Yearly Vehicle Inspection = State Sponsored Scam

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by designs216, May 7, 2014.

  1. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Already feeling violated at the yearly fleecing ($30 in Raleigh, NC), my ire was kindled to anger when the shop hit me with an additional $10 upcharge for a legal tint. Curious to see if the charges were actually mandated by the state as the snappy lube guy claimed, I got even more ticked when I read the arbitrary rules that govern this process. If this were truly about making the roads safer and reducing pollution, why doesn't it apply to all vehicles?
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Why are they charging you $10 for a feature of you car? That's basically like charging you more for having a moon roof or powered windows. I'd go elsewhere.

    Regarding the $30 fee, I'm rather alright with it. It means that I'm not worried that the car driving next to me is going to try to stop, and the person's foot goes through the floor, and it helps cut down on smog.
  3. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    In Japan every car is required to go through something called shakken, every two years if the car is less than ten years old, and every single year if the car is 10 years old or older.

    It is priced based on engine size; my 660cc (yes, 0.6L car) cost about $800-$900 for it's biannual shakken inspection. The bigger the engine, the more it costs.

    In order to get the shakken sticker issued to make the vehicle be legal to operate, you must fix any issues that are identified.

    As a result, there are NO beat piles on the sides of the road, anywhere, ever.

    So in the grand scheme, $30-$40 isn't that big of a deal and if it actually helps force people to fix things, that's a plus. Then again if people aren't required to fix anything beyond emissions equipment, then it's kind of lame.
  4. kilcher macrumors 65816


    Jul 3, 2011
    We don't have that here in Illinois. If we did I guess I'd try to think of it this way... If the state wants $30 a year from me they ARE going to get it, one way or another. At least if it's for an inspection there's the remote possibility it may benefit you in some small way.
  5. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
  6. firedept, May 7, 2014
    Last edited: May 7, 2014

    firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    Wish we had the inspections here in my Province. Some of the vehicles allowed on the roads are atrocious. I would be almost comfortable in saying if we had it introduced here, 25% or better of cars would be automatically pulled off the roads. It amazes me what people will drive.

    The only thing that is really kept an eye on is the large trucks. We have inspection trucks paid for by the provincial government that cruise the highways and pull truckers over to do inspections on the spot. If they do not pass, that truck stays put.

    I am not 100% certain on this point, but I believe it was phased out many years ago because garages were fleecing people with unnecessary repairs. You had no choice but to pay for the repairs the garage stated or you did not get you safety sticker to allow you to continue driving the car. Some of the more mature Canadians will correct me if I am wrong on this.
  7. satcomer, May 7, 2014
    Last edited: May 8, 2014

    satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    When I was in Okinawa for 3 years the inspection required your engineer to clean! So before every yearly inspection I had to have my engine steam cleaned just before my car inspection (every year on the Okinawa market garage). I always wondering if this was just an Okinawa Prefecture thing or if it was a Japanese (Nippon) thing?
  8. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    May 23, 2010
    Shady Dale, Georgia
    In Georgia, we only have emissions inspection $25 and that only applies if you are in the metro area… Walton County… One county out of metro!!!
  9. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Missouri's rules regarding this are absolutely stupid.

    Cars 5 years and newer are exempt from safety inspections. However, vehicles registered in the STL metro area require an emissions inspection every other year, no exemptions for new cars.

    What that means, is for me to renew the plates on my 1 and a half year old car last month, I had to pay $25 for an emissions inspection that took the shop all of 5 minutes (plug into the OBDII port and that's it, you could train a monkey to do it).

    There's probably nothing on a <5 year old car that's going to fail an emissions inspection. I bet failures on <5 year old cars are close to zero. Maybe a few here and there, but not many. However, there's a lot that could've been wrong with a newer car to make it unsafe on the road. Perhaps you drive a lot and the tires were bald and brakes were worn. Maybe a bulb was out. Windshield wipers could've been worn (I have actually had to replace those already). A 2 foot long crack in the windshield obscuring the driver's view. Shattered side view mirror from hitting something. All sorts of things that can make a new car unsafe to others. The requirement needs to be switched - require safety inspections on all cars regardless of age, and exempt newer cars from emissions.

    The worst part of it all, is since the emissions test is OBD based, cars older than 1996, the ones probably spewing all sorts of crap into the atmosphere, are exempt from emissions testing.
  10. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    In NY the annual inspection is $21 (more in the NYC metro area where they probe the exhaust). It includes a safety inspection - all lights, seat belts, horn, brakes on at least 1 corner - and a computer/"emissions" check. There can be no codes set, all triggers need to be clear (even if the code is reset there is a trigger of some kind that won't reset for a few drive cycles). They put a new sticker in the window and give you a printout from the inspection computer that an officer MAY ask for if they decide they wish to talk to you.

    The first 2 inspections on new vehicles are $10, the one they do when you buy the car and the one done the following year.

    If something fails, you have the choice of getting it repaired there (then passing the inspection) or getting a 10-day sticker to get it fixed elsewhere then re-inspect.

