In the first six months of 2012, Italians spent 1.4 billion euros at authorized private workshops for the compulsory roadworthiness inspections of their cars.
Compared to the first six months of 2011, the first six months of this year was 0.7% lower, also because 6,977,886 inspections were carried out compared to 7,139,359 in the first six months of 2011. The 1.4 billion euros for inspections in the first six months of 2012 includes the fixed rate of 454.61 million euros and the cost of the so-called pre-roadworthiness operations, in other words, the maintenance and repairs required to ensure that the vehicles pass the inspections, the total cost of which was 905.52 million euros.
The estimate emerged from data provided by the Ministry for Infrastructures and Transport and processed by the Autopromotec Observatory, the Autopromotec Exhibition research structure. The slight drop in the total cost of roadworthiness inspections in the first six months of 2012 – the Autopromotec Observatory emphasized – is due in particular to the fact that the number of vehicles due for inspection in 2012 was lower than those due for periodic inspections in 2011. Obviously, this led, as the abovementioned data showed, to a lower number of inspections with the consequent fall in the amount spent only on roadworthiness inspections (-1.6% compared to the first six months of 2011) as the rate fixed by the Ministry for Infrastructures and Transport did not change. The variation in expenditure is therefore due to the fewer number of inspections carried out and the increase in VAT.
For pre-inspections, the figure increased (+1.9%) given that the downturn in the number of inspections was more than offset by the one point increase in VAT and the normal increase in maintenance and repair costs according to ISTAT indices. Compulsory roadworthiness inspections, the Autopromotec Observatory emphasized, is a fundamental duty of all car drivers and a decisive factor in road safety and environmental sustainability. For the non-observation of compulsory inspections, the Highway Code (art. 80 paragraph 14) indicates a fine from 155 euros to 624 euros. For repeated infringements the fine is doubled and the vehicle cannot be driven until the inspections has been carried out. Anyone who drives a vehicle that has not been inspected and has been prohibited from circulating is subject to an additional fine from 1,842 euros to 7,369 euros. If this infringement is repeated, the vehicle will be impounded.
Information plays a crucial role in helping car drivers to observe the law on compulsory roadworthiness inspections and it is for this reason that for some time now the Autopromotec Observatory has been requesting the Ministry for Infrastructures and Transport to send reminders to car owners just as it does for the renewal of driving licences.