Top Vehicle Inspection Checklist Forms

Vehicle inspection checklists to assess vehicle condition and ensure safety and quality.

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Published December 11th, 2020

What is a Vehicle Inspection Checklist?

A vehicle inspection checklist is used to evaluate a vehicle’s working condition. It aims to identify mechanical issues or defects that may cause accidents and operational downtime. Vehicle checklists are used by drivers, mechanics, and safety officers during pre-start checks and regular inspections.

In this article, we will briefly discuss the following: 

What Should be on your Vehicle Inspection Checklist?

A vehicle inspection should be regularly carried out to ensure that vehicles are in good working order and safe for use on the road. Federal laws require vehicle owners to conduct daily inspections to limit the occurrence of accidents on the road. The question is, where do you begin?

vehicle inspection checklist form

There are some areas or items in the vehicle that should be inspected daily, below are some areas that should be included in a vehicle inspection checklist: 

  • Engine oil – Use an oil dipstick to determine where the level is at, and if you should refill. Ensuring that engine oil is at the right level mitigates the risk of overheating which can result in costly repairs.
  • Air pressure of tires – Visually check tires before use and see if they are properly inflated. Also, look out for any signs of damage and unusual wear. Checking these daily does not only ensure safety on the road but also prolongs the life of your vehicle.
  • Lights – This involves checking if the headlights, tail lights, and signal lights are all in proper working condition. This is crucial as some of these lights ensure the vehicle’s visibility to other drivers, these are especially important in situations with low visibility.
  • Horn – Confirm if horn works as it helps avoid collisions by making other drivers and pedestrians aware that a vehicle is nearby.
  • Windshield & wipers – Ensure that there is enough water in the wiper system and check the blades. Wiper blades do wear over time. If blades are cracked worn or otherwise damaged they should be replaced.
  • Vehicle documents & license plate – Make sure that vehicle documents are stored safely in the glovebox and ensure that your license plate is clean and not obscured or obstructed.
  • Engine Noises – Engine noises are a great early indicator of potential issues in a vehicle. If knocking or tapping is noticed from a cold start then it could be an indicator of a serious defect.
  • Leaks – This involves checking whether there are any leaks in or around the vehicle. The color and location of the leak can help diagnose the problem, but leaks can indicate serious problems so if any leaks are spotted then it’s important to ensure the vehicle is checked by a professional.

And other critical areas and items that you should also check regularly are the following:

  • Tires’ tread depth
  • Battery
  • Transmission
  • Steering
  • Engine belts and hoses
  • Brakes

What is a Vehicle Inspection Report?

A vehicle inspection report is the formal document that contains the assessment data from an accomplished vehicle inspection checklist or template. The vehicle inspector takes the most important pieces of information from the completed vehicle inspection form and outlines them via a simple and direct conclusion with a vehicle inspection report.

Aside from summarizing the vehicle inspection’s findings, the inspection report also includes recommendations for repair and maintenance work if deemed necessary.

Multi-point Inspection Checklist Vs. Vehicle Inspection Checklist: What’s the Difference?

In general, the intention of both inspection types are similar; identify issues with the vehicle before they turn into bigger, more expensive problems. The real difference lies in the way people typically use each term when referring to vehicle assessments. While a “vehicle inspection” can be both quick and short, as well as extensive and time-consuming, a multi-point inspection exclusively refers to a thorough and comprehensive assessment of a vehicle’s condition.

For example, since a daily vehicle inspection checklist is designed to be used every day, it is perfectly acceptable for it to cover only a few key areas; most of them concerning safety. Multi-point inspections, however, assess the vehicle in its entirety. This can be quite time-consuming which is why they are fewer and farther between.

The recommended frequency in which to conduct multi-point inspections with a vehicle inspection app may vary.  To be safe, it is best to perform multi-point inspections on vehicles that come in for repair or maintenance work to ensure that nothing critical is missed.

What is iAuditor and How can I use it for Vehicle Inspection Checklists?

iAuditor is the perfect tool for conducting vehicle inspections. Convert your paper vehicle inspection forms to a digital format. iAuditor allows you to conduct inspections on your mobile or tablet, take photos of vehicle defects, generate PDF reports on your mobile and securely store all data in the cloud. Preview a sample vehicle inspection report generated using the iAuditor mobile app.

To help you get started, we have provided a collection of vehicle inspection templates below for you to download and use for free.


Carlo Sheen Escano

SafetyCulture staff writer

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.