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Latest News / Features

Latest News / Features

Recently, there has been a large volume of media attention, directed to the ‘ute’ and, it has become a focal point of protest action against the Government. 


The Government announced the ‘Clean Car Discount’ scheme in June, which from 1 July until 31 March 2022 will see purchasers of important electric vehicles receive a rebate of $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used vehicles. Purchases of new and used hybrid vehicles will also be eligible for a rebate of $5,750 and $2,300, respectively. 


There are various additional requirements – for example, the vehicle must have a purchase price of less than $80,000, a safety rating of at least three stars and must be registered for the first time in New Zealand between 1 July 2021 and 31 March 2022. 


From 2022, subject to legislation being passed, it is proposed that the amount of the rebate will be based on the C02 emissions of the vehicle. The rebate will be funded by the introduction of the fee imposed on high emission vehicles, (such as some utes) from 2022. It is proposed that the maximum fee of $5,175 and $2,875 will be imposed on new and used imported vehicles, respectively. The exact fee will be based on the C02 emissions of the vehicle. The policy will only apply to the new and used cars arriving in New Zealand from 1 January 2022 – hence the second-hand market of existing high emission vehicles will not be impacted. 


If a ‘company vehicle’ is provided for home to work travel, FBT is likely to apply unless it is a ‘work-related vehicle”.

  • The employer’s name or logo must be permanently and predominately displayed; and  
  • The vehicle must not be principally designed to exclusively or mainly carry passengers.  


If a vehicle does qualify as a work-related vehicle, FBT will not apply to a particular day if it cannot be used privately, except for home to work travel that is necessary and a condition of employment; or other travel that is incidental to business use. 


It now appears Inland Revenue may be directed to crack down on the application of FBT to Utes and enforce the view that they may not qualify as a work-related vehicle. 


It does appear the Government is saying ‘it’s not me, it’s you’ to the Ute.