How Much Does A Brake And Light Inspection Cost?

Updated October, 2020
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A brake and light inspection is a straightforward procedure that typically costs less than $100.00 for standard vehicles. Since the inspection's primary function is to make sure your car is safe to drive, there's a chance of failure. In that case, your mechanic will help address the issue that resulted in the failure, which could incur additional costs.

Why do I need an inspection on my brakes and lights?

A brake and light inspection is a basic service meant to establish the brakes' functionality and lights on your car. The primary purpose is to ensure these two systems of your vehicle communicate properly among themselves and that your lights are effectively communicating to other cars on the road. The primary purpose is to make sure your car is safe to drive.

When should I get an inspection on my brakes and lights?

Certain states, like California, require brake and light checks. However, several different scenarios require this type of inspection to be performed both in California and elsewhere. Such circumstances include:

  • When a vehicle is being re-titled
  • After an accident
  • In situations that involve theft
  • And in some basic situations, such as oil changes or check-ups, your mechanic might run a battery of tests that include a brake and light check.
  • California sometimes requires tests like these to prevent smog and pollution. This is particularly true of older cars and results in what's known as a "fix it" order.

How much does the inspection cost?

If you're in a state like California where these tests are mandatory, you're probably wondering about the cost. Well, like other car-related operations, it varies from place to place. But as this is a reasonably straightforward process, you'll pay for both the inspections and certifications themselves. In the inspection, your mechanic is looking for things like wiring issues, functioning indicators, and interior wear and tear that could render your brakes less effective.

  • Brake inspection is around $42.00-$45.00
  • Light inspection is approximately $30.00
  • The certifications from the state cost $3.50 each
  • The total cost for a standard vehicle ends up being near $80.00-85.00

Should I do anything before getting the brake and light inspection?

In general, here are a few things you should have to make sure you pass your inspection and get your certification.

  • The factory lights need to be present and working
  • The brakes need to be working correctly without leaks
  • You must have your parking brake with any indicator(s) in good shape
  • The drums and rotors must be within specifications to your vehicle

What happens if I fail a brake and light inspection?

If you fail your first inspection, your certification is extended by 90 days from the day of your first inspection. Your mechanic will review the cost of repairs with you, which can be anything from a wiring issue to a worn-down brake-pad. Since the issues that cause failure are so wide-ranging, it's impossible to estimate the potential cost. However, most failures are for simple wear-and-tear that generally don't cost too much to fix. You may also be subject to re-inspection fees from your mechanic of approximately $5.00-$10.00.

Can you get a car inspection without insurance?

Most states require insurance to even get an inspection, and they certainly require it to put your car on the road! If your current policy is lacking the coverage you need, we can help you find the right insurance provider.

Find your best insurance option - fill out our short form and get a free online quote, today!

Call an insurance expert
Our team will help you find the lowest insurance prices.
866-996-3156