How you can save money on your vehicle general inspection

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Every car must undergo a general vehicle inspection at regular intervals in order to be approved for road traffic. In doing so, you can significantly influence the amount of the costs that you will face. We’ll show you how to do it.


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The general inspection of the vehicle is required by law. Passing is marked with the so-called “TÜV badge”.

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It is up to you where you arrange the general inspection. This can take place, among other things, in the test center of a test organization such as TÜV, DEKRA, GTA or KÜS or in your main workshop. The MDR advises bypassing the workshop and driving personally to an examination organization. The car should be cleaned and washed in advance, have at least one functioning lighting system and be equipped with a warning triangle and first-aid kit. The tariffs of the individual test centers and workshops are subject to strong fluctuations, which is why it is advisable to compare the prices here.

A component of the main inspection is the exhaust emission inspection. Since this can be carried out by any officially recognized exhaust gas inspection workshop and therefore does not have to be carried out directly at the test center, savings potential can be realized here. Often times, the costs at the workshop you trust can turn out to be cheaper than at the test center directly. In addition, by agreeing on a fixed date and keeping it at many test centers, a price saving can also be achieved.

Examine the vehicle before the general inspection

Good preparation and an independent and conscientious inspection of the vehicle in advance can save you from high costs during the main inspection. According to the MDR report, there are points that every vehicle owner can undoubtedly determine themselves in order to avoid additional costs and a check-up. These include, to name a few examples, a first-aid kit with an active best-before date, a functioning horn, intact mirrors, an existing warning triangle and safety vest, the functionality of all lamps, undamaged rims or tires with the appropriate tread depth or sufficient brake and windscreen wiper , and engine oil fluid. A spruced up, washed car is not mandatory, but it can help to create a positive appearance and thus give you a slight psychological advantage with your examiner.

If you want to reduce the costs for the main inspection as much as possible, it goes without saying that the date of the main inspection should not be exceeded. If you are overdraft by two months, you can be fined and you can even get points in Flensburg if you are overdraft of eight months. You should also make sure that you adhere to the one-month inspection period in the event of significant defects in your vehicle. If this is exceeded, you face a fine and the repetition of the main inspection – including the fees.

This is how you can tell when your next general inspection is due

If you want to find out when your next general inspection is due, a simple look at your current TÜV sticker is sufficient. The number in the middle tells you the year, the outer number the month of the next general inspection. In addition, the next test date is also in the vehicle registration document or in the registration certificate. Finanzen.net editorial team

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