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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

What are the current weight restrictions on inspections?

We’re often asked if we can provide inspections for larger vehicles, motorhomes, and goods vehicles.

The answer depends on the weight of the vehicle in question – and there are some limitations around what we can inspect on motorhomes and other large vehicles. Here, we’ll explore weight limits in a little more detail, and explain exactly what we can inspect.

What’s the heaviest car we can inspect?

The good news is, with a weight limit of 3.5 tonnes, we can inspect any standard car on the road today. In fact, the heaviest car currently sold in the UK is the Bentley Mulsanne, tipping the scales at 2685kg (5919lbs) – so there’s a long way to go before we start having to say no!

Generally, we only run into weight problems when it comes to inspecting commercial vehicles and motorhomes – but you can check your weight fairly quickly by looking at your vehicle handbook or chassis plate. The numbers you’ll see listed will vary slightly depending on the make of your vehicle but should be called either Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), Maximum

Authorised Mass (MAM), Gross Weight, or sometimes, Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM). As long as the figure indicated shows less than 3.5 tonnes (or 3500kg), then we’ll be able to provide an inspection report.
It’s worth remembering that if we do provide an inspection for a motorhome, we won’t be able to inspect or comment on the habitation area and any systems or appliances contained within. 

What will your inspection include?

As long as your vehicle weighs 3.5 tonnes or less, your inspection will cover a huge range of mechanical, electrical, and cosmetic components. In fact, a Premium inspection will cover up to 226 points, and a Premium Plus inspection will cover up to 318.

That might sound like a lot of information – but to make sure it’s quick to read and understand, our report is broken down into 26 different sections, covering everything from the engine and the exhaust – right through to a history and finance check.

Each part of the car that’s inspected will be given a colour code – either green for ‘OK’, amber for ‘Warning’, or red for ‘Danger’. For example, a windscreen that is totally free of chips or cracks would be considered ‘OK’ and marked as green.

However, if the glass has a chip that does not obscure the driver’s vision – it’s likely to be marked as an amber ‘Warning’ – to make you aware of a problem. Then again, if the windscreen is chipped or cracked in a way that obscures the driver’s vision – then it would be marked a red ‘Danger’. In instances where there is an amber or red mark, you’ll also be provided with a photograph that shows the condition of the part in question in more detail.

Detailed road test

Another reason we cannot offer inspections for vehicles over 3500kg is down to the licence type needed to drive such a vehicle. Since 1997, drivers who have passed a standard test can only drive vehicles that weigh less than this 3.5 tonnes – and as such, we can only guarantee that our inspectors will hold this level of licence.

Again, as long as the vehicle meets the weight requirements, your inspection will also include a lengthy road test – either 10 miles on a Premium inspection or 20 miles on a Premium Plus. This gives our inspectors time to check for problems that might not be immediately apparent when the car is cold or stationary – and it give you the peace of mind that your car’s been thoroughly examined before you part with your money.

Other related FAQs

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

With Car.co.uk, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.