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What Does A Vehicle Health Check Include?

Understanding your vehicle's checks

Vehicle health checks are always available and are often advertised as seasonal checks. They are a great way of checking your vehicle's health in-between services and MOTs. They are usually priced at under £30 and take our technicians about 20 minutes to carry out. The results are always presented on a Vehicle Health Check report and can alert you to forthcoming issues in good time. For example, if one of your tyres is beginning to reach the legal minimum tread of 1.6mm, or your brake pads are starting to wear close to the limit. Our service advisors will present you with the report and advise you on when further action is required, according to your usual mileage and driving style. For example, it could be advised that you look to replace your front brake pads in another 4 months' time. The report will be individualised to the condition of your vehicle and is a great but inexpensive way to give yourself peace of mind before a long journey or the change of seasons.

What does the technician check?

The vehicle technician takes your car or van into the workshop. S/he has a list of items to check. With the help of a colleague, lights and indicators are first of all checked and screen glass and mirrors. Then the vehicle goes up on the ramp to check:

  • Bodywork
  • Driveshafts
  • Exhaust
  • Brake discs and pads
  • Suspension
  • Tyre condition & tread depth & wheel condition and spare

Next the vehicle comes back down to the floor, where the technician can check under the bonnet for:

  • Engine oil levels
  • Coolant level
  • Brake & PAS fluids
  • Washer fluid
  • Drive belts, cambelt, battery and hoses

Lastly, the interior is checked, including the:

  • Steering
  • Seatbelts
  • Horn
  • Washers and wipers
  • Interior controls
  • Any electrical fault indicator lights

Now the technician has completed the check, they are ready to compile your report.

How Is My Vehicle's Condition Reported To Me?

The technician gives their professional opinion on the condition of the items checked according to a 'traffic light' system. That is:

  • Red - requires urgent attention
  • Amber - is advisory only
  • Green - is visually OK

In the case of red or amber results, the service advisor can then price up the cost of a repair or replacement including the parts and labour required.

Sometimes this is reported on a paper printout and sometimes on the CitNow video system, which can be e-mailed to you.

You will then have all the information you require to make an informed decision on what to do next.

Sometimes the workshop is free to carry out the work required, if you wish, there and then; but more often the work required can be booked in for a later date, especially if any parts required need to be ordered in.

Traffic lights

How Does This Differ From A Service Or MOT Test?

A Vehicle Health Check is intended as a visual check for peace of mind in-between services. It is really handy before the winter weather sets in or before you take a long summer road trip.


A service checks these items, plus other items recommended by the manufacturer at certain age or mileage milestones. A service is essential to keep the vehicle within the terms of the manufacturer warranty. It may require routine changes and top-ups such as oil or air filter changes. The vehicle service book must be stamped or the electronic record completed as proof of service history.


An MOT test is regulated by the Government's Ministry of Transport. The test has various points to check which the technician must tick off electronically as they go. The test takes about an hour and a half and the technician must not leave the job until it is 100% complete. The test is then signed off electronically and the certificate is stored on a national database that anyone can access for proof that the vehicle has been MOT'd. There is a standard charge set by the Government, but test sites can charge less. The tester must be registered with the MOT for the test to be legal. Exhaust emissions are also tested and certified.

We hope this blog has helped clarify what is carried out at each of the checks. Our technicians and service advisors receive rigorous training on all of the above so that they meet the manufacturer's standards. Our workshops are equipped with specialist tools supplied by the manufacturer to ensure that all parts removed or fitted are done so properly and safely. Our technicians have also been trained on the safe handling of electric vehicles, which carry high voltages. Rest assured that we offer a top quality service to you, our customers, to make sure your vehicle is as safe as can be on the road.

If you'd like to book a 'VHC', service or MOT, then please use the booking form below or call us. We look forward to seeing you soon.