Why are car inspections so impossible to get?

Every year for the last couple of years. The inspection guy “just left for the day”. “The system is down”. “We have no Internet”. “Our inspection guy only works one day a week for two hours on a Thursday”

Has it always been this impossible? Am I just incredibly unlucky? Is there some secret plot against me specifically?

Looking for somewhere I can take my car without having to call and drive over there every day for two weeks. Thanks!


FlashPoint auto inspection, so fast


This 100%, I discovered them two years ago & I’ve never waited more than 20 minutes.


Just went for the first time last week. So fast, I was amazed.


If you go to Flashpoint on Menchaca across from Crocket High School you can go to Grandmas Secret for bkfast tacos while you wait!!! Winner winner taco dinner!!


Wouldn’t it be taco breakfast though?


Don’t give away the secret!


Yessss! Love them


Can vouch for Flashpoint 👌


Definitely. I had the same issue as OP 2 or 3 years ago. Went to several places and they always had excuses as to why they weren't doing them. After 2 days of going to several places, I happened upon Flashpoint and was done in about 10 minutes.


I go to flashpoint too!


Not the one on Ben white. I have waited an hour every single time I have pulled up there.


There’s places that just do inspections. You’re at the wrong places.


Yea, I go to Sticker Stop on Burnet.


Yup. You’ll never hear “the inspection person left for the day” guaranteed.


To be fair, I literally went here this morning and one of their machines was down :/ so things are slower than usual. But I was fortunately the second one there, and was out in 15 minutes. So shit does still break, and these businesses aren’t gonna invest more than the bare minimum because it’s a pure volume play since the price is government controlled. But it’s still the main place and first place I will go! They are quick and relatively friendly!


Yep, never had any issue there


Yeah, I have to second Sticker Stop. Not only are they reliable and usually pretty fast, but they offer a deal where if you fail over something minor and can get it fixed within a couple of weeks, they'll let you bring it back in and finish the inspection for free.


That is actually state law regarding the reinspection. You have 15 days to remedy the issue and bring the vehicle back in to the same station and they cannot charge another fee https://www.dps.texas.gov/section/vehicle-inspection/faq/general-inspection


That is THE spot. No excuses, OP.


This. Waited maybe 40 minutes with several people ahead of me.




They stopped doing inspections altogether. Also with the new texas laws that are doing away with inspections (dumb decison), a lot of places probably just don't want to waste the time.


It is my understanding that large counties (including Travis and Williamson) will still require annual emissions inspections. So you will still need to bring your vehicle in, but should be a quicker process.


Mario's on Airport. Grab an extremely bad but extremely cheap taco at the convenience store next door while you wait.


Got to get the fried gizzards my dude!


And they let you make an appointment online!


Go to one of the inspection express places that only does inspections. For obvious reasons, they have more incentive to have everything working.


I wonder what's going to happen to those places when mandatory inspections go away.


Maybe they’ll turn back into the car washes they all started out as


Yes I feel for the great hardworking folks at 1626 inspections that have been doing this for a long time . Family business. Always there when you needed them .


Is there talk of the inspections going away ?


House Bill 3297 is supposed to get rid of the requirement in 2025, though it looks like a number of counties are keeping it anyway.


Counties with federally required emissions testing will still have those.


It seems like a ploy to get rural counties out of the way of "big government" at the expense of air quality. No one is going to get a check engine light and their emissions system fixed if a failing state inspection isn't going to force them to do it.


And yet they'll still pay the same costs.


Thank you! That is really good to know. Had no idea.


Soooo gotta ask the question here... can they still give tickets for outdated inspections in those counties if you aren't legally required to have an inspection


Give you a ticket for something that isn’t a crime anymore?


I’ve never had an issue at Koenig Lane Inspections. Inspections take no longer than 4 min. In and out.


I went last week Thursday to Koenig Lane Inspections for the first time ever. There was no one else there when I went at 5 PM and I was gone in 5 minutes. So happy to find them.


Yep, that place is great. Essentially no wait any time I’ve gone there.


Nice username


I’ve really never had such trouble. Just call a place ahead of time and schedule an appointment.


