Car Inspection in Singapore – FAQs | Vehicle Inspection Singapore

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Car Inspection in Singapore FAQs – All You Need to Know

Reading time: 7 mins Read.

We are sure you have heard about car inspection in Singapore from your parents, relatives, friends or neighbours. This is something all vehicle owners need to routinely undertake to show the authorities that our cars are in top shape to be driven on Singapore roads. Though, it’s a fairly uncomplicated process, people often have concerns about long queues, cost and failed inspections etc. – do not worry! Just make sure that your vehicle is in good condition and meets all the parameters to pass the inspection. Rest assured that, Land Transport Authority (LTA) ensures a very transparent and professional inspection process.

To further help you understand the process better and prepare for the inspection day, we have compiled a comprehensive list of FAQs about vehicle inspection Singapore in this all-you-need-to-know guide. Let us start by saying that car inspection in Singapore is no hassle at all and the few minutes that you give to the process is for you and your fellow citizens’ safety only. Here come the facts.

What is a car inspection in Singapore?

The Land Transport Authority or LTA (your friend) requires every vehicle owner in Singapore to undergo routine inspection of their cars, motorcycles, buses, vans and goods vehicles. This is to ensure that all vehicles running on Singapore roads meet the safety, emission and performance standards set by the LTA so that accidents happening because of mechanical failures can be minimised. The regular inspection sort of forces everyone to maintain their vehicles as per the set norms. So, your safety on the road is not jeopardised because someone else did not take care of their car.

When do I need to take my car for an inspection?

Generally the required frequency is not that regular that it becomes a hassle. Depending on the age of your vehicle, LTA requires you to come for inspection as per the following chart.

Type of VehicleNew Vehicle (<3 years old)3-10 years old>10 years old
MotorcycleNo Inspection RequiredEvery YearEvery Year
CarNo Inspection RequiredEvery 2 YearsEvery Year
TaxisEvery 6 MonthsEvery 6 MonthsNot Applicable
BusesEvery YearEvery YearEvery 6 Months
Goods vehicleEvery YearEvery YearEvery 6 Months

Note: The above period is only applicable to petrol and diesel vehicles only. If your car has a CNG system (an engine that uses Compressed Natural Gas as fuel), then the frequency of inspection changes to every 3 months regardless of the age of the vehicle.

How much does the inspection cost?

The first car inspection in Singapore will cost you S$64.20 for each time. For motorcycles, the rate is S$19.26. If the vehicle fails the first inspection and the LTA requires you to come for re-inspection, the second testing will cost exactly half of the first inspection’s fee, that is, S$9.26 for motorcycles and S$32.10 for cars.

For diesel cars, the vehicles will need a further inspection called the Diesel Smoke Test which will cost an additional S$20.33. Petrol cars registered before 1 April 2014 need a hydrocarbon emission test costing $1.07 and those registered after have to undergo a high-idle emission test priced at S$6.42. All price figures include 7% Goods and Services Tax.

What do the inspection officers check?

LTA looks into a host of features during car inspections. They are summarized in the following table.

What do LTA Officers Check?Why?
The Wheel SystemMany accidents in Singapore have happened due to wheel issues.  Thus, LTA emphasizes importance in inspecting the tyre suspension, wheel bearing, alignment and shock absorber condition.
Chassis FrameThe structural integrity of the car’s chassis frame helps to protect the passengers inside during frontal or rear collision. All owners have to meet a specific standard of the chassis frame.
Steering SystemFor directional stability and driver control. loss of steering control can be fatal, even when all systems are functioning well. LTA checks the driveshaft and the underlying system.
External BodyThis involves inspection of the doors, hinges, windshields, seatbelts and so on. Even the body paint matters that indicate internal rusting. Any small malfunctioning part can compromise the safety of all drivers.
PropulsionThe vehicle’s engine and exhaust system. There are two things to note. One, it is illegal to modify the engine or exhaust system beyond the set rules of the LTA. Two, the emissions and noise level must meet the guidelines of the National Environment Agency. The concern is both safety-oriented and environmental.
Braking SystemThe brakes of any car ultimately save lives. LTA inspects the entire system thoroughly, right from brake pads to fluid pressure. Both parking and service brakes are included.
Visual SystemHeadlamps, wipers, rearview mirrors, taillamps, direction indicators and more. As evident, a car’s visual system is a guide for both the driver and others on the road. Damaged components may be misleading.

How long will the car inspection take?

We understand that the above list might seem daunting. Fortunately, the entire system of vehicle inspection 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 You can expect to leave with an all-clear certificate within half an hour.

However, it is the queue outside the LTA centres that you should prepare for and set time aside. LTA does not take prior appointments for first time/new car inspection Singapore or old cars coming in renewals and the process is entirely on a first-come-first-serve basis. We have observed queues being the longest between 11 AM and 2 PM but things do move along fast as processing is quick.

Where am I to get my car inspected?

There is a total of 9 car inspection centres operated by 3 LTA-approved companies spread all over Singapore. You can visit any of these to get your car inspected with prices fixed by the LTA.

Largest operating car inspection company in Singapore. VICOM has 5 functioning centres at Changi, Sin Ming, Kaki Bukit, Butik Batok and Yishun.

JIC operates 2 centres at Jurong and Ang Mo Kio.

STA also has 2 car inspection centres in Singapore. They are located at Boon Lay and Sin Ming.

These companies also offer other added services like road tax renewal and vehicle evaluation. So, while you are there for car inspection in Singapore, you can also chip in other car necessities on the very same day.

What happens if my car fails the first inspection?

Failing the first inspection rarely happens if you stick to the maintenance schedules of your new car, get it serviced regularly by a professional mechanic and keep to using genuine parts. On average, early 95% of car owners in Singapore would pass the first car inspection and only a handful would be required to return for a second or third inspection.

According to the Enhanced Inspection Regime, first-time offenders are required to pay a fine and send in their cars for re-inspection by a given date after the initial issue is fixed. Second-time offenders will need to pay another fine and send in their vehicle for inspection every 6 months for 2 years instead of the interval stated above. In the event of a third offence, the inspection frequency increases to every 3 months for 2 years.

Here is an explanation on why it is best to avoid missing the marks of the inspection in a monetary aspect. The first new car inspection in Singapore will cost you S$64.20. If everything goes smoothly, the next inspection will due only after 2 years for a vehicle aged between 3-10 years. That brings the cost to S$64.20 biannually. In comparison, second-time offenders have to pay a sum of S$288.90 in that same span while third-time offenders pay S$577.80, re-inspection fees included. Obviously, this unnecessarily burns a hole in your pocket just for inspection.

Do I have to remember to take my car for inspection every time?

Not really! LTA will send you a reminder on your registered phone number 3 months before the inspection deadline. Once notified, you can proceed to any LTA-registered companies within the mentioned period for inspection. You do not need to present any form of notification or proof at these centres as they have access to a central database containing your car inspection information along with other relevant details.

That covers all the essentials about car inspection in Singapore. As you may understand now, the process is straight-forward. Keep your car in top-notch shape, service at reputed workshops and there is indeed nothing to worry about.

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