What is the Frequency of Mandatory Vehicle Inspections?

Ruperi Jadhav |

Vehicle Inspections have been made mandatory by multiple countries. These government-checked inspections are carried out to ensure that vehicles on the road meet specific safety, emissions, and operational standards. The inspections are mandatory but differ in frequency with every locality. This article looks at further detail and gives you a range of frequencies for mandatory vehicle inspections.

What are Vehicle Inspections?

Vehicle inspections are a process that systematically looks at evaluations that determine the condition of a vehicle. In easier terms, it’s a cross-examination that judges whether the vehicle in question meets the legal requirements of road and driver safety. Governments all around the world base these processes on the type and the age of the vehicles.

Why are Vehicle Inspections Mandatory?

Vehicle inspections are mandatory because they enable the notion of maintaining a vehicle’s health. These proactive measures are put in place to maintain road safety and reduce the risk of having unsafe or poorly maintained vehicles being driven. Regular mandatory inspections not only promote peace of mind when considering the driver’s safety but also reduce the chances of any external costs that might come with any potential damages the car could sustain.

What is the Frequency of Mandatory Vehicle Inspections?

The frequency of Mandatory Vehicle Inspections – more commonly known as PTI or MOTs around the world – is determined based on a variety of factors. The age and the type of the vehicle are the two primary factors that serve as the determining elements when looking at the frequency of PTIs or MOTs in any country. Generally, the older the car, the more frequent the inspections. Usually, vehicles that have been newly produced only require a primary inspection after the registration and don’t need any PTI until their fourth year. 

Hence, another major deciding factor that conducts the distinctions between the frequency of mandatory inspections is Locality. We can go through more detail up ahead:

EU or European Union

Two checks occur across the EU: Periodic Checks and Roadside Inspections. Periodic Checks are the interval-based mandatory inspections that take place regularly. When looking at periodic checks, two mandatory tests are carried out depending on the vehicle’s age. 

1. In countries like Czechia, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Norway, and Slovakia: If the vehicle is new and has just been registered to a new user, it must go through the first mandatory test within four years of its registration after which the vehicle is required to go through a PTI once every two years. 

2. Austria and Sweden, on the other hand: Have the first test of the newly purchased vehicle within the first three years of its registration and require subsequent PTIs once every year after.

Apart from the distinctions of PTIs between different countries, a car’s type is also a determining factor when considering the frequency of PTIs it’s required to get through. 

    North America

    Similar to EU standards, whether a vehicle needs to pass through the mandatory PTIs or not is determined by its age and locality. The two are interdependent, each equally important to determine the frequency of PTIs a vehicle has to pass. Taking the example of the US, two factors are the most prominent:

    1. Age: The use of this factor differs with every state in question. For example, in North Carolina, all vehicles between 3 and 20 years old are required to go through period inspections while in Missouri vehicles that are at least 11 years old are required to go through a safety inspection.

    2. Locality: In states like California and Colorado vehicles are required to pass their PTIs once every two years. However, Arkansas, Florida, and Idaho haven’t made car inspections mandatory.


      Similar to the inspections carried out in the EU, the frequency of mandatory inspections depends on each country. Looking specifically at Singapore, for example, cars aged between 3-10 years are inspected once every two years. The process is similar to the EU and the biannual part of it allows the government to prioritize road safety while looking at maintaining the condition of all vehicles.


      In South Africa, the vehicle is only required to pass through a PTI once its ownership changes. The new owner once the transfer has been completed must present a Roadworthy Certificate known as CoR to receive a new license. In Nigeria, on the other hand, all vehicles are required to pass a PTI every year.


      This country provides a slightly different outlook where the frequency of mandatory inspections changes with different factors. In Australia, the legalities change with every state in question. Generally, vehicle owners are required to conduct inspections every 6 to 12 months. It is a regular check-up specially designed to ensure that all vehicles meet the legal security standards of the roads.


      Overall, even as the frequency of car inspection differs with the locality and type of vehicle, it can be generally expected that the inspections are required once or twice every two years. It is a state-required activity where the mechanic will examine the vehicles with a checklist in hand and will assess the state of the vehicle. To find out more about the checklist, head to: Vehicle Inspection Checklist: What is Checked?

      Vehicle inspections aren’t frequent but the biannual or annual mandatory ones are one of the most effective ways of making sure that the safety of all users is maintained on the public routes.