I'm pretty sure state inspections are first come first serve


I used to be able to schedule an appointment for just the inspection at Jiffy Lube. These days, I just have Firestone do it when they do my annual oil change, wipers, etc. The one I go to says they don't do appointments for state inspections *unless* it's with another service. Since I always have them do at least one other service at the same time, I'm always able to schedule an appointment.


Not always.


Want to name the place? Definitely illegal in Texas.


State law says they have to be first come first serve


Please share the specific (and imaginary) Texas law that states this.


Here's what I found: https://www.reddit.com/r/texas/comments/zyec4b/comment/j25yx79/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3 But... a lot of places around town do have some signage saying something like: https://www.mydriversedge.com/auto-repair/texas-state-inspections/ > Due To Texas State Regulations, We Are Not Allowed To Take Appointments For State Inspections. State Inspections Are Performed On A First Come, First Serve Basis.


Depends on the location.


State law prohibits appointments, the inspectors have to do it first come first serve. Now the way around this is to use a dealer, and schedule it with your oil change appointment. It's a rather expensive solution though.


last time i scheduled an inspection was in 2021 🤷🏻‍♀️ since then across both my vehicles I’ve gotten them done with maintenance so idk


This place I went to told me their inspector was working remote that day. Like huh?! (Also - Sticker Shop at 9231 Burnet. Only thing they do is stickers. Pretty quick too - but they’re small and busy)


I use that Sticker Stop location unless I happen to need other service at the same time anyway. Been there a number of times. It seems like it’s less insanely busy in the middle of the month. Every time I’ve tried at the first and last of the month they were so overrun with cars I wouldn’t even stop. Middle of the month I’ve never waited more than 30 minutes. I’m guessing this week might be a good time to go. People are busy with things other than vehicle inspections.


I have never had this problem in 20 years of car ownership in Austin.


If you're not in and out in 15 minutes you're doing it wrong and going to the wrong place


You’re unlucky or unwilling to try multiple places when one doesn’t work out I’d guess. I’ve never made an appointment and never waited long then 20-30 minutes


The only places I’ve ever had problems getting an inspection is somewhere that they really don’t want to be doing inspections. If they have given you the runaround multiple times, take you business, and all your other auto maintenance business, somewhere else.


I’ve never had an issue at Auto 7 Tech up north.


I've never waited more than 30 minutes, and that was the last day or so of the month. Usually more like 15.


Dealerships always have multiple inspectors on hand


at the place we usually go to, there's a new sign that basically says "inspections aren't worth the money for us. if all you want is an oil change or an inspection, we're full up right now." I ordered an inspection along with a new windshield and it was a-ok though.


It won't be for long: Beginning in 2025, Texas drivers will no longer need to get their vehicles inspected. On Aug. 5, Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3297 into law,


I think that’s only safety inspections (dumb idea to not have those, IMO); counties that have been ID’ed by the EPA as high emission (like Travis and I think MAYBE Williamson) will still need to do emissions testing.


Just FYI, plenty of states already don't have safety inspections, and there's no correlation between states that do or don't and any change in accident rates.


[https://www.texastribune.org/2023/06/01/texas-car-safety-inspection-changes/](https://www.texastribune.org/2023/06/01/texas-car-safety-inspection-changes/) In Austin, we will. Travis, Tarrant, Harris etc. will still require emissions testing. >“Texans are responsible, fiercely independent, and I trust them to keep their cars and trucks safe while on the road.” - Cody Harris (R), state rep from Bumfuck, TX I would be in favor of removing inspections if I thought: a) Texans **were** responsible about safe car ownership (we aren't) b) City cops spent more time ticketing/impounding clearly dangerous vehicles to get them off the road/fixed (they wouldn't) So because of this bill, city dwellers like us will still have to get emissions tests (good thing) but the compensation, and thus motivation to do testing (and testing alone at one's business) in the first place, will be presumably cut down.


I like how none of those three things he said about Texans are particularly true


I still haven't found a clear answer on the pricing of the emissions tests. The inspection cost is now folded into the registration cost (they just renamed it as a stupid fee), but I assume the required emissions test in Travis, et al, will cost *something*.


Emissions testing will still be needed for cars less than 25 years old


If you’re in N. Austin or Round Rock there’s a place on Louis Henna that only does inspections. It’s next to Sonic close to Greenlawn. It’s an old car wash converted to a little inspection station. Real quick and convenient.


