How Much Does a Car Inspection Cost in PA? (2023)

In the state of Pennsylvania, all drivers need to go through periodic safety inspections to make sure that their vehicles are operating safely. What many people soon realize is that the pricing for this can vary quite a bit. Just how much does a car inspection cost in PA? It depends on a number of factors, and also how much work a person is willing to put in to find the best price.

Contents hide

1Why are safety inspections needed?

2Where are inspections done?

3How much will the car inspection cost?

(Video) PA Motor Vehicle State Inspection Certification Training

4Frequently Asked Questions

4.1Is a car inspection worth it?

4.2Who pays for pre-purchase inspection?

(Video) Why State Car Inspections are a Scam

4.3Do dealerships allow pre-purchase inspections?

5Final thoughts

Why are safety inspections needed?

Those new to Pennsylvania might not understand exactly why the state requires vehicle safety inspections. There are some states in the United States that do not require this, so are they really that beneficial?

The inspections are done in large part to protect drivers out on the road. A random vehicle failure out on the highway can potentially cause a lot of damage if it happens during rush hour. Crashes on major roads and highways can’t be completely prevented, but having cars go through safety programs can help to reduce the risk.

Where are inspections done?

All vehicle safety inspections are going to be done at repair garages and shops throughout the state. All of these locations will be labeled as official PennDOT inspection stations. Fees are not set in stone, as each shop has the ability to do what they want with pricing.

If a vehicle does fail inspection, the inspection fee does not go towards the repair. However, a person will need to get that repair done before being able to pass inspection.

How much will the car inspection cost?

Anyone looking for a definitive answer when it comes to the cost of an inspection will be searching for a long time. The truth of the matter is, pricing can be different even when comparing two repair shops right next to each other in the same city.

About the lowest price a person can expect is right around $40 for a PA auto inspection and auto emissions inspection combined. This is going to completely cover a vehicle. The price can easily double and even get closer to $100 in certain areas of the state. In particular, repair shops in the heart of major cities tend to charge a little bit more than suburban/rural areas.

It is also important to always look into any repair shops that offer an extremely low price. In most cases, that is just a ploy to get a person in the door. After they are getting in initial test done, they are hit with another charge that might be something out of the blue.

(Video) How to Perform a Vehicle Inspection

There are also companies that will charge separate fees for the auto inspection and the auto emissions inspection. It might seem cheaper at first, but combined it is going to be more expensive.

How can the best prices be found when it comes to car inspections?

Searching locally online is always going to be a good starting point for anyone who is looking to save a little bit of money when in need of a car inspection. Another option to consider is asking friends and family where they go. More likely than not, at least someone has figured out where the cheapest option is in the area.

The final option is to just find shops online and directly contact them. If they are not upfront with the cost, don’t bother working with them. Shops that offer a great price are going to be more than willing to share that information so they can get additional business.

Are there any exemptions?

Those people who do not drive a vehicle that much can be exempted from the emissions test. If 5000 miles or less are put on a vehicle in a year, the shop can provide an exempt sticker to save some money.

Other than that, there is not a lot of wiggle room when it comes to inspections. The state of Pennsylvania is very adamant about making sure all cars are properly inspected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a car inspection worth it?

In our view, safety measures are always worth it. And that certainly includes car inspections.

A safety inspection can put your mind at ease, and once carried out, you can then rest assured that your new car is safe to drive and is unlikely to place you or your family at risk of danger caused by a fault in the car.

If you’ve been paying attention to the content earlier you will have noticed that car inspections are affordable, usually costing around $40 and very rarely going over $100.

When such inspections are carried out by someone suitably qualified, such as a mechanic, they are well-positioned to identify any safety issues that a regular Joe would very easily miss.

Even if the car dealer has certified your next car, you should still go ahead and pay for the inspection.

And at the end of the day, you can’t put a price on your family’s safety.

Who pays for pre-purchase inspection?

It’s the buyer who typically pays for any pre-purchase inspection.

(Video) Why You Don't Need A Pennsylvania "Inspection Sticker"

This inspection should be carried out by a qualified mechanic and be used to confirm that all the components of the car are in good working condition.

It should also be very thorough in order to reveal any obscure defects in the car that might not be visible to the eye. The inspection should look in particular into the car’s body, frame, and engine in order to establish the car’s overall condition.

