How Long Does A Pre Purchase Inspection Take?

Summary: On average, a pre-purchase inspection takes approx 1.5 hours, but will vary depending on a number of factors.

A pre-purchase inspection will take longer the more depth you want, as well as for sports and old school classics compared to hatchbacks. It also depends on the type of vehicle you have as a 125cc motorbike will take less time than a fully kitted campervan (PS. We also do campervan gas inspections you can check them out here). 

Our pre-purchase inspections are mobile so we will travel to the seller’s vehicle so long as it’s safe and practical, and email the report to the buyer as well as a verbal report over the phone. So, neither party needs to be present or prepare for the inspection.

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How Long A Pre Purchase Inspection Takes Depends On The Package You Get

Now, the package you get will determine the depth of the inspection and therefore how long it will take. 

Take our system as an example, we have a tier system going from Basic, Essential & Premium . Where each tier looks further in depth than the previous tier.

Our basic package offers a basic look at the car that offers 80+ inspection points and will take around 30-60 minutes to complete. 

Up next we have the essential package which is a much more in depth look at the vehicle, this time checking 175+ inspection points and taking 90-120 minutes.

The highest tier and longest inspection we have is Premium. This will take around 120-150 minutes to do and involves a full in depth inspection of the car, meaning checking over 180 inspection points and giving the most number of photos, the longest verbal report.

So in short, how long a pre-purchase inspection takes really does depend on the package you get, as this will determine how much depth your inspector goes into and how many inspection points they will complete, and what actions they will take to show you.

The more areas of inspection and the more additional inspection items or add-ons, the longer the inspection can take. If you want to look at our package, you can view them on our pre-purchase inspection page.

Pre Purchase Inspections Can Take Longer Based On Your Vehicle Make And Model

Okay, so how long a pre-purchase inspection takes really depends on the type of car you have. As you can imagine there are so many makes and models out there that not all cars are going to be the same to inspect. 

It’s true that some cars are going to take longer as they may be older, more complex or simply have more moving parts. LPG cars may also take longer than petrol cars.

Sports cars take longer

As you can imagine a sports car can be a pretty complicated machine compared to a standard hatchback and is more difficult to access the inspection points. A lot of the time sports cars need specialist tools and equipment to be inspected.

This is all going to add to the time it takes to be inspected, meaning a sports car is probably going to take longer than your standard hatchback that has much easier access and requires standard tools.

Vintage cars take longer

Now, much the same as sports cars, vintage & old school classics will take longer to inspect compared to your average modern day car. 

Again this is because vintage old school classic cars require specialised tools, and the old school classics can sometimes be complicated to test or inspect certain aspects. 

While it is very possible, they old school classics will take more time inspecting as the panels and chassis are an area of concern simply due to the age rust in specific areas take more time to inspect due to the access limitations

Larger complex cars take longer

This is a pretty self explanatory point, but larger cars take longer than smaller cars. For example if you had a big 4×4 with all the bells and whistles you need for an outdoor adventure then the inspection may take longer than a basic hatchback.

This is because being able to access the inspection points of larger 4x4s take longer than a small car which is easier to work on. There may also be more things to inspect on a larger vehicle than a smaller one, as things like suspension will be totally different.In short, a truck pre-purchase inspection will take longer than a small car.

The Time Of A Pre Purchase Inspection Depends On The Type Of Vehicle

Alright so guys we don’t just do cars ofcourse we also do pre purchase inspections for caravans, motorbikes, trucks, RV’s and even trailers.

Now, a comprehensive inspection of a truck or RV might take longer than a similar inspection on a 125cc motorbike. This is simply because there may be more things to look at and more complicated systems on these bigger vehicles than something smaller like a bike or a trailer.

As well as this the larger vehicles may be more difficult to access the inspection areas physically, as well as need special tools to do internal checks. You might guess that an RV is slightly more difficult to work on than a motorbike in terms of access.

If you want any advice on what vehicles should be pre purchase inspected, have a look on our website or read our blogs.

So the type of vehicle you’re getting inspected can make a difference to how long it takes.

What Is The Average Time Of A Pre Purchase Inspection?

Okay if I had to give you an average time for a pre purchase inspection I would have to say around 1.5 hours. This is for an average size and age of a car and to give you a pretty good idea of the car. 

But as a disclaimer this can vary depending on all the things I’ve mentioned so far. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you want to have a basic look in an hour or wait a couple hours for a more comprehensive look at your car.

Whatever your choice is, just know that quality can take time.

What Will I Need To Prepare For A Pre Purchase Inspection At ASAP Roadworthys

Okay so if you are a seller we ask that you park your car in a safe and practical location, ideally off a road and in a driveway. This is simply for the safety of our team.

Of course if you don’t have a driveway then we can arrange with you safe options near you to leave the car. Remember our service is mobile so we are flexible, but still need to be safe.

Alright so for the buyers you wont need to prepare anything! Once you have filled in our pre purchase inspection form on our website we will take care of the rest. Organising the inspection with the seller and emailing you the full report with photos after.

P.S. A pre purchase inspection is different from a mobile roadworthy certificate, which we also offer.

Do I Need To Be Present For A Pre Purchase Inspection At ASAP Roadworthys

No, you do not have to be present at your pre-purchase inspection with us.

We offer mobile pre purchase inspections, meaning we will go directly to the vehicle to do our inspection. We get that people are unable to take time off work so we don’t need either party to be at the inspection.

All you have to do is go to our website and click pre purchase inspections. Here you’ll fill in a super easy form that lets us know the job address and basic contact details. 

From here we take care of everything, organising a time and a place with the seller. Once the inspection is complete we will email you a full report on the condition of the car with photos.

So you won’t have to be present at any point, as we travel to the seller and then send everything we found in an email to you!

If you are looking to sell, check out our blog on how to sell a car


Okay so there we have it folks, that’s a good look at how long a pre purchase inspection might take.

A huge factor is the depth of the inspection, as of course the more you look at and the more you test the longer it is going to take. Basic inspections take a lot less time than a premium one.

The type of car you have can also vary the time of a pre-purchase car inspection, with sports cars and vintage cars usually taking longer than your standard hatchback. But also larger 4×4 with lots of features and moving parts will take longer too.

Remember the type of vehicle you want to get inspected will determine how long the inspection takes, as an RV or truck will most likely take longer than a motorbike or trailer due to the complexity.

Also, as a seller you may need to park your vehicle in a safe place to be inspected but other than that neither party need to be at our inspections or do anything past filling out the form on our website, as our mobile team goes to the seller’s vehicle and will email the report to the buyer upon completion.

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