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What documents you need, and what to check, when your new car is handed over

Never accept a car before you know it's what you ordered

First published: 20th April 2015
Precise details of what happens when your new car is handed over vary from car to car, and from dealer to dealer, but there are some fundamentals that should be common to all.

First off, you can expect to receive your car in a dedicated handover area, and to receive a certificate to prove that the Pre-delivery inspection (PDI) has been carried out. Your first job should be to make sure that the car’s service book has been stamped accordingly.

Straight after that, you should make absolutely sure that the car in front of you is exactly what you ordered. Check it’s the right colour, has the correct features, and is fitted with the options you wanted. It’s not unknown for mistakes – or even accidents – to happen, so go over the car with a fine-tooth comb and ensure there’s no damage. You can even ask to be left alone while you do this, without some impatient salesman breathing down your neck.

Beyond that, you should also make sure that you don’t leave until you know how everything – and we mean everything! – works. So, make sure you understand the intricacies of the air-con, sat-nav and how to connect your phone or music player; get to grips with any seat-folding mechanism; and, know how to top up your car’s fluids.

If there is a problem, ask for it to be rectified at once; and, if you do take delivery of the car, get it in writing that you expect repairs to be done.

On the other hand, if everything is okay, then sign the form, settle in to your new car and enjoy it!
  • TOP TIP – Before you accept a car, make sure it’s exactly what you ordered
Related topics:
Buying a new car