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Pre-purchase vehicle inspection

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We’re certain we provide the best pre-purchase used car inspection service in the UK. Our service leaves no part of the vehicle’s condition or history in doubt.

  • History check
  • Photographs
  • On-site service

Do I need to attend the inspection?

Online auctions and marketplaces have made it easier than ever to find a great car at a great place. The trouble is, the perfect car might not be local to you. 

With this in mind, people often ask us if they need to be present when an inspection is carried out. Here, we’ll look at whether it’s a good idea for you to travel to the car, and what happens if you can’t.

Inspecting on your behalf

The good news is, when you instruct Car.co.uk to carry out a vehicle inspection for you, you can have it carried out while you’re at home, at work, or even at the other end of the country.
Our inspectors don’t need you to be present; in fact, they only need the vendor to be present and to give their permission for the inspection to take place. 

Where can inspections be done? 

Since we don’t require the person who’s booked the inspection to be present, it means you can book for your inspection to be carried out on a car anywhere in mainland UK. What’s more, our inspectors can complete their report whether the car’s in a dealership, on someone’s drive, or even at someone’s place of work.
We simply ask that the car is parked on hard, level ground, and is off the public highway.

What do I need to do in advance?

Although we don’t require much from you directly, we do ask that you let the vehicle owner know our inspector is coming. When you do, you’ll also need to ask that:

  • Keys for the vehicle are available
  • There is sufficient fuel in the car for it to be road tested
  • The vehicle is at the address that we’ve been given
  • The vehicle is reasonably clean and free of rubbish
  • The car can be safely and legally driven
  • The MOT certificate and DVLA registration documents (V5C) are available for inspection

As long as all these points are met, we’ll have no problem carrying out your inspection. 

Receiving your report

Soon after your inspection has been completed, you’ll receive a copy of the final report. 

This report is broken down into 26 different sections – covering everything from exhaust, engine, and transmission, right through to the car’s finance status and service history. Don’t worry though, although there’s a lot of information, it’s put together into easily digested chunks – each colour-coded to make sure you don’t miss any important points.

Each of the points inspected will be shown on the report as green (OK), amber (Warning), or red (Danger). In cases where the inspector has decided either an amber or red warning needs to be given, you’ll also receive a photo that shows the problem – along with a comment explaining the mark.

With an inspection, there’s no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ as you might expect from an MOT; instead, the report is designed to give you all the information needed so you can decide if the car’s right for you. If you’re looking for a car that’s perfect and immediately ready to drive, then you might want to make sure all the inspection points are green – however, if you’re hoping to knock the price down a little, a few amber or red points could give you room for a little haggling, especially if they’re likely to cause the car to fail 

Other related FAQs

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

The cost of a vehicle inspection through Car.co.uk 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.

At Car.co.uk, there is no maximum age for Premium Plus vehicle inspections. However, we have a 10-year age limit for our Premium inspection service.

At Car.co.uk, 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.

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.

At Car.co.uk, 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.

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.

Currently, we can only inspect vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes in gross vehicle weight. The good news is, this covers virtually all standard cars on the road today – even luxury vehicles with large engines.

At Car.co.uk, 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.

Since the UK weather is so changeable, you’ll be pleased to hear that vehicle inspections can be done in the rain. Extreme weather conditions may require that your inspection is rearranged, but this is very rare.