Answering Some Questions You Might Have About Vehicle Safety Inspections

Posted on: 16 October 2017


Your vehicle may need to undergo a safety inspection in order for you to get a new registration, and it's good to schedule this inspection as soon as possible. This will ensure you also have time to schedule any needed repairs that may cause the vehicle to fail that inspection before your current registration expires. If you have an older vehicle and are wondering about this inspection, note a few questions you might have about the process, and this can help you to know what to expect.

If the car runs fine, does this mean it should pass the inspection?

Note that the features checked in a safety inspection will vary by state, but these inspections often include much more than just the engine; they may also check the condition of the mirrors, the windscreen, the safety belts and even the tyres. All of these other features keep you safe on the road, and help you to control the vehicle. If you're not sure the items that will be checked, ask for a list from the office that prepares registrations or from an authorized mechanic who performs these inspections.

If the car doesn't pass inspection, and I have it fixed, do I need to pay for a new inspection?

In most areas, your mechanic will give you a notice of a failed inspection that allows you to get the vehicle reinspected without charge; there are limitations to this, however, including a time limit during which those repairs need to be made. Note, too, that the repairs need to be performed according to the requirements of a safety inspection; for example, it's often against the law to install used seatbelts in a car. If your current seatbelts are not working, don't assume you can simply replace them with second-hand seatbelts, and then pass your new inspection. The mechanic performing the inspection can usually give you more information about the repairs your vehicle may need, and what to do so that you don't need to pay for that second inspection.

Does the inspection affect my insurance rates?

If you have repairs done to your vehicle in order to pass the inspection, you might note this to your insurance agent, and see if they will give you a discount for new brakes, new seatbelts and the like. Otherwise, your insurance company often doesn't know if the vehicle passes or fails the inspection, so it shouldn't affect your rates unless you proactively ask them for an adjustment.