Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An Introspective on Car Inspections

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:51 AM

As the city's been thinking about privatizing car inspections and looking for new ways to make the system more efficient, I've been reminded daily — by a tag renewal form sitting on my counter — how user-unfriendly the system really is.

A few months ago, I bought a new used car.

The dealer gave me the option of transferring the tags from my old car or getting new tags for the new car. Transferring tags was the more wallet-friendly of the two approaches, so of course, I chose that.

Until, a few weeks later, when I started getting calls from the dealer's paper pushers, saying they needed me to take the car through inspection to finish finalizing the paperwork.

Honestly, if I had known that at the time, I would have chosen differently. But I waited in line for about an hour in November, the car passed inspection, and I drove down to the dealership to drop off the paperwork.

And now, roughly four months later, my tags are about to expire. And guess what I need to do to renew them? Go through inspection again. During the height of the commercial season.

I know it's probably not a common situation, but it seems like there should be some sort of exemption for this kind of thing, in addition to the proposed less than four years old rule. Maybe skipping a year?

(And I know that the city says that you can go through inspection early and it won't affect the date of your tags, but I did that once and instead of a brand new APR sticker I got a MAR in the mail. And right then and there I thought, I'm not paying for 11-month tags.)

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