Vehicle Check Vs Vehicle Inspection

While buying a used car in the UK, you want to make sure it is mechanically and physically fit. Fortunately, you can hire a vehicle inspection service to find out hidden problems in your preferred vehicle and ensure its roadworthiness and value for money. So, it looks like you need both a Vehicle Inspection and a Vehicle Check before purchasing a second-hand car in the UK.

But is it possible to get a free vehicle history check in the UK and ditch the inspection part or vice versa? Today’s blog is just about that. We will compare car check and car inspection services and see what these entails. We will also inform you which of these services you need during your used car purchase. Let’s find out:

Vehicle Inspection

Most of us have very less idea about cars, but we all do need a car. Therefore, it is vital to hire a professional car inspection service that can examine the used car you want to buy.

How Does it Work?

You hire a vehicle inspection service, which usually costs around £100 minimum for the basic check and goes as high as £250 for an advanced check. The engineering experts from the company visit the private seller or the garage you are buying from to inspect the vehicle. They examine:

    • Body Exterior
    • Engine Compartment
    • Electric Controls
    • Interior/ Luggage Compartment
    • Front Suspension/Steering/Under Frame
    • Rear Suspension / Under Frame
    • Clutch/Transmission
    • Exhaust System
    • Fuel System
    • Brakes
    • Wheels and Tyres

They finally conduct a road test and provide a detailed report of their examination for you. Vehicle inspection service may also negotiate the price with the seller on your behalf. It would be best if you only continued with the purchase after the positive car analysis report.

Car Check

Also known as Vehicle Data Check, this report is mandatory for any used car buyer if they want to avoid buying a vehicle that had outstanding finance, mileage discrepancies, or was written-off, scrapped, or stolen. A complete history check of the car also informs you about its:

    • MOT history
    • Number of previous owners
    • Vehicle tax
    • Market valuation
    • Full plate-change history
    • Estimated fuel cost
    • DVLA check
    • CO2 details
    • Common breakdown reasons
    • Outstanding debt

While many service providers offer free vehicle check, they do not cover most of the aspects we have mentioned above in their report. So, a comprehensive paid vehicle check is what you need to find out every detail about the car in question. A reliable service would usually cost you anything from £8.95 (the cheapest vehicle checks in the UK offered by Car Analytics) to £19.99.

How Does it Work?

You Google the car check services in the UK and find the best and the cheapest car history check. Once you select a service provider, you need to pay the fee and provide the vehicle registration number to get the report.

Comparison Between Vehicle Check & Vehicle Inspection

Comparing both the services, it is evident that both of these are different. While the car inspection is about mechanical and structural aspects of a vehicle, the car check is about its data history. However, the latter does provide some very important details like scrapped status that can make or break the deal and may nullify the need for car inspection altogether. For instance, if the car history report alerts you that the vehicle was scrapped, you would not buy it. If that is the case, then no need to opt for the inspection services.

Similarly, the vehicle background check also brings to light data on accident damages and MOT History, both of which are good indicators of the condition of the vehicle. Moreover, the mileage discrepancy shows the vehicle might not be as new as portrayed by its owner.


If you are serious about buying a second-hand car and have it parked in your garage, we suggest you First Go for its free vehicle check. This report will describe Beware Signs – the deal-breakers – as well as the positive aspects of the vehicle. Only when you are satisfied with the car check report, you should move to a car inspection. Have a safe car buying experience!

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