I've never come across this issue, if you're free on a weekday in the morning it's the best time to get it done. Koenig Lane Inspections does a quick job, I've maybe had one vehicle ahead of me before, but usually you just pull it in the bay and it's done 15 minutes later. It's located to the right of The Wax Shack. Pull into any one of the three carports.


I live north austin.my go to for inspections is Sticker Stop on burnet- @183.its open til about 5 daily and is almost always dead.im usually in&out in under an hour


Lube Pit Stop on South Lamar


Just got mine done today hassle free at Lube Pitstop on S Lamar. They’re great


Hey this has happened to me a lot too, I live North and I went to four different places with those same excuses. I work south so I tried there, same thing. I went to three different places before they didn’t use some sorry excuse. Don’t have a place in mind, I had to wait an hour for my spot in line. This was 10 am on a weekday as well. Happy for everyone without this issue but just here to say you’re not alone. My bf struggled too and tried several times, at several shops on several different days.


Terry’s Burnett Road has been my go to guy for over 25 years. Just go before 4:00 Pm.


I find it very irritating that I have to have my car inspected given Texas is all about personal accountability. But wait, I can’t control my own body? And literally everyone can own guns with no background check? But we better enforce cars! Anyway I just got a ticket after having a 4 year expired sticker, so a pretty good run!


Because there’s a population influx and services haven’t caught up, and these people make so little money off of inspections that many don’t bother to get into the business.


This is a potential explanation for shops inside Austin that employ Austinites. Minimum wage is $20.80 per COA. If your inspection takes 20 minutes and cost $18.50, somebody is out of pocket. This will all work itself out eventually. The entire inspection process seems to be in flux with counties outside Travis not doing them anymore per new legislation.


COA minimum wage only applies to employees of the city not to private employers operating in the city. Safety inspections are eliminated but emissions inspections are still required in most of the counties in the large metropolitan areas.


Those numbers are calculated by economists and published for local businesses to use. Many businesses do not follow them, know about it, or they pretend not to. As far as emissions go, the absolute worst polluting vehicles i.e. diesels have never been subject to emission testing in Texas. Everything is a dog and pony show.


$20.80 is the calculated living wage. There is no shortage of businesses paying less than a living wage. It makes no sense to use that number in this context.


FYI, that is the calculated *living* wage, which is not a legally enforceable minimum wage. Right now City of Austin and Travis County employees make that much as a minimum to reflect that, but non-COA or Travis County employees aren’t beholden to it. To put it in other words: if your paycheck isn’t written by the COA or Travis County, that $20 minimum wage doesn’t apply to you. There are certain stipulations for private employees that are under public contract, but that certainly wouldn’t apply to sticker/inspection shops like those discussed in this thread. The federal minimum wage (non-tipped) is still $7.25 and this is what the state follows. In fact, Texas laws specifically make it so jurisdictions can’t raise the minimum wage for all workers. It’s up to cities/counties to budget for higher minimum wages than the $7.25 federal minimum, but that is only for their own employees. Unfortunately, when you Google “Austin minimum wage” the top/featured result is incorrect. It’s some jewelry company(?) that has seemed to scrape together inaccurate gibberish for SEO optimization.


I'm very pleased with Reithmeyer on Mopac south of Parmer Ln. Great service, but be sure to call ahead. Funny enough, their inspection machine was down late last week, too, lol. They told me that it was awaiting the State's service guy to fix or recertify, but it's back up and running today and they seemed to have an open schedule.


I use Mario’s Inspection Station in east Austin. Never had an issue. mariosinspectionstation.com


I often call ahead and ask "are you guys doing inspections today?" and I usually get a direct answer. Sometimes the answer is "it's 3:00 and the guy leaves at 4:00 if you can get up here in the next 30 we will get it done" but it's never been that difficult for me.


>Has it always been this impossible? No. I think what's going on is with the upcoming inspection changes, places that used to/currently do "inspections and other services" are caring far less about the inspections part. Why bother spending money to fix a broken piece of equipment/train someone new right now for something that will be (largely) eliminated/drastically changed in like a year? >“Our inspection guy..." There's your problem. Never go to a "Lube **&** Inspection" or "Auto Shop (**and** inspections too!)" place. There are still a buncha sticker shops/inspection-only spots around town. Go there, sign the wait list, be done in 5-30 minutes.


