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Can vehicle inspections be done in the rain?

According to recent figures, the UK Met Office reports that there’s an average of 156 days of rain in the country every year. With this figure in mind, you might be worried that a wet day is going to cause problems for your pre-purchase car inspection. 

Here, we’ll take a look at what problems rain can cause, how our partner inspection professionals work around bad weather, and what happens if your inspection needs to be rearranged.

Can rain cause a problem?

Generally, rain isn’t going to cause a problem for our vehicle inspectors. It might mean their hair gets a little wet when they’re inspecting the outside of a car, but it won’t impact their ability to check the car thoroughly and produce their report. 

People often ask about rain as it can hide some issues with a vehicle. For instance, spotting imperfections on panels can be tricky if they’re wet – and it’s often even harder if it’s overcast or getting dark. It’s also difficult to spot stone-chips or other glass imperfections when there’s rain sitting on the surface.

Since our inspectors are all motor industry professionals with plenty of experience around vehicles of all kinds, they’re always aware that they need to check cars very carefully when conditions are less than ideal – so there’s no need to worry that anything will be missed.

Will bad weather mean my inspection is cancelled?

Again, living and working in the UK means that our team is very well prepared for the changing elements – but there are some very rare instances where an inspection might need to be rearranged.

Don’t panic though; you’re not going to miss out on your perfect car because of drizzle or a scattering of snow; it’s only really adverse weather that’s ever meant an inspection needs to be rearranged. If this is the case, it’s very rarely to do with our ability to inspect the car fully – and usually more to do with dangerous road conditions, such as flooding, ice, or heavy snowfall. 

How can you be certain you’re not missing any crucial details when inspecting a car in the rain?

Although it’s better to inspect a vehicle on a bright sunny day, it’s not too difficult to do a good job when it’s raining – you just have to know what to look out for.

Since rain can hide chips, marks, or blemishes – it’s not unreasonable to ask the person who is selling the car if you can take it somewhere sheltered on your test drive to have a good look around. Car parks are often a good bet – as they sometimes have a covered section and are generally well-lit. Of course, if the car is with a dealer or trader, you could ask that they bring the car inside before the inspection takes place.

If there’s no option but to view the car in the rain, then drying and checking each panel and window in turn is the best way to make sure you’re not missing anything. Our inspectors will make sure each panel of the car’s been examined – and they’ll often use a torch to show up any bumps or creases as they look down each panel too.

Our inspectors always go prepared for dealing with rain – but if you’re planning on inspecting a car, make sure you take something to kneel or lay on if you want to look underneath the car. Even if it’s your dream vehicle, laying on a wet floor to inspect the exhaust, floor-pan, brakes or suspension will take the shine off the day!

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

A pre-purchase vehicle inspection is a way of checking the overall condition of a car you’re looking at buying. The inspection report that’s produced will help you discover any hidden issues with that car before you part with any money.

A vehicle inspection report is a document created when an independent professional carries out an inspection on a pre-owned car. The report tells you everything you need to know about the condition of the vehicle and any hidden issues it might have.

With, you don’t need to be present when one of our independent inspectors carries out an inspection on your behalf. Your report will include photos of the car too – so you can be confident you’re getting the full picture, even if you’re miles away.

At, we can provide pre-purchase inspections for imported vehicles. However, it’s important that you let us know if the vehicle is imported when you book – as this gives our inspector time to prepare accordingly.

At, our vehicle inspection partner offers inspections throughout mainland UK, and can usually complete your inspection within 2-3 working days.

A pre-purchase vehicle report is based on the expertise and opinion of the inspector at the time the inspection is carried out. Since we cannot control what happens to the vehicle after the report is completed, an inspection does not come with a guarantee.

At, we do not provide pre-purchase inspections for motorcycles. However, the independent vehicle inspectors we work with can inspect a huge range of vehicles, from cars to motorhomes, and almost everything in-between.

Vehicle inspections are designed to give you all the information you need to decide whether or not a car is right for you. An independent inspector will check the electrical, mechanical, and cosmetic parts of a vehicle; before providing you with a detailed report on their condition.

The cost of a pre-purchase vehicle inspection will start from either £189 or £229 – depending on the level you choose. Your inspection will be promptly carried out by a professional vehicle inspector, and you’ll receive a detailed photographic report about the car.

The cost of a vehicle inspection through starts at £189. When you consider that around 50% of pre-owned vehicles currently for sale have some undeclared damage or negative history, this is a small price to pay to know you’re buying an honest car.