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’s the maximum age of car you will inspect?

If you’re looking at buying a pre-owned car, there’s a good chance you’ll come across one of the excellent value older vehicles on the market. The trouble is, you can’t always be certain you’re getting an honest older vehicle – especially since some inspection companies put age limits on the cars they inspect.

At Car.co.uk, we work slightly differently. We can inspect vehicles of any ages – and we can tell you a bit more about why we’re confident doing so here.

Inspecting older vehicles

At Car.co.uk, we firmly believe that age is just a number. After all, you could reasonably expect a 15-year old car that’s done 20,000 miles to be in better condition than a 5-year old car that’s done 120,000 miles – especially if the older car’s been well maintained.

So, why do some companies avoid doing inspections on older vehicles?

It’s often simply to do with the complexity of the task. With an older vehicle, signs of wear and tear might not be apparent until you take the car on a long test drive or perform a physical inspection to look for signs of movement or wear in mechanical components. 

The good news is, this is exactly what we do as part of our Premium Plus inspection. We don’t just rely on looking at the car to tell us what condition it’s in – our inspectors roll their sleeves up and perform a physical inspection, before noting full details of their findings on a comprehensive report.

What will you see when an older vehicle is inspected?

Our Premium Plus inspection creates an extensive report that goes into great depth about the car you’re hoping to buy. As soon as the report’s ready, it’ll be emailed to you so you can make your mind up about the vehicle.

The report is broken down into 26 different sections. Each of those sections is dedicated to a separate part of the car – from the mechanical and electrical components – to the condition of the interior and wear-level of each tyre.

Of course, this level of detail could be overwhelming if it was presented as a large block of text, so instead, we make sure you get a colour-coded list that indicates the condition of every component we’ve inspected. A green mark lets you know the part is ‘OK’, amber suggests there’s a ‘Warning’, and red indicates ‘Danger’. There’s room for comments too – so if you do find any amber or red marks, you’ll be able to read a little more about what’s led to the cause for concern. In fact, you’ll even get photographs so you can see in more detail what’s being explained.

Exploring the car’s history

It’s not just the physical condition of the car that’s looked into when you get a Premium Plus inspection report. Our inspector will cross-reference data from the Police, insurance companies, and the DVLA, so you can be absolutely certain you know everything about the car’s past too – including accidents, insurance claims or write-offs, numbers of owners, and even number plate changes. 

Is an inspection worth it on an older car?

You might be hoping to keep your costs down if you’re looking at an older vehicle – but that doesn’t mean you should compromise on your safety or spending going forward. Around 50% of cars on the pre-owned market have some kind of hidden history – so a pre-purchase inspection is money well spent if you want to drive your new car away with complete peace of mind.

Other related FAQs

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

Do you inspect imported vehicles?

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.

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 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.

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.

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.