LTA Vehicle Inspection in Singapore: Everything You Need to Know
If you own a car, then dealing with a car inspection in Singapore will be something you’ll have to do at some point. The same goes with motorcycle owners having to undergo a motorcycle inspection.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) takes these vehicle inspections seriously in Singapore in order to keep our roads safe, and free of vehicles that do not meet the proper safety standards.
Although it’s a fairly uncomplicated process, motorists often have concerns about how to know when their car inspection is due, the cost of a car inspection, and what will happen in the event of a failed inspection, or driving with an expired inspection.
If that’s you, rest assured that these are definitely good concerns to have, because it means that you also recognise the importance of vehicle inspections and are taking them seriously!
To help you understand the whole process of vehicle inspections in Singapore and prepare you for inspection day, we have compiled a comprehensive list of FAQs in this all-you-need-to-know guide.
So get ready to rev up your knowledge about LTA vehicle inspections so you can steer yourself smoothly through the vehicle inspections in a breeze, and keep your wheels running safely on the streets of Singapore!
Table of Contents:
- What is a motor vehicle inspection in Singapore?
- Car inspections vs motorcycle inspections
- When do I need a car inspection / motorcycle inspection?
- How do I know when my vehicle is due for inspection?
- How can I check my vehicle inspection schedule?
- What if I can’t make my vehicle inspection date?
- Do I need to make an appointment for a vehicle inspection?
- Where are the LTA Authorised Inspection Centres near me?
- How long does the vehicle inspection take?
- How long do I have to queue up for the car inspection?
- How do I prepare for a vehicle inspection?
- How much does a vehicle inspection cost?
- What does a vehicle inspection check?
- What additional tests are required in a vehicle inspection?
- How do I pay for the vehicle inspection?
- How do I know if my vehicle passed inspection?
- What happens if my car or motorcycle fails the first inspection?
- What is the Enhanced Inspection Regime?
- How long is my car inspection or motorcycle inspection certificate valid for?
- Can I drive with an expired vehicle inspection certificate?
What is a Motor Vehicle Inspection in Singapore?
In Singapore, a motor vehicle inspection is a mandatory process required by the Land Transport Authority, or LTA, to ensure that all vehicles on the road meet safety, emission and performance standards.
During a vehicle inspection, various aspects of a vehicle are examined, including its mechanical condition, roadworthiness, exhaust emissions, and overall compliance with LTA regulations.
This compulsory routine inspection of all vehicles - including cars, motorcycles, taxis, buses, vans, and heavy vehicles - ensures that only vehicles that maintain a high safety standard are allowed to operate on public roads, minimising the risk of accidents caused by mechanical failure.
Important note: Periodic vehicle inspections are also mandatory as part of the process to renew your vehicle’s road tax and certificate of entitlement (COE), so they are an absolute must if you still want to drive your car in Singapore!
Car Inspections VS Motorcycle Inspections
While all vehicles are required to undergo inspection in Singapore, for the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on personal vehicles, namely car inspections and motorcycle inspections.
While both inspections serve the same purposes, there are a few differences between car inspections and motorcycle inspections we felt that were necessary to highlight:
1. Different lanes: Cars and motorcycles will need to visit the same LTA-Authorised Inspection Centres (AIC), however there are different designated lanes for each vehicle type.
2. Different inspection criteria: Simply because they are such different vehicles, a car inspection will include components such as checking the seatbelts and the rear-view mirror, while a motorcycle inspection will include checking the condition of the throttle and drive shaft, for example. The equipment and experts involved in each inspection process can also be different.
3. Different frequency: Motorcycles and cars follow a different vehicle inspection schedule. See the table below for details.
When Do I Need a Car Inspection / Motorcycle Inspection?
How often you will be required to undergo a car inspection or a motorcycle inspection will depend on the type and age of your vehicle. (See detailed table below)
To keep it simple:
- Cars over 10 years old are required to go for a car inspection every year
- Cars between 3 and 10 years of age must be inspected every 2 years
- Motorcycles and scooters over 3 years old are required to go for motorcycle inspection every year
- New cars and motorcycles under 3 years are not required to be inspected
- Note: This does not apply for Chauffeured Private Hire Cars
|Type of Vehicle
|Age of Vehicle
|Below 3 years
|3 - 10 years
|> 10 years
|Every 2 years
|Chauffeured Private Hire Car ^
|All Other Buses *
*Taxis and buses installed with compressed natural gas (CNG) or bi-fuel CNG systems must have their systems checked every 3 months.