This inspection should ideally include a test drive on a route that includes hills and potholes. This is an easy way to identify suspension problems or engine performance issues.

Most dealerships allow potential buyers to take a car off the lot to have it inspected, although some do not.

If however, you are in the market for a new car, you have decided that you don’t really want to pay for a pre-purchase inspection, could avoid this by buying a new car at an auction.

Do dealerships allow pre-purchase inspections?

We’re pleased to report that most car dealerships will allow potential buyers to take a car off the lot to have it properly inspected in a pre-purchase inspection.

However, it’s important to note at this point that dealerships are not legally required to allow the car to be removed from the lot for this inspection.

We think that the best kind of pre-purchase inspection for your new car is one that involves a test drive, since this is a great way to assess the car’s performance in real-world scenarios.

Perhaps seeing for example how the engine performs on steep inclines, and how the car’s suspension handles the occasional pothole.

Most car dealerships can do a state inspection, where a number of different safety checks are made, and sometimes emission checks are made too.

But such inspections are not designed to check every fault a car may have, so it’s well worth paying for a pre-purchase car inspection before you buy your next car.

Final thoughts

No one likes having to pay a fee for a car inspection, but it is part of living in Pennsylvania. By doing a little bit of research, most people will be able to find a pretty inexpensive option for the inspection.

(Video) State Inspection Overview v1 1

There is no reason to spend over $100 for something that can be done for half of that.

FAQs

How much is yearly car inspection in PA? ›

The fee will range anywhere between $50 to $100. These annual safety inspections help ensure drivers make necessary repairs to their vehicles that they would otherwise be unaware of. These inspections also provide the state a way keep poorly maintained vehicles off the road for everyone's driving safety.

What does a PA vehicle inspection include? ›

Safety inspections for passenger cars and light-duty trucks require that the following items be checked: suspension components, steering, braking systems, tires and wheels, lighting and electrical systems, glazing (glass), mirrors, windshield washer, defroster, wipers, fuel systems, the speedometer, the odometer, the ...

Is there a grace period for car inspection in PA? ›

How do I get to an inspection site if the inspection is expired? If your vehicle inspection expires, you can legally drive your vehicle to an inspection station within 10 days of the expiration, only if you have booked an appointment at the station and can prove you are driving there.

How often do you have to get your car inspected in PA? ›

How Often Do I Need a PA State Inspection? You're required to pass an inspection when you first register your vehicle with the DMV. You're also expected to do follow-up safety inspections annually when you renew your vehicle's registration.

How long does a PA inspection take? ›

How long does a PA vehicle inspection take? You should allow at least 20-30mins. Emissions for cars, trucks, and SUVs that are 1996 and newer will have an OBD2 test scan performed.

How old does a car have to be to not need inspection in PA? ›

Senate passes bills to exempt emissions testing on many vehicles. Have a car that is under 8 years old? It will no longer be required to pass an annual emissions test if a package of bills that passed the Pennsylvania Senate last week do the same in the House of Representatives.

What can make a car fail inspection pa? ›

Common Inspection Failures
  • Tires. Check your tires for proper air pressure. ...
  • Lighting. Every light in your car must turn on and off and be in full working order. ...
  • Chassis. Inspectors will check your car's body to ensure it is in proper working order. ...
  • Brakes.
30 Jan 2021

What vehicles are exempt from inspection in PA? ›

Yes. Vehicles will be excluded from the program if: • the vehicle is registered as a street rod, classic, collectible, antique or specially constructed vehicle and motorcycles. Vehicles excluded from the program will not have the “Emissions Inspection Required/Diesel Vehicles Exempt” message in their registration card.

Will a cracked windshield pass inspection in PA? ›

In PA, NJ and DE, the annual vehicle inspection includes a high level of scrutiny when it comes to all glass components (windshield, sides) and rearview mirrors. Damaged or cracked glass simply won't give you a passing result.

How long can you go without inspection pa? ›

Is there a grace period for driving without an inspection in Pennsylvania? According to Section 4703, “newly-purchased vehicles may be driven without a current inspection certificate for 10 ten days after sale or resale or entry into this Commonwealth, whichever occurs later.”

