: “A Panelbeater. I don’t do work on the body of the car, that has to be done by a panelbeater.”
I suppose when you break down the word it makes sense that this repair would be completed by “one who beats panels.” But seriously? That’s what they’re called??!?!
Kiwi Word of the Day: Panelbeater, also known as an Auto Body Shop.