Clean Car Discount 2.0 is today, and NZ's cheapest new car is...
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On April 1, the government’s Clean Car Discount kicked in, with the introduction of a more extensive “feebate” scheme that will reward buyers of low-emission vehicles with rebates, but also fine those who choose higher-emitting models.
And that’s just the start, because the Programme is set to evolve over the next few years. You can read more on just what the update means for customers and dealers here.
The “Clean Car Discount” is aimed directly at us, the consumers. The first phase was launched in July last year and introduced rebates for new and used Electric Vehicles (EVs, meaning they have a plug), as long as they are being registered for the first time, cost less than $80,000 and have a three-star safety rating or higher.
From April, the Discount scheme will be expanded to include all vehicles on sale. Low emissions vehicles (below 146g/km) will receive a rebate proportional to how far below that baseline they fall, while vehicles above 196g/km will attract a fine (also proportional) that’s payable after registration. That leaves a 146-196g “zero band” in the middle where there are no rebates or fines.
With more vehicles being included in the Discount scheme, New Zealand has a new cheapest car!
Up until the updated Clean Car Discount scheme, the cheapest new car in NZ has been the MG3 Core, at $19,490. But now, the honour of selling the countries cheapest new car belongs to Suzuki.
And no, it's not the Ignis or even the Swift! But the Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GLX manual, which with a rebate of $1,871.72 comes in at $18,119.28.
Gary Collins, General Manager of Motor Vehicle Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand, says “we are pleased a good range of new Suzukis are becoming even more affordable under the Clean Car Discount programme. A total of 12 compact Suzuki cars and SUVs qualify for the rebate, covering the Swift, Ignis and Baleno ranges and none of our vehicles incur a penalty"
The programme is designed to be self-funding through the penalties that will apply to higher emission vehicles. In between, there are models that will be neutral with no incentive or penalty.
To be eligible for the new car rebates, all vehicles need to be registered for the first time between April 1 and December 31, 2022, and have a safety star rating of 3 stars or more on the Rightcar website.
The rebate is paid to the first person registered to the vehicle and the new owner claims the rebate through the Waka Kotahi Land Transport Agency website after completion of the sale. This means the selling dealer does not incorporate the discount into the sale price of the vehicle.