^From 1 January 2021 onwards, all cars converting into Chauffeured Private Hire Cars will be required to undergo a conversion inspection if they do not have a valid periodic inspection pass result within the 3 months prior to conversion. For more information, please click here (PDF, 207kB).
All motorcycles and scooters above 3 years need to go for their LTA motorcycle inspection yearly
How Can I Check if My Vehicle is Due for Inspection?
You will receive an LTA inspection notice via post to your registered address and/or a text message on your registered phone number 3 months before your vehicle’s inspection due date.
Once you receive this notice, you can simply take your vehicle to get inspected at any of the authorised vehicle inspection centres at your convenience.
Look out for your LTA vehicle inspection notice in your SMS inbox
How Can I Check My Vehicle Inspection Schedule?
Receiving your vehicle inspection notice from LTA is pretty reliable, but in the event that you don’t receive any notice, you can also check it yourself online at LTA’s OneMotoring website. Under their digital services is a function specifically to “Enquire When Vehicle is Due For Inspection”. (Login via SingPass required)
If you already know offhand that your vehicle inspection date is due around a particular time, you can simply head down to any of the inspection centres and simply notify them that you haven’t received your notice. All authorised vehicle inspection centres will have access to a central database and will be able to pull up your vehicle’s inspection details.
If you need additional reminders, you can sign up here for inspection reminders via email and/or mobile (free service brought to you by VICOM) based on your licence plate number.
What If I Can’t Make My Vehicle Inspection Date?
You have quite a big window of three months to take your vehicle for inspection, but if you really are unable to do it during this period, for example if you are situated overseas, you can request a deferment of your inspection deadline via LTA’s online contact form.
Do I Need to Make an Appointment for a Vehicle Inspection?
As long as your car is due for inspection, no appointment is actually required. You can simply drive down to any LTA-Authorised Inspection Centre and have the inspection done on the spot. Of course, going during peak hours of the day may require you to wait for your turn, as compared to off-peak hours. Take note also that the opening hours vary for each inspection centre.
You do, however, have the option of making a priority booking with VICOM and JIC inspection centres here (pre-payment necessary), or booking a time slot with STA inspection centre here. These time slots are usually outside of the popular peak hours, and some queuing is still necessary.
Where Are the LTA-Authorised Inspection Centres Near Me?
There are 10 LTA-Authorised Inspection Centres (AIC) operated by three LTA-approved companies all over Singapore. You can drive or ride down to any of these inspection centres during their (different) opening hours.
It doesn't really matter which location you choose, as all inspection prices are fixed by LTA across the board. You can either pick a location based on your convenience, or check first beforehand if the particular vehicle inspection centre you’re looking at also offers additional services, such as road tax renewal, car insurance or motorcycle insurance services, or vehicle evaluation.
Here is the full list of LTA-Authorised Inspection Centres in Singapore:
|VICOM Inspection Centres
|View various operating hours here
|JIC Inspection Centres
Mon-Fri: 8am - 5:30pm
Sat: 8am - 5pm
|VICOM and JIC are both under the same parent company of ComfortDelGro
|STA Inspection Centres
Mon-Fri: 8am - 8pm
Sat: 8am -5pm
How Long Does the Vehicle Inspection Take?
The entire system for vehicle inspection in Singapore is highly automated. The preliminary physical inspections of your car will take around 15 minutes, followed by an inspector’s test ride in the inspection lane.
For a fairly straightforward car inspection, you can expect to leave with an all-clear in 30 minutes.
How Long Do I Have to Queue Up for the Car Inspection?
As mentioned, while the inspection process itself doesn’t take very long, you may have to set aside some time for the queuing process, which can take up to an hour. As the inspection process usually works on a first-come, first-served basis, all cars will just have to get in line and wait their turn.
The longest queues usually take place between 11am and 2pm when most working adults are having their lunch break, as this seems to be the most convenient time for running such errands.
Some inspection centres will have signs showing “60 minutes from this point” or “30 minutes from here”, so this will give you a better idea of how long of a wait you can expect.
