Motor vehicles and levies

Vehicle risk ratings and levies for light passenger vehicles

For most light passenger vehicles (cars, passenger vans, utes and SUVs), the levies you pay as part of your vehicle license fee (rego) are based on the risk rating and levy band assigned to your vehicle. This page gives you the information on vehicle risk ratings and levy bands, how they are assigned, what your vehicle’s rating is and how much your levy will be.

Find out what we mean by vehicle risk ratings

Vehicle risk ratings are about how well your vehicle (car, passenger van, ute or SUV) protects occupants and other road users from injury if it’s involved in an accident.

As not all vehicles provide road users with the same level of protection in an accident, we assign vehicle risk ratings to ensure the levy paid by light vehicle owners (as part of the vehicle’s licensing fee) reflects the risk of injury associated with their vehicle.

Vehicle risk ratings are based on the vehicle only, not on driver behavior or other factors (experience, speed, alcohol, fatigue, etc).

Vehicles that are risk rated

Risk ratings are applied to all registered vehicles, including cars, passenger vans, utes and SUVs that are:

  • classified as a passenger vehicle by NZTA
  • lighter than 3,500kg
  • less than 40 years old.

Find your band and how much you’ll pay from 1 July 2016

Your vehicle’s levy band and the levy amount you’ll be required to pay will be in the vehicle licensing reminders issued by the NZ Transport Agency.

If you don’t have a reminder, then the best way to find your risk rating band and how much you’ll pay from 1 July 2016 is by entering your number plate into the ACC risk rating band look-up tool (external link).

How we calculate vehicle risk ratings

To calculate risk ratings for vehicles, the following methods are applied (depending on the availability of associated data):

  • TSSI (T): In the first instance we use real world crash data (where available), as detailed in the Total Secondary Safety Index (TSSI). The TSSI indicates the risk of injury to occupants and other road users based on actual crashes.
  • NCAP (N): If we don’t have enough crash data (TSSI), then we use the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) rating if the vehicle has one.
  • Market Group (M): If we don’t have sufficient TSSI data, or a valid NCAP rating, we use ‘market groupings’. Market groupings are where vehicles are grouped together based on similarities of their type, size and other specifications.
  • Default (D): Where vehicles are unable to be rated as per the above methods, we allocate a risk rating band based on the vehicle’s year.

Banding your vehicle

Depending on the risk rating calculated for your vehicle, it will be put into one of four levy bands (Band 1 for vehicles that present the highest risk – Band 4 for vehicles that present the lowest risk). The band assigned to your vehicle determines how much levy you’ll pay. This means that if you own a vehicle with a lower risk of injury you will pay a lower levy than someone who owns a vehicle with a higher risk.

How much you will pay

For the 2016/17 year (starting 1 July 2016), the risk rating and levy band assigned to your vehicle will determine the amount you pay as part of your vehicle licence. The specific rates of each band are listed in the tables below.

Download the ACC8404 Vehicle risk ratings database for 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 (PDF 2.9M) to get a list of vehicles and their banding. You can search whilst you’re in the database, type Ctrl F on your keyboard, then enter a search term in the Find box pop up.

Rates for petrol powered light passenger vehicles


Levy ($)

Band 1


Band 2


Band 3


Band 4


Rates for non-petrol powered light passenger vehicles


Levy ($)

Band 1


Band 2


Band 3


Band 4


For the 2015/16 levy rates download the ACC7123 Light passenger vehicle levy bands for 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016 (PDF 745K).

Proposed changes to vehicle risk ratings

When vehicle risk ratings were introduced in 2015, we anticipated that improvements to the system would be carried out, particularly over the first few years.

To begin to make these improvements we needed your feedback. So we put proposals to change vehicle risk rating, along with rest of our proposals, onto the levy consultation proposals page of the Shape Your ACC website (our levy consultation website) and asked for your feedback. If you want to know more about the vehicle risk rating proposals go to:

Updated: 23 May 2016

Reviewed: 2 May 2016