Something good in CA: Fewer car inspections

Something good in CA: Fewer car inspections

Pontiac GTO 1966, wikimediaDepending how old your car is, in California every couple of years you have to take it to get “smogged” before your license is renewed. It costs from $25 to $50. As government bureaucracies go in California, it’s relatively low on the onerous scale.

That’s something good about our state. Because other states require yearly safety inspections, something we don’t have. It’s obviously a government scam for the bureaucrats in cahoots with the car-repair industry.

Of course, in California the cops can cite you for driving an unsafe car, giving you a chance to get it fixed. But mostly, modern cars are very safe, and getting safer every year.

One place that requires the yearly inspections is Virginia, the home of libertarian auto writer Eric Peters. He’s a car buff who owns a lot of cars. He writes:

Each year, in my state, I am required by law to take each of my seven vehicles in to be “inspected” – on my time and at my expense. It does not matter that I know this exercise is a massive waste of my time and money, since I know my vehicles are “safe.” I am very conscientious about my vehicles (being consciously concerned about my own safety as well as the safety of others) and so keep track of such things as the condition of the brakes, the tread left on the tires, whether the signal lights are working – and so on. I also know I am competent to do the repairs – and feel more comfortable driving a car that I know is in good order because I keep it in good order.

None of this matters.

I must prove to the satisfaction of a minion of the state that the car is, in fact “safe.” Indeed, the car is presumed to be unsafe irrespective of its actual mechanical condition. And, here’s the real kick in the crotch: I am subject to violence – to being waylaid at gunpoint by armed gangsters (i.e., the police) if I do not obtain the inspection irrespective of the actual condition of my car, its tires, its brakes (and so forth).

Innocence is no defense. Just as one need not be “drunk” in order to be treated as presumptively drunk at a “sobriety checkpoint. Refuse to take their tests? You are as guilty under the law as if the floorboards were littered with empty fifths of Jack Daniels. Even if, later on, you demonstrate beyond any doubt that you were completely sober at the time of your arrest and caging….

Adding injury to insult, you are forced to pay for this. If you, like me, own multiple vehicles, the total sum is not trivial. In my state (VA) the mandatory annual inspection is $15. I own seven vehicles. That’s another $105 out the window – and into the hands of government  – each year. Over the course of 20 or 30 years, it amounts to several thousand dollars.

Maybe, even at this late date, Californians are just to wild to go along with such nonsense. Time for a California jam:


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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 15 November, 2014, 10:27

    I drive an old beater. I love it. I’ll drive it until the tires fall off. Registration fees are low. No big sales tax on the purchase of a new car. Whatever goes wrong with it I can pretty much fix on my own. It’s almost like working on a sewing machine motor. I love old cars and dogs. An old car is sort of like a wife. It’s always cheaper to keep her. Naturally the lady likes flashy cars. That’s just the way they’re designed. But me? Naw. As long as I can watch Saturday NCAA football, got my dog next to me, a bottle of diet shasta, a few munchies….if I had a tail I’d wag it. The gov must hate me because my old beater passes smog year after year. They send me to the higher priced test-only station thinking that they’re going to catch me dirty. But nope. Passes first time, everytime. heh. It’s a racket. The gov is in bed with the auto industry just like as they are with the banking industry and the healthcare industry. You folks are their walking ATM machines. The ruling class has got ahold of you by the short hairs – democract and republicans! hah.

    I never saw Jim Morrison in concert. I regret it too. I did see the Beatles in 1964. I remember it vividly. The girl sitting next to me was chewing on her silk scarf like a dog chews on a bone. Ripping it to shreds. Girls were jumping on-stage from the bannister adjacent to the stage. Jumping from 10-15 feet high. No exaggeration. The cops and all 4 branches of the service were there pulling them off stage. One on each arm, one on each leg. At least 3 dozen had to be carted off. And back in that day the concerts only lasted 30 minutes. The indoor facility was shaking like it was a perpetual 4.0 quake. You may refute that the Beatles were the greatest band that ever played music, but you can’t deny that they had an influence on society that no other band has EVER had and most likely never will. Man, those were the days!!! 😉

    Reply this comment
  2. Desmond
    Desmond 15 November, 2014, 15:03

    The number of unregistered cars in Cal is enormous. A friend got hit by a dirtbag
    , no license, no registration, just kept saying no ingles. Of course, the cop cited my friend even though Senor would not talk. My friend now carries accident protection under his seat. It communicates the message in all languages.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 15 November, 2014, 19:13

      I go back a long ways, desmond. I can remember when there was no such thing as ‘uninsured motorist insurance’ in the event you were hit by some deadbeat scofflaw without coverage. Back then the chance of getting hit by some uninsured driver was minute. Today with all the illegals on the road w/o insurance it’s a necessity. But the average uninsured motorist insurance wouldn’t cover you in a moderate damage accident. And the new DL’s for illegals won’t change anything. Just because they have a DL does not mean that they’ll be insured. When you make $10/hr. and have 3 kids it’s a struggle to have the money to buy gas, let alone insurance. And POTUS Obola is going to amnestize 6 million of ’em. heh. That should work out! 😀

      Btw, any illegal that causes an accident should face automatic deportation. If an American causes an accident in Mexico and didn’t buy a Mexican policy at the border he goes to jail and is held randsom until he comes up with the money to pay for the damage. If he injures a mexican he’s going to be eatin’ beans and tortillas for a long long time. Over here the cops cite the mexican illegals and tell them to show up for a court appearance!!! HAH! The chance of that happening is about the same as my dog meowing like a cat!!! 😀

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  3. Desmond
    Desmond 15 November, 2014, 16:50

    I used to enjoy college football and basketball. Now, it is so dirty at the big time level, polluted by money, …it disgusts me. I think it will be a symbol of our decline.College is supposed to be about education. I think the Canadians have it right. Their youth program for hockey is out there to see. Yes, it is about money. Their college hockey players are student athletes. Those who want to play hockey go the junior leagues route. The junior hockey is followed like college sports here…tv, media coverage. Some come here…but the U.S. college hockey is not the money machine fball and bball are.

