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NRMA pre-purchase vehicle inspections

A pre-purchase vehicle inspection by the National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA) can ensure you don’t get a lemon when buying a used car.

Pre-purchase vehicle inspections help alleviate some of the confusion and worry when buying a used car. Without an inspection, if you have little or no automotive knowledge, how can you be sure the car you’re buying is mechanically sound and in good condition?

This is where a mobile vehicle inspection is extremely handy. Offered by Redbook Inspect, a pre-purchase vehicle inspection is a comprehensive inspection that details the current state of a vehicle. Not only does this provide you with peace of mind from knowing whether you’re getting value for money, potentially saving you thousands in repair bills, but also you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of having an NRMA Partnered inspector come to you (or video call you).

Who would want to use NRMA pre-purchase vehicle inspections?

NRMA mobile vehicle inspections can be a useful tool for car buyers and sellers:

  • If you’re buying a car. An inspection provides some reassurance before you make a large purchase. This allows you to be confident you aren’t buying a lemon, which means you can negotiate a better price before you buy and ensure you don’t get stuck with hefty repair bills in the future.
  • If you’re selling a car. An NRMA pre-purchase vehicle inspection allows you to demonstrate to prospective buyers your car has been well-maintained and is mechanically sound. This gives you extra power in the bargaining process, allowing you to negotiate a better sale price for your vehicle and to identify any issues you should get rectified by the manufacturer while the vehicle is still under a new car warranty.

NRMA pre-purchase vehicle inspections include the following features:

  • Comprehensive inspection. Each NRMA pre-purchase vehicle inspection provides a 150-point visual vehicle check and includes a comprehensive report detailing the current state of the vehicle. This includes a thorough examination of the interior and exterior, the engine compartment, the car’s underbody, the tyres, wheels and brakes.
  • Road test included. The inspection also includes a road test to check the vehicle’s engine performance and noise, exhaust smoke, transmission, differential, steering, suspension, brake operation and cruise control.
  • History report. This check provides information on any potential financial interest, write-off history, stolen status, Takata airbag racalls, as well as an odometer check on the vehicle.
  • 1-2 hours inspection. Each NRMA mobile vehicle inspection takes approximately 1-2 minutes to complete, depending on the vehicle.
  • Report emailed to you. Once an inspection has been completed, you’ll be emailed a comprehensive inspection report as soon as possible. The goal is to usually contact you within 24 hours, but it can take up to 3 days to complete a report.
  • Available Monday to Saturday. Mobile vehicle inspections are available Monday to Saturday from 7:30am to 5:30pm.
  • Available throughout much of NSW. NRMA mobile vehicle inspections are available at private residences and dealerships in the following areas: Sydney Metro, lower Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Newcastle, Maitland, Canberra and Illawarra.
  • You don’t need to attend. There's no requirement for you to be present throughout an NRMA mobile vehicle inspection. However, you do have the option to attend the inspection if you wish.

What's include in an NRMA pre-purchase inspection?

A full list of elements excluded from the inspection are available here.

Fees and charges

The cost of an NRMA mobile vehicle inspection varies depending on the type of vehicle you drive, as outlined in the table below:

ProductVehicle typeNRMA membersNon-NRMA members
Pre-purchase/end of warranty inspection
  • Standard car, 4WD, AWD, vans under 10 years old
  • Specialist vehicles and cars over 10 years old
  • $265
  • $314
  • $265
  • $314
Remote Video Assessment (RVA)
  • Cars only
  • $94
  • $89

How to book an NRMA pre-purchase vehicle inspection

There are two ways you can book an NRMA mobile vehicle inspection:

  • Book online. You’ll need to fill out a simple online form available through the NRMA website. You'll also need to provide the vehicle and seller's details, the time and location of the inspection, your contact information and payment details.
  • Book over the phone. You can phone 1300 770 116 to book an inspection or make further enquiries about this service.

NRMA’s pre-purchase vehicle inspection service can take the stress out of buying a used car. But make sure to do your due diligence before buying a vehicle. That way, you’ll be able to hit the road with confidence and know you’re getting a good deal.
Picture: Shutterstock

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Tim Falk is a writer for Finder, writing across a diverse range of topics. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, Tim has reported on everything from travel and personal finance to pets and TV soap operas. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors. See full bio

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