Everything You Need to Know About Vehicle Inspection

Motorist What Is Vehicle Inspection Cover(Photo Credit: The Smart Local)

Every driver has to send their vehicle for inspection at some point, but how important is it really? We’ll explain in this article.

Imagine this – you’re at home enjoying the holidays and your phone receives a notification. It’s a message from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) informing you your vehicle is up for inspection! How do you react?

Do you sigh? That’s a reasonable reaction, but vehicle inspections are actually really important for all drivers.

Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What Exactly is It?

Motorist What Is Vehicle Inspection What Is It(Photo Credit: YouTube)

Vehicle inspection is the process that your vehicle has to go through to make sure that it’s up to standard and is roadworthy. If your vehicle passes the inspection, it’s suitable to be driven on the road.

In Singapore, vehicle inspection is a regular process for all motorists. LTA will send you a message about three months in advance if your vehicle is due for inspection.

One of the LTA-Authorised Inspection Centres (AIC) you can send your car to is VICOM. They perform vehicle inspection, but also provide other services such as vehicle evaluation, road tax renewal and more.

Established in 1982, VICOM has inspected over 10 million vehicles as at 2016, and probably even more to date! They’re experts at what they do and provide the best quality service.

How Often Do I Need to Send my Vehicle for Inspection?

Motorist What Is Vehicle Inspection Calendar(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Depending on what kind of vehicle you drive, the frequency for sending your vehicle in for inspection differs.

Type of Vehicle

Age of Vehicle

< 3 years

3 to 10 years

> 10 years

Motorcycle / Scooter

NIL

Annually

Annually

Car

NIL

Every 2 years

Annually

Tuition Car

Annually

Annually

Annually

Taxi

6-monthly

6-monthly

N.A.

Omnibus

6-monthly

6-monthly

6-monthly

All Other Buses

Annually

Annually

6-monthly

Goods Vehicle

Annually

Annually

6-monthly

Trailer

Annually

Annually

Annually

Source: LTA

There are special exceptions though. For example, taxis and buses that are installed with compressed natural gas (CNG) or bi-fuel CNG systems have to undergo inspection every three months instead.

The Process

Motorist What Is Vehicle Inspection The Process(Photo Credit: The Straits Times)

Simply drive your vehicle down to the centre of your choice to get it inspected. You won't need to bring the inspection letter, as the centres will have your vehicle details at hand.

According to VICOM’s Vehicle Inspection Checklist, the following will be checked:

  • Lighting Equipment
  • Steering System
  • Braking System
  • Suspension System
  • Tyre and Road Wheel
  • Engine and Transmission
  • General Items

The entire process takes minutes, but the duration will differ for different vehicle types. For example, petrol-driven cars usually take less than 15 minutes, but diesel-driven cars can take longer due to the additional Chassis Dynamometer Smoke Test (CDST).

CDST is a mandatory test for all diesel-driven vehicles. It measures the exhaust emissions from the vehicle and costs an additional S$20.33.

Also, the inspector will drive your car through the inspection lane to do checks, so you can kick back and relax for a while!

If your vehicle passes the inspection test, then you’re free to go. However, if it doesn’t pass, you’ll have to come back and do a re-inspection.

Inspection Pricing

Motorist What Is Vehicle Inspection Pricing(Photo Credit: Pexels)

The prices for vehicle inspection are as follows:

Frequency

Inspection Fees

Age of the Vehicle

< 3 years

3-10 years

> 10 years

Inspection

Re-Inspection

Motorcycles & Scooters

NIL

Annually

Annually

S$19.26

S$9.63

Cars & Stationwagons

NIL

Biennially

Annually

S$64.20

S$32.10

Tuition Cars

Annually

Annually

Annually

S$64.20

S$32.10

Private Hire Cars

NIL

Biennially

Annually

S$64.20

S$32.10

Taxis

6-mthly

6-mthly

NA

S$64.20

S$32.10

Public Buses (2 Axles)

6-mthly

6-mthly

6-mthly

S$74.90

S$37.45

Other Buses (2 Axles)

Annually

Annually

6-mthly

S$74.90

S$37.45

Light Goods Vehicles (e.g. G Plate)

Annually

Annually

6-mthly

S$64.20

S$32.10

Heavy Goods Vehicles (2 Axles, e.g. Y Plate)

Annually

Annually

6-mthly

S$74.90

S$37.45

Heavy Goods Vehicles / Buses / Trailer with prime mover (>2 Axles)

Annually

Annually

6-mthly

S$81.32

S$43.87

Trailers

Annually

Annually

Annually

S$64.20

S$32.10

Additional Statutory Test Requirements

Off Peak Car (OPC) Seal Inspection

Annually

Annually

Annually

S$10.70

S$10.70

New Seal / Re-seal for OPC

NA

NA

NA

S$21.40

NA

Diesel Smoke Test (Cars, Light Goods Vehicles, Taxis)

Frequency of inspection tagged to vehicle type

S$20.33

S$20.33

Diesel Smoke Test (Heavy Goods Vehicles, Buses)

Frequency of inspection tagged to vehicle type

S$29.66

S$29.66

High Idle Emission Test (Petrol Vehicles registered on or after 1 April 2014)

Frequency of inspection tagged to vehicle type

S$6.42

S$6.42

Hydrocarbon Emission Test (Petrol Vehicles registered before 1 April 2014)

Frequency of inspection tagged to vehicle type

S$1.07

S$1.07

Hydrocarbon Emission Test (Motorcycles registered on or before 1 July 2003)

Frequency of inspection tagged to vehicle type

S$1.07

S$1.07

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Inspection

Frequency of inspection tagged to vehicle type

S$12.84

S$12.84

Airfield Vehicle Inspection

NA

NA

NA

S$21.40

S$21.40

Private Hire Car Decal Installation and Registration

NA

NA

NA

S$20.00

NA

Private Hire Car Decal Inspection

Frequency of inspection tagged to vehicle type

S$10.70

S$10.70

Source: VICOM

All fees above are inclusive of 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST).

That might have seemed like a long list, but it’s super detailed and will help motorists have a clearer picture of how much a vehicle inspection will cost them.

So, it’s best to maintain your vehicle as best as you can so that you pass the inspection on the first try. If not, the re-inspection fee(s) will probably cause you some heartache.

Enhanced Inspection Regime (EIR)

Some drivers like to add a little “something extra” to their vehicles, but did you know there are some modifications that LTA doesn’t approve of? These are considered illegal modifications, and they can cause a hole in your pocket.

As reported by The Straits Times back in 2015, vehicles that are found with an illegally modified engine or exhaust system for a second or subsequent time will have to send their vehicles for more frequent inspections. This falls under the EIR.

Motorist What Is Vehicle Inspection Enhanced Inspection Regime(Photo Credit: LTA)

Above shows how inspections for illegally modified vehicles will occur more frequently. Multiplying this frequency by the cost per inspection is going to burn a hole in your wallet. To stay safe, make sure to only get modifications that are LTA-approved.


All in all, vehicle inspection is something that no driver can skip out on, as each driver will need a certificate stating that their vehicle is roadworthy. A vehicle without a certificate is not allowed to be driven on the road.

If an unroadworthy vehicle is being driven, the driver will be considered guilty of an offence and will be subject to a fine not exceeding S$200, as stated in Section 91 of the Road Traffic Act.

To all motorists out there, don’t groan when its time for your vehicle to be inspected. While it may seem troublesome, it will surely benefit you in the long run.

Claim your free car valuation today!

Read More: 4 Things to Note Before You Send Your Car In for Servicing


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