I’ve never had an issue. I get it done at the dealership alongside an oil change.


Sticker Stop or someplace that only does inspections.


Seems like the main issue for me is trying to do it on a Saturday. But yes, the last 2 times I have gotten cars inspected, I’ve tried 5+ places and gone home empty handed.


I always go to the place next to the corner store at south 1st and Ben White. Never more than a 15-20 minute wait.


Try a flashpoint auto inspection location, they’re usually a sub 15 min process


Literally just go to my same mechanic I've gone to for like ever. There wasn't some special employee that needed to be present, the two guys who are always there knew how to do it and did it quickly. They just needed to make sure I had insurance and that was it.


I go to Firestone just because I have lifetime alignment but last time they didn’t have a certified inspector so I had to go one of those oil change pit stops and they got it done quickly.


there’s a lot of 15 minute inspection places, one on north fm 620 near cedar park


Where are you going?? It doesn't sound legit.


It must be where you’re going. I go to Kwik Kar. In and out in 20 min. It’s been that way for years and years for me


2024 is the last year for inspections, I think. They'll no longer be required in 2025.


To be fair , Texas is like the only state I know that doesn’t run it’s own inspection stations….


lol what


It’s so bad, I loathe inspection day every year. Had the exact same experience




You cannot make an appointment for this service. Firestone told me straight up on the phone it's "illegal" and first come first serve.


>Firestone told me That there's your problem, chief. Lmao "illegal." Only use inspection-only places... while they still exist!




Shit dawg, you just blew up their spot


I can find no source online saying it’s illegal, and I’ve done it before.


Always gone to my local Firestone and never had any trouble.


I actually feel sorry for you. There are hundreds of places in Austin to get your car inspection done. How are you unable to find one? Are you generally unable to function in society?


You could always schedule it ahead of time. I would politely ask the person working the phones what day and time would be best to come in, and that you don’t want to show up if the inspector isn’t there. Seems like a lot of shops don’t like doing inspections because they don’t make hardly anything on them. And I can’t blame them! 👍


Just one more year!


What?? 😂😂😂😂


Gotta go to the low income spots. You’ll be out in 2 minutes for 18 bucks, guaranteed to pass lol


This! my registration lapsed but I have tried a half dozen times to get an inspection.


It’s you. never had a problem in 20plus years


I just stumble into the nearest JiffyLube and don't really have any issues


Last month I literally called my nearest Jiffy Lube first thing in the morning to ask if they had an inspector available. They bluntly answered yes on the phone and said nothing else. I drive there. “Our inspector doesn’t work until 3 today”. Went to the Sticker Stop next door even though they were backed up and had an hour wait


Yeah, it's always Jiffy Lube that give you the run around on inspections.


Why bother? Nobody cares in TX. Look around at all the expired registrations and fake tags.


My bf and mom have been pulled over recently for expired stickers. Both by state troopers tho.


Mine expired months ago. I’ve give up on finding someone to do an inspection. I once went to 3 locations and I either just missed the guy, the place was closed (sticker stop), or the equipment was down.


Sticker Stop is open 8 am to 4 pm weekdays for all 3 locations. They have limited hours due to being short staffed.


It isn’t. Hell, last time I got my hooptie inspected, still had the keys in my pocket the entire time. They didn’t even turn it on. (YES, nothing wrong with it, I checked). Got insurance? Check engine light isn’t on? Not completely falling apart? Fine.


I got new plates, and doing that auto-renewed my registration with no inspection needed. Took 10 mins at the tax office 🤷‍♀️


I was told most of the people that take the test fail for some reason so there’s a shortage of inspectors


I literally walked in last Saturday and got it and my oil changed in under an hour. Need to pick better spots.


They aren't


I can get an inspection done 3min in either direction from my house. It’s never more than a 15 minute wait. You might try looking harder


You guys get real inspections? I just zelle $5 on Facebook marketplace to get one since none of my cars pass💀


They aren't, you're doing it wrong.


Maybe try typing "Vehicle inspections near me" on google and find a place with good reviews that has appointments? You're welcome.


