Pre Purchase – What we inspect

 The inspection

Our inspectors (who are all NZ Trained technicians with many years of automotive experience ) carry out a visual and operating inspection, and check the general state of the vehicle at the time of inspection. A Drivesure Pre Purchase Inspection is based on an external examination of components to identify faults which exist at the time of the inspection.

Our Pre-Purchase Inspections are done in a proper Vehicle Testing Station, so we can use advanced brake testing equipment to assure safety and compliance with WOF requirements. Some Drivesure sites also offer Engine Diagnostics for a small additional fee. This is particularly useful for 4WD or European cars.

It’s not feasible to dismantle component assemblies to inspect internal parts. These are evaluated by such factors as noise, operation and performance on the road.

We can’t identify hidden defects, intermittent problems, problems which can’t be identified on a visual inspection or where parts of the vehicle would need to be dismantled.

We also can’t identify items which could occur after inspection.


What we inspect

What we don’t inspect

ExteriorWe inspect the chassis & panels for rust, dents, scratches and accident damage.We don’t remove any covers, trim or panels.
InteriorWe inspect all interior trim, dash & instruments for condition and operation including the air-conditioning system.In some cases we can’t assess the operation of some vehicle features, e.g. functionality of electronic memory seats.
Drive lineWe check for correct operation of all drive train components including the transmission, differential, CV joints etc.We don’t check internal drive line components such as the differential, transmission gears, wheel bearings etc for levels of wear or deterioration
EngineWe use specialist diagnostic equipment and years of experience to assess the general state of the engine. We’ll let you know if it looks like its been regularly serviced, or not.We don’t provide a relative compression test or inspect any of all of the internal engine components.
Cooling systemWe inspect the cooling system’s general operation for leaks and the coolant fluid condition.We don’t dismantle the radiator or remove radiator hoses to check internal components.

& steering

We inspect steering and suspension components for effective operation, damage or fluid leaks.We don’t remove or dismantle any suspension components.
BrakesWe test brake performance under normal load conditions and check all visual brake components including brake linings where visible.We don’t remove the wheels or brake drums.
WheelsWe inspect wheels tyres for tread depth and general condition. Including the spare. 
Vehicle operationWe test drive the vehicle to assess the overall performance and drive-ability. We check aspects such as the transmission shift quality, general engine performance, drive line vibration, brake performance and road handling.In some traffic conditions we may not be able to conduct an appropriate road test. If the vehicle doesn’t have a current WoF or registration at the time of inspection, we may not be able to conduct a road test.
Vehicle WeightWe test vehicles up to 3.5 tonne (GVM).We don’t inspect vehicles over 3.5 tonne (GVM).


Our inspection doesn’t replace the need for regular vehicle maintenance. Mechanical components do wear out and items can fail unexpectedly without prior warning such as headlights, water pump and cam belt.