Latest News
Tuesday / 16 July 2024
HomeFeaturesWhat the AA’s 125-point vehicle condition inspection really covers

What the AA’s 125-point vehicle condition inspection really covers

The Automobile Association (AA) has partnered with a raft of pre-owned dealerships around South Africa in 2022 to offer AA-backed condition reports of all their vehicles to future owners, the newest one opening its doors early in December in Umhlanga Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal.

These AA-certified dealers perform 125-point checks on their inventory in order to “provide a report for the prospective buyer so that they have an informed idea of the facts of the car at the time of assessment,” said the AA.

Currently, 11 such dealerships are located around the country both in large and small towns, with a plan of growing this network to over 150 by the end of 2024.

TopAuto reached out to the AA to find out what its checks cover, and how it assures truthful reporting in the not-so-trasparent world of pre-owned cars.

Trusted brand

To ensure truthful reporting from the dealer’s side on the vehicle condition report, the AA only allows inspections to be carried out by an assessor who is accredited by the association itself.

The AA said it prides itself on being a “trusted brand” in South Africa with this credibility extending to the partnerships it has formed with select dealers.

“It is therefore imperative that in our engagement with the dealerships that we have partnered with, we walk away certain that the values of the AA brand and that of the dealership are aligned,” it said.

AA 125-point vehicle inspection

In their inspections, the AA-certified assessors touch on a total of 125 checkpoints when drafting a vehicle report so that there are fewer unforeseen surprises for buyers down the line.

The state of each of the components being reviewed is recorded in one of three conditions – for example Good, Acceptable, or Needs replacement – with space for additional comments to be written down by the inspector.

The checkpoints are detailed below, as provided by the association:


    1. Windscreen
    2. Number Plates
    3. Door Locks
    4. Side Mirrors
    5. Dents/scratches/misalignment on body


    1. Ignition lock/switch
    2. Front park lights
    3. Headlights bright
    4. Headlights dim
    5. Fog lights front
    6. Daytime driving lights
    7. Rear park pights
    8. Stop lights
    9. Reverse lights
    10. Number plate light
    11. Rear Fog lights
    12. Hazard lights
    13. LHS Indicator
    14. RHS Indicator
    15. Interior lights
    16. Controls/switches
    17. Instruments
    18. Horn
    19. Driver window mechanism
    20. Passenger window mechanism
    21. LHS Rear window mechanism
    22. RHS rear window mechanism
    23. Sunroof operation (if applicable)
    24. Convertible roof (if applicable)
    25. LHS mirror adjustment
    26. RHS mirror adjustment
    27. Rear view mirror
    28. Windscreen wiper and washer
    29. Rear wiper and washer
    30. Cabin geater
    31. Air conditioner/HVAC system
    32. Radio and audio system
    33. Set clock
    34. Driver seatbelt condition
    35. Driver seatbelt adjustment and catch
    36. Driver seat upholstery
    37. Passenger seatbelt condition
    38. Passenger seatbelt adjustment and catch
    39. Passenger seat upholstery
    40. Rear passenger seatbelt condition
    41. Rear passenger seatbelt adjustment and catch
    42. Rear passenger seat upholstery
    43. Panels, covers, and trim fitment
    44. Carpets and mats
    45. Roof lining fitment
    46. Check and clear diagnostic fault codes
    47. Bonnet release lever


    1. Boot lock
    2. Boot hinges
    3. Boot linings
    4. Spare wheel (if applicable)
    5. Jack (if applicable)
    6. Wheel spanner (if applicable)
    7. Security lock nut (if applicable)
    8. Run flat repair kit (if applicable)

Engine compartment

    1. Bonnet hinge
    2. Bonnet catch
    3. Coolant level and leaks
    4. Oil and fluid leaks
    5. Radiator cap
    6. Hoses/pipes condition and fitment
    7. Auxiliary drive belt/s
    8. Brake fluid level and condition
    9. Engine oil level and condition
    10. Power steering oil level
    11. Clutch fluid
    12. All components secured safely

Starting and charging system

    1. Battery condition
    2. Battery fitment
    3. Battery voltage normal 12.6 V
    4. Battery voltage starting 9.6 V
    5. Alternator charging 13.5v-15v


    1. Steering system
    2. Oil and fluid leaks
    3. Exhaust leaks
    4. Springs/suspension bushes and links front
    5. Springs/suspension bushes and links rear
    6. Shocks Front
    7. Shocks rear
    8. Front brakes
    9. Rear brakes
    10. Brake pipe fitment
    11. Front wheel bearings
    12. Rear wheel bearings
    13. Drive shafts
    14. Fuel tank leaks
    15. Fuel pipe fitment
    16. RF tyre tread
    17. RF tyre size
    18. LF tyre tread
    19. LF tyre size
    20. LR tyre tread
    21. LR tyre size
    22. RR tyre tread
    23. RR tyre size

Test drive

    1. Fast idle (Cold)
    2. Noise at idle (Cold)
    3. Excessive fumes/smoke at idle
    4. Final drive noise
    5. Gearbox noise
    6. Engine noise
    7. Turbo/super charger noise (if applicable)
    8. Clutch operation (if applicable)
    9. Auto gearbox operation (if applicable)
    10. Cruise control/adaptive (if applicable)
    11. Instrument cluster functions
    12. Warning lights
    13. Overheating
    14. Engine performance
    15. Road-holding/stability
    16. Brake operation
    17. Brake noise
    18. Brake shudder
    19. Emergency stop test/ABS
    20. Steering effort and play
    21. Suspension noise
    22. Vibrations and harshness over 110km/h
    23. Handbrake function
    24. Hot restarting
    25. Re-check diagnostic fault codes

Show comments