by Expatguru - 02/25/2015
"This article explains the importance of the MVPI test in case you plan to buy and drive a car in Saudi Arabia. It also gives useful tips on how to go about clearing this test."
If you want to buy or sell a car in Saudi Arabia, passing the MVPI test is mandatory. MVPI stands for Motor Vehicle Periodic Inspection and is a computerized test which checks the healthiness of your car. Unless your vehicle passes this test, it is impossible to proceed with the formalities of selling your car. Conversely, you cannot buy a car without an MVPI pass certificate. Even if you are neither buying nor selling, passing this test is mandatory once every three years, without which your car’s registration (istemara) would not be renewed.
The MVPI test is quite a tough one, if you take it a bit lightly. There are very specific and only few locations in the kingdom where you can get this test done. Before you go to the test center, I would advise you to first make a preliminary check of your car tires, brakes, lamps, etc. Your car must also have a fire extinguisher (with proper pressure) and a hazard triangle indicator. Also, if your car has any signs of dents, get them fixed first. Finally, water wash your car completely including the engine and make sure that you do not spray oil in the undercarriage, something which people normally do otherwise. The reason for this is that any remnant oil dripping might be confused as an oil leakage and is a sure prescription for being failed in the test.
You need to take your original resident card (iqama) and original registration card (istemara) to the test center. After paying the required fee, you have to just keep your car keys in the ignition and step away by the side. The test center’s technician will then take over. As you keep walking through the sidewalk, your car will undergo a series of tests – both visual as well as automated. The visual tests alone comprises of 35 different checks. The rest of the tests are fully automated – from checking the brakes, intensity of the headlights to the carbon monoxide emission, everything is computerized.
Once all the tests are over, the technician would put a sticker on the windshield, which is an indication that your car has passed the test successfully. If the technician gives you only a piece of paper (in which everything would be in Arabic), it means that your car has failed. You need to show this paper to someone who can read Arabic, to know the tests you have failed. You are allowed to give a retest within 14 days only for the failed items. The fee for retest is substantially lesser. If you fail in the retest, you need to give the entire test again.
A useful tip is to take the car to the test in a fairly good condition without spending much money. If your car fails, you would know where exactly to attend for the retest. This way, you save money because you would be focussed on where to attend in your car.
MVPI is not just mandatory, but is also a welcome test to ensure that your car is in top shape all the time. Play by the rules, and you would enjoy your stay in the kingdom.