All car inspection centres in Flanders must ensure a check-up without an appointment is possible at least one day a week, however, this resulted in long queues at certain centres. From next week, it will be possible to have vehicles inspected without appointment every day.
Last week, the first week since at least one appointment-less day was introduced in all inspection centres in the region, long queues formed at the centres, which were also overloaded with drivers from Wallonia and Brussels, where check-ups have to be booked in advance. To keep these queues to a minimum, Flemish Mobility Minister Lydia Peeters is intervening.
"For many people, this appointment-less offer proves to be an important safety net, but one day a week is not enough," she said, explaining that the rush to centres was largely a result of people wanting to avoid a surcharge for missing the check-up deadline, or people wanting to ensure their car is safe before leaving on holiday.
In centres operated by Autovillage (in Limburg, Antwerp and part of Flemish Brabant), where the mixed system allowing people to either book an appointment or show up freely every day is already in place, the problems are more limited, according to Peeters. "So I have demanded that all inspection centres adapt as quickly as possible," she added.
This decision was made following a meeting between the minister and Goca Vlaanderen, the umbrella organisation for Flemish vehicle inspection companies. The so-called mixed system will be introduced from Tuesday 16 August.
The centres must also ensure that a motorist who has to return for a re-examination can do so within the stipulated period before the deadline date.
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Goca still recommends that anyone wanting to get their car inspected should not to wait to receive an invitation from the centre, which has a two-month expiry date, but rather book an appointment in advance if the deadline is nearing, and to check the business barometer via the websites of the inspection companies.
A benchmark audit will also take place soon to ensure the inspection process runs smoother and more customer-oriented.