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Nationwide Vehicle Contracts explain the Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) process from start to finish

Before you take delivery of your new lease vehicle from Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, it will have to go through a Pre-Delivery Inspection, also known as a PDI check. But what exactly is a PDI check, how long does it take and will it affect your estimated delivery date?

To help explain the PDI process, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has put together a short guide to answer all these questions and more. 

What exactly is a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) check?

Before you take delivery of your new lease vehicle, a final check is carried out by the supplier to ensure that the vehicle is in full working order and is safe to drive. This is known as a Pre-Delivery Inspection, or a PDI check.

Put simply, a PDI check is a complete and thorough examination of the vehicle, from the exterior (e.g. bodywork and paintwork), interior (e.g. upholstery) and engine. The check is designed to highlight any issues with the vehicle which might have been missed at the factory or sustained during transportation. These can include cosmetic issues (such as scratches on the paintwork) to mechanical issues (such as warning lights on the dashboard).

What is included in a PDI check?

A PDI check starts with an examination of the vehicle’s exterior including the bonnet, door panels, alloy wheels and roof. The inspection agent is looking for any exterior damage, such as scratches to the paintwork, dents on the bodywork, scuffs to the alloy wheels or missing parts. An inspection of the exterior lights also takes place to ensure they are all working.

The inspection agent then moves onto the interior, checking the upholstery to ensure there are no rips or tears in the seating or door panels. Features on the vehicle’s console and dashboard are also tested, from the indicators and windscreen wipers, to the infotainment system and USB ports.

Often, a short road test will take place too and if there are any faults found, however minor, these will be corrected before you take delivery. All fluid levels, such as oil, brake fluid and screenwash are also checked and the vehicle’s number plates are placed on the vehicle.

Other things that may be inspected on a PDI check include:

  • Original and spare keys are present and working
  • Locking wheel nuts are included
  • Owner manual and service book are present (if applicable)
  • All tyres are legal (including spare) and tool kit is present
  • All lights, horn, indicators and warning lights are working
  • Any accessories specified (such as floor mats, tow bar etc.) are fitted
  • Vehicle Chassis Number and Registration Plate match paperwork

Many dealers will get the car valeted prior to delivery however it is worth noting that many vehicles are then driven to the customer so road dirt or traffic film may be visible on the exterior.

Who does the PDI check and how long does it take?

All PDI checks take place at either the supplying dealership or at the holding compound where the vehicle is held. These checks are not completed by Nationwide Vehicle Contracts.

A PDI check usually takes a couple of hours, however, most suppliers ask for a minimum of five working days before allowing Nationwide Vehicle Contracts to book a date for delivery. This is to allow for any issues or repairs that may be required on the vehicle (as highlighted in the PDI check) to be completed ahead of delivery.

Will a PDI check affect the delivery date of my car?

Generally, a PDI check should not affect the delivery date of your vehicle however on rare occasions, the dealer may ask for your delivery date to be put back if a problem is found at inspection that may take longer to rectify.

Many minor problems (such as scratches, scuffs or cosmetic issues) are sorted at source, but mechanical issues (such as engine management issues) may need a specialist involved and that could take longer.

It is important to note here that while delays to delivery can be frustrating, the aim of a PDI check is to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive so if you are affected by a delay due to an issue found at PDI, please be patient. As soon as the problem has been rectified, our deliveries team will be back in touch to arrange a new delivery date at a day/time convenient to you.

Have another question about PDI checks? Leave a comment below or call Nationwide Vehicle Contracts on 0345 811 9595 to speak to one of our leasing specialists.