How Long Does a Car Inspection Take?

Narayani Bhardwaj
Narayani Bhardwaj Car
15 Min Read

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In the current era, everyone has limited time due to so much work. Before performing new tasks, everyone wants to know an estimated time to spend.

A car inspection has many aspects. It starts from the document inspection to the mechanical inspection. In short, it can take from one hour to several others. The time taken in inspection may vary according to purpose and situation.

how long does a car inspection take
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These situations can be buying or selling old cars. Additionally, there is an inspection of old cars and the cars are also inspected in case of taking insurance, claims, and others. Governments across the globe have also made it mandatory for 4-wheeler inspection.

This car inspection is done by any professional mechanic under the supervision of authority. The car inspection process has been around us for so long. Unfortunately, it is not familiar to everyone.

This complete process is followed to check the operational validity of the vehicle. However, there are some predetermined safety standards to follow.

1. Factors that Affect the Time Requirement for a Car Inspection

The car’s inspection duration is not certain. However, it quietly depends on the knowledge of the inspector and other factors. Besides devoting some hours to the shop, you also have to go with other factors.

For instance, let if your location is far away from the shop. In this case, you also have to consider the travel time. Some related steps are given below which must be considered while determining the inspection time.

1.1. Scheduling & Appointments

In this long process, initially, you have to go with scheduling and appointments for inspection. It is a time and energy-consuming step to set up appointments. The problem of scheduling and appointments arises due to the limitation of resources.

how long does a car inspection take
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This is done to remove the problem of overcrowding. Nowadays, appointments are given easily. The advancement in inspection has removed the hindrance of the traditional inspection process.

In the traditional process, people often have to spend days and weeks to get an appointment. 

1.2. Workflow

The workflow of the inspection site is also a factor in determining the inspection time. This fact looks minute but cannot be neglected. All the inspection sites are not of the same quality.

There might be some differences in the inspection methodology of different sites. In every shot, the factors that are considered in inspection are the same but their approach can differ. With the operational efficiency of the workforce, the workflow of administration also matters.

Even if your inspection is done in a few hours, administration can take some time to process it. There is also a bottleneck in inspection shops which increases workload. This is because of limited staff as a result processing takes time to give final results. 

1.3. Inspection Site and Vehicle Location

One of the primary hindrances in vehicle inspection is the location of both factors. Location in terms of the distance between the vehicle’s position and the inspection site.

In some situations, if the vehicle’s location is in a remote area then it would lead to a higher inspection. There are two ways of inspecting the remote area locations. Firstly, the car or any vehicle has to travel to the inspection site from the remote area for the assessment.

how long does a car inspection take
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Secondly, an inspector is to be appointed. He will reach the vehicle’s location in a remote area and carry out the inspection process. In both situations, the total inspection time is going to be higher.

In some extreme cases, the inspection also has to fly down from one location to another.

1.4. Manpower

Manpower that is human resources is a major element. It includes the person who conducts the inspection process and the person assisting him. The person conducting your vehicle inspection plays a significant role in estimating the time.

For a glance, if you appoint an efficient inspector the time taken will be lower. On the other hand, if the inspector is unavailable then you have to wait for some time.

2. How can inspection time be reduced?

You must have heard that every problem has a solution. If inspection is a time-consuming process then it also has simplified up to some extent. Just because of this simplification, the process is no longer complicated.

In this new era, technical advancement in every sector has made it clear. Here we will go through the two approaches that helped us in reducing the inspection time.

2.1. Automation

The AI orientation and automatic working at this time have made it easier for inspections. This AI-based assessment has tackled the hindrances of the traditional working process. In this system, the vehicle’s inspection can be done without human personnel.

What are automated vehicles?

An AI-based system provides computer vision of the inspection done. It is done with a predetermined algorithm that is followed by the system. You may have seen that in some sectors work is done by robots.

The same thing is done in these inspection works. Online applications are launched by some authorities that carry the guide of inspection of a vehicle. This AI also generates digital reports and suggestions as to whether repair is required or not.

2.2. Digitalization

Digitalization has now entered every field and sector. It has become an inseparable part of our life. There is no doubt in saying that it has managed our time so efficiently. Digitalization has standardized the inspection process.

With this advancement, the process from scheduling to final report is done digitally. The records are more secure with less or no paperwork. This facilitates the work processing system faster and reduces the overall time.  

3. Is a car inspection necessary?

The answer is yes, car inspection is very essential. Your car may lack performance after its use which hinders your safety. Car inspection lets you know if anything wrong with your vehicle. Even car inspection is made necessary by the state.

