Pre-Purchase Assessment Pre-Purchase Assessment

Pre-Purchase Assessment

Finding a car is exciting and it can be tempting to buy on the spot, but it’s important to give the car a good check first to avoid trouble later on.


Why get your Pre-Purchase Assessment from VTNZ?

  • We’re the independent experts – our inspectors are all trained technicians
  • It’s easy and convenient – we have 59 branches nationwide that can assess your car
  • Choose the service that suits you – get a basic or a comprehensive service depending on your need

Basic Assessment

Only $169 – one of the most competitive prices available.

Assessment includes:

  • Checking the engine for any noise, fumes, smoke and other engine wear
  • Checking the battery, alternator and starter motor are operating correctly
  • Checking the exterior of the radiator, water pump and hoses for any deterioration or leaks
  • A drive test to check the car’s handling, steering and brakes as well as any odd noises
  • Checking the exterior for any corrosion
  • Checking tyre tread depth and wheels for any damage
  • Checking the steering and suspension for any damage, leaks or wear
  • Testing brake performance using a Roller Brake Machine, looking for any signs of wear and tear or faults

You’ll get a digital copy of the basic report for your records and to share with your family and friends or potential new owners if you need to.

VTNZ Pre-purchase Assessments are available for light vehicles only.

Comprehensive Assessment

Get a thorough assessment. Only $199 – just $30 more than a Basic Assessment.

Assessment includes all the elements of a Basic assessment plus:

  • Makes sure all the lights are working
  • Checks the exterior for dents, paint damage, rust or corrosion
  • Checks the interior for any damage, wear and tear or stains
  • Checks for a car jack, wheel brace and tool kit

You’ll get a digital copy of the comprehensive report for your records including photos of any issues noted that you can you share with your family and friends or potential new owners if you need to.

VTNZ Pre-purchase Assessments are available for light vehicles only.


Vehicles we can assess for pre-purchase

Cars, utes and SUVs
We check most light vehicles, including cars, utes and SUVs. As a general rule we can do a Pre-Purchase Assessment on a vehicle under 3500kg gross vehicle mass.

Please note: For most diesel and some petrol vehicles a physical engine test can’t be carried out, however the Automotive Technician’s expert opinion on the status of the engine will be provided in the report.

We can assess small campervans (less than 3500kg gross vehicle mass). We will do a thorough check of the vehicle, but we don’t assess the condition of the accommodation or other camper specific items.

Electric Vehicles
For Electric and hybrid vehicles we are currently unable to test the high voltage battery or motor operation and condition. Specialist testing should be carried out if you have any concerns.

If you’re unsure whether can we complete a Pre-Purchase Assessment on your vehicle, please call your nearest branch.

Our expert tips on what to check before you buy a car

Top tip

Check the car on a nice day, when the car is clean and dry. It will be easier to notice all dents and bumps.

Start with a quick check

Current Warrant of Fitness?
Yes? It’s not quite enough to tell you that the vehicle is in good working order, but it’s one less thing for you to worry about.

No? It might make you wonder why they’re selling it. All vehicles must be sold with a WoF less than a month old. If you’re buying from a dealer ask them to get the WoF sorted on the car. Or if you’re buying private, the seller must state that it is ‘as is, where is’ if no WoF is available.

Noticeable dents, rust or bumps?
Check that these aren’t going to cause any issues with getting your next warrant, and you may be able to negotiate the price down a bit.

Test drive it

Make sure you take the car out for at least half an hour. You’ll want to test it at varying speed levels and on a mixture of flat and hilly areas.

Does it make any strange noises or feel like it’s not driving right?
Listen for any clunking, screeching or other unusual noises and feel for any vibrations or shaking. There could be a problem with the engine, CV joints, suspension problems or something else.

Get an expert assessment

Get an independent expert to look at the car to make sure there are no nasty surprises that may come up later on.

VTNZ offers a Comprehensive or a Basic Pre-Purchase Assessment on the vehicle depending on your needs, and what you know about cars. Both assessments include a digital report that you can share with your potential buyer or seller if you want to negotiate a better price.

Check the numbers

Check for debt owing on a car before you buy it so there’s no risk of it being repossessed. Go to to get a Vehicle Information Report for only $19.95.

Insurance companies charge different premiums for different vehicles. Make sure the one you want has affordable premiums for your budget. Call a few insurance providers to ask for a quote.

Helpful checklist:

Before you buy, check the vehicle has these things:

  • A Warrant of Fitness (WoF) that’s less than a month old
  • No dents, rust or bumps that could cause problems
  • A half-hour test-drive with no problems
  • An expert assessment by a VTNZ Automotive Technician
  • No payments owed on the car
  • Insurance premiums you can afford

Visit one of our 80+ branches nationwide

We'll have you road ready in no time.