Can PA police scan inspection stickers? ›

Troopers can scan through license plate databases in their vehicles and get real-time information, he said. “This direction verification through PennDOT's systems is a more accurate way to verify a vehicle's registration status,” Basinger said.

How do I get a PA inspection sticker online? ›

Instructions for Ordering Stickers Online for the First Time

The station owner will need to log into www.inspections.penndot.gov to begin the registration process. The first screen that will appear is a Sign-in Page with an option to register. Select REGISTER.

Is Window Tint part of PA inspection? ›

WINDOW TINTING IS NOT A PART OF ANNUAL VEHICLE SAFETY INSPECTION CRITERIA. IF YOUR VEHICLE PASSES AN ANNUAL SAFETY INSPECTION, THIS DOES NOT INDICATE THAT YOUR TINTING IS LEGAL FOR USE UPON THE HIGHWAYS OF PENNSYLVANIA.

What color are PA inspection stickers? ›

Colors of Pennsylvania's annual windshield (safety) and emissions stickers since 1984
YearsEmissions sticker colorAnnual windshield sticker color
2019/2020BlueRed
2020/2021MagentaGreen
2021/2022YellowBlue
2022/2023YellowMagenta
35 more rows

How long do most car inspections take? ›

Full car inspections may take anywhere from 1 hour up to several hours to complete.
...
How Long Will the Inspection Take?
  • Document review: 10-15 minutes.
  • Road test: 15- 30 minutes.
  • Physical inspection 15-20 minutes.
  • Mechanical/Electrical 30-45 minutes.

What counties in PA do not require emissions testing? ›

Bill 743 requires emissions tests every two years, instead of annually. It passed 27-23. Bill 744 exempts Blair, Cambria, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer and Westmoreland counties from the testing requirements.

Can you pass inspection with airbag light on in PA? ›

What is this? Fortunately, a standard safety inspection is not a test. Your car cannot pass or fail them. As such, a lit airbag indicator has no bearing on the results.

How much can a PA inspection station charge for a replacement sticker? ›

Inspection stations may charge no more than $4 to replace a safety inspection sticker and $4.40 to replace an emissions inspection sticker.

Is PA doing away with emissions testing? ›

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to a measure to eliminate emissions tests — which happen in only 25 counties, including Lehigh and Northampton — for gas-powered vehicles less than 5 years old.

Who is exempt from emissions in PA? ›

The wording in the PA emissions manual states that a mileage exemption is available for, " Vehicles driven less than 5,000 miles in the previous twelve months, which have been owned by the same person for at least one year."

How many inspections can you get per hour in PA? ›

(c) Number of Inspections - A certified mechanic may not inspect more than: (1) Two vehicles other than motorcycles per hour.

How much is inspection and emissions in PA? ›

PA Safety Inspection$47.95 (includes $8 sticker / program management fee) +tax. There is a $10+ surcharge for commercial vehicles, vans, and large trucks.
PA Emissions Inspection$16.86 (includes $1.57 sticker / program management fee) +tax
Motorcycle Inspection$27.78 (includes $8 sticker / program management fee) +tax

Are shocks part of PA inspection? ›

Once these simple checks are completed, it's time to get into the more complex inspection: Suspension — Shock absorbers can't be leaking, mounting bolts must be in good shape, and ball joints can't move faster than the manufacturer's specifications.

How much is a PA emissions exemption? ›

If your vehicle still doesn't pass the inspection, and you can show that you have spent at least $150 on emissions-related repairs, you may be eligible for a one-year waiver.

Can you have rust on your car in PA? ›

Pennsylvania doesn't specify a limit on rust-hole size in vehicles. However, state auto inspectors look at your vehicle's body and chassis to determine whether carbon monoxide could enter the car and possibly kill you, your passengers and other drivers.

What is the minimum tire tread depth in PA? ›

Ensure tires have adequate tread – at least 1/16 of an inch depth between all treads. Ensure tire wear is even on all tires and check for dry rot (cracking), bumps, bulges and separation of the tread from the tire. Make sure oil level is within the vehicle's operating range listed on the dipstick.

Does a rear wiper fail for PA inspection? ›

An inoperative rear wiper, torn wiper blade, or a wiper parked in the center of the wiper arc of a rear window is not rejectable for PA Safety Inspection.