The two most reliable things I find are to either make an appointment or use one of the places like Sticker Stop that ONLY does inspections. What I think is going on is the person who does inspections is different from a "normal" mechanic in that they needed special training/certification, while they're doing inspections they're not doing other work, and inspections aren't very profitable for places unless you're getting other services done in the meantime. I have a feeling that leads to some people being "the inspector guy" for multiple shops, working very reduced shifts, and mostly being on an as-needed basis. This is being exacerbated by I guess a lot of places like Jiffy Lube aren't doing well thanks to whatever you blame for good service workers being hard to find. Last month I went to get an oil change and the sole employee at a location apologized to me but said that every single other person on the schedule had failed to show up and the company policy is he couldn't do oil changes with just one person around. (I didn't ask what he COULD do or why the store was even open, I figured he was already having a bad enough day.) So there was no way I was getting an inspection at that location anyway. I've had the most luck if I pick something like a tire rotation and/or oil change and ask for the inspection in addition to those. That's the conspiracy, they tend to lose money if they JUST do an inspection.


I don't think they are. I use two options: i) if I plan ahead of time I go to the regular mechanic I go to with an appointment, ii) if it is more urgent some Jiffy Lube places provide inspections, call ahead and wait a bit in line. First option is what I prefer, second option is what I've done last two years. It's really not that big of a deal I think, but maybe I'm the exception or I'm lucky regarding this (unlucky for everything else).


Austin automotive specialist was having issues with their system for a couple of weeks not too long ago when my wife’s Chevy sonic needed inspection . I was getting my oil changed at the Georgetown Subaru and saw they do inspections. They took care of my inspection during the oil change and my wife was able to get her Chevy’s inspection done there as well at a later date.


1626 just west of Menchaca. In and out no problem every year. Although if you wait til the end of the month that might not be the case.


I drove into Mobile 1 Lube Express in NW atx this morning. In and out in 20 minutes.


Inspection Express in Round Rock is fast and always open.


Go early in the morning I always go to one at airport and springdale and they open on weekdays


I just go to the nearest mechanic shop down the street and get it done. Never had an issue.


I recommend finding a place that services cars and does inspections. Once a year, I check my car in for the day and they inspect it, change the oil, and give it a good once-over to see if anything needs attention. Much easier than scrambling to find something in the moment


I go to East Austin and they are always available.


Never had an issue ever. Go to Frashpoint Auto every year when they open and it’s done in 10 minutes.


As many have pointed out the answer is to either get it done with other service or go to a sticker-only place. I suspect with the recent changes in the law we will see the number of sticker-only places decline though, even in the places that require emission testing. I expect a suit in 2025 challenging the city/county authority to make that a condition on state registration in the absence of a the state requirement for a safety inspection.


Never had an issue at Lamb’s


Sticker Stop.


Yeah when I got mine done in the summer I just went to a place and was done in like 10 minutes


Lucas Tire. Call


Plenty of places. You just need to go to a place less visited and isn't top google sear h


Inspection Express is the place to go


Mario’s on Airport. You can make an appointment online.


Go to service one in cedar park. They are super fast and there's always someone certified there.


Leif Johnson put a sticker on my car last week. About a half hour. Have gone to Mario's inspection on Goodwin in the past


I go to Jiffy Lube - never had a single problem


I just had my inspection done by the dealer when I was getting regular maintenance done.


If in South Austin go to The Cornerstore on S. 1st and Ben White. If in North Austin go to North Lamar Service Station (near Kramer ln and N. Lamar) Both these places are super fast and consistent.


Lube PitStop 2223 S. Lamar They have a separate station in the back from the oil changes. Bonus: Fry Auto Title is just up the street if you need to process the registration in person.


PSA to anyone who doesn't know, DO NOT GET YOUR INSPECTION AT A PLACE THAT DOES THINGS OTHER THAN INSPECTIONS!!! They will make you buy new wiper blades, brakes, air filters, or anything else they think they can get you to buy. It's a rip off, quit letting them rip you off.


Maybe you refuse to leave your zipcode? Go to the burbs, never had any issue, even on a sunday


Koenig Lane Inspections, never had to wait more than 15 minutes to get in and out.


Just take it to a jiffy lube.


I woke up early and went to my local Firestone. Got there a little before 7am. Took a little over 30mins. Went to the tax office just down the road and got the registration completed before 8:30am. Oak Hill is pretty slow though.


