Annual Inspections

Each and every year we make our way around that brightly colored sticker on our windshield for another inspection. For me, that time of year is always a source of anxiety thanks to my history of driving lemons and suspecting that I’ve been taken advantage of in the past.

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*How I like to imagine myself rolling up to the mechanic when in reality I'm terrified and poor. 

There has long been discussion about vehicle inspections and whether or not they should remain annual, every other year, or go away entirely. The argument for keeping them and keeping them annually is to protect other drivers arguing that a car having a major issue could cause an accident harming others. Those that argue to get rid of inspections or lessen their frequency argue that if someone wants to drive a rust bucket, or if that’s all they can afford, they should be able to. We are such a rural state that a rusted-out Ford Taurus might be the only way to get to work, get a paycheck, and hopefully save for a better car.

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Prices Going Up

Everything in the world is going up in price. It was just a few weeks ago that I paid $4.25 a gallon and that was at the “cheap” station.

Now Maine is looking into doubling inspection fees. Interestingly, it appears this could be with the end goal in mind of having newer vehicles exempt from annual inspections.

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This idea was proposed by Representative Richard Cebra of Naples. His proposal suggests inspections every 2 years and new vehicles will be except for 3 years from the date of sale.

Bangor Daily News reported that the bill from Senator Bill Diamond of Windham changes the current fee of $12.50 for an inspection to up to $25. The increase will be to help fund an electronic inspection system for garages statewide.

BDN continues noting that lawmakers are hesitant to increase a fee during this time of high inflation and an election year.

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Good for Some Bad for Others

Initially, I thought how brilliant. $25 and I may not have to pay again for 3 years? That’s actually a saving. But after really thinking about it and realizing I drive a car from 2018 it’s frustrating to think that those that can afford new vehicles get a break and that those that can’t afford a newer vehicle are burdened with more of the cost.

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