New Car Pre-Delivery Inspection Guide with Downloadable Checklist

So you’ve just bought your new car and are really excited to get your hands on her and drive her out of the showroom. But wait before you sign on those papers.

What if you were told that your new car may not be as new as you expect it to be?

New Car Pre-Delivery Inspection Checklist Download

There could be many things that could have happened with your car while being transported from the factory till the showroom. There have been many cases (which you can easily find via a Google Search) where people have been sold cars that have been repaired or were used as demo cars at the showroom. Sometimes there could be defects that the quality control team would have not noticed. In many cases, customers have been sold old cars which were lying with the dealer for months. All these issues could come back to haunt you at a later date.

When you buy a new car and if it some way turns out to be a lemon (a car with lots of manufacturing defects), there is very little you could do once it is registered in your name. Getting a new replacement would be very unlikely and the only solution would be to get it repaired.

But as they say “Prevention is Better than Cure”. Why not inspect the car yourself before you sign on the dotted lines. It is highly recommended to carry out a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) of the car which has been allotted to you, so incase you find things that are not right, you can reject that vehicle and get another one.

Also Read: 5 Mistakes Every New Car Buyer Makes

AUTOBICS has prepared answers to some frequently asked questions by new car owners regarding Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI):

When Do I carry out a Pre-Delivery Inspection?

It is recommended you carry out the PDI before you sign on the registration papers. Once the vehicle is registered in your name, the dealer or manufacture won’t be able exchange it.

Where should I carry out the Pre-Delivery Inspection?

Most of the times the cars arrive at a stockyard that is situated on the outskirts of a city. This is where you will have to go and carry out the Pre-Delivery Inspection. Cars are transported from this storage facility to the showroom for delivery.

You should inquire with your dealer about where it could be possible for them to arrange for you to carry out the PDI.

My dealer won’t allow me to do a PDI. Says it’s already been done by them.

This is the typical answer you will find from most dealers. Yes they do carry out a PDI but had it been done perfectly there would not have been horror stories from customers about getting defective products.

The only way is to convince them to arrange one for you. Be firm but not rude, have a word with the manager if required. Do provide them a fixed date and time you will be going ahead to get the PDI done.

What all should I prepare for a Pre-Delivery Inspection?

AUTOBICS has provided a check list which you can download (link at the end of the article). This should help make the process easy and quick.

Before heading to the inspection venue make sure you have had a word with the dealership. Request them that the personnel at the stock yard is informed about your arrival and the allotted car is kept clean.

Carry out the PDI preferably during day time or if its late then make sure the area is properly lit. Having someone along would be better, in case you miss out something they can point it out. If you are planning to take pictures or videos, make sure you have the required permission.

What all should I cover in the Pre-Delivery Inspection of my car?

Here is a quick walkthrough of what all things you should check while doing the PDI. For an extensive approach do have a look and download the checklist at the end of this article.

You should inspect the car externally for any kind of damage to the body or other parts. Look out for minor dents or paint imperfections. Check the fit and finish of the panels and make sure there is no misfit or misalignment between them.

Inside make sure the plastic covers are still on. These are usually removed at the dealership before delivery. In case you want them, inform the dealer about the same. Check for the fit and finish of the interior panels.

Open the hood and check the engine compartment. Check all the fluid levels and see if there is any trace of leakage somewhere. The engine bay should not be too dirty, if it is, then this indicates that the car has been there for long or was being driven.

I have done the Pre-Delivery Inspection and found the car is not up to my satisfaction. Now What?

So the PDI helped you find something that you would have regretted had you taken the car home without checking. So now what?

First see if the problem you detected can be rectified by replacing the part. Most of the times this is the best solution. If this doesn’t work, inform the dealer and request for a new car to be allocated. In case things are not working out between you and dealer involve the parent company, a simple email stating the facts regarding your rejection of the allocated vehicle could help.

I had done the PDI at the stock yard and it was perfect but now the car has some problem at the delivery time in the showroom. What should I do?

There is a possibility that while you found everything perfect during the Pre-Delivery inspection at the stock yard, the car has some problem at the time of delivery at the showroom. Anything can happen between the period the car was checked by you and it arrived at the showroom.

There have been instances when customers found something just after reaching home and the dealership has denied that the problem existed at the time of delivery. The same can happen to you.

AUTOBICS recommends that you carry out an inspection again and if you find some problem, inform the dealer before signing the final papers and driving out of the showroom. If the problem can be rectified then and there, get it done. If not ask the dealer to provide you in writing under their official letter head that the problem will be taken care off. Taking pictures and videos is also recommend to keep things on record.

What if I find some problem after I have taken the delivery and driven out of the showroom?

So you carried out the PDI, also checked the car again at the showroom and found it to be perfect. You arrive home and find some problem. Technically, the dealer is not liable. In such cases, the best approach is to contact the dealer and explain the situation.

Most of the times the problem can be rectified by the service center. In case there is any repair or replacement required the same could be considered under the manufacturer warranty.

Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) Checklist:

Click Here to Download




This article and the checklist was prepared based on my personal experience. In case you think something more can be added free feel to send in your suggestions.

I hope you found something helpful from this article. If you did do share it with others especially with those who would be buying a car for the first time. You could also let them know about 5 Mistakes a new car buyer makes.

Thank You!


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