State vehicle inspections are a ripoff!!!
According to Bankrate, the bill for accidents resulting from unperformed vehicle maintenance tops
$2 billion a year. (Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/true-cost- of-not-
maintaining-your- car-1.aspx#ixzz4JnAfEPsT) While the damage to vehicles is bad financially,
the possibility of causing bodily harm to yourself and others is the much larger cost…especially
if it could be prevented with a simple $12 inspection.
Missouri began performing vehicle safety inspections in December of 1968 and they have been
required of residents ever since. Today inspections are not necessary on vehicles 5 years old
or less and only every other year on vehicles over 5 years old. There is very little data on how
many vehicle crashes are prevented by performing inspections because it is very difficult to
determine the cause after a collision has occurred.
I can tell you from personal experience, with over 20 years as a Missouri State Inspector, that I
have prevented some scary stuff from happening out on the road. Many people think it is just a
formality; however, if performed correctly the way the Missouri Highway Patrol requires, it could
possibly save your life and others. It may be the best deal in the state of Missouri. Think about
it…$12 to know if your car is safe to drive, that’s a real bargain.
The cost to the shop to perform the inspection is often more than the revenue generated. So
why do we do them? Some shops perform inspections because they want to be convenient to
their customers while others take it seriously and truly care about their customer’s safety. My
recommendation is to find the shop that truly cares.
According to insurance agents I know, if you are involved in a collision that is determined to be
your fault and the damages exceed the amount you are insured for, the other parties involved
can sue you personally for the remainder of the damages. It is not uncommon for vehicle
values to exceed $70,000 and medical costs from an auto injury to far exceed $100,000. A
truly professional shop will perform the equivalent of a Missouri State Safety inspection every
time you go in for service for free.
Things can change overnight on a vehicle. Machines with moving parts need routine
maintenance and inspections. The ideal situation would be to have a qualified technician
inspect the vehicle every 5000 miles during the routine oil service. Most conditions if caught
early will cost far less if repaired early than if they are ignored. Ultimately the goal is for your
vehicle to be safe and reliable for you, your family and others on the road.
Jeff Bain, AAM
ASE Certified Master Technician