What Is A Used Car Inspection And Why To Get One

Steven Mauve
3 min readSep 17, 2022


Getting a professional to check over your car if you’re not confident checking it yourself could provide you with peace of mind.

Buying a car for sale online and having it delivered to your door in Johannesburg South is easy and stress-free when you have the right information at your disposal, but could you spot a discrepancy between the advertisement you viewed and the car you’ve received? If you’re not so sure, this article could help.

Whilst the used car you want to buy may look great on the outside, it may have problems under the surface and these flaws can be difficult to spot unless you know what to look out for.

The good news is there are plenty of professionals trained in assessing used cars for sale in Johannesburg South with a keen eye for issues you may not even have seen. In some cases, an inspection could even be included in the price of the car.

What’s a used car inspection?

A used car inspection, sometimes known as a pre-purchase car inspection, involves an experienced engineer taking a look at the used car you want to buy to ensure it’s as advertised. They’ll conduct a thorough visual and mechanical inspection, providing an entirely independent review of the vehicle’s condition, so you can be sure there aren’t any hidden issues lurking.

What does a used car inspection include?

Independent vehicle inspections vary between providers, but they will usually cover:

  • Interior and exterior visual inspections
  • Mechanical inspections
  • A road test

Vehicle inspection checks in more comprehensive packages could include:

  • Diagnostic check to identify any stored system fault codes
  • Brake fluid test and analysis
  • Extended road test
  • Verbal summary from the engineer
  • A comprehensive summary of engineer’s findings and recommendations
  • Photos to show exterior, odometer, vehicle documents and key defects
  • Engine oil levels, air filters and battery condition
  • Coolant levels and their condition
  • Inspection of the brakes, wheels and tyres
  • Transmission fluid condition checks
  • Operation of brake lights, headlights and taillights
  • The function of the seat belts and steering
  • Fluid leaks from engine or transmission
  • Paintwork defects, scratches or other damage on the bodywork of the vehicle

Differences between a vehicle inspection and a vehicle check

A car inspection focuses on the physical condition and mechanical health of the vehicle, ensuring it is as advertised and fit for purpose.

A vehicle check, by contrast, concentrates on the history of the car, letting you know if it has been stolen, crashed or scrapped, the number of previous owners, date of first registration, mileage details or whether there is any outstanding finance.

Vehicle history reports and vehicle inspection checks both play an important role when buying a used car, providing different vital information about the vehicle.

Should I get a used car inspection?

Every car advertised via Auto Trader undergoes a free five-point background vehicle check which covers whether the car has been stolen, scrapped, written off, imported or exported so you can buy a car online confidently.

However, these basic free checks don’t cover a mechanical inspection, so if you’re confident in performing the checks yourself, a vehicle inspection check may be a needless expense, but others will insist you can’t put a price on peace of mind.

Are used car inspections worth it? That very much depends on your point of view and ultimately the choice is yours; only you will know what is right for your circumstances.




Originally published at https://www.tumblr.com.



Steven Mauve

All things pre-loved cars