On 4th of October, 2021, the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways issued a notice making it 8 times more expensive to get a fitness certificate for all vehicles older than 15 years
A fitness certificate is an official document attesting that a vehicle is fit to be driven on public roads. This certificate is required for a vehicle owner to be eligible for compensation under the own damage and third party covers of a vehicle insurance.
This is because using the insured vehicle on the road without a valid fitness certificate can amount to violation of the policy terms and conditions - which is grounds for claim rejection.
According to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, it is mandatory for a vehicle to have a fitness certificate that has been issued by the manufacturer and the state RTO after proper inspection of the vehicle.
For private vehicles, this certificate is valid for a period of 15 years following which the vehicle has to be re-registered and this certificate re-issued. For commercial vehicles which are up to 8 years old, this certificate is valid for 2 years and for vehicles older than 8 years, it will be valid for 1 year.
The road transport ministry has raised the renewal cost of fitness certificates after the 15 year mark to ₹5,000 for cars, ₹1,000 for bikes, and ₹12,500 for buses and trucks. These changes will take effect from April 2022.
Through this development, the ministry hopes to deter people from using old cars and thereby crack down on air pollution. In fact, old vehicles have already been banned from running on the roads of Delhi and neighboring regions.