First-time car owners: What to check when taking delivery
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Are you about to take delivery of a car for the very first time? Here's what you should check before you get behind the wheel and drive off!

Category: Car Buying Advice


Buying your very first car, whether brand-new or pre-owned, is exciting. What's even more exciting, and perhaps slightly nerve-wracking, is when you take delivery of said vehicle.

Taking delivery of your first car is totally unlike receiving an appliance, piece of furniture or item from an online store. That's because there's a lot more to it than just unboxing the item and reading the manual.

So, if you're about to become a car owner for the very first time, and have butterflies in your stomach, here are some things you should remember to do during the delivery process.


Check the paintwork/body

New car paintwork needs to be polished prior to delivery to get it to look like this
If your car is brand-new, you probably think the paintwork is factory-fresh and perfect. But your car had to make its way here by ship and trailer, and it's possible it got dinged in the process.

Dealers do pre-delivery inspections (PDI) and usually rectify such issues. But it never hurts to give your car a once-over just in case they missed a spot or two.

Look at the body panels at an angle and see if you can spot any dings. Check that the wheels and tyres are undamaged as well.

If your vehicle is pre-owned, make sure that it's in the same condition as when you agreed to purchase it. Or, if the dealer agreed to remove dings prior to delivery, ensure that it has been done.


Is your window film correct?

It's also good to check that the film has been properly applied and does not have big bubbles
Most new cars are bundled together with free window film. So, why should you check this?

Well, if you paid extra for a higher grade of window film, you should see if they've installed it. Typically, higher grade tint will be darker. If it looks a bit too translucent, ask the dealer to double-check.

Dealers usually outsource window film installation to third-party providers, so they may need time to reconfirm. But you paid for it, so it's worth the inconvenience.


Make sure the in-car camera works

In-car cameras improve security and can help protect you from fraudulent insurance claims, so it's important to learn how yours works
There's only one way to see if the in-car cameras work, and that is to download some footage to your smartphone.

This is also a good opportunity to sync your phone, download the app and generally learn how your particular brand of camera works. Don't overlook this step.

Obviously, you hope you'll never have to download the footage because of a mishap or because you witnessed an accident. But as they say, expect the best but plan for the worst, and you'll be ready.


See that the correct options are present

Never rush through the delivery process - you want to ensure that everything is in correct order
As a first-time car owner, seeing your car for the first time can be overwhelming and distracting. This is why you shouldn't forget to see if the stuff you optioned is there.

Most dealers will run through the options list as part of the delivery process. This is when you should pause the oohing and aahing for a moment and pay attention.

Did you specify larger rims of a different design? Adjustable dampers and or sport suspension? Did you want a body kit or ask for it to be removed? Now is the time to ensure items such as these are all present and accounted for.


Interior inspection

Ask the salesperson to help you sync your phone during the delivery process - it should help ensure seamless connectivity from hereon
Apart from the exterior, give the cabin a once-over as well. Start by checking your upholstery. Are the leather seats unblemished? How are the floor mats?

Now, check the dashboard and door panels, too. Everything should feel tight and there shouldn't be any scratches, unless the car is used. 

This may seem basic, but start the car and ensure that the air-con is working properly. It's a good time to fiddle with the infotainment system, and learn how to access and use the key functions.


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