Buying a car is a huge purchase. You don’t want a situation whereby after you have put down your hard-earned cash, you realize there is something wrong with the car. Observing a car inspection report will save you the stress of falling victim to buying cars with potential problems. If you are buying a used car, a car inspection report is highly important. There are various reasons why checking out a car inspection report before buying the car is essential, read on in this article why you should never skip a car inspection report.

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Meaning Of Car Inspection Report

Car inspection or vehicle inspection is mandatory to practice required by law to ascertain if a car is in good working condition or environmentally safe. Usually, vehicles are tested for two main purposes:

  • to know if there are roadworthy (i.e in good working condition that is safe to ride on the road and protect passengers)
  • to know if the vehicle won’t be a source of environmental Pollution emitting high levels of carbon dioxide (i e environmentally safe).

Types Of Vehicle Inspection Report

Approved Status

If the vehicle inspection report says approved; this means there is nothing wrong with the car. It implies the car passed the roadworthiness check and is considered environmentally safe.

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Rejection With The Need For Retest

When the vehicle inspection report says rejection with a need for a retest, it means there are serious damages to the car that can’t be overlooked. Carefully pay attention to what needs to be repaired and get it done, then go for a re-inspection within the specified period of time.

Rejection Without The Need For Retest

This report means there are minor problems wrong with the car that should be fixed; however you don’t necessarily have to go back for a follow-up inspection unless stopped on the road by police officers. It’s best to pay attention to the problems identified in the report and get them repaired to avoid harassment by police officers.

Rejection With Driving Ban

This is the most severe vehicle inspection report. This report implies that the vehicle has to be transported directly to a workshop for repairs via tow truck and then immediately taken back for a reinspection. You shouldn’t buy a car with this kind of report unless the problems are fully corrected.

Vehicle Inspection Checklist

A vehicle inspection checklist consists of vital things you should inspect in a car before buying. In Nigeria, for instance, you can inspect this checklist yourself, otherwise, consult a car technician or mechanic to help you with it.

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Here is a list of what to inspect in a car before purchase;

  • Inspect Operation Of Air Conditioning And Heating System
  • Inspect Brake Pads
  • Inspect Brake Hydraulic System
  • Test Emergency Brake Adjustment
  • Check Shock Absorbers/Struts
  • Inspect Condition Of Exhaust System
  • Visually Inspect Undercarriage/Check For Signs Of Damage
  • Inspect Tires For Proper Inflation, Tread Depth, And Wear
  • Visually Inspect Gas Tank For Leaks
  • Visually Inspect Oil Pan For Leaks
  • Check The Battery
  • Check Engine Oil And Filter
  • Inspect Wiper Inserts
  • Check Air Filter
  • Inspect body panels
  • Check Transmission Fluid Level And Condition
  • Inspect Belts For Cracking, Fraying, And Wear
  • Check Engine Coolant Level And Condition
  • Inspect Condition Of Radiator Hoses
  • Inspect Condition Of Heater Hoses
  • Inspect For Coolant Leaks, Radiator, Surge Tank, And Water Pump
  • Test Operation Of Turn Signals, Brake Lights, Headlights, And Tail Lights
  • Check Brake Pedal For Proper Travel
  • Check the windscreen.
  • Observe the interior of the car

Why You Should Not Skip Vehicle Inspection Report

It lets you know if the car is safe

You can’t always tell the potential problems a car would have at a glance, but a thorough inspection report can let you know. For instance, if the inspection report shows problems in the engine; then you know you have a big problem as engine problems are often expensive to repair.

It saves you money on the long run

As I mentioned earlier, a vehicle inspection report is especially important for used cars. Truth is, you don’t exactly know why a person is selling his/her car. If you are unlucky to buy a car with recurrent car problems, you might find yourself spending more than you need to on repair and maintenance. Hence, rather than fall victim to cars that will cost you a lot to repair, carefully reading a vehicle inspection report will help you know the problems with a car before buying.

 It helps you get a good deal on a car.

A vehicle inspection report on a car will reveal the minor problems that simple repair or maintenance will take care of. Since you will be the one spending to make the repairs, you can renegotiate the price of the car to your advantage.

Peace of mind

A vehicle inspection report is a form of preventive maintenance. Rather than earnestly hope that the car is in good working condition, a vehicle inspection report will let you know the true state of the car.


Skipping vehicle inspection reports when you want to buy a car may expose you to danger. If you can’t do the inspection yourself, then hire a technician to do it for you. Trust me, you will find it beneficial in the long run.

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Blessing Afolabi is a writing enthusiast. She enjoys reading about science, leadership, and any other edifying materials. She's willing to go the extra mile in curating the right kind of content. When she's not writing, she's busy reading, chatting, or just hanging out with friends.

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