Are you buying a classic, vintage or veteran vehicle, and would like a second opinion on it before purchase? We offer a pre purchase inspection service allowing you to relax, safe in the knowledge that the vehicle you are buying and investment you are making is sound and worthy.
Our inspections are incredibly thorough, and our aim is to build a picture of the vehicle’s integrity and authenticity prior to you making the purchase. Using information and evidence collected from its service history, bodywork condition, mechanicals, engine and interior we can gain an insight into the vehicle’s life, and condition.
Although we are thorough we do make allowances for the type of vehicle being inspected, the client’s preferences and the vehicle’s value, and therefore creating a far more bespoke and personal experience for each customer. So whether you are looking for a good driver’s car, a project, or trailer queen, we can mould the inspection around your requirements.
How do you go about organising the service?
Simply just give us a call, we’ll take a few details about the vehicle, the vehicle’s location, and some seller information. From here, we can discuss whether the vehicle can be brought onto our premises or if we need to travel to the current seller’s location.
We will then organise an appropriate date and time with the seller to carry out the inspection, and confirm this with yourself.
How long does an inspection take?
If we have access to a ramp, or the vehicle is brought to our own premises, the inspection takes around three hours. If we are required to jack up the vehicle on a drive or forecourt, the inspection will take up to four hours.
What do we inspect?
Everything that’s possible to check without being invasive!
We start with the paperwork provided with the vehicle, confirming a number of details are present and correct starting from the VIN number and registration. If all seems to be in order, we take a look at the vehicle’s history. If any parts are missing, anything appears untoward, or misrepresented, we’ll make a note.
We then proceed to a visual inspection of the bodywork, taking note of all scratches, dents and any poor repairs. We use a few devices to determine the quality of the paint and bodywork, the primary device is simply a paint thickness tester. This allows us to comprehend how much filler has been applied, and therefore helps us draw a picture of any damage the vehicle may have sustained in the past. As we know, paint can hide a multitude of sins! All door gaps, bonnet shuts, window fitment, and general panel fitment is scrutinised to determine if there is any further damage or poor repairs lurking.
Once this is complete, we move on to the underside. Here we use a similar test procedure to that of an MOT test. The focus is to confirm the structural integrity of the underside of the shell, and confirm the roadworthiness of all steering, suspension and running gear. We’ll also check for all fluid leaks, the oil level and quality in the differential and gearbox where possible. All major components receive an operational and visual check where possible.
Next, we open up the boot bay and where possible check the boot floor, rear end, rear 1/4s and fuel tank integrity. We may also get a good look at the rear half of the wiring looms.
From here, we’ll move onto the engine bay, checking structural integrity of the shell, suspension, steering and engine mounts. This moves us neatly onto the engine, ancillaries and general engine bay components. We make a start with a check of all fluid levels, checking for emulsion in both the filler and radiator. We then sample the oil and coolant to check all is present and correct. All areas are then given a good visual inspection.
We then move onto the cabin. Again, we’ll head to the footwells, inner sills, seatbelt mounts, cabin floors, and under the rear seats to give us an indication of the internal shell condition. While we’re here we take note of any damp ingress and general condition of the interior soft furnishings, fixtures and fittings. Once we are satisfied here, we’ll move onto the controls.
The controls and operation of the vehicle is obviously very important. Initially before we power anything up, we’ll take a quick peak at all fuses, making sure they’re all present and correct, this also gives us a further insight into the state of the wiring loom. Happy that this is adequate we can start powering things up, we start with all switch gear, controls and driver aids to confirm operation. We can then check all ignition lights before firing the vehicle up.
On startup we confirm oil pressure (where a gauge is fitted) and take note on how quickly it builds. We then allow it to warm up, confirming actual radiator temperature to gauge temperature (where fitted). We then take note of the engine tone, listening for anything untoward such as a misfire, or knock. With the engine running we can then confirm operation of the power steering (where fitted), alternator, air con (where fitted) and other engine powered ancillaries.
Given all prior checks are satisfactory, we’ll take the vehicle for a test drive, initially we’ll check operation of the clutch, gearbox, footbrake and handbrake. Once on the move, we check steering operation, free-play and tracking. We like to take the car for a good 20 mile drive on a variety of roads. This gives us the opportunity to put the car through its paces making sure it doesn’t overheat, the suspension has no knocks or rattles, and the engine behaves as it should. On our return, the vehicle is then turned off, and a hot start is carried out. Once this is all complete, we take the opportunity to investigate any issues we may have come across during the drive, to allow us to give a diagnosis.
After all this is complete, we head back to the office and fill out the report. The report not only contains information collected during the inspection, a complete set of photographs, a valuation of the vehicle and estimated market pricing for the different grades. Should it be necessary, we can also give estimates to put the defects right.
Where do I get further information on the MOT test from?
For more information on the basic set of checks we carry out, please visit the MOT checklist here.
How do I book a pre purchase inspection?
For more information on this service, do just give us a call, visit the contact us page for all our details.