How Much is a Car Inspection in Texas?

Most Texas car drivers know that they need to get their car inspected annually. But if you were to ask them, “How much is a car inspection in Texas?” you’d find that most people aren’t sure of the answer.

So, how much is a car inspection in Texas? For most cars — that is, gasoline vehicles made in or after 1996 — the answer is $25.50 at the station. For cars that do not fit this description, the amount will vary. Keep reading to understand the breakdown of those amounts and to find answers to other frequently asked questions.

Note that the amounts discussed below are for Fort Bend, Harris, Brazoria, Montgomery and Galveston Counties, and rates in other Texas counties might be different.

Wait, is a vehicle inspection still required in Texas?

Before we get into particulars about costs, we’d like to clear up a common misconception about vehicle inspections. Texans still need to get their vehicle inspected and registered, but these days, you won’t see cars sporting two stickers. That’s because Texas switched over to the “two steps, one sticker” method of handling vehicle inspection in 2015.

Texans can still get their car inspected at a station, except now the inspection results are saved in a database. Next, Texans can register their car with the state. The state will check the vehicle’s inspection results in the database and then send the driver a single sticker for both registration and inspection. The full car inspection cost is split into two payments: the payment you make at the station when your car is inspected, and the payment you make when you register.

How much is a car inspection in Texas for cars 1-2 years old?

If your vehicle was made less than two years ago, you do not need to pay for an emissions test; however, you still need to get registered and have a safety inspection. For a one-year safety inspection, you will need to pay $7.00 at the station and an additional $7.50 when you register ($14.50 total). For a two-year safety inspection, you will need to pay $7.00 at the station and $16.75 when you register ($23.75 total).

How much is a car inspection in Texas for cars between 2 & 24 years old?

Owners of cars made between 2 & 24 years ago will pay the standard $25.50 at the station and an additional $14.25 for registration ($39.75 total). Once your car is 25-years-old, it’s eligible for safety-only inspection, which costs $7.00 at the station and $7.50 for registration ($14.50 total.)

How much is a car inspection in Texas for cars made in or after 1996?

Owners of cars made in or after 1996 will pay the standard $25.50 at the station and an additional $14.25 for registration ($39.75 total). Keep in mind, it’s important to pay attention to dates. Starting in 2021, cars made in 1996 will be over 25 years old and are eligible for a safety-only inspection, which costs $7.00 at the station and $7.50 for registration ($14.50 total.)

How much is a car inspection in Texas for cars made in or before 1995?

Owners of cars made in or before 1995 will pay $31.50 at the station and an additional $8.25 for registration ($39.75 total). And again, it’s important to pay attention to dates. Starting in 2020, cars made in 1995 will be over 25 years old and are eligible for a safety-only inspection, which costs $7.00 at the station and $7.50 for registration ($14.50 total.)

What other factors can affect the cost of your car inspection in Texas?

  • Owners of diesel vehicles pay $7 for inspection at the station, $7.50 for registration ($14.50 total)
  • Owners of motorcycles and trailers pay $7 for inspection at the station, $7.50 for registration ($14.50 total)
  • Owners of commercial vehicles pay $40.00 for inspection, $22.00 for registration ($62.00 total)

Other resources for your Texas vehicle car inspection

  • If you’re running behind on getting your car inspected/registered, don’t panic. You may still be within the Texas vehicle inspection grace period.
  • What is included in a car inspection? And what do you need for a car inspection? Check out what is included in a car inspection and what you need to bring with you on our Texas State Inspection in Houston / Sugar Land / Stafford page.
  • Wondering, “Will my car pass inspection with the airbag light on?” Or find yourself wondering something similar? You’ll uncover answers to questions like these on our blog, and don’t forget … the car experts at Colony One Auto are always happy to answer your questions.  

How much are the fines for not completing a car inspection in Texas?

Driving around without an up-to-date registration and inspection sticker puts you at risk for paying a $200 fine. On top of that fine, inspections are meant to help keep you and your car safe. The longer you go without getting your car inspected, the more likely you are to run into expensive trouble on the road.

Colony One Auto provides fast, professional vehicle inspection services

Colony One Auto is a Texas Recognized Emissions Repair Facility. Our inspection hours are 7am – 6pm, Monday through Friday. Most inspections take about 30 minutes to complete. If your vehicle fails the inspection, you have 15 days to fix any problems and have your vehicle inspected again with no additional fee.

Whether you visit Colony One Auto for an inspection, car maintenance before a long road trip, or for us to simply go down your essential short road trip checklist, you will always receive the best service from maintenance experts. For additional information on the Texas State Vehicle Inspection program, make an appointment by contacting us today!

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