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Vehicle Checks, Preparation & Warranty

Before we acquire a vehicle we check out its details, service history and complete finance checks. Every vehicle is history checked by HPI, the industry’s leading vehicle check specialist. Used cars stocked by Imperial Car Supermarkets undergo a thorough series of checks by qualified engineers - you can be assured that we take the preparation of our vehicles very seriously indeed.

Imperial Car Supermarkets can supply you with a warranty for your new vehicle for 3 months for only £69.00 (up to a £500 claim limit per claim).

Dedicated Preparation Centre

We prepare our cars to the highest of standards at our dedicated preparation centre in Eastleigh, Southampton. This 2 acre site includes a paint and body shop, wheel refurbishment centre, mechanical rectification, inspection ramps, parts distribution, valeting department and imaging booths. Once ready for sale they are distributed to our showrooms across the UK in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Chertsey, Exeter, Fleet, Grangemouth