We've written about taxes for Uber&Lyft drivers and now it's time to talk about one of the mandatory requirements for maintaining your vehicle - the annual vehicle inspection!No one wants to pay for inspections if they don't have to, especially those who drive for a living with companies like Uber and Lyft, so we've got a simple post that can help drivers find free or low-cost vehicle inspection locations near them to get the job done and maintain compliance.
Free Vehicle Inspections Near Me
If you drive for Uber, you're in luck (kind of). In every major city Uber operates they offer a free vehicle inspection service under the name Greenlight Hub or Spot. An example of this service is this listing for Portland, OR. On this page they have basic information about the program and a map to show you the location(s) of the nearest Uber vehicle inspection centers.
As you can see the options are rather limited for the Portland area, but there are at least some options!Each of the centers on this map, Uber Greenlight Hub and Uber Greenlight Spot are free to use for Uber drivers. In fact, getting an inspection is part of the requirements for joining Uber so in addition to your initial inspection, you also have the option of using this service for your annual inspection as well.Don't forget that if you're planning on using the Uber inspection service please remember to book your service in advance!This is great for Uber drivers, right? What about Lyft drivers? Unfortunately, Lyft does not have a program like Uber Greenlight Hub/Spot. Instead, your vehicle compliance is your responsibility.Lyft does not name any specific company as a recommendation, though on certain ridesharing forums many Lyft drivers have stated that companies like Jiffy Lube or Pep Boys can do this vehicle inspection for less than $20! Of course, this will depend entirely on your location as you may not have either of these companies available, or they may not offer similar rates.If you plan on paying for a vehicle inspection you'll want to plan ahead and call around. Most of the major oil service chains, such as Jiffy Lube, will be happy to quote a price and a time estimate over the phone. Many drivers are saying that a vehicle inspection cost comes to about $20 at most chains.
What Is A Vehicle Inspection?
Not every vehicle inspection service is as thorough as another, though they all follow very similar guidelines. The inspection is meant to ensure your vehicle is fit for the road and not a hazard in any way.Here is an example of what a vehicle inspection covers.
- Exhaust: An inspection of an exhaust is looking for a few specific things. The mechanic will check to ensure the exhaust isn't excessively loud. They want to check to make sure there isn't overall damage, leaking, or backfiring as that could signal other issues.
- Suspension: Shocks, struts, mounts, bushings - these are all key points to check. A properly maintained vehicle should not have suspension issues as the ride quality and safety could be severely affected.
- Tire Pressure: This is one of the most basic, yet important checks you could make and you should really do this more often than annually. Maintaining proper tire pressure can not only save your alignment, fuel cost and tire wear, it can also save lives. This should be maintained at every oil service!
- Tire Tread: Just like tire pressure, your tire is extremely important. Those few inches of rubber are the only thing making contact with the road. Mechanics will check for uneven wear, tread depth and overall damage.
- Tire & Wheel Alignment: Uneven tread wear can be an indication of poor alignment. Alignment issues can affect the vehicles stability and overall safety. If alignment is deemed to be offset a fix will be suggested.
- Lights & Signals: All lights and signals (including the horn) need to be operating correctly. You will not pass a vehicle inspection without the proper lights and signals.
- Belts & Tensioners: Mechanics will make sure your tensioner that connects to your engine and belts such as the fan belt, drive belt and serpentine belt are in good working order.
- Windshield Wipers: Some of you in LA might be laughing right now. Rain? It never rains here! However, wiper blades are a key piece of a vehicle and when you need them, they better work or you've just lost your vision! Mechanics will check to make sure your blades don't need to be replaced. Note: Wiper blades can be destroyed easily in hot or cold temperatures.
- Battery: Sure, you had to have a battery operating to get to the inspection, so it's clear you actually have one, but what condition is it in? Are the terminals corroded? That could be a sign of an old batter that needs replacing. Mechanics will inspect the battery for loose connections, cables and corrosion.
- Air Filter & Cabin Filter: Clean air is important for your health and the health of the engine. The cabin filter protects you from breathing in dirt, dust and debris. The air filter does the same for the engine. If an air filter needs to be replaced it's a lot cheaper to do than replacing an engine! This should be maintained at every oil service.
In ConclusionWhether you're driving for Uber, Lyft or for your own business, an annual vehicle inspection is an important service. The safety of you and your vehicle depend on proper maintenance.While we've learned that Uber does offer this service annually at no cost for their drivers, $20 - $30 isn't a lot to spend to make sure that your vehicle is running in good condition. If you can't get it done for free, you should consider paying to get this done once a year.For those of you drivers that need a mileage tracker, look no further than Everlance. The #1 rated mileage tracking app in the world! Download it for free today.