You must take road safety seriously for the sake of yourself and other road users. You may not be able to control your vehicle in an emergency if its safety equipment isn’t properly maintained. This simple fact highlights the importance of regular vehicle safety inspections.
An annual inspection is necessary to keep your car street legal in Virginia. But you shouldn’t get your car inspected just for compliance. It can also help you in many other ways and save you plenty of money in the long run.
Read on to learn about the importance of vehicle inspections and how they can benefit your car.
Virginia Requires Annual Safety Inspections
The most immediate reason to get your vehicle inspected is to comply with the law. Your car will simply not be street legal without an up-to-date inspection sticker on your windshield.
The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all vehicles to undergo several pass/fail screening checks each year. In addition to the safety equipment, technicians will check your car’s emissions during the inspection.
You may risk getting pulled over and fined If you have an expired inspection sticker on your car — or worse, no sticker at all. Additionally, you can get a new ticket for every day your car goes uninspected.
In the worst-case scenario, you could quickly end up with a hefty bunch of fines. There are no exceptions to the law either, apart from certain antique vehicles not used for regular transportation. The only way for private and commercial vehicles to avoid these fines is to get an annual safety inspection.
6 Benefits of Getting Your Vehicle Inspected
Getting a vehicle safety inspection keeps your car street legal, but it also does much more than that. Simply put, inspections ensure your car is in good working order. Regular inspections can help you save both money and your nerves in many ways.
Here are the six most important benefits of vehicle safety inspections.
1. Extend the Car’s Lifespan
One of the most significant advantages of having technicians inspect your vehicle is that it can increase the car’s lifespan. Technicians check every system and safety feature of your car and can spot minor issues you may have not known about.
You can avoid serious breakdowns by getting these small problems fixed promptly. As a result, you may increase your car’s service life by several years.
2. Spend Less on Fuel
Technicians don’t just inspect your safety equipment — they also take a look at your vehicle’s emissions and fuel systems. Faults, dirt, or leaks in these systems can force your car to consume more fuel than necessary.
If you get these issues fixed, the mileage you get out of each tank of fuel can go up noticeably. You’ll spend less money at the pump, and keeping your fuel system clean also lowers harmful tailpipe emissions. It’s a win-win situation.
3. Fewer Expensive Car Repairs
The thing about car issues is that small ones usually escalate big problems over time. Every car owner dreads taking an ailing vehicle to a repair shop and getting a huge bill as a result.
For this reason, it’s important to address even tiny problems before they spiral out of control. You’ll save money down the line by avoiding larger repairs.
4. Stay Safer on the Road
Worn tires, damaged brakes, or loose steering systems can put you at significant risk. But these issues get even worse in northern Virginia, where hot and humid summers and icy winters can lead to extreme driving conditions.
Keeping the systems and safety equipment of your car in good condition can help avoid catastrophic accidents. Safety inspections help you protect not only yourself, but also your passengers and everyone you share the road with.
5. Save on Insurance
Driving a vehicle with faulty safety systems increases the likelihood of getting into accidents. The more accidents you have — even minor ones — the higher your insurance premiums will be.
Vehicle inspections ensure all the systems of your car are performing as well as they can. You can respond to dangerous situations more effectively and avoid accidents. A clean driving record keeps your insurance company happy, while you can be happy with lower annual bills.
6. Drive with Peace of Mind
Driving can be stressful as is, especially in difficult conditions, like on icy Virginia roads in winter. In these situations, additional worries about your car’s health are the last thing you need. If you’re constantly preoccupied with strange noises or poor car performance, you may get distracted from what’s happening on the road.
By getting your car regularly inspected, you can stay confident that every system on your car is doing its job right. With that peace of mind, you can pay more attention to the traffic and stay safer behind the wheel.
A Thorough Safety Inspection Covers Your Entire Car
A positive thing about Virginia safety inspections is that all repair shops must follow the same 24-point inspection manual. The manual covers all the most important aspects of your car, so you can rest assured that an approved vehicle is a safe one.
During the inspection, technicians will check your brakes, lights, steering and suspension systems, exhaust and fuel systems, seat belts, airbags, and more. If they notice any issues, they will mark them down and help you fix them.
All of this helps you maintain your car’s health and avoid serious problems. Imagine your car suddenly breaking down at the side of a remote road due to a problem you didn’t even know about. Towing and repairing your car and getting a possible temporary vehicle will surely cost you more than a car inspection.
How Often You Should Get Your Car Inspected
It’s recommended that you get your car inspected at least once a year. Coincidentally (or not), this is also how often you need to get a state-sanctioned car inspection done in Virginia.
The annual state inspection will most likely keep your car in fine working order. But it may be a good idea to get a safety check-up every six months, especially if you drive an older vehicle or just want to play things safe.
A good rule of thumb is to ask your technician to inspect your car every time you get an oil change. In fact, reliable auto repair shops — like Advanced Automotive — will offer you a free courtesy check with every oil change service.
But how much do vehicle inspections cost? State inspection prices in Virginia are locked in and currently stand at $20 for cars, $12 for motorcycles, and $51 for commercial vehicles.
The costs of regular inspections vary between shops, so it’s difficult to give you an estimate. However, as we mentioned, good and trustworthy repair shops will often give you a complimentary check-up with regular maintenance services.
What to Do If You Fail a Vehicle Inspection
But sometimes your car might fail a vehicle inspection, no matter how well you’ve taken care of it. Worn tires or brakes, damage caused by a loose rock, or a tiny crack in your windshield could all get you the dreaded rejection sticker.
What should you do if your car fails the inspection?
The good news is that a failed inspection is not the end of the world. A rejection sticker on your windshield will still entitle you to operate your vehicle for 15 days.
However, the sticker does not mean you’re immune to laws governing defective car systems or equipment. For example, if your tires are too worn, you can still get a ticket for it — even if you have the rejection sticker. Also, your car will naturally not be street legal beyond the 15 days.
This is why you must repair the issues that led to the inspection failure as soon as possible. A good car repair shop can help you make an appointment to fix the problems as soon as they reject your vehicle.
Professional Vehicle Safety Inspections in Chantilly, VA
Virginia’s state inspection rules are rather strict on a national scale, but that’s for a good reason. The driving conditions on our roads change dramatically with the seasons, alternating from high heat to snow and ice.
The varying weather can take a toll on your car, which is why finding a reliable auto repair shop for state and regular inspections is important. Advanced Automotive has been helping drivers in Chantilly, VA, achieve peace of mind for more than 35 years.
All our technicians are highly educated and fully ASE-certified. We know every car makes and models like the backs of our hands and will give your vehicle a thorough and reliable inspection.
If we find any issues with your car, you still won’t have to worry. We have the resources and experience to repair all problems and keep your car safe and legal.Call our Chantilly shop today at (703) 952-3221 and ask about our vehicle safety inspection services.