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    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 15 November, 2014, 19:22

      I don’t watch pro sports at all anymore, desmond. I haven’t since MLB went on strike right before the Series decades ago. I only watch college F-Ball and B-Ball. Now there are strong rumors that the college athletes are going to start forming unions and demanding paid contracts for their services. If that happens, I’m dumping college sports too. I’ll just go watch the high school games. I refuse to put up with any nonsense from these spoiled brats who think they walk on water because they can dunk a basketball or run for a TD. It ticks me off when I hear about college professors giving athletes special favors in the classroom too. If they can’t cut it in the classroom like all other students – they shouldn’t be in the school. If I were a prof they wouldn’t be on a special grading system. Trust me. And I wouldn’t give a rat’s behind what the university president said.

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  4. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 16 November, 2014, 11:34

    First world “problems”:

    “I am required by law to take each of my seven vehicles in to be “inspected”

    “Over the course of 20 or 30 years, it amounts to several thousand dollars.”

    I’m thinking, if you can afford to purchase, register, insure, and maintain seven vehicles, $105 a year isn’t going to dent your budget.

    Reply this comment
  5. bob
    bob 16 November, 2014, 11:54

    California every couple of years you have to take it to get “smogged” before your license is renewed. It costs from $25 to $50.

    You’re kidding, right? More like 75 – 85.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 16 November, 2014, 13:18

      Depends on where you go, bob. I know places that’ll do it for about $38 w/certificate. SUV’s and trucks cost a little more. $25? Maybe 5 years ago. Not anymore as far as I know. But be careful where you go. Don’t let them fool you into believing you have a problem when you don’t. Smog repairs are pricey. Reduce your income and you might qualify for state assistance even if you drive a Massarati. Be a good American. Follow the incentives, man. Go Galt!

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    • John Seiler
      John Seiler Author 16 November, 2014, 19:57

      I haven’t had to go for 5 years, so maybe that price is low. But what I do is look for a $25 coupon at a smog-repair place, then take that coupon to a smog-only place that advertises, “beat any coupon.” Maybe prices are higher.

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      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 16 November, 2014, 23:01

        Maybe it depends on where you live, John. But in most urban areas you’re not going to find a $25 coupon. The test itself is generally $30 or so with the coupon and then you gotta pay another $8 or so for the certificate. And if you need repairs generally if you have them done at the testing site they’ll retest for free. Otherwise, you’re on your own. Older cars sometimes have to go to specially designated smog test stations. And it costs even more. SUV’s and trucks generally cost about $50 out the door even with the coupon. Prices have gone up with QE. Just like groceries and everything else. I drive an old beater. So I gotta take mine in every 2 years. You must drive a late model with your big journalism salary. 😀

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      • Devra
        Devra 15 September, 2015, 05:37

        Why haven’t you had to get a smog check in 5 years? It’s ridiculous to have to get a smog check every two years in California with newer cars. The only time there is usually a problem is if the check engine light goes on and if that’s the case then just have them going somewhere and check to see if the check engin light has been on if it hasn’t they pass. I have a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse I’ve gone for smog test never had an issue and I talked to so many people they’ve never had an issue its a rip off. I rarely get away with less than $50 for my smog check.

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  6. eck
    eck 17 November, 2014, 18:31

    Well I think it’s well established that older cars were or are major contributors to real (not CO2) pollution and that controlling emissions from them has immensely improve air quality in CA metro areas. So I’m all for a periodic check. But how come, almost every day, I see a foul exhaust smelling, smoke belching old car on the road?

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    • bob
      bob 17 November, 2014, 19:53

      I have a 22 year old truck that could emit 5 times more pollutant and still pass yet I have to have it smogged eveery 2 years and I get to pay extra for a more extensive test because it is so old. Last one costs me nearly $90.

      And I have a Honda Civic. It has an LEV sticker on it. Know what that means? Low emission vehicle. Yet I also have to have it smogged every two years and it too always passes way, way under the max allowed.

      The smog program is just a rip-off. Other states have gotten rid of it.

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 17 November, 2014, 22:33

        I don’t think it should matter how old your truck is. It matters how many miles are on the odometer. I know people with 1995 trucks with only 75,000 miles. Mechanically it’s still a youngster. If the smog program had any credibility they would go after HIGH MILEAGE CARS and ignore the year of the vehicle. The year has nothing to do with it’s propensity to create pollution. Any car with over 150k miles should get special attention – no matter if it’s a 2011 model. But the idiots in Sactown don’t think logically. All they’re after is your loot. And they love to screw with poor people with smog checks on old cars and with taxes on a pack of smokes.

        Reply this comment

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