In March 2022 VTNZ trialled a new booking system for Certificate of Fitness B (CoFB) and Vehicle Condition Assessment (VCA) for heavy vehicles. The pilot was carried out in Porirua and has since been rolled out in Tauranga with select Northland branches scheduled for December 2022.

The purpose of the pilot was to see whether being able to book heavy vehicles in for inspections at a specific day and time would have an impact on wait times and queues, and what difference this would make to vehicles owners and businesses such as Vaughano’s Diesel Services in Porirua.

Sharleen and Vaughan MacInnes (pictured) opened their business 13 years ago and offer both car and truck diesel servicing. They regularly take heavy vehicles to the VTNZ Porirua branch for CoFB and VCA’s as part of their customer service. Vaughan says the booking system has made a tremendous impact on their business as now their staff and the customer have certainty over when the vehicle will be inspected, and a better idea of when the vehicle will be back on the road.

“Back in the days when we had to wait in a long queue with the vehicle, we could be there for four or five hours. Even then the vehicle might not be seen until the following day. This was a charge we had to pass on to our customer. Things improved when we were allowed to drop the vehicle off and pick it up after inspection, but we still had no certainty over when the inspection would take place.

With the new booking system, it means we can arrange with the vehicle owner an exact time to drop the vehicle off to us which means more time on the road for the owner and easier for us to manage staffing and drop-offs,” said Vaughan. While Vaughan and Sharleen loved the new booking service, they didn’t love the booking fee that came with it. They fed this back to VTNZ and in June 2022 VTNZ removed the booking fee from the service.

VTNZ Product Manager Laura Hogg says the booking system was brought in to reduce wait times and queues in branches, and this was certainly achieved during the pilot in Porirua.

“The uptake of the new booking system at VTNZ Porirua has seen most days at 100% capacity. Traffic flow and management have improved with less congestion and queues which can at times affect other road users.

“We have now rolled out this service to Tauranga and will have it in place in Northland before the end of the year. It’s available to any customer wanting to book in a heavy vehicle CoFB or VCA inspection,” said Laura Hogg.

Bookings can be made via the channels below:
• By calling 0800 868 008, Monday to Friday from 8.00am – 4.30pm. Outside of these hours, a voicemail service will capture requests which will be actioned and responded to during the previously mentioned working hours, or
• By emailing Emails will be responded to Monday – Friday between 8am -4.30pm, or
• In-branch at VTNZ Porirua, VTNZ Maleme Street (Tauranga), VTNZ Ninth Ave (Tauranga) or VTNZ Mt Maunganui, with our team.

Operators will be asked to provide the following information at the time of booking:
• Their company name
• Their first and last names, phone number and email address (unless we have this
information captured already)
• The registration of the vehicle they wish to book
• The type of service they wish to book
• Preferred booking date and time (if this is not available, we will work with the customer to find a suitable appointment slot)

“Our plan is to roll out our premium booking service to other VTNZ branches and providers around New Zealand over the next 12 months, initially concentrating on those branches that are consistently busy and that have longer wait times. It’s still early days in the programme with the pilot only just having been completed, and by rolling the service out in stages we can incorporate feedback from our staff and users as we go along. We envisage there will be a minimum of 1-2 premium booking branches per region; in regions where we have multiple branch locations, there may be a higher ratio of premium booking branches to drive-in branches.

The rollout planning will begin shortly with the launch programme starting in earnest early next year, 2023. We will keep Transporting NZ, key stakeholder groups and account holders up to date with any new developments as they happen. Enquiries on our premium booking service can be directed to Laura Hogg, Product Manager, Mobile: +64 27 311 3430 “

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