Inspect a Newly Purchased Vehicle Before Delivery

Buying a new car but don't know what to look for in your new ride ? Here are few tips which could save you from landing up with a defective vehicle.


  1. Ensure you are provided with all relevant documents like Insurance and Vehicle registration before taking final delivery.
  2. Be Cheerful and act cordially with staff.
  3. Be Patient. Minor delays are sometimes unavoidable.
  4. If you find anything not up to your mark during inspection, simply note it down on a piece of paper and bring it to the notice of staff. Your aim should be to rectify any faults and not to create any unpleasant scene during what should essentially be a joyous occasion for you.
  5. Take your time to inspect. Buying a car is an investment and giving it due time is expected.
  6. Take a complete demonstration from salesperson. You should be aware of all functions before you take it to your inspection.
  7. Note the mileage. Usually, anything below 40 km (25 miles) is acceptable. Though this would vary depending on how your vehicle is delivered to the dealer from manufacturer's yard.
  8. Inspect the bodywork. Ensure you do it in daylight and in open space. Take your time and note down the smallest of imperfections. It is very difficult to justify scratches and minor dents to staff at later stage.
  9. Check all seams, panel gap consistencies, and door line match to acceptable standards.
  10. Check all doors, hood, & boot that they open and shut properly and that all rubber linings are soft.
  11. Open Bonnet. Check fluid levels and engine compartment cleanliness.
  12. Also look for any cuts or splits in electrical wiring and connections. Also, check that the ECU of car is properly shielded.
  13. Check the Battery. Usually most trusted brands of batteries have indicators showing the health of the battery. If not, ask service staff to confirm the health of battery and perform a battery test.
  14. Confirm that all tires are new. Usually a new tire would have coloured stripes in centre which wear off once tire is used for some time.
  15. Check the windshields for any cracks, scratches or spots that may be difficult to remove later. Check wiper operations. Check and operate all windows. Ensure Power windows (if applicable) work properly.
  16. Check the interior of the car. Especially look out for any kind of soiling of seats, upholstery and carpets. Make sure every kind of cloth or leather is intact.
  17. Turn on the ignition.
  18. Ensure that no warning lights are flashing on the instrument cluster.
  19. Ensure that fuel level is adequate and engine temperature is within acceptable range.
  20. Crank the engine. Lookout for any weird sound from engine compartment. It is advisable to crank the engine and then step out of the vehicle to inspect the sound of the vehicle. While you are at it, also check the emission levels from exhaust.
  21. Turn on the air-conditioning / heating. Ensure it provides you with sufficient cooling / heating.
  22. Try to operate and test all the bells and whistles that may have come with your car.
  23. Switch on the headlights, fog lamps and parking lights. Confirm that they operate properly. Ensure that headlights focus properly.
  24. Check the A/V system. Carry your favourite CD to test the sound system.
  25. Buckle Up and request a short test drive before delivery. At this point, switch off the music system and put the air-conditioning on low speed so that you can listen to any abnormality.
  26. Shift into gears. Ensure that they slot properly and vehicle has decent acceleration.
  27. On your test drive, look for any abnormal sounds from engine or suspension system. Also, ensure that there are no rattles and NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) levels are acceptable.
  28. On a straight stretch, drive at a speed of 60 km/h and check that vehicle is properly aligned to road and there is no unusual vibration.
  29. Return to service centre. Park the vehicle. Step out and open the hood. Check for any fluid leaks that may have popped up during trial.
  30. Meet the service manager and get all possible information regarding service schedules and good driving etiquette.
  31. Exchange business cards with salesperson, and service personnel.
  32. Bring to notice any faults that you may have encountered during the inspection.
  33. Note down Chassis No. and Engine No. of vehicle and confirm that it matches with the paperwork
  34. Check Air Pressure on the vehicle.
  35. You are now ready to go! But, before you leave, do take a picture with your purchase and all those people who made your dream car a reality :)
  36. Drive off and Show off !
  37. Check all additional items to be present in the vehicle like spare tire, CD Changer, tool kits and warning triangles.


  • Be courteous to staff. After all, you may be returning there for all your service needs.
  • Bring along a friend or colleague. A third person with little emotional attachment to your new car will provide a non-biased opinion during inspection.
  • Call couple of days in advance and fix a delivery date and time so that there is minimum hurry.
  • Have all types of paperwork ready which may be required for delivery of vehicle.
  • Carry a Still Camera/Camcorder to capture your moment of joy as well as serve as proof for any defect found.


  • Vehicle Delivery during late evenings and night is an absolute NO!
  • Remember! It may be a highly emotional moment for you but is routine for staff.

Things You'll Need

  • Required documentation
  • Delivery Order of Financier if required
  • Pen
  • Still Camera / Camcorder
  • Pre recorded Audio Cassette / CD / DVD / USB Stick
  • Gift for salesperson (Optional)

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