Frequently Asked Questions

All you need to know about Vehicle Inspections

Types of vehicle inspected

What vehicles do you inspect?

We can inspect the majority of cars, light vans and motorhomes up to 15 years old, either before purchase or after purchase. Vehicle age is determined by the year of manufacture and may differ from the year of registration.

What vehicles do you not inspect?

  • any vehicle over 15 years old
  • refrigerated units and bodywork, body tipping gear, tail lifts
  • any vehicle over 3,500kg
  • horse boxes
  • American imports
  • kit cars
  • limousines
  • hybrid/dual-fuel vehicles
  • motorcycles
  • London taxis (black cabs)
  • specific high performance vehicles

Can you inspect disability cars?

Yes, as long as they don't have disability controls.

Do you inspect imports?

Yes, if the import is registered in the UK and is recognised in the UK, with the exception of American imports.

Booking an inspection

In which geographical areas do you carry out inspections?

Inspections are only available on the mainland of Great Britain.

Vehicle inspections are not available on any of the islands or in Northern Ireland, and some areas of Scotland and Wales.

Do you inspect within congestion charging zones?

The engineers can enter a charging zone, but the payment for any congestion charges due for the vehicle being inspected and the engineer's vehicle is your responsibility and will be charged appropriately.

Do engineers work out of hours?

No. They work Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm.

Why do I need the vehicle registration number?

The registration number enables us to identify the vehicle, and to allocate the price and type of inspection.

Can the vehicle be inspected without a current MOT Certificate?

If the vehicle does not have a current MOT certificate, or in the opinion of the inspecting engineer the vehicle is un-roadworthy, the road test will not be carried out. There is no refund due if this part of the inspection cannot be carried out.

Do I have to do anything else before the inspection?

  • Tell the owner that you are arranging an inspection
  • Obtain the owner's permission to road test the vehicle
  • Check that the vehicle will be available to allow the inspection and road test to take place
  • Check that the vehicle has a current MOT certificate (if applicable) and has sufficient fuel for the road test
  • The vehicle must be located on a hard, level surface off the public highway
  • The vehicle should be reasonably clean

Can I contact the engineer?

Yes. You will be emailed his contact details with confirmation of the inspection being assigned to him.

The vehicle inspection

How soon is the inspection after booking?

The owner/vendor is contacted as soon as possible to arrange a time that is mutually convenient. Most inspections are carried out within three working days, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Can I book a specific appointment time for the engineer?

No. Most inspections are carried out within three working days, but this is dependant on the owner/vendor, who will be contacted to arrange the appointment.

Do I have to be present at the inspection?

No. We will arrange the inspection with the owner/vendor (or the garage).

What does a Basic Inspection cover?

  • available on cars up to 8 years old
  • mechanical function
  • short road test – length subject to traffic and road conditions
  • detailed written report

What extras are there in the Comprehensive Inspection?

  • available on vehicles up to 15 years old
  • body exterior – panel condition and alignment, paintwork, trim, bumpers, soft-top operation and condition
  • electrical checks – mirrors, heater/fan controls, air-conditioning operation, and an opinion is given regarding the condition and operation of the radio/cassette/CD/aerial, if fitted
  • interior – steering wheel, seat upholstery, carpets, luggage/door trim panels, door fittings/operation, door seals/hinges, interior seals, visors, sun roof, dash panel condition, cigarette lighter, illumination lights.
  • corrosion protection
  • 4WD operation
  • full road test

What is not included in the inspections?

  • dismantling the vehicle or any of its components
  • any indication as to the accuracy of the mileage reading – we recommend an AA Car Data Check
  • oil and fuel consumption
  • source of oil leaks
  • TV/DVD/satellite navigation systems
  • cylinder compression
  • air-conditioning function and efficiency by the use of specific diagnostic equipment
  • vehicle electrics and electronics by the use of specific diagnostic equipment
  • exhaust emissions and/or catalytic converters using gas analysing equipment
  • habitation area of motorhomes: electrical systems and appliances, water fittings and appliances, gas fittings and appliances, body/caravan area for water ingress or dampness

How long does the inspection take?

It will take from one to two and a half hours, depending on the inspection type, location, the vehicle concerned and its condition.

How long is the road test?

A Comprehensive Inspection is usually 10 miles, and 5 miles for a Basic Inspection. However, the distance is dependant on location, traffic levels, fuel level and the engineer's judgment.

After the inspection

How soon do I get a verbal report?

This will be late in the day or early evening after the engineer has completed his daily inspection workload and written the report.

How will the inspection report be sent to me?

You will receive an email that contains a link to the report, which can then be downloaded from the website.

Will you do a discount on re-inspections to see if the owner has made the changes as a result of an initial inspection?

Yes. A re-inspection is available at a reduced price. Please call 0800 056 8040, Monday to Sunday 8am to 8pm, to speak to an advisor.

Are there any guarantees?

The report is based on the opinions and expertise of the engineer following a visual assessment as to the condition of the vehicle at the time of the inspection.

What if I have a complaint?

Please call 0800 056 8040, Monday to Sunday 8am to 8pm, and an advisor will help you in accordance with our complaints procedures.