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Clean Car Programme

Implementing the Clean Car Standard

Kia ora and welcome to this update.

The Clean Car Standard (CCS) is a central pillar of the government’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in our vehicle fleet so we can meet our 2050 target of net zero carbon emissions.

From 1 December 2022, if you’re importing light vehicles for sale or personal use, you must hold a CO2 account, where the CCS CO2 emission value of your vehicles will be recorded. You’ll also need to enter the account number against every vehicle. Without this information, vehicles will not be able to complete entry to New Zealand and be registered.

From 1 January 2023, for Pay as You Go, the CCS CO2 emission value will determine either a charge to be paid or credit that is earned for the vehicle. For Fleet Average, importers receive credit or incur a charge based on total emmisions over the year. Credits can be used to offset charges to be paid for vehicles or transferred to other importers but can’t be redeemed for cash.

The legislation for the CCS was passed in February 2022 and implementation settings of the Clean Car Standard are currently being finalised.

If you have any questions about the Clean Car Programme please contact us, we’ll be happy to help.

Note: The following information is based on what is provided in the legislation and is subject to regulations.

CCD and CCS operate in tandem

The Clean Car Standard (CCS) and the Clean Car Discount (CCD) operate together.

The CCD (implemented in April this year) encourages buyer demand for low-emission vehicles by providing rebates for zero and low-emission light vehicles, and requiring a fee to be paid for high-emission vehicles, registered in New Zealand for the first time.

Waka Kotahi is implementing the CCS that is focused on influencing vehicle supply into New Zealand through vehicle importers.

Vehicle importers must have a CO2 account and will use the Clean Car Standard system operated by Waka Kotahi to manage their vehicles compliance with the CCS.

Implementation stages

The Clean Car Standard system will be available in early November and vehicle importers will be able to register for a CO2 account. From 1 December, light vehicle importers must have a CO2 account and vehicles will be required to be assigned to that account.


  • Importers will be able to register for a CCS CO2 account, view their account details plus add other account users to manage the account
  • We will let you know when registration opens
  • All accounts are initially registered as Pay as You Go
  • Importers can apply to be on Fleet Average through the online application process

1 December

  • Imported light vehicles will be visible in the CCS system, with a CO2 account showing CCS CO2 emissions value
  • An account number needs to be entered against every vehicle
  • Vehicles will be automatically accepted in the system so importers can test the process for viewing vehicles as they are certified. This will also allow importers to monitor vehicles not certified before 1 January
  • Excluded vehicles will show a null CO2 emission value

1 January 2023

  • For Pay as You Go, once a vehicle is accepted, the charge for vehicles with a CO2 emission value above the weight adjusted target will be calculated. Vehicles below the weight adjusted target will have their credit added to the importer’s CO2 balance.
  • Importers will have the option to use any available CO2 credits to offset charges
  • For importers on Fleet Average, once a vehicle is accepted, you can track overall performance against target during the year
  • There will be processes in place to reject vehicles, correct values and locate vehicles in the system that are not showing in an account. The Waka Kotahi CCS team supporting the system will manage issues or make corrections as needed.

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CO2 accounts

What’s a CO2 account?

  • Your CO2 account will allow you to view and manage your imported vehicles
  • An importer can have one new vehicle and one used vehicle CO2 account
  • You can choose to add additional users to help manage the CO2 account
  • There are two categories of importers, Fleet Average and Pay as You Go
  • You’ll automatically be registered as Pay as You Go when you set up your CO2 account
  • Pay as You Go allows you to pay charges and receive credits on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis as each vehicle is imported.
  • Fleet Average allows you to manage your vehicles on an annual basis, you’ll be assessed on the average emissions of the vehicles you import each year against your Fleet Average target
  • Once you have registered for a CO2 account, you can apply for Fleet Average
  • Anyone can register a CO2 account

What you’ll need to register for a CO2 account

  • You’ll need a RealMe login, which can be created during the registration process
  • We’ll be asking you a little bit about you and if you’re importing new or used vehicles
  • We’ll need your contact information
  • If you are setting up an account as a business, we’ll need your NZBN
  • You’ll need to read and agree to any Clean Car Standard terms and conditions and privacy statement, if applicable
  • No approval is needed and we expect this will take you about 5 minutes

About Fleet Average

Fleet Average benefits businesses importing large volumes of vehicles that would like to manage their vehicles on an annual basis. Please note the rates per CO2 grams for Fleet Average are higher than for Pay as You Go.

Who can apply for a Fleet Average account?

  • Businesses with a CO2 account can apply
  • You must be a New Zealand business with a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) that has been trading for five years or more

We’ll need information to assess your eligibility

  • The following information is an indication of what information we will be looking for:Your motor vehicle trader number
  • Financial information including financial accounts, trading history and a current credit rating, if you have it
  • Details of how you plan to comply with the CO2 targets
  • Direct debit authority form filled out with proof of the bank account (eg bank statements) to be used for payments
  • A declaration about criminal offences or bankruptcy from the applicant or related person(s)

It will take you about 30 minutes to complete your application if you can quickly access all the information you need to supply.

Templates will be available to download from the Waka Kotahi website to help you provide this information.

While we’re reviewing your application, you can still manage your vehicles in the Clean Car Standard system using your Pay as You Go account.

Note: the Fleet Average application criteria is subject to regulations.