I don’t think it’s ever taken me longer than half an hour to get an inspection in Austin.


Omg 100% such a pain!!


Never a wait at Auto 7 Tech off Parmer/MoPac. Just call before you go and ask what the wait's looking like. The workers (owners?) are super nice!


Places I've used without issue over the years. Note, I don't get them done at oil change or repair shops. I only go to "inspection only" businesses. North... Sticker Stop 9231 Burnet Rd, Austin TX 78758 Northeast... Stickers Vehicle Emissions and Safety Inspections 7044 E Hwy 290, Austin TX 78723 Far South... 1626 Auto Inspections 827 FM 1626, Austin TX 78748 (often really long wait times; busy)


I always go to university car wash and inspection. Rarely have to wait long. They USED to throw in a free wash with every inspection but those days are over!


Koenig Lane Automotive. They have two stalls just for inspections. Always very nice and quick. Have been going for years.


Mario’s on airport. I’ve had nothing but great service. They even take appointments on the phone.


Jiffy Lube on Riverside has always had someone available for inspections.


Yep - I sometimes use an inspection only place nearby. No appt necessary, just roll up, get in line and wait. I rarely have to wait long. If I need an oil change around that time I make an appointment with the mechanic and ask for the vehicle inspection in addition to the oil change and other service items. For that I definitely need an appointment but it's never been tough to get one.


I haven't had any of our cars inspected in 3 years. Our cars are always "Out of the state" when it's time to renew our registration.


I’ve had this problem for the last two years. I’m glad I’m not the only one. I heard inspections area going away though.


If you’re looking to get an inspection including emissions, I recommend North Lamar Service Station. I walked in and was out in less than 20 minutes.


Mario’s Inspections on Airport is phenomenal. In and out.


I believe the inspection requirement is going away either next year, or in 2025.


You’re not alone. I kept getting turned away by long waits or the inspector isn’t here or our computers are down. It became so comical. Granted I was also trying to get an oil change at the same time and it just never worked out. I went early in the morning and not at peak times. Finally i figured out Jiffy Lube is the worst and went to the Mobil place by Braker/183. They were so happy to have business and took less than 15 min to do everything.


Just go to valvolene, super quick.


you guys get your vehicles inspected? *yawns in straight pipe v6*


Try the dealership if you have one here. They charge the same standard price.


Auto Tech 7 on W Parmer was really quick, I was in and out after 15 mins. Best part is that they're open on Saturdays!


Koenig lane inspections and university car wash are both inspection only places as far as I know


There are so many places that do inspections. I’ve never run into an issue here.


I use B&B Muffler on Lamar. Great service.


Sticker Stop. No weekends, but they will get you in and out as fast as humanly possible.




It was awful during COVID but I had zero issues this year. During COVID I just scheduled with the dealership cuz I had such a rough time the first year of COVID. This year I got it done at the local Valvoline down the street, in and out in 15 minutes. They said they no longer had the issues with a shortage of inspectors they previously had during COVID.


Just call ahead and they’ll tell you how long the wait is and if the inspector is in


Never had an issue at Newberry Automotive on Bee Caves Rd. I never call ahead or anything. Went this past Saturday, was sad I didn't even have time to read more than a few pages of my book, it was so fast.


Go to the barrio, those guys never stop working


There’s a place just for inspections at the Christian brothers parking lot on 45. They were pretty speedy.


Besides the inspection only places I’ve never had an issue at the dealership. Price is fixed so you don’t overpay.


Find a 10-Minute Inspection Express. Sometimes there’s a line but it’s seriously the easiest.


If you're in NW Austin, try Arbor Car Wash. You can leave the car and the keys with them and wait inside or out if you like. Early-ish morning is probably the best time with shortest wait. Be sure you have your insurance proof with you.


I’ve been going to Lube Pitstop on South Lamar for 8 years - and they’ve always had me in and out in less than an hour. You can walk to patika for coffee/food to kill time, too.


I've been getting my car inspect every year here for nearly 30 yrs. Never had an issue. Usually go to jiffy lube.


Koenig Lane Inspections does state inspections while you wait. Shops that have inspections on the side make more money on repairs so they place inspections on the back burner.


Just go to a dedicated inspection place, not a shop that also does other things. There is one I went to near Koenig/Guad that was a few minutes in and out.