Regulating agency ducks fixing car inspection fees

The nation’s regulatory agency has ducked the job of deciding if motorists should face an increase in vehicle inspection fees.

The firm that has the national monopoly on the inspections, Riteve S y C, S.A., asked for a 157 percent increase last Nov. 16. But the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos said that it cannot decide because there is no methodology approved to evaluate the rates.

Such a mathematical device was supposed to have been created by the Consejo de Transportes Público, but there also is political infighting. The Consejo and the Ministerio de Obras Pública y Transportes think it should be they who establish rates. The Authoridad is the entity that decides on utility rates and gasoline prices.

The inspection firm, known by the shorter name of Riteve, took over the inspection job from local service stations. The company has elaborate inspection stations with high technology to evaluate automobiles.

Passenger vehicles have to be inspected once a year. Taxis need inspections twice a year. Currently the price for an inspection for a passenger vehicle is a bit more than 10,000 colons or about $20.

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