The monopoly that does vehicle inspections in Costa Rica set off a firestorm Thursday when news leaked out that the company sought a 157 percent increase in rates.
The request was to the Authoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos, the same agency that regulates electric rates and gasoline prices.
The inspection company, Riteve SyC SA, has developed an elaborate chain of inspection stations around the country and has complained for years that the rates were not high enough. A typical inspection rate for a passenger car is 10,000 colons or about $20. The company wants to raise this to nearly 25,000 colons or about $50.
Personal vehicles have to be inspected once a year. Taxi drivers must bring in their vehicles twice a year.
The vice minister of Transportes y Seguridad Vial immediately issued a statement in which he said the regulating agency lacks the methodology to determine if a rate hike is justified. He is Rodrigo Rivera Fournier. He said technical studies of this type should be done by his ministry.
The ministry, for political reasons, has been reluctant to raise the rates. There have been continual calls for the government to allow other firms to do the same job.