Is it illegal to drive around with a cracked windshield? ›

Is it illegal to drive with a cracked windshield? State laws differ, but most states require that a windshield be free of any cracks or issues with the safety glass that would cause your vision as the driver to be impaired. In short, if the crack diminishes your vision, it's likely illegal.

Will TPMS light fail inspection in PA? ›

I can say with 100% certainty in the state of PA that if the TPMS light is illuminated, it will NOT fail inspection. It has NO bearing on the state inspection process.

Does Pennsylvania require car inspections? ›

Pennsylvania requires vehicle safety inspections to ensure that vehicles are maintained for safe operation. Safety Inspections can prevent vehicle failure on the highways and crashes that may result in injuries or death.

Can I get my Pennsylvania car inspected in another state? ›

Can I get a car inspection in a different state? In most cases, no. As you can see above, each state has different rules about safety, VIN and emissions inspections. Though many states have similar rules, there is no federal program ensuring continuity between states and allowing inspections to pass over state lines.

Do new cars need to be inspected in PA? ›

A vehicle newly registered in Pennsylvania must have a safety inspection within ten (10) days of the registration date. Inspections are performed at official inspection stations (usually a repair garage or a service station with a repair shop).

How do I know if my PA inspection sticker is real? ›

The new inspection stickers will have a hologram that will emit a rainbow-hued shimmer when reflecting light. The hologram, which will be applied over the PennDOT logo, will give drivers and police a quick way to check the legitimacy of a sticker. There will be other ways to check if a sticker is real or not.

Can I get my car inspected with temporary registration in PA? ›

Temporary registration plates and related documents shall be available for inspection, with or without notice, by authorized Commonwealth employes which includes the State Police.

How long can you drive with an expired inspection sticker in NY? ›

The sticker will expire in 12 months or at the time of transfer if the vehicle is sold or given away. If the sticker expires, the owner could be ticketed. If the sticker expired within the last 60 days, the ticket will be $25 to $50; if the sticker is more than 60 days expired, the ticket will be between $50 and $100.

How much is tags and title in PA? ›

Title fee: $51. Registration fee: $35-$84. Plate transfer fee: $9.

What happens if you drive without registration in PA? ›

If you are pulled over for driving without a vehicle registration in Pennsylvania, you will most likely be fined, get points added to your license, and probably a court date, so you should obey the law and avoid all the legal mess you could find yourself in.

How much does it cost to transfer title and registration in PA? ›

What is the Pennsylvania title transfer fee? According to PennDot, it costs $58 to do a Pennsylvania title transfer. The fee is the same whether getting an original title, duplicate title, or at a registered dealer. If there's a lien on the vehicle, the cost will be $86.

What paperwork do I need to get my car inspected in PA? ›

Be sure to bring a copy of your valid vehicle insurance, your vehicle's title, your vehicle's VIN by an authorized inspection mechanic, notary public, or issuing agent, and your vehicle registration. Ready for your next inspection? Give us a call!

What does a PA vehicle inspection include? ›

Safety inspections for passenger cars and light-duty trucks require that the following items be checked: suspension components, steering, braking systems, tires and wheels, lighting and electrical systems, glazing (glass), mirrors, windshield washer, defroster, wipers, fuel systems, the speedometer, the odometer, the ...

Why does PA have two inspection stickers? ›

One sticker certifies the car is safe to drive on PA roads. The other sticker certifies the vehicle is not emitting toxic emissions to the environment. Vehicle emissions and safety inspections are performed at official PennDOT Inspection Stations (usually a repair garage or a service station with a repair shop).

Can you get pulled over for tint in PA 2022? ›

It is vital to be aware of the specific Pennsylvania tint laws for your vehicle type; otherwise, you can be pulled over and issued a ticket that will result in a hefty fine. Though there is no mandatory minimum in PA for the fine, you can expect to pay up to $110 if pulled over with illegally tinted windows.

Is it worth getting 70% tint? ›

Getting a 70% tint on your windshield can help you to reduce the glare and temperature in your vehicle. A 70% tint on your windshield can help you to reduce the glare and temperature in your vehicle.

How long can you drive with an expired inspection sticker in PA? ›

If your vehicle inspection expires, you can legally drive your vehicle to an inspection station within 10 days of the expiration, only if you have booked an appointment at the station and can prove you are driving there. Otherwise, you cannot drive the vehicle.