    MOST garages do inspections, every new-car dealer does (as well as being able to issue plates directly instead of waiting for DMV to send them) and there are NO state-run inspection stations (except the tailpipe-sniffers in the NYC area I think). The shop is not allowed to mark-up the inspection, it's a rate set by the state.
  11. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    NH does not have public inspection facilities or regulates the cost of inspection. The cost varies depending on where you get your car inspected.
  12. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You've been had. NC State Inspection (Quality State Inspection) doesn't charge me for my legal tint. The charge me for my inspection and that is it. Seriously, I would call that place and ask if there's an up charge for legal tint.

    I know they inspect the tint with some kind of lame tool to be sure it is legal, but they do not charge me for it. I just looked since it was as recently as February when I got my inspection and I just got charged for the inspection. They do motorcycles too if you have those. Next time, pop over to one of those. If there aren't many customers I can get in an out in under 30 min.
  13. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    "Violated"? "State Sponsored Scam"? "Ire"? "Anger"? "Even More Ticked Off"?

    Seriously? Really, and truly, seriously?

    Reading the thread title, and then reading your post, I was struck more by the tone (all those words expressing anger) than by the content of your post.

    To be quite honest, I think your anger misdirected and somewhat ill-placed, and I dispute the very premise of the thread title: this is not a 'State Sponsored Scam" but a necessary and much needed act of responsible state stewardship.

    Indeed, insisting on a legal annual, or biennial, check-up for cars older than five years is a perfectly sensible precaution to ensure a certain standard of automative safety is maintained on the roads, rather than another example of the evil intent of the state to control the lives of the hapless population.

    To my mind, this is a sensible, and necessary measure, as, left to themselves, some drivers will not make the necessary repairs to ensure their motor-cars are fit to be driven on a public road.

    In my country, it is illegal to drive a car that has not passed the road-worthiness test, and specific requirements are in place which mean that cars older than 10 years must be tested annually, while cars between four year and ten years old must be tested every two years. These regulations - which have been gradually implemented since 2000 - have led to the removal of the dreaded patched-up appearance of the sort of car that used to be referred to as a 'clapped out banger'.
  14. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    What a crazy idea, making sure that vehicles on the road are safe. :rolleyes:

    There are at least a dozen other things I would call state sponsored scams. Vehicle inspections, not a chance.
  15. Ganesha macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2009
    NC inspection program specifically does have some level of ridiculousness.

    For example,
    * my model year 2011 car, has already had 2 required inspections.
    * If a vehicle is a model 1995 or older, it is exempt from having an emissions inspection.
    * Vehicles 35 years old, or older, are exempt from the North Carolina vehicle safety inspection and emissions inspection.

    Now I understand exempt older cars from meeting emissions, but safety? Especially when it covers brakes, horns, lights, tires...

    OP is talking about the extra $10 fee they are allowed to charge to physically measure the transmission of light though the tint.

    "The fee for inspecting tinted windows shall be ten dollars ($10.00), and the fee applies only to an inspection performed with a light meter after a safety inspection mechanic determined that the window had after-factory tint."
  16. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    You're suggesting that these vehicle inspections are effective and efficient. They can (and should) be, but the way they are done is primarily to rack up additional revenue for the state. They hardly do anything to ensure that vehicles are road worthy.

    But like someone else said, if the state wants your $30 - they will get it one way or another.
  17. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Here its a rolling window of less than 3, or greater than 25, exempt.

    Buy a new car every 3 years. Or drive an old one =)



    Regulated max of $25.
    You can find stations in metro that will do for $15.
  18. ejb190 macrumors 65816



    There is two different tings here. What most of you are talking about are emissions testing required when an area fails to meet the requirements of the Federal Clean Air Act. You notice most of the people complaining about this are in major metropolitan areas?

    Now some areas did/still do require vehicle safety inspections. Indiana did it for years, but dropped it sometime in the 80's. My dad always said it kept the junk off the road.
  19. Southern Dad macrumors 65816

    Southern Dad

    May 23, 2010
    Shady Dale, Georgia
    Or live just outside of the metro :)
  20. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    Michigan could use some yearly vehicle inspections for sure. Not only for the bum cars on the road, but for the increased revenue, as long as it was mandated to go to fixing our miserable roads.
  21. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    My 2011 has had 3 inspections already (new, year 1, year 2) and will be due again in Aug. (the month I bought the vehicle). What's your point? Maybe I don't understand the complaint about a new vehicle having to be inspected because it's been that way in NY for as long as I can remember (before I was able to drive).

    Vehicles 1995 and older are exempt from the "emissions" test because it's probably done the same way NY does it, plug in a computer. That test requires OBD-II, which vehicles built before the 1996 model year didn't have (or weren't required to). OBD-II had a different plug and different communications protocols, mostly not conforming to any industry standard though most were similar.


    You don't have to be in a "metro area" of NY to be subjected to an "emissions inspection", but it's mostly just a computer check. Now, if you are in the NYC area the emissions test is different, they actually sniff the tailpipe I believe and the inspection sticker is different.

    As I noted in another post, NY has done safety inspections for as long as I can remember.

    Here's NY's page on the inspection requirements.

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