To prevent mishaps, the authority has made it important to have timely inspections. This decision mostly remains in the hands of the owner. Most importantly, insurance companies such as Zurich, Allianz SE, and Bajaj Allianz ask for car insurance to have transparency.

how long does a car inspection take
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Clear-cut inspection data helps in the settlement of claims. Today’s era is responsible and dedicated to their safety. They look for more safety in place of money. The process of car inspection includes various steps which are lengthy and time-consuming.

You will find the most common inspection points that are followed during a car inspection below. Now, another question arises, ‘When is a car inspection required?’

The inspection is required in the following situations: 

  • Whenever you are going to take car insurance, you will be asked for a car inspection. 
  • In case you switch your car insurance policy from third-party to comprehensive.
  • Inspection is necessary when there is a gap between the expiry and renewal of the insurance policy.
  • When you file an insurance claim, an inspection is done to measure the amount of damage suffered.  

3.1. Paperwork and Document Verification

This is the first stage of the car inspection procedure. A car has many legal documents that bind it with the owner. The documents may vary from place to place. These papers establish ownership with the owner.

At the time of inspection, they must be presented. The documents must be valid and current up to the date of inspections. An inspector will check and verify all the required documents. These documents are the proof of insurance, registration certificate, and copy of NOC (No Objection Certificate).


Additionally, you can be asked for a copy of your driver’s license as identity proof. This is done to confirm the owner’s identity. Paperwork is done by the inspector by making an inspection report.

Paperwork may include the checklist of functions to be performed later. There is a proper sequence in which all the things are done. This verification stage generally doesn’t take long. It can last for 15 to 20 minutes. 

3.2. Road Test

After the respected document’s verification, the vehicle inspector issues instructions for the road test. This is considered as the key element of inspections. The road test is a conscious evaluation process.

The road test is done by a specialized mechanic with an appointed inspector. During this evaluation process, various aspects of the vehicle are checked. These aspects can be mechanical and electrical, including the braking system, steering stability, and suspension.

In addition to this, due importance is given to gear transmission and ride smoothness. While driving the car mechanic also notices if any unwanted sound is occurring or not. Any unnecessary odour due to leakage or breakout is noticed.

Hence, the overall process is done to check the outer health of the car or vehicle. This is the foundation for the next process. If any problem occurs, the inspector points them out on a sheet. The inspector sends this sheet to the mechanic for internal inspection.

This test is more time-consuming than the previous one. After driving the car, a conclusion is drawn that takes about 20 to 30 minutes. A close vision is given to the key areas of the car. 

3.3. Physical Evaluation

After the road test, the physical evaluation is done by the mechanic. Physical evaluation is the inspection of the physical infrastructure of the object. This gives an idea about the accurate condition of the inside system.

During this stage, the mechanic checks the engine, brakes, suspension, tires, lighting system, and others. There are so many physical works that are performed during this task. The physical evaluation process is also time-consuming.

This process takes about 20 to 40 minutes as detailed vision is given to every aspect. After the evaluation process, the next step is to check the core system of the car.  

3.4. Engine and Emission System

With the completion of the physical evaluation, due importance is given to the engine and emission system. For this process, a car is put on a rack to have a detailed look. The engine is like the heart of the car which lets it work.

Further, the emission system is like the excretion of a car. The mechanic checks the engine’s sound and working viability. This is checked completely by repetitive test cycles. Many dimensions of the engine are analyzed in this procedure.

how long does a car inspection take
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It checks the amount of fuel consumption, clutch, and gear working with the engine’s respect. The emission measures are necessary because they can pollute the environment. During the engine’s working, many harmful gasses are released into the environment.

The emission system tries to reduce the amount of harmful gasses released in the environment. Moreover, to prevent the unexpected breakdown a quick diagnosis is required after inspection. It breaks down the chances of costly repairs and early occurring maintenance. 

This task is very complex and is done by experienced mechanics. Any lack can give false results. It takes more time than previous stages, which last from 30 minutes to a few hours.

4. Conclusion

After reviewing the inspection process, the conclusion is clear. Here we realized that the traditional inspection process was time-consuming. However, the modern process has successfully managed the time up to some extent.

In this time we are experiencing digitalization of various aspects and technological advancement. The factors responsible for car inspection are highlighted above. These factors ensure the safety and efficiency of our vehicles.

Here is a quick guide to the time required to complete each process.

  • Scheduling – The expected time required is 5-10 minutes. 
  • Document Verification – The expected time required is 10-15 minutes. 
  • Road Test – The estimated time required is 20-30 minutes. 
  • Physical Verification – The estimated time required is 15-30 minutes.
  • Engine Efficiency – The expected time required is 20-40 minutes. 

As already clarified above, this is only an estimate, which can fluctuate according to the situation.  

Last Updated on by Khushahal Malakar

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