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Street Racing

Street Racing

Street racing is motor racing on public roads. Any activities associated with street racing are illegal in New Zealand.

Find out more about street racing in this section.

Is street racing illegal?

Yes, it is a criminal offence and illegal to:

  • Race on a public road, or drive with unnecessarily high speed or acceleration;
  • Spill oil or petrol on the road to make a vehicle lose traction;
  • Intentionally cause a vehicle to lose traction (do a wheel spin) without reasonable excuse;
  • Use a traction engine in public, unless you have a current qualification to use one.

What is the penalty for committing a street racing offence?

If you commit a street racing offence, you could be charged and taken to court. The maximum penalty, if found guilty, could be imprisonment for up to 3 months or a fine of up to $4,500. You’ll also have your licence automatically disqualified for at least 6 months.

If your vehicle is used for street racing, it will be impounded for 28 days, even if it wasn’t you driving. You’ll also get a green sticker, which means that after you get your car back you won’t be allowed to drive it anywhere except to get a new Warrant of Fitness.

If you’re charged with street racing offences, you could also be charged with other traffic offences, depending on the facts of your case. Further charged could include careless, dangerous or reckless driving.

If you injure or kill someone, the penalties are more serious. If you injure someone, you can be imprisoned for up to 5 years or fined up to $20,000. If you kill someone, you can be imprisoned for up to 10 years or fined up to $20,000. Your licence will also be automatically disqualified for at least a year.


Can my car be permanently confiscated or destroyed?

Yes. When you’re convicted of a street racing offence, you get a warning. If you’re convicted 3 times within 4 years, the court is allowed to confiscate and destroy your vehicle.

Am I allowed to modify my vehicle?

You’re allowed to modify your vehicle as long as the modifications don’t cause any extra risk to you or other people on the road. If you do choose to make modifications, you might need to get a Low Volume Vehicle (LVV) certificate before you can get a Warrant of Fitness.

What is an LVV certificate?

It could cost you several hundred dollars to get an LVV certificate. The cost depends on the extent of the modification of the car. The certifiers will check to make sure the modifications are safe and meet certain standards before they give you a certificate. Once you get one, it needs to be attached to the structure of your vehicle.

It’s important to make sure you have your modifications done by someone who really knows what they’re doing. If you don’t then you might not be able to get an LVV certificate, and you won’t be allowed to drive your vehicle on the road.

What modifications will require an LVV certificate?

You’ll probably need to get an LVV certificate if you modify:

  • Suspension –if there’s less than 100mm between the underside of the vehicle and the road surface;
  • The engine – if it’s different than the one the car was made with, or increases the horsepower by more than 20%;
  • Racing seats – if there’s any danger that seatbelts might be less effective;
  • Wheels – if they’re not made by a recognised manufacturer, have been modified or aren’t designed for the vehicle;
  • The exhaust – if it’s modified to make more noise;
  • Steering – the dangers of modifying the steering means you’ll likely require an LVV certificate if modified.

You can find more information on the standards that you need to meet and how to get an LVV certificate on the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association website.

Can a noisy car be illegal?

If you drive a car that makes too much noise this is an offence – this includes noise made from your vehicle’s exhaust and also noise from stereos or boom boxes. The legal limit depends on the type of vehicle you’re driving. Exhaust noise is checked as part of the WOF inspection. If your vehicle is found to make excessive noise, you could get an infringement fine of $250 and 10 demerit points. In serious cases, if you’re charged and get convicted at court, you could be fined up to $1,000.

Fore more information on noise tests, please check NZTA.


My vehicle has been given a pink or green sticker, what is it?

A police or traffic enforcement officer could give your vehicle a green or pink sticker if they believe for good reasons that your car doesn’t comply with the vehicle modification rules and standards or is unsafe. This means you can’t drive it again until you get a new Warrant of Fitness.

If you don’t get an LVV certificate for modifications when one is needed, you can be fined up to $2,000.

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