Local News

Mechanics Say Price Hike for Emissions Testing Should Be Higher

Posted January 10, 2002

— The cost of annual emissions testing in North Carolina increased Jan. 1. While some drivers groan at having to part with even more money, some mechanics say the hike is not high enough.

The General Assembly raised the price of an inspection from $19 to up to $30. The hike went into effect about a week ago and is designed to benefit mechanics.

Raleigh mechanic Tom Airington does not think $30 is enough.

"I think it's not a strong enough increase for the inspection program due to the fact that we have to keep buying stuff to make the program work out of our own pockets," he said.

Mechanics must buy the stickers -- which Airington said have increased from $100 to $325 a book.

Airington says the situation could force him out of business, because he is also required to start performing diagnostic tests on cars, meaning he will have to buy new equipment.

"These machines will be obsolete. You've got to spend another $13,000 for new equipment," he said.

The new inspection fees only apply to motorists in 48 of North Carolina's 100 counties. The Triangle, Triad and Charlotte areas are included.

Thirty-nine additional counties will join the program in groups over the next five years.

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