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What Is A Pre-Delivery Inspection and How to Make A PDI Checklist

What Is A Pre-Delivery Inspection and How to Make A PDI Checklist

If you’re in the business of selling cars, then you know that a pre-delivery inspection is an important step in making sure your vehicles are ready for sale. In addition, a pre-delivery inspection checklist can help you avoid major recall issues and keep your customers happy. 

This article will discuss what a pre-delivery inspection is and how you can make a pre-delivery inspection checklist for your car dealership business.


What is a Pre-delivery Inspection?

A pre-delivery inspection (or PDI) is a quality assurance inspection that is performed on a new or used car before it is delivered to the customer. The purpose of a PDI is to make sure that the vehicle meets the manufacturer’s standards and that any defects are found and repaired before delivery. 

PDI is usually performed at the dealership, where inspectors check every aspect of the vehicle, from the engine to the interior and exterior. The checklist can vary depending on the make and model of the car, but some common items should be inspected, such as: 

  • Engine oil level and quality
  • Tire pressure
  • Brakes
  • Lights
  • Windshield wipers


After the inspection is complete, the dealership will provide the customer with a report of the findings. If any defects are found, they will be repaired before delivery.


What is a Pre-delivery Inspection Checklist?

A pre-delivery inspection checklist (or PDI checklist) is a tool that is used to ensure that all items on a pre-delivery inspection are checked and repaired, if necessary. The checklist should be specific to the make and model of the car being inspected. 

A PDI checklist can help you avoid major recall issues by ensuring that all defects are found and repaired before delivery. It can also help keep your customers happy by ensuring that their new car is in perfect condition when they receive it.

A digital pre-delivery inspection checklist enables vehicle inspectors to execute the following:

  • Firstly, Specify the car make/model and VIN (vehicle identification number).
  • Secondly, Capture images as proof of evidence from inspection of the exterior body to the road test.
  • Thirdly, Send notifications for scheduled PDIs.
  • Fourthly, Assign and implement corrective actions to quality managers.
  • Lastly, Complete pre-delivery inspection along with a digitized signature.


Risks of Inefficient Pre-Delivery Inspections

Balancing satisfactory work with efficiency has been a challenge in doing pre-delivery inspections. Vehicle inspectors have to make sure that they are thorough in their inspection while also quick so that the dealership can deliver the car to the customer promptly.

Therefore, many vehicle inspectors waste too much time and effort using paper-based pre-delivery inspection checklists or conduct PDI based on error-prone human memory. With that said, here are some risks associated with inefficient pre-delivery inspections:

Recurring Issues

With an inefficient PDI, technicians might miss common issues that should’ve been detected during an effective pre-delivery inspection. As a result, defective parts or systems could go undetected and might cause accidents or injuries.

Inefficient Use of Time

An inefficient PDI can also waste time as technicians have to check each vehicle manually. This lengthens the delivery time and increases the chance of human error. 

Increased Costs

If an ineffective PDI results in undetected issues, it could lead to costly repairs down the road. This could also damage the dealership’s reputation if customers are not happy with the condition of their new car.

Missed Delivery Commitments

Dealers could potentially miss their delivery commitments if they cannot get the car ready in time due to an ineffective pre-delivery inspection. So this could lead to unhappy customers and a loss of business.


If serious issues are not found and corrected during PDI, it could result in a recall due to compromised safety. This would be a costly issue for the dealership in terms of their reputation.


Basic Pre-Delivery Inspection Car Checks

Pre-delivery inspection is an important task because it helps secure the safety of your customers while ensuring the reputation of your dealership. If you’re looking to incorporate PDI into your operations, it’s important to know the basics. 

Here are some car checks that should be included in every pre-delivery inspection—which should also reflect onto in your PDI checklist: 

Engine Compartment

  • The engine should not create any loud, growling sound.
  • All car fluids such as brake, coolant, washer, transmission, power steering, and oil are at their normal levels.
  • All car fluids are free from leakage.
  • The battery is fully operational and in good condition.
  • The Hood latch is lubricated and is operating smoothly.



  • There are no visual defects such as holes or tears on hoses, exhaust systems, suspension components, and electrical lines.
  • Brakes are tested and checked for any signs of damage (e.g., brake lights are always on, vibration, squeaking noises, soft/hard brake pedal, etc.)



  • The steering wheel is aligned properly.
  • Locks, hinges, and latches are fully functional and well-lubricated.
  • No evidence of damage on the car seats.
  • Fuses are installed for electronic accessories.
  • Airbags, wheel covers, wheel locks, and seat belts are installed properly.



  • Headlights are aligned properly.
  • All lighting is fully operational and in good condition.
  • Light quality is good.
  • All mirrors are clean, clear, and in a fixed position.
  • Tire pressure is set to manufacturer-suggested specification (including spare tires).
  • Windshield wipers are functional and in good condition.
  • Washer fluid is at optimum level.
  • Emblems and paint conditions are damage-free.


Tips When Using a PDI Checklist

Performing a pre-delivery inspection is critical to avoid issues down the road. If you’re making a PDI checklist for your business, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Be Detailed

Make sure your PDI checklist is comprehensive and covers all the necessary aspects of the inspection.

Include Pictures

If possible, include pictures in your checklist so that technicians can easily identify the issue.

Update Regularly

Be sure to update your PDI checklist regularly as car models and technologies change.

Keep it Simple

Your PDI checklist should be easy to understand and use. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that might be confusing for technicians.


Digital PDI Checklists

As you can see, a pre-delivery inspection is an important process for any dealership. So by using a digital PDI checklist can streamline the inspection process and avoid potential issues. 

A digital PDI checklist is easy to use and helps ensure that all aspects of the inspection are covered. In addition, a digital checklist can be updated regularly and shared with technicians easily.


Why Use DataMyte Digital Clipboard?

So if you’re looking to create a digital PDI checklist, then DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a great option for that purpose because our workflow automation software is designed to help create comprehensive digital checklists and streamline the inspection process to make it easier for technicians. 

With our checklist builder, you can:

  • Easily create digital PDI checklists.
  • Edit and make changes to your checklist
  • Share the checklist with technicians easily.
  • Use digital checklists on the field using a handheld device (phone, tablet, etc.)
  • Update the checklist regularly according to the latest inspection trends and demands.
  • Generate reports based on the inspection data collected.


DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a powerful workflow automation tool that helps you manage your dealership operations more efficiently. Try it today!



With a pre-delivery inspection checklist, you can avoid major recall issues and keep your dealership running smoothly. In addition, using a digital PDI checklist can make the inspection process easier for technicians and ensure that they will cover all aspects of the inspection. So try DataMyte Digital Clipboard today to streamline your dealership operations!



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