Before you make any commitment to the seller, check all the following to make sure the vehicle is in a good shape and you are not buying someone else’s Problem.
This vehicle inspection form has been made for you to follow and inspect your own vehicle yourself anywhere. Just make sure that a vehicle registration check / VIN check is always recommended to do on a vehicle for that extra peace of mind.
Used Car Inspection Checklist/ Vehicle Inspection Checklist
Make a form Out of the points below and make sure you don’t miss any just to ensure everything is good.
Used Car Inspection Form
- Engine –engine must run smoothly without any excessive noise or shake while the car is static or in motion.
- Engine oil – proper engine oil should be in a bright honey colour not any darker or black. The oil should also be oily not watery and too runny.
- Radiator coolant – you should see no residue stuck on the coolant cap. The coolant should be clean and brightly coloured, typically green or red.
- Fluid leaks – Any leak under or around the vehicle should be checked properly. Look around the engine compartment and underneath the car for signs of oil, coolant or other leaks that might indicate poor maintenance and potential repairs.
- Exhaust – Smoke that has any colour such as blue, white or grey show that there is a problem with the vehicle. Excessive exhaust noise or a knocking sound from under the car can indicate an exhaust system problem.
- Vehicle identification – Check that the car’s VIN number (vehicle identification number) matches the VIN on the registration papers. Open the bonnet and look for a small silver build plate that’s usually in one of the rear corners of the engine compartment.
- Lights – test all the lights including the indicators. Having someone to help makes this job much faster. Testing the brake lights definitely needs someone to help.
- Body and paint – Inspect the body for dents, ripples, loose, mismatched panels, paint overspray, evidence of rust or crash repairs. Make sure you put the car on a jack and inspect under the vehicle as well.
- Interior – Check the seats, carpet and interior plastics for stains, damage, cracks or wear and tear. Use your own logic to see whether the condition is in line with the age of the vehicle you are inspecting.
- Tyres –Ideally, the tyres should be of the same brand and pattern. Check the thread and the sides for any tear or big damage. That can pose a serious safety risk and needs immediate attention. A thread of Less than 1.6mm is an offence by law in NSW.
- Seat-belts – Ensure all the seatbelts are operational. If you are having a child, ensure the back seat belts work smoothly and properly.
- Warning lights – With the engine running, you should see no illuminated warning lights.
- Equipment – Broken equipment can often be costly to repair.Check that all the accessories work, including the air-conditioning and fan, power windows and mirrors, audio system, satellite navigation, parking sensors and reversing camera.
- Jack and tool kit – Make sure the car has a jack and its tool kit. It is a must have in all vehicles no matter what they are used for.