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Drivers face different experiences on the road, depending on the condition of the vehicle. If the vehicle is well maintained, the experience is memorable but if the condition of the vehicle is poor, the driver could regret ever driving the vehicle. The vehicle inspection form template is filled and issued by an authorized government or private personnel to prove that the vehicle in question is in good working condition, including the braking system, wheel alignment, and the engine conditions are roadworthy.

Why is it important to get a car inspected?

Vehicles safety is important to the driver and other road users and the condition of the vehicle you are driving could lead you to life-threatening situations on the road, which can also endanger pedestrians.

Continuous use of your car leads to wear and tear and the engine could start developing complications without your knowledge leading to mechanical breakdown while on the road. You could end up being delayed and incur breakdown services costs. Inspecting your car can avert mechanical breakdowns, which can cost you hundreds of dollars.

Your car’s braking system can save lives on the road when suddenly something unusual happens on the road forcing you to apply emergency brakes. If your vehicle’s braking system is faulty, it is easy for you to crush on vehicles, pedestrians, or buildings leading to extensive damages and loss of life. Inspecting your vehicle periodically can help you escape such incidences.

Reactions in the atmosphere or on the ground sometimes corrode the bottom parts of the vehicles like the fuel tank which may eventually start leaking and we might never notice, especially if the holes are tiny.

Leakages in the fuel tank can make you make more trips to the gas station or you could keep visiting your mechanic to check why your vehicle is consuming more than expected and this will increase the cost of maintaining your car.

The holes may eventually widen, which could lead to a worse situation like your car exploding and all this can be detected and corrected during inspection.

Sometimes your car’s engine coordination could be faulty, leading to an increased level of emissions which destroys the environment and could land you penalties from the government. Taking your car for inspection can help detect any faulty engine coordination.

The law requires vehicle owners to do a routine inspection and obtain automobile inspection forms to prove their vehicle is roadworthy and you shall be obeying the law if you take your car for inspection.

Insurance companies may request for vehicle inspection sheet when taking a new insurance cover or when changing motor vehicle ownership. And this is another reason why it is important to be inspected.

Finally, you could be planning to buy a used car or to sell your used car and without the latest car inspection form, it might be hard for you to sell it. If you buy a vehicle that is not inspected, you might end up buying a non-road worthy car which could cost you more to repair. If you are used to inspecting your car, you will always remember to ask for a vehicle inspection sheet before buying.

Downloadable Templates:

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How often should I take my car for inspection?

The reason for taking your car for inspection is mainly dependent on you and the governing regulations in your state. Different states have different guidelines regarding how often a vehicle should be inspected and which class of vehicles need frequent inspection. The general rules on vehicle inspection are applicable across the states are as follows:

  • Periodic inspections
    Different states require vehicles to be inspected periodically and its mainly done either once a year or twice a year and may include some or all of the following items:
    Braking system
    Lighting & indicators
    Gas tanks
  • Safety inspection during a sale
    When buying or selling a car, the law requires you to do a safety inspection and all the items in the above list are inspected.
  • Safety inspection during importation
    This inspection is done when you buy a car from another state or country. The law requires you to inspect the state/country of origin and a certificate issued.

Emissions testing

Emission testing is done to test the amount of carbon your vehicle is emitting into the air. There are set guidelines on the level of emission each type of vehicle should emit.

What is an inspection sheet?

When the time for your car inspection comes, you make the necessary arrangements with an authorized inspector. The inspector follows the laid down procedures and fill in a form that gives details of the inspection, the condition of each part inspected, and remarks.

The form which the vehicle inspector fills in during the inspection process is what is called an inspection sheet and once the inspection is complete, the inspector will issue an inspection certificate.

You can download the free inspection sheet online either in MS Word, Excel or you can prepare your own using other software.

The inspection sheet contains the following details:

  • Name of the inspecting authority
  • Name of the inspector
  • Name of the vehicle owner
  • Date of inspection
  • Mileage
  • Vehicle license number
  • Brand, make, and year of manufacture
  • Email
  • A table showing the parts to be inspected

The inspection sheet must be filled in correctly by ticking correctly against each item inspected under the following procedure:

  • Parts at the bottom of a vehicle
    The inspector will check the following parts at a vehicle’s bottom:
    Brake pads and hoses
    Connections of the steering system
    Shock absorbers
    Tires – (treads, pressure, wear pattern)
  • Interiors and exteriors
    The inspector will check the following;
    AC & heating system
  • Inside the bonnet
    Under the bonnet, the inspector will check the following;
    Oil, brake fluid
    Steering fluid
    Washer fluid
    Coolant, air filter, fuel filter
    Plugs and wiring
    Battery and its connections

Once the inspector is through ticking each item as he inspects, he will make recommendations by ticking in boxes on the top of the inspection sheet which indicates the vehicle was checked and it’s okay, may need further checking or immediate attention is needed.

Procedure for booking for vehicle inspection

Your vehicle inspection form contains the date for the next inspection. If the car is new or newly bought, follow the following procedure when booking for inspection.

  • Identify your inspection center
    Start by identifying where you will take your vehicle for inspection. Check for automobile inspection centers near you which could be private or government entities.
  • Call and book
    Once you have identified a convenient place, call or visit and make your booking. Some inspection centers could be busy and may request you to wait for a few days, while others may book you immediately.
  • Prepare the car documents
    After obtaining the date of inspection, prepare the necessary documents including purchase papers or ownership licenses. The inspector might need the documents to record the vehicle details in the inspection sheet.
  • Drive to the inspection Centre
    Drive your vehicle to the inspection Centre and keep time. Lateness could force you to wait for another day or inconvenience other clients’ time.
  • Make payment
    Deposit the inspection fee using the procedures in place and wait for the inspection to begin.
  • Obtain certificate
    Obtain an inspection certificate once the procedures are complete if your vehicle is cleared as roadworthy. If there are recommendations for further action, you must visit a mechanic and correct the concerns before requesting a certificate. Sometimes the inspection sheet doubles as an inspection certificate.

Conditions that may demand vehicle inspection

Some conditions could demand you do vehicle inspection before the official date which includes the following.

  • When you buy a car
    When buying a car, the law requires you to do a vehicle inspection before signing the purchase or transfer forms to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy.
  • When selling your car
    When selling your car, ensure you book for inspection and follow the booking procedure discussed above.
  • When obtaining insurance
    Insurance companies have different requirements for issuing insurance cover and among them is a vehicle inspection certificate. Some companies will request inspections not older than 30 days, while others will demand they book for the inspection and follow-up through the process.
  • After an accident
    If your car gets into an accident, apart from reporting to your insurance company and the corps, you should book for inspection as soon as possible. The purpose is to assess the level of damage and to recommend for repair or write-off. The inspector checks every detail of the vehicle and makes recommendations.
  • Valuation for loan
    You could be planning to use your vehicle as a security for a mortgage or bank loan. The financial body will demand inspection so that the car can go through the valuation process to determine how much you qualify for.
  • During the official inspection date
    During the official inspection date, take your car for inspection and follow the laid down procedure.
  • At your request
    As you drive your car, you may feel the car needs the attention of a mechanic and you may choose to visit a vehicle inspector for advice on which parts need the mechanic’s attention.


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