Vehicle inspection monopoly might be opened up

The transport minister told lawmakers Monday that RTV SyC would lose its monopoly in July 2012, and that other firms could participate in providing vehicle inspections.

But the local garage probably will not be involved. Transport officials appear to be about to give RTV SyC a de facto monopoly because they want inspection stations to have the same facilities as the comprehensive centers that the Spanish firm constructed.

They are talking about a building 1,000 meters square, some 10,764 square feet, each with an investment of 400 million colons or about $800,000.

Francisco Jiménez Reyes, minister of Obras Públicas y Transportes, outlined the future for the special committee that is supposed to be revising
the new traffic law. He said he wanted the highest standards for vehicle inspection. He said it was clear that this is not an activity that can be done anywhere or by anyone.

In the early 2000s local garages did annual inspections, but there were many complaints. They took over from the ministry that use to do inspections, too.

RTV SyC has generated many objections since it obtained the vehicle inspection monopoly. But the criticisms seem to have diminished over the years.

Alfredo Espinoza of the Asociación de Talleres Integrales Costarricenses had a different opinion when he spoke before the committee. He said the state ought to provide many inspection stations for vehicle owners. He represents many vehicle shops. He said previous systems failed because the state did not provide oversight.

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