The concept is pretty simple: a licensed mechanic puts your vehicle through a battery of safety tests and if it passes you’re awarded a certificate that says so.
There are many legally required reasons for a used vehicle inspection, such as selling or purchasing a vehicle. You’ll also need that certificate in order to start driving for ride sharing platforms such as Uber or Lyft.
What is involved in a used vehicle inspection?
Here’s a rundown of what’s involved:
- The inspection must be performed by a licensed mechanic.
- It includes testing and checking the safety components of a vehicle, including structural integrity, brake lines, fuel intake, engine, transmission, suspension, tires and electrical components.
- A road test may be conducted.
- Will take up to two hours to complete, but can usually be done in one.
- Successful safety standards certificates expire—usually within a month—so whatever it is you need it for (see below for examples), get it done fast!
While the general inspection requirements and processes are the same, provincial rules and regulations vary since vehicle road and safety is not federally mandated. Here’s a handy list of inspection requirements links for each province:
- British Columbia
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia (this one’s not very reader friendly, sorry ’bout that)
- New Brunswick
- Prince Edward Island
- Inspections not required in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, or Nunavut
Why do you need a safety standards certificate?
Buying or selling a used car? Provinces such as Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and require a vehicle inspection.
Bringing a vehicle from out of province? British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Quebec says an inspection is only required then.
How about insuring a car older than 12 years? Alberta mandates an inspection in this scenario.
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island are even more stringent, requiring annual safety inspections on all vehicles just to be on the road.
To drive for Uber in Ontario, you’ll need your SSC renewed every year.
In short, a safety standards certification attests to the safe condition of the vehicle for driveability on the road. And in all provinces, this inspection is in some way or another the ticket to putting plates on the vehicle to drive it. Without passing the safety, you can’t go very far (literally!)
What should it cost?
Expect to budget about $110 plus tax. In British Columbia, an inspection can cost anywhere from $44 to $135. For Quebec, it averages at around $90. In Ontario, expect a range from $80 to $170. Don’t forget, vehicle safety inspections are only valid for a set number of days (in Ontario, they’re good for 36 days). So once you pass the inspection, make sure to go and get what you need done ASAP!
RepairMatch offers a special vehicle inspection rate for Uber drivers in Ontario: $78+HST (for non-Uber drivers: $110+HST). Find a local, top-rated shop with next to no effort when you sign up and book through us!
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