A Wanaka man, enraged because his car broke down, smashed the vehicle then burnt it out, police said yesterday.
Police in Wanaka said the 20-year-old was in "a world of mess" facing charges of wasting police time, making a false statement and liable for a bill of thousands of dollars for the fire service callout cost.
Constable Peter Reed, of Wanaka, yesterday said the man's Nissan Bluebird car broke down in Lismore St about midnight on Saturday.
The owner got out of the car and jumped on the roof, smashing the front and rear windows before walking to the resort to drink, he said.
About 1.45am he returned to his car, and used deodorant as an accelerant on a front seat to start a fire.
He left the vehicle burning and a member of the public called the Fire Service, which put out a fully ablaze vehicle, he said.
"He is in a world of mess.
"At first he trashed his car, smashed the windows and jumped on the roof.
"He said the reason he did it was because his car was a heap, it broke down and he got frustrated."
The man arrived at Wanaka police station yesterday with a "wishy-washy" story about his car being torched by a person or persons unknown, Mr Reed said.
During police questioning, the man eventually revealed he had smashed and burnt his car, he said.
Mr Reed said it was an example of bad decision-making and drunken stupidity.
The 20-year-old is expected to appear in the Queenstown District Court next week.