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Everything You Need to Know About Car Inspections in Singapore
Owning a car in Singapore entails numerous ongoing costs over and above the cost of actually running the vehicle.
One of these is the requirement to have your vehicle inspected at regular intervals.
What are the rules involving vehicle inspections?
Regular vehicle inspections are required only after your vehicle is 3 years old, after which the vehicle must be inspected every 2 years. After a vehicle is 10 years old it must be inspected every year.
If you have been caught with an illegally-modified engine or exhaust system more than once, your vehicle will have to be inspected more frequently: second-time offenders must send their vehicles for inspection every 6 months for 2 years; third-time and more frequent offenders must have their vehicles inspected every 3 months for 2 years.
Why do I need to get my vehicle inspected?
The vehicle inspection regime is designed to ensure vehicle owners maintain their vehicles regularly to meet roadworthiness and emission standards, reducing vehicle breakdowns and accidents due to wear-and-tear or maintenance issues.
How do I know when my vehicle is due for inspection?
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will issue a notice that your vehicle is due for inspection within 3 months before the inspection due date. In case you misplaced the LTA inspection notice, and you know that your vehicle is due for inspection, you do not need to produce the notice when you present your vehicle for inspection.
How much does a vehicle inspection cost?
An inspection costs $64.20, and if a vehicle fails its initial inspection for any reason, a re-inspection costs $32.10. Petrol-driven cars registered before 1 April 2014, require a hydrocarbon emission test that costs a further $1.07, while petrol-driven cars registered after 1 April 2014, require a high-idle emission test, costing an extra $6.42.
Where can I get my vehicle inspected?
There are 3 companies that are authorised by the LTA to carry out vehicle inspections:
- JIC Inspection Centres
(2 centres – Ang Mo Kio, Jurong)
- STA Inspection Centres
(2 centres – Sin Ming, Boon Lay)
- VICOM Inspection Centres
(5 centres – Bukit Batok, Changi, Kaki Bukit, Sin Ming, Yishun)
How long does a vehicle inspection take?
Inspection centres do not accept bookings, so there may be queues before you can get your vehicle inspected. Expect longer waiting times between 11am and 2pm. As the process is highly automated, the inspection itself should only take around 15 minutes.
What does an inspection involve?
During periodic inspections, the following will be checked.
|Structural integrity||The condition of the core structure of the chassis frame.|
|Wheel system||The operating condition of the tyres, suspension, shock absorber, wheel bearing, and the alignment of wheels.|
|Braking system||The braking efficiency of both service and parking brakes.|
|Steering system||The vehicle’s drive shafts and steering system which would affect the vehicle’s directional stability.|
|Condition of the vehicle’s body||The vehicle's body, seat belts, windscreen, door latch and hinges, and other key components.|
|Visual & Indication system||Vehicle’s headlamps, reflectors, rear view mirror, direction indicators, windscreen wipers, horn, etc.|
|Propulsion system||The vehicle’s exhaust system, to ensure that the emissions and noise levels meet the prevailing standards set by the National Environment Agency.|
At the end of the inspection, you will receive an inspection certificate if your car has passed all the tests.
What if my car fails its inspection?
If your car fails the inspection for any reason, you are expected to rectify the problem and return for a re-inspection (at half the rate of the full inspection) before a certificate will be issued.
What should I do before sending my car for inspection?
Around 95% of vehicles pass the vehicle inspection on the first attempt. This is probably an indication that Singapore drivers tend to keep their vehicles in good condition. If your vehicle is regularly serviced by qualified mechanics, you are likely to be among those 95%.
The simple answer is to have your vehicle serviced on a regular basis. It may be advantageous to have it done several weeks before the inspection due date – if your mechanic identifies a problem, it may take them some time to rectify it.
Also, if you check your tyre pressures regularly, tyre wear is less likely to be an issue at inspection time.