PHOENIX -- Vehicle emissions testing will soon become cheaper and more convenient for many Valley residents.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality announced Friday that it is lowering the inspection fee by more than 25 percent, from $27.75 to $20, for Valley residents with cars and light-duty trucks newer than 1981.
The new price will be effective July 1.
State officials also announced the upcoming launch of the Gas Cap Distribution Program in Maricopa and Pima counties.
According to ADEQ, more than 75,000 vehicles fail emissions testing each year due to a faulty gas cap. Historically, those motorists have had to leave the testing site, purchase a replacement cap, and return for a free retest.
Through the new program, vehicle owners will be given a replacement cap at the testing site and their vehicle will immediately be retested. If a particular size is unavailable, the vehicle owner will receive a $5 prepaid card to help cover the cost of the cap.
State officials say the program will not only save motorists time, but it will immediately reduce emissions because motorists sometimes wait several days to replace their gas cap after a failed inspection.
“I would like to thank our contractor, Gordon-Darby Arizona Testing, Inc., for partnering with ADEQ on this innovative program," ADEQ Director Henry Darwin said in a statement. "This is just one of many examples of how ADEQ is responding to the Governor’s Four Corners of Reform initiative and the Legislature’s demand for better, faster, cheaper performance from State agencies."
ADEQ said more than 1 million vehicles are inspected each year in Maricopa County. Motorcycles were exempted in 2013.
Drivers in the Tucson area already pay less for testing.