A day busting at the seams with work and normal pressures. Someone has reversed into one of our clients cars in the car park, parts for a Honda CRV have arrived and turn out to be parts for a washing machine and someone has called in sick. It’s all normal pressures that a mechanic deals with everyday. It’s nothing unusual and you either learn to cope with it or you sink. Most mechanics cope with it all. They adopt the mind set of “I’m a problem solver” and it’s the truth. We don’t fix clients’ cars we solve clients’ problems. With that mentality, mechanical workshops develop a long list of clients who love them and are as loyal as a good puppy.
The single greatest problem we seem to get asked daily is to solve a problem that baffles us. The problem in question arises in a conversation like this. Miranda calls me (its important to note here that Miranda is a fictional character).
Miranda: Hi there, I’d like to book in for a rego inspection.
Me: Sure when would you like to book that in, I have availability every day next week
Miranda: well actually my rego expired yesterday……
What! The RMS mails you a notice a month out, your green slip provider wants your money and has mailed you something months ago, the RMS emailed you a reminder and if you’re lucky enough they even send you a text message. On top of all this, you had twelve months notice, we went through this with you about this time last year. How does Miranda still manage to leave this to the last minute? Anyhow not a great drama, sure get it to me as soon as you can and we will get you out of trouble.
Now whilst Miranda is driving to us we have a little bit of foresight. Miranda is a semi frequent client of ours and we have a vehicle history on the car. So we look it up just out of curiosity. Turns out Miranda had her car serviced six months ago, now she has added ten thousand kilometres to the trip computer since we last changed the oil and we noted then that it will need tyres soon and the suspension was looking like falling out of the car at that stage.
Miranda arrives and she is told that we need to look over the car. Miranda is surprised at this, why is Miranda surprised? She is quite happy to pay $37.40, what exactly does she think she is paying for?? Miranda is then surprised that the trade off for her money is actually time. “What do you mean it will take twenty minutes” I’m unsure what Miranda thinks we do in exchange for her cash.
We then inspect the vehicle and discover that her car is about as safe as riding a roller coaster after eating a KFC family bucket on your own. Miranda is now right pissed off, her car is unregistered, has to pay money for repairs she was told she needed six months ago and parts are a two day wait as they have to be shipped from Istanbul. Miranda can’t drive her car, doesn’t want to catch state transit and wants her car passed now. Its become my problem. Then the ultimate in requests comes:
“Can’t you just pass it and i’ll get the repairs done later?” This is in fact code for “please could you break the law, commit fraud, lose your mechanic’s licence and potentially go to jail all in order to make my life more convenient because I’m a little dense and left this to the last minute”.
Our scenario is a little extreme and includes components of many different clients we have dealt with over the years however the issue seems to regularly arise. Our advice is keep your paper work up to date and get your car in early for its rego inspection. Leaving it to the last minute is only going to inconvenience you.
So what else do you need to know surrounding your rego inspections? Here is some facts that you may not have known:
- Your rego or e-safety inspection is electronic; you no longer need to queue up at the RMS for three quarters of an hour whilst some civil servant spends the best part of that time trying to explain to dear old Delores why she can’t drive her car more then ten kilometres from home after the sun has set. It all goes through to the RMS database and you can reregister your car online.
- Legally you are allowed to drive directly to and home from an authorised inspection station (mechanic who does rego inspections) in an unregistered car. We advise avoiding this wherever possible as we have had some clients still booked with driving an unregistered vehicle, took it to court and were successful however the time off work, stress and pressure would be better off avoided.
- Rego inspection is more than lights and tyres check. It’s a complete safety check with over one hundred individual items to check. These of course include lights and tyres but also include door locks and handles, seat belts, engine mounts, oil leaks, all suspension components. The RMS issue inspection stations with a massive orange folder when they become an inspection station and are required to check everything in those folders.
- You as the client are required to pay for the inspection even if its a fail. A lot of mechanics don’t practice this but legally the mechanic is entitled to demand payment for the inspection before commencing. You are paying for the inspection which is basically your paying for his or her time. You’re not paying for the inspection result. Pass or fail you are still required to pay the fee.
- If your car does fail the inspection you don’t have to get the repairs carried out at that workshop. In the event your car fails the inspection for whatever reason you do not have to get that workshop to carry out the repairs. You must pay the fee and you can take your car away. You can get the repairs done by another shop, your mum or your dog, as long as the repairs are carried out to a standard that complies with RMS laws.
- If your car fails a rego inspection you can return within thirty days and the second inspection is free. If you take you car away from the first inspection, paid the fee and return later with the repairs rectified, provided you’re back within thirty days the mechanic cannot charge you for a second inspection.
- Rego inspections are now valid for six months. The RMS used to hold rego inspections valid for 28 days but now its six months. Further removing any argument that clients didn’t have an opportunity to get this done.
- Vehicles under five years old do not require a rego inspection. When you buy a new car the first five years are rego inspection free. The rego papers will clearly state “Inspection not required”.
In short, we recommend preparing well in advanced when the registration is due. However if you fall into the Miranda category, we can and will still help you out, however be forewarned you may be the subject of a future blog article.