What can make a car fail inspection pa? ›

Common Inspection Failures
  • Tires. Check your tires for proper air pressure. ...
  • Lighting. Every light in your car must turn on and off and be in full working order. ...
  • Chassis. Inspectors will check your car's body to ensure it is in proper working order. ...
  • Brakes.
30 Jan 2021

How much is the fine for expired inspection sticker in PA? ›

Failure to complete a mandatory safety inspection in Pennsylvania will result in a $500 fine for noncompliance.

How do I get a PA inspection sticker online? ›

Instructions for Ordering Stickers Online for the First Time

The station owner will need to log into www.inspections.penndot.gov to begin the registration process. The first screen that will appear is a Sign-in Page with an option to register. Select REGISTER.

How do I get emissions exempt in PA? ›

Vehicles will be exempt from the program if: • the vehicle has been owned for one year and driven less than 5,000 miles in the prior year. However, motorists must go to an emissions inspection station to verify the vehicle's mileage and receive an exemption sticker.

How much does a home inspection cost in PA? ›

Here's the average price of a home inspection in our current markets: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: $436.

How much is tags and title in PA? ›

Title fee: $51. Registration fee: $35-$84. Plate transfer fee: $9.

How much does it cost to transfer title and registration in PA? ›

What is the Pennsylvania title transfer fee? According to PennDot, it costs $58 to do a Pennsylvania title transfer. The fee is the same whether getting an original title, duplicate title, or at a registered dealer. If there's a lien on the vehicle, the cost will be $86.

How much does it cost to renew vehicle registration in PA? ›

Vehicle Registration Fee:

For common Passenger vehicles, the registration renewal fee is $39.00. Motorcycles can be renewed for $20.00 and Motor-Driven Cycles or Motorized Pedacycles cost $9.00 to renew.

Can cops scan your inspection sticker PA? ›

Troopers can scan through license plate databases in their vehicles and get real-time information, he said. “This direction verification through PennDOT's systems is a more accurate way to verify a vehicle's registration status,” Basinger said.

What color are 2023 PA inspection stickers? ›

Colors of Pennsylvania's annual windshield (safety) and emissions stickers since 1984
YearsEmissions sticker colorAnnual windshield sticker color
2019/2020BlueRed
2020/2021MagentaGreen
2021/2022YellowBlue
2022/2023YellowMagenta
35 more rows

Why does PA have two inspection stickers? ›

One sticker certifies the car is safe to drive on PA roads. The other sticker certifies the vehicle is not emitting toxic emissions to the environment. Vehicle emissions and safety inspections are performed at official PennDOT Inspection Stations (usually a repair garage or a service station with a repair shop).

Is PA doing away with emissions testing? ›

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to a measure to eliminate emissions tests — which happen in only 25 counties, including Lehigh and Northampton — for gas-powered vehicles less than 5 years old.

Do I need my registration to get my car inspected in PA? ›

Be sure to bring a copy of your valid vehicle insurance, your vehicle's title, your vehicle's VIN by an authorized inspection mechanic, notary public, or issuing agent, and your vehicle registration.

What counties in PA do not require emissions? ›

Bill 743 requires emissions tests every two years, instead of annually. It passed 27-23. Bill 744 exempts Blair, Cambria, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer and Westmoreland counties from the testing requirements.

What do home inspectors look for? ›

A home inspector will check the walls, ceilings, and floors for any discoloration, mold, or water damage. They will check for sagging ceilings or cracks and other structural damage in the walls. They will also look for uneven baseboards in the flooring or bulging areas in the walls.

How much is it to get a car inspected in Texas? ›

Gasoline-powered vehicles two through 24 years old are required to have an emissions inspection.
...
Cost of Inspection.
Inspection TypeAmount You Pay At Station
One-Year Safety$7.00
Two-Year Safety (new vehicles)$7.00
Commercial$40.00
Trailer / Motorcycle$7.00
5 more rows
4 Sept 2020

How much is a pest termite inspection? ›

A termite inspection costs between $50 and $237. * However, many exterminators offer free termite inspection, provided it's not part of a home sale. *This cost range is based on the average from various 2021 reports.

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