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Vehicle inspection is compulsory for all cars registered in Singapore. Here's a handy guide to understanding the whole inspection process from start to finish.

Category: Car Ownership Advice

One of the hassles of car ownership is having to go through vehicle inspections, which is required by law.

From long queues to failing your car's inspection and having to rectify issues, the process can be confusing to those who are new to car ownership.

It is always good to understand how vehicle inspection works so you'll have a fuss-free process when it is your time to inspect your car.

Here's a breakdown on everything about vehicle inspection.

What is vehicle inspection?

All registered passenger vehicles will have to go through periodic inspections to ensure they're roadworthy
Not to be confused by car evaluation services offered at inspection centres, vehicle inspection is a mandatory process that all Singapore-registered cars will have to go through.

This is to ensure that vehicles remain roadworthy, and comply with emission standards.

As it is mandatory, you are required to complete your vehicle inspection if it is due before being able to renew your car's road tax and your car's insurance.

How often do I need to send my car in?

For a clearer picture, refer to the table below for the frequency of inspections for cars:

Age of car Below 3-years old 3 to 10-years old Above 10-years old
Frequency of inspection Not applicable Every 2 years Annually

For a car below 10-years old, it'll have to go through a minimum of four inspections. For COE renewed cars, you will also have to go through annual vehicle inspections.

For Off-Peak Cars, they will also have to go for an additional number plate seal inspection every year, regardless of the age of the vehicle.

There is also an Enhanced Inspection Regime for those caught with illegal exhaust or engine modifications. Vehicle owners will have to have their vehicle inspected every six months for two years if they're caught for illegal modifications for the second time. If you're caught for the third time or more, expect to have your vehicle inspected every three months for the next two years.
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What do I need to bring?

There's no need to make an appointment - just turn up at any inspection centre when your car is due for inspection
It is recommended that you bring your notice of inspection so that it will be a smooth process during the day itself.

But it is not a requirement. If you don't have one and know that your car is indeed due for inspection, you can still proceed to head down to an inspection centre.

Also, don't forget to bring cash or cards to make payment after inspection. You can also choose to renew your road tax at the inspection centre.

What will be inspected?

The basics include your vehicle wheel alignment, brakes, as well as your exterior lights are all in working condition and according to manufacturer standards.

The inspection will also check for any illegal modifications, such as to your exhaust, window tinting, and licence plates that do no follow guidelines. Chassis and engine codes will also be checked to ensure the vehicle identity is correct.

Emissions will also be tested, along with exhaust sound levels. Diesel cars will have to go for an additional smoke emissions test on a dynamometer, too.

During this process, the vehicle inspectors will drive your car through the stations. Look out for signs for your vehicle type when you arrive at the inspection centre.

How can my car fail inspection?

If you fail any part of the inspection, you'll be advised to rectify the fault before coming back for re-inspection
You might think your vehicle will pass inspection since it is in good running order with no modifications. But don't be surprised if your vehicle does fail inspection.

Some common reasons for failing inspection include wheel alignment, head light alignment or blown bulbs, and emissions. These are issues that will crop up over the course of car ownership.

In most cases, your vehicle will continue to be inspected, and the issues will be made known to you once the inspection process is complete.

What happens if I fail my inspection?

If a particular part of your vehicle has failed inspection, the centre will advise you to rectify the defect.

Based on experience, if the defect can be rectified within the same day, the inspection centre would allow for re-inspection on the same day at no added cost. If you have to come another day for inspection, there will be re-inspection costs incurred.

How much does it all cost?

The cost for inspection is standardised across all inspection centres. The three inspection centres are VICOM, JIC and STA.

Refer to the table below for common costs involved when it comes to vehicle inspection for passenger cars:

Type of inspection Inspection cost Re-inspection cost
Inspection for petrol-driven/hybrid-petrol vehicles $64.20 $32.10
Additional Diesel Smoke Test for diesel cars $20.33 $20.33
Off-Peak Car seal inspection $10.70 $10.70

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