Tuesday, June 14, 2005

June = Car Registration and Inspection time

My date of birth is in June, so this month I need to get my auto registered and inspected.

I live in NH, and this is an annual requirement. I've always dreaded the inspection part, because it seems like a conspiracy to get garages business. You are totally at their mercy. If they deem that a portion of the inspection gets a failing mark, then you are required to get the repairs done within a certain amount of time...I believe 20 days, and you cannot go elsewhere to try to get another inspection...it has to be done at the place you got the original done.

Garages know that you're likely to just have them do any necessary work, so I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that many places arbitrarily fail some vehicles just to get the extra business. It doesn't quite seem right to me.

I understand and even appreciate the need for an annual inspection. It keeps a much higher percentage of safe cars on the roads. I just wish there could be a system of checks and balances to ensure that consumers are not being taken advantage of. I know that if the mechanic passes your car when it is in fact not safe, and you then get into an accident, or are pulled over and the officer notices something wrong with your car, that the mechanic that issued the passing sticker can be sanctioned. But what do we do about unnecessary repairs which the mechanic may basically force you to have done by withholding a passed inspection?

This has been an issue with me since I was in my late teens and had a vehicle I thought would have no problems with the inspection process. $800 later I knew better. Now each year since then, I've approached each inspection period with a feeling of dread. For a number of years I've gone to a small garage which does check many of the major items, but will let you slide on some of the things perhaps a bigger garage would nail you on. Each year I'm afraid this place will no longer be in business. I have to call them in the next week or so to find out.

A new thing this year is NH is doing emission testing for the first time. This is another cause for my concern over the place I usually go to. I fear they won't have that equipment and won't be able to do the testing.

My car is a 2000 model and in very good shape, I take care of it, I've gotten new tires this year, had the brakes done last year. It should be all set...but still I fear...am I going to have to shell out big bucks in repairs...that I might not need?

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