Car inspection

Pre-purchase vehicle inspection


Independent vehicle inspections before you buy?

Clickmechanic versus AA car check and RAC vehicle inspection


How a motorist can reduce risk and increase the likelihood of buying a car that is genuine, reliable and value for money.

How much does a car inspection cost?

Compare service provider and price:


  • Clickmechanic
  • RAC
  • AA vehicle inspection services

Pre purchase car inspection 

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Best car inspection services in the UK with CarVeto.

First step

Before laying a deposit or buying a car outright, get a CarVeto. We offer free reports, a Gold check and Platinum service.

The data provided is thorough and highlights any discrepancies in mileage, theft, major accident damage and outstanding finance.

In total, we run more than 20 checks per search that results in a plethora of detail. For car buyers, a vehicle history check is essential.


Second step

Visual inspections of the car and its documentation.

This is where motorists tend to come unstuck.


Over 70% of today’s drivers feel uncertain when buying a used car and admit they don’t really know what to look out for.

This is where a car inspection steps in.


For a relatively small amount of money (depends on the provider) it is simple to book a qualified, vetted mechanic to audit a car and look out for any issues that impact value and reliability.

For buying a car

Things to consider:

This database helps motorists get clarity on a car by revealing any hidden history.

Get an initial free car check (ideally accessed before you buy or pay a holding deposit). Start now by entering a registration number for an instant car check.

The 3 main UK providers are the AA, RAC and ClickMechanic. You may also consider a local mechanic or workshop whom you trust. Most will be more than happy to scrutinize a car on your behalf.

The main providers listed above offer a similar service (depending on the type you buy) but differ considerably in price.


Compare by price

cost comparison for UK providers

Get more information about independent inspections

What gets inspected in a typical vehicle inspection?

Standard checks include:


  • Engine
  • Electrical components
  • Bodywork
  • Chassis
  • Brakes
  • Tyres
  • Documentation
  • Thorough test drive (extensive road test)

This means an engine check investigates any potential issues or terminal problems that will cause a costly, unreliable car.

A bodywork inspection will tell you about accident damage if there were repairs and the quality of the work (accident damaged cars tend to be more problematic)

Tyres inspections look at tread depth, tyre splitting, ensuring all four tyres are the same radius sizes and that type of thing

Documentation checks look at the quality of the service history, potential mechanical issues and the genuineness of the service records.


These are some features in a used car inspection. For those that feel at all uncertain about buying a car, inspections can be helpful.

See Clickmechanic for a bit more detail on the service

Buying habits that point to car inspections


  • ‘If the car bodywork looks shiny and new, am I much more likely to buy the car?”
    Pristine bodywork (depending on the age and mileage of the car) may be a sign of resprayed panels from minor accidents or replacement panels from major shunts.
  • ”Is a 5 or 10-minute test drive enough to ensure the car is worth buying?’
    CarVeto best practice dictates a thorough test drive of at least 20 minutes. Test drives should be conducted at low speed and motorway speeds. The car should be put under stress points to ensure all the working parts are in good condition and function perfectly. A car inspection mechanic will make a thorough test drive to do just that.
  • ‘How does a healthy engine sound compared to an unhealthy one?’
    Engine tests need to take place from stone-cold and at the full running temperature (especially diesel).
  • ‘How much attention should I pay to car documentation? If I check the last service, number of owners and when the MOT expires, is that enough?’
    Alongside a comprehensive service history check, the V5C logbook, MOT history and appending invoices need to be audited to support the displayed mileage and predict how much money needs to be spent on the car during the next 12-months.

If the above statements seem familiar, CarVeto suggest a vehicle inspection.

Clickmechanic is a low-cost service and reputable name in the car industry.

In our previous article, we explained car spec check information. Or have a look at our Faq pages for common questions about a CarVeto.

Related guide: Can I get a free stolen car check?