Are you legal when carrying bikes?

We're not lawyers, but we can tell you this.  If your number plate or lights are obscured when carrying bikes on bike racks, you're breaking the law. You could recieve 20-25 demerit points plus a hefty fine.  More importantly, you are putting yourself and your family in danger.

An outline of NZTA rules for carrying bikes on cars
  • It is illegal to obscure your lights when carrying bikes. Lights must be clearly visible in clear weather at a distance of at least 200 metres, and it’s your responsibility to make sure they’re clean and in good condition at all times.
  • If your bike rack or bikes obscure any of your lights, you must fit additional bike rack lights.
  • It is illegal to drive a vehicle with plates which are wholly or partially obscured.  If a tow-bar mounted bike rack or bike carrier is used when carrying bikes, it will obscure your plate and an NZTA supplementary plate will be needed.   Safelite can help you get one at no extra cost.
  • When carrying bikes on the backs of cars, it is illegal to just hang a supplementary plate at the rear. Supplemantary plates should be fixed to a hard surface and have lights when used at night.
  • It is illegal to use home made plates or numbers written on cardboard. Only NZTA supplementary plates can be used.  Safelite can help you get one at no extra cost.

Click on the PDF to check out the general rules on lights.

Demerit points and penalties

Operating a motor vehicle with plates or lights that are wholly or partially obscured or not easily distinguishable, can result in up to 25 Demerit points for each offence, plus an appropriate fine.

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Be seen, be safe and be legal when carrying bikes

Made in New Zealand to keep New Zealanders safe