Don’t let the visual of a long queue deter you, though. As it’s an automated system, each car inspection happens promptly, and the queue moves quickly too.
You also have the option of making a priority booking with VICOM and JIC inspection centres here (pre-payment necessary), or booking a time slot with STA inspection centre here. These time slots are usually outside of the popular peak hours, and some queuing is still necessary.
How Do I Prepare for a Vehicle Inspection?
There isn’t actually anything to prepare for or bring to a vehicle inspection. However, if you have noticed that something is not functioning right with your car, or your motorcycle engine sounds a bit funny, then you should absolutely get such concerns checked out by a professional mechanic before you go down to your vehicle inspection.
Not only might you be wasting all that time queuing, only to fail the first inspection, but you will also have to pay a second time for a re-inspection.
Even if everything seems to be in order, regularly servicing your vehicle by qualified mechanics is beneficial to your vehicle in the long run. So why not schedule a regular maintenance and servicing session before sending your vehicle down for inspection? It’s advantageous to do this a few weeks before your vehicle inspection date, so that you give your mechanic enough time to rectify any problems if they arise.
You can also do a quick self-check on the day itself that all your lights are working well, that your tyres are still in good condition, and that all your bits are well oiled and ready to make a good first impression!
Servicing your vehicle before your LTA vehicle inspection is always a good idea
How Much Does a Vehicle Inspection Cost?
No matter the age of your vehicle, or whether you’re having it inspected annually or biennially, each vehicle inspection in Singapore will cost you as follows:
Cost of Car Inspection: S$68.04 for the first car inspection
S$34.02 for re-inspection
Cost of Motorcycle Inspection: S$20.52 for the first motorcycle inspection
S$10.26 for re-inspection
These are fixed fees by LTA, no matter which LTA-Authorised Inspection Centre (AIC) you visit.
The re-inspection fee is applicable should your vehicle fail the first inspection and is required by LTA to come under re-inspection after fixing the issues highlighted to you by the LTA vehicle inspectors.
What Does a Vehicle Inspection Check?
As mentioned above, a car inspection will encompass a slightly different inspection process as compared to a motorcycle inspection.
Here are some vehicle inspection requirements for cars and motorcycles:
- Vehicle Identity
- Lights and turning indicators
- Modification and accessories
- Tyres and wheel alignment
What Additional Tests Are Required in a Vehicle Inspection?
Depending on its type and age, your vehicle may be subjected to additional tests on top of the standard LTA vehicle inspection.
For example, cars registered after 1 April 2014 and motorcycles registered after 1 July 2003 are required to undergo an additional Hydrocarbon Emission Test to ensure they are in line with the emission standards set by the National Environment Agency (NEA).
Cars registered after 1 April 2014 also need to do a High Idle Emission Test, which tests the pollutants a petrol car emits when the engine is working harder. This is on top of the standard Exhaust Emission Test conducted on all vehicles as part of their periodic vehicle inspection.
Non-petrol cars will also have to undergo specific tests tailored to their specific functions, such as diesel cars having to do a mandatory Chassis Dynamometer Smoke Test (CDST), while Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) cars will have to undergo a specialised CNG inspection test.
The car inspection process for off-peak cars (OPC) is also slightly different, as they are required to undergo an annual number plate seal inspection on top of their periodic car inspection.
Note: Chauffered Private Hire Cars are subjected to other further tests not listed in this article.
The list of additional tests and costs for motorcycles and private cars are as follows:
|Type of Vehicles
Additional Test Required:
Hydrocarbon Emission Test
(Motorcycle registered on or after 1 Jul 2003)*
|Classic Motorcycle Seal Inspection
|Car (Internal Combustion Engine or Electric)
Additional Test Required:
High Idle Emission Test
(Motorcycle registered on or after 1 Jul 2003)*
Hydrocarbon Emission Test
(Petrol Vehicle registered before 1 April 2014)*
|Diesel Smoke Test
|Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Inspection
|Off Peak Car (OPC) Seal Inspection
|Classic Car Seal Inspection
Above fees are inclusive of 8% GST
How Do I Pay for the Vehicle Inspection?
Prepayment via VICOM Diners Card or PayNow is available online via the VICOM website so you can skip the payment process at the VICOM and JIC inspection centres. Prepayment is valid for up to 60 days. You can only prepay for your first periodic inspection service, and not any of the other services, or re-inspection.
Payment onsite at all the authorised inspection centres can be made in cash or NETS. Only STA accepts credit cards, while VICOM and JIC accept DINERS cards, so make sure you bring the right cards depending on the location!
How Do I Know if My Vehicle Passed Inspection?
You will be informed if your vehicle has passed its inspection directly onsite after the entire inspection process is completed.
In line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030, LTA vehicle inspection certificates are only issued upon special request. You may request this hard copy only if it is absolutely necessary.
Otherwise, it’s probably better to play your part in being eco-friendly and simply view your vehicle inspection report online via LTA’s OneMotoring website, under Digital Services > Check Inspection History. (Login with SingPass required)
What Happens if My Car or Motorcycle Fails the First Inspection?
On average, around 95% of vehicles pass their LTA vehicle inspection on the first attempt. If you regularly service your vehicle, it’s likely that you’ll be amongst this 95%.
If, for some reason, your vehicle does not meet any of the necessary requirements during the first inspection, then you will be advised to fix the issue. Certain small defects can be rectified within the same day, followed immediately by a re-inspection.
But if it’s something that requires you to take your vehicle to a workshop, then you’ll have to come back for a re-inspection on another day.
If the reason for your car not passing the inspection is due to non-LTA-approved car modifications, such as an illegally modified engine or exhaust, then not only will you need to fix these and return for re-inspection, you may now come under the Enhanced Inspection Regime.
What is the Enhanced Inspection Regime?
If your vehicle is not up to par with LTA’s list of authorised modifications, you could be looking at an expensive fine and even possible jail time. According to LTA, “Any person who is convicted of an illegal modification can be fined up to $2,000 or jailed for up to three months, for the first offence. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $5,000 or jailed up to six months.”
You will then also fall under the Enhanced Inspection Regime (EIR).
Under this EIR scheme, your vehicle will have to be inspected more frequently than normal cars - every six months for a period of two years for first time offenders; and once every three months for a period of two years for repeat offenders.
And don’t even think of missing one of these mandatory inspections, because non-compliance with the EIR can land you a $1,000 fine or 3 months jail time for a first offence, and double - $2,000 fine or 6 months jail time - if it happens again.
How Much Can Failing My Vehicle Inspection Cost?
It really does not make any sense - nor cents! - not to take vehicle inspections seriously, or to add illegal car modifications such as air horns and undercarriage neon lights, to name just two.
Here is how inspection & re-inspection fees can really add up, at a glance:
|First Inspection Fee
|Inspection Fees for 2 years
|How much you'll have to pay in inspection fees in 2 years (e.g. for a 3 year old car)
|Pass 1st attempt
|Fail 1st attempt
|EIR 1st offence
|EIR 2nd offence
And this calculation is only to show the costs involved in terms of vehicle inspection fees, not even the potential fines involved!
To ensure a smooth and successful vehicle inspection, book a servicing appointment with one of our authorised partner car workshops or motorcycle workshops before heading down for your inspection.
If you are unsure if your car modifications will be approved by LTA or not, you can request Assessment Services at any of the LTA-Authorised Inspection Centres (AIC) in advance before your LTA vehicle inspection date. LTA takes modifications seriously, so make sure your mods are in line with their approved car modifications list.
How Long is My Car Inspection or Motorcycle Inspection Certificate Valid For?
If your vehicle passes its LTA vehicle inspection, you will be good to drive until you are required to undergo your next scheduled inspection. This will be determined by the vehicle type and age, as per this table.
Can I Drive With an Expired Vehicle Inspection Certificate?
Technically, you could, if you don't get caught. We certainly do not recommend this!
According to Section 91 of the Road Traffic Act, any “motor vehicle in respect of which there is no test certificate” is liable to a fine not exceeding $200.
More importantly, any vehicle that does not pass inspection will not be able to renew its road tax, and hence, will not be allowed for use on the roads. A vehicle that has not passed inspection will also affect your car insurance or motorcycle insurance.
So for the smoothest and safest driving experience in Singapore, make sure you get your vehicle inspected on time, and make sure you’re also well insured with DirectAsia Insurance!