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What Every Car Owner Needs to Know: How Long Does a Car Inspection Take?

Car inspections are often for transferral purposes, especially for older vehicles for sale. Nowadays, many repair shops can cut inspection time thanks to high-tech equipment. However, the time allotted for each inspection varies depending on the mechanic and the vehicle itself.

how long does a car inspection take

Photo Source: https://www.ktas.com.au/servicing/registrations-and-inspections/

Not knowing how long does a car inspection take can be an inconvenience. Why? Well, for starters, your schedule throughout the day might be affected. Not all of us here have all day to sit around. Thus, make sure to stick around to know the answer to this important question!

What’s with car inspections?

Car inspections can be the not-so-common term among car owners, especially for the newbies. However, it’s an integral part of purchasing or selling vehicles. Thus, every car owner should be aware of this.

Unless you’re going to have a car to a family member or a friend, you’ll encounter this process. Car inspections are similar to any property inspection.

Just imagine inspecting a condominium unit that you’re about to rent. Likewise, imagine the unit owner checking the area after your contract. Car inspections work the same way.

With that said, whether you’re buying a brand new or second-hand car, you’ll need to make an inspection. That is the same whenever you’re selling a car, be it new or used. When inspecting vehicles, it’s all about attention to detail.

That is not something like a house or a land that you can make a few glances to judge its value. Cars have a lot of mechanisms that are invisible to the eye without a detailed inspection. One of the most common ones is inside the engine and transmission.

Read more: Top 10 Most Common Transmission Problems You Have To Know

Source: https://blog.cars24.com/sell-car-right-way-step-step-guide-car-selling/

When it comes to the engine, it’s perhaps the most critical and sensitive component that you need to inspect. That is especially true for second-hand cars. Remember, whoever is selling a used car, his/her report about the vehicle must always become taken with a grain of salt. Don’t ever trust a seller’s word regarding the truck for sale.

Consulting professionals

With those reminders in mind, you can do the car inspection through different methods. As previously stated, car inspections vary both in time and technique. Some mechanics have a different way of going about it, while other establishments have a systematic approach to inspect.

In many Western countries such as the United States, car inspections can be done uniformly through government agencies. Usually, bureaus concerned with land transportation have an inspection branch that does this for you.

So with that said, the most likely process that you’ll encounter is going through this agency. Of course, that’s if you’re willing to go through legal procedures. On the other hand, other countries do a personal or private inspection. That is most likely the case if it’s a second-hand car that you will buy.

The contents of the inspection

Car inspection usually involves two processes: paperworks for legal matters, and in-depth vehicle testing. The paper works are especially important if you’re buying a brand new car from a car manufacturer. That is because the car is necessarily a newly born machine that’s about to be a part of society under your name.


Photo: http://www.business-standard.com/

Paperwork usually involves identification of the owner via ID and the car’s license via plate number. That is also where the vehicle will be either be a public utility vehicle, a private, government and so on. Also, the car’s insurance will be part of this process.

As for the car inspection itself, you can guarantee that road-testing and an internal check will be in it. Road-testing is notably the most important since it covers all of the safety requirements surrounding the vehicle.

Road tests and interior check-ups

The road tests are usually a series of driving drills that test the brakes, lights, and accelerator. If you have a manual transmission car, the clutch pedal will also go through tests.

Meanwhile, inspection of interiors involves the engine, steering wheel, seats, and dashboard. The car should have a fully-functioning dash and steering wheel. Meanwhile, the motor should pass the bare minimum. That means it should at the very least start smoothly with no backfires.

Related: What Causes a Car to Backfire?

The final answer

Factoring road tests and paperwork, it’s safe to assume that these two alone can take up no less than an hour of your time. However, remember that we’re not even including the length of the line and the speed of the agency’s processing. Some countries like Japan have high-speed processing systems, while others can take hours.

Meanwhile, the road tests will take no less than 30 minutes. It’s the most crucial part, so it’ll take the longest. The interior inspections usually take 15-20 minutes, so that’s already almost an hour already.

Moreover, some countries have strict emission laws. That can be an added test to your vehicle should your country have this. Emission laws usually concern the exhaust system and fuel economy of your car. The good news here is that these emission tests don’t go longer than 15 minutes.

In a Nutshell

So there you have it. Car inspections can be a drag for busy car owners who just want to drive their newly bought cars. It can also be trouble if ever you’re selling one, and your buyer demands that it goes through inspection.

Nonetheless, it’s only an hour in the best scenario. Everything else depends on how the agency works out the papers. Whatever the case, it’s essential to go through these inspections because it will benefit you at the end of the day.

With that said, prepare to schedule the inspection in advanced. It’s wise to allow two hours of your time for this process to prevent panic. Hopefully, you now have a more precise grasp on the duration of car inspections. If you found this informative, spread the word and share it with your friends! Good luck!

Steven K. Galloway