New Car Delivery Checklist for Car Buyers

by Vivaan Khatri | 10/05/2021
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Before taking a new car home, make sure that you have checked it carefully. Here is the full new car delivery checklist for the car buyers.

Buying cars is a complicated process. Being exposed to a myriad of options in the market, the customers will have to go through the daunting process of choosing the right car, finding discounts, and bargaining for good deals. After completing all these debilitating steps, some buyers are so thrilled and satisfied that they forgot the last but not least important step – checking the car before taking delivery of the new car. Even though it is a precautionary step, it will give you peace of mind and help to rule out all the possible issues with your new car and make sure that it is handed to you in perfect condition.

Why should check before taking delivery of a new car?

Even when the car is fresh out of the showroom, there is nothing to guarantee that the exterior of the car is completely intact and unaffected. You should be aware that before the car arrives at the showrooms, it has transported a long way from the factory. Along the way, it is possible that the car can be damaged and receive some small scratches. To make sure such defects are not found on your car, you will have to make a careful inspection.


Moreover, after arriving at the dealership, it is not sold right away to the buyers. Instead, it will have to stay awhile at dealer’s yards or showroom, probably exposed to harsh weather conditions and being scratched or damaged. It goes without saying that your “brand-new” car can be one of these affected models.

In other cases, the dealers might have disconnect the odometer of the vehicles and use them as “demo cars”, which can damage the electrical components of the car and cause other issues.

Apart from all these possible undesired incidents that occurred after the car leaving the production facility, there is a small chance of manufacturing issues.


The Most Useful Tips For First-time Car Buyers

New car delivery checklist


Once you registered, the car will be yours and the dealers will not allow you to exchange it for another unit, even when you found any issue with the car. So before the registration process is completed, you should make sure that the unit you are going to buy is in good condition. It is highly advised that you should conduct an inspection before the deal is set. At this stage, if you notice any issue with the unit, you can ask for a different model. So before signing documents and papers, you can ask them to do a pre-registration inspection.


You should check the car carefully before the delivery  

At showroom

Even when you have done a careful pre-registration inspection before, it is still crucially important to check the second time before taking the delivery. At the showroom, you should make sure every detail of the car is in good shape and the accessories that you asked has been fitted perfectly.

Final Inspection


As stated above, a showroom car can still bear some small blemishes or scratches and so on. If you don’t know where to look at or to check, you can go through the checklist below:

  • Scratches and dents: Walk around the car and check the bodywork of the vehicles. Pay close attention to the bumpers and side of the car. Look for scratches, dents. Make sure that there is no repainting job. 

  • Panel gaps and fittings: Check the body panels to see if there is any gap and the fittings are fine.

  • Tyres/Wheels: Tyres are important parts that you should check carefully. If the car is parked outdoor for months, the tyres can be worn easily by the heat and sunlight and get flat spots. The life span of the tyres can be severely affected by this. You will not want to replace the tyre before the due date. 

  • Underbody: Look for signs of oil leakage. Also, the underbody must be rusting-free.

  • Door locks, latches, and keys: The doors can open, close, and lock properly and smoothly.

  • Wipers, washer jet, and blades

  • Badges and logos: Check if badges and logos are correctly mounted

  • Headlamps, fog lamps, tail lamps, indicators

  • No. plate lamp, fog lamps & beam

  • Windows and mirrors

  • Water leakage test, especially for a car with a sunroof

  • Spare wheel

  • Button for boot, hood, and fuel lid release

  • Tool kit: Check if the tool kit has all the promised items


Car inspection is really important and should be done properly

After examining all the above parts, let’s pay attention to other things like the exhaust pipe, underbody chassis, underbody wiring, and plastics. It should be noted that these parts might be hot so be careful to not burn yourself while checking. It is also necessary to do the fluid check as listed below:

  • Coolant

  • Gear oil

  • Brake oil

  • Engine oil

  • Power steering oil

  • Transmission oil (for automatic model)


  • Seat cover, seat position adjustment levers, seat belts

  • Horn and IRVM

  • Armrests, hand brake, and gear lever

  • Central lock and power window

  • Air conditioner, air vents, and ventilation

  • Audio system

  • Switches, knobs, and buttons

  • Plastic fitting across the cabin

  • Roof

Pre-delivery Test drive

One final step before bringing the vehicle home is to perform a test drive. It is as important as to check the car itself. There are many issues that your naked eyes cannot point out without an actual test drive. To make sure there is no issue with the performance of the car, you can ask the dealers to do a test drive before taking the delivery. Here are some things you should pay attention to when doing the test drive:

  • Warning lights on the instrument cluster: No warning light is on.

  • Air conditioner: Air conditioner system is working effectively and properly.

  • Noise, vibrations of the engine: Make sure there is no weird sound emitting from the engine. Unusual vibration is also an alarming sign. 

  • Gearshift, pedals, handbrake, brake pedal, clutch pedal, reveser gear and sensors: Make sure these car parts are operated smoothly.

  • Steering wheel: The steering wheel is responsive and the wheel alignment is on point

  • Braking: Sudden braking (only when it's safe) is neccessary to evaluate the operation of the braking system.

  • Test drive in different driving situations and terrains: You should bring the cars to drive in different situations (city driving, light traffic or in tough terrains) to check the performance of the car. Also try to activate the different driving models and features like 4x4 system, hill assist, cruise control, and so.


Things not to do when test drive a car

Tips for check 

  • Give written statements or sending emails to the dealer requiring them not to issue an invoice under your name until you can do a pre-delivery inspection.

  • Inspect your car during the day

  • Take a knowledgeable person along with you during the inspection 

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