Should Multi-Point Vehicle inspections be compulsory?

Many of the accidents on South Africa’s roads are caused by vehicle defects like tyres bursting, faulty brakes, and vehicles that are simply not roadworthy. Would our roads be safer if Multi-Point Vehicle Inspections were compulsory?

Julian Pillay, national director of the Vehicle Testing Association (VTA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says that in South Africa, vehicle defects or un-roadworthiness is certainly a contributor to the fatal road crashes that occur each year.

Research shows the major factors of vehicle defects causing fatal crashes in South Africa are the following: Tyres bursting prior to the crash; faulty brakes; un-roadworthy vehicles; headlights (faulty, blinding or not switched on) and tyre failure because of smooth tyres.

 Compulsory multi-point car inspections could mean safer roads

The only official safety stats we have in SA come from the National Traffic Information System (NATIS).  The live and registered vehicle population of South Africa is 13.154 million vehicles as of 31 July 2022. Of these vehicles, only approximately 21% are required to be tested on a regular basis. These include trucks, buses, and taxis as well as vehicles which change ownership. This means that 79% of the vehicle population in South Africa has no requirement to be tested, no matter the age of the vehicle.

This means that the majority of vehicles on our roads are constantly ageing and while it would seem they are technically and legally compliant (licensed), they are not necessarily roadworthy and safe for our roads.

 The difference between a roadworthy test and a Multi-Point Inspection

“Essentially a roadworthy inspection reviews the safety items of the vehicles as specified in the National Road Traffic Act (NRTA) and relevant standards, whereas a Multi-Point Inspection, while it includes safety items, also includes quality items,” says Pillay.

For example, a roadworthy test would not assess the air-con of a vehicle but a Multi-Point Inspection would.

With so many complex moving parts in modern cars, trucks, and SUVs, it’s not uncommon to have underlying problems you may be unaware of. To catch any issues before they turn into a safety hazard it would be advisable to conduct a Multi-Point Inspection on a vehicle either at purchase, or if you have had your car longer than years. This inspection provides a comprehensive evaluation of nearly every component of your vehicle. Knowing the condition of a vehicle can help you catch and address potential issues before they lead to dangerous failures or costly repairs and ultimately devalue the asset.

Several Vehicle Testing Stations do this nationally and the VTA recently launched a VTA Multi-Point Inspection, which will assist consumers and financial institutions to assess the condition of a particular vehicle.

 Benefits of a Multi-Point Inspection

A Multi-Point Inspection report indicates the condition of the asset and its components, specifically at the time of purchase, to prevent owners from being saddled with a bad asset that may lead to costly repairs in the future.

For motorists there are several very clear benefits to following this route:

  • Transparency on the current state of a vehicle at the point of sale
  • Added peace of mind knowing that your vehicle obtained a legitimate inspection and now meets essential road safety standards
  • Reveals any latent defects which may result in costly repairs

  MotorHappy products that will help keep your car roadworthy

MotorHappy’s motoring solutions are designed to help keep your car in good condition, ensuring it’s more likely to pass a Multi-Point Inspection. All are available with an affordable, fixed monthly fee, allowing you to budget for your car care and avoid any unexpected expenses.

  • Service Plan: Keep your car on the road by making sure recommended services are carried out as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Maintenance Plan: More comprehensive than a Service Plan, a Maintenance Plan includes all services as well as cover for wear and tear items and some unscheduled repairs.
  • Extended Warranty: Takes care of big, unexpected mechanical breakdowns and electrical failures.
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