There has been some talk of late of dropping the requirement in North Carolina for an annual vehicle inspection. Many states have dropped this requirement, believing that it does not truly make the roads safer. Whether an inspection is required or not, it is a good idea to keep your vehicle in good working order. Here’s why:
- From a practical perspective, keeping your car in top condition can keep you safer – you don’t want to break down in the middle of nowhere at midnight!
- The resale value of a car that has been maintained can be higher. You may not plan to sell your vehicle today, but sometimes things change quickly. Be sure to keep a log and receipts for all maintenance performed on your car so that it can be verified.
- Consider passenger safety and the safety of others who might use the car. Do you have a teenage driver who might not understand how to handle a blowout on the highway? If your teen loses control of the vehicle and hits and injures others, he or she will be liable for causing the accident. Buying new tires when you need them will cost you much less in the long run.
- In many cases, it is less expensive to do preventive maintenance than to wait until something really breaks. Consider the case of worn brakes. If your brakes fail and you cause an accident that injures another person, you are at-fault.
It is important to note that certain parts of a vehicle’s safety systems should be inspected and/or replaced if you have been in even a minor accident. As an example, bumpers are designed to absorb and disperse any hit to protect the vehicle’s occupants. In a minor fender-bender, the bumper may look undamaged, but there may be hidden damage that would prevent the bumper from absorbing shock if it were to be hit again. Seat belts should also be checked after an accident to ensure the locking mechanisms work as expected.
Even if you choose not to spend money to keep the vehicle looking shiny and new, do budget to keep the car’s safety systems in working order. It may keep you from being named as the defendant in an auto accident lawsuit. Stay safe out there!