Sales enquiries: 0330 159 1111


Our Essentials and Essentials Plus packages follow a comprehensive inspection criteria covering up to 307 individual checks.

Please use the below list as a guide to the checks included in each inspection package. Some areas include multiple checks.

Body exterior

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Panel condition/alignment   Yes
Paintwork   Yes
Exterior trim   Yes
Glass Yes Yes
Bumpers/number plates   Yes
Door locks/operation Yes Yes
Fuel filler cover/petrol cap Yes Yes
Soft top (operation/condition)   Yes
Body damage Yes Yes
Past repair evident * Yes Yes
Corrosion Yes Yes
Mud flaps   Yes

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Engine compartment

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Coolant level Yes Yes
Coolant leak Yes Yes
Antifreeze Yes Yes
Radiator/cap Yes Yes
Hoses/pipes Yes Yes
Drive belts Yes Yes
Water pump Yes Yes
Power steering fluid level Yes Yes
Clutch fluid level Yes Yes
Brake fluid level Yes Yes
Engine oil level Yes Yes
External leaks (engine) Yes Yes
Engine mountings Yes Yes
Fuel injection   Yes
Turbo/super charger Yes Yes
Fuel pump/pipes Yes Yes
Accelerator linkage Yes Yes
Body panels   Yes
Bonnet catch   Yes
Bonnet hinges   Yes
Cold starting Yes Yes
Fast idle (cold) Yes Yes
Noise level (cold) Yes Yes
Excess fumes/smoke Yes Yes

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  Essentials Essentials Plus
Starting system/ignition lock Yes Yes
Battery charging system Yes Yes
Headlights Yes Yes
Side light/running lights Yes Yes
Rear lights/number plate lights Yes Yes
Stop lights Yes Yes
Indicators/hazard lights Yes Yes
Reverse/fog lights Yes Yes
Auxiliary lights Yes Yes
Panel lights Yes Yes
Mirrors (electric)   Yes
Switches/controls Yes Yes
Instrument/controls function Yes Yes
Horn Yes Yes
Radio/cassette/CD/aerial   Yes
Heater fan/controls   Yes
Air con. operation   Yes
Door locking Yes Yes
Window/sunroof operation Yes Yes
Wipers/washers Yes Yes
Headlamp washer/headlamp wiper   Yes

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Interior luggage compartment

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Steering wheel/adjustment   Yes
Seat upholstery   Yes
Seat mechanism Yes Yes
Seat belts Yes Yes
Carpets   Yes
Door trim panels   Yes
Door fittings/operation   Yes
Door seals/hinges   Yes
Interior sills   Yes
Headlining/visors   Yes
Sunroof   Yes
Dash panel (condition)   Yes
Cigarette lighter   Yes
Mirrors - internal Yes Yes
Rear parcel shelf   Yes
Boot/tailgate lock Yes Yes
Luggage area trim/condition   Yes
Illumination lights   Yes
Tool kit etc.   Yes
Soft top material   Yes
Tonneau cover   Yes

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Front suspension and steering

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Engine underside leakage Yes Yes
Steering joints/ball joints Yes Yes
Steering rack Yes Yes
Chassis members Yes Yes
Power steering Yes Yes
Wheels hubs/bearings Yes Yes
Springs/suspension unit Yes Yes
Pipes/hoses Yes Yes
Dampers (conditions/leaks) Yes Yes
Gaiters Yes Yes
Sub frames/mountings Yes Yes
Suspension arms/mountings Yes Yes
Tie bars/anti roll bars Yes Yes
Corrosion protection   Yes
Corrosion - floor/chassis Yes Yes

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Clutch/transmission - manual

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Fluid/oil leaks Yes Yes
Cables/adjustment Yes Yes
Hydraulic system Yes Yes
Linkage (wear) Yes Yes
Casings Yes Yes
Mountings Yes Yes
Drive shaft assemblies Yes Yes
Universal/sliding joints Yes Yes
Backlash Yes Yes
Gaiters Yes Yes
Propshaft(s) Yes Yes
Bearings/supports Yes Yes

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Rear suspension and underframe

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Springs/suspension unit Yes Yes
Anti-roll bar Yes Yes
Dampers/bushes Yes Yes
Suspension arms/fixings Yes Yes
Location rod/fixings Yes Yes
Bumpers stops/gaiters Yes Yes
Wheel hubs/bearings Yes Yes
Pipes/hoses Yes Yes
Sub frames/mountings Yes Yes
Chassis members Yes Yes
Corrosion protection   Yes
Corrosion - floor/chassis Yes Yes

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Wheels and tyres

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Wheel rims   Yes
Wheel trims   Yes
Front right tyre Yes Yes
Front left tyre Yes Yes
Rear right tyre Yes Yes
Rear left tyre Yes Yes
Spare Yes Yes

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Exhaust system

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Manifold Yes Yes
Pipes Yes Yes
Silencer(s)/catalyst Yes Yes
Heat shields/mountings Yes Yes
Joints/couplings Yes Yes
System condition Yes Yes

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Fuel system

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Tank Yes Yes
Tank fixings Yes Yes
Fuel lines Yes Yes
Breather pipes Yes Yes
Evidence of leaks Yes Yes

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  Essentials Essentials Plus
Master cylinder security Yes Yes
Fluid leaks Yes Yes
Servo/power system Yes Yes
Flexible hoses Yes Yes
Pipes/connections Yes Yes
Discs/pads (if visible) Yes Yes
Hand/parking brake operation/
Yes Yes
Hand/parking brake linkage Yes Yes
Pedal/linkage Yes Yes

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Road test

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Engine - performance Yes Yes
Engine - noise Yes Yes
Excess smoke Yes Yes
Overheating evidence Yes Yes
Gearbox operation/noise level Yes Yes
Auto changes/kickdown   Yes
Final drive operation/noise level Yes Yes
Clutch operation Yes Yes
4wd operation   Yes
Cooling fan operation ** Yes Yes
Instrument/controls function Yes Yes
Steering wheel alignment   Yes
Steering effort   Yes
General steering/handling Yes Yes
Footbrake operation Yes Yes
Hand/parking brake operation Yes Yes
Suspension noise Yes Yes
Road holding/stability Yes Yes
Hot restarting   Yes
Warning lights Yes Yes
Cruise control   Yes

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Final check

  Essentials Essentials Plus
Leaks - fluid Yes Yes

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An RAC Vehicle Inspection gives you the peace of mind to buy your next car with confidence, giving you a personal service that you can trust. We also offer a full car check, so that you can check that the history of the vehicle is clear before your purchase.

General notes & exclusions

* Repairs and replacement panels will only be reported if work has not been carried out to a professional standard.

** Providing engine reaches operating temperature on road test.

Our call centre staff can advise you of the best product to suit your needs.

Call 0330 159 0324 or email

03 numbers are charged at national call rates and are usually included in inclusive minute plans from landlines and mobiles. Calls may be recorded and/or monitored.

Opening hours:
Monday/Tuesday - 08:00 to 20:00
Wednesday to Friday - 08:00 to 18:00
Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00
Sunday and Bank Holidays - Closed

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