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Vehicle Inspection, Maintenance, Repairs and Breakdown Recovery

Canada - Vehicle Inspection, Maintenance, Repairs and Breakdown Recovery

In Canada there is no direct equivalent to the annual MOT certificate in the UK. However, there is a requirement for inspections to be held on certain occasions, such as when a vehicle is imported into the country and when you are selling a car. Generally, the standard of repair of motor vehicles is good in Canada as most residents take care to maintain them properly.

If you are importing a vehicle the RIV inspection needs to be carried out within 45 days of your arrival in the country. If you need to have modifications carried out then these should be done before the inspection. If you do not have the inspection carried out then you will face penalties such as fines and you may be asked to remove the car from the country. Each province has a list of authorised inspection centres on their websites. When the car passes the inspection the centre can stamp your importation documents, which you will need to register the vehicle locally. The inspection checks the basic functions of the car and ensures that safety standards are being met.

Vehicle inspections are also carried out if a car has been in an accident. This is to ensure that cars are in a roadworthy condition before they are driven again. Cars are also checked to ensure that they are not stolen, or have stolen parts fitted.

The authorised inspection stations are run privately even though they are overseen by the province. This means that fees are payable for any inspections which are carried out. Customers should be sure that they only have an inspection carried out at a licensed premises that displays the correct signage. The fees are decided by each individual business. It is recommended that you talk to the mechanic before the inspection to establish the general condition of the vehicle. You have the right to seek a second inspection if you do not agree with the findings and before paying to have repairs carried out.

The standard inspection test can take around 2 hours and you will usually be charged for 2 hours labour. If you are having an inspection on a salvaged vehicle this can take around 4 hours. The inspection for a salvaged vehicle comprises the standard inspection and an assessment of the structural integrity of the car.

If you are having a safety check carried out the mechanic will inspect the various systems of the car including the exhaust and the fuel systems, the engine, the brakes, the suspension and the steering. Also included in the check are the electrical systems, the tyres, the windscreen wipers and defrosters and the bodywork of the vehicle. All systems must be in line with the specifications set by the manufacturer.

When you decide to sell a car you will need to have a safety standards certificate. This must be issued in the province in which you are selling the car. You will need to take the car to a vehicle inspection station and the certificate is valid for a period of 36 days, but is not valid as a guarantee of the condition of the vehicle.

The main breakdown company in Canada is the Canadian Automobile association. It boasts more than 5 million members across the country and there are different ‘clubs’ for each province. The services provided include emergency roadside assistance, travel services, insurance products and savings for members on other products.

Useful Resources

4567 Canada Way
Burnaby , BC
V5G 4T1
Tel: (604) 268-5500
Functions only in BC: 1-877-325-8888

10310-39A G.A. MacDonald Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
T6J 6R7
Tel: (780) 430-5555
Functions only in Alberta : 1-800-642-3810

200 Albert Street
North Regina
S4R 5E2
Tel: 1-800-564-6222

870 Empress Street
Winnipeg , Manitoba
R3G 3H3
Tel: (204) 262-6161

2151 Thurston Drive
Ottawa , Ontario
K1G 6C9
Tel: (613) 820-1890
Tel: 1-800-267-8713

60 Commerce Valley Drive
East Thornhill, Ontario
L3T 7P9
Tel: (416) 221-4300
Tel: 1-800-268-3750

3271 Schmon Pky
Thorold, ON
L2V 4Y6
Tel: (905) 984-8585

444 Bouvier Street
Quebec, Quebec
G2J 1E3
Tel: (418) 624-2424
Functions only in Québec 1-800-686-9243

378 Westmorland Road
Saint John
NB E2J 2G4
Tel: (506) 634-1400
Tel: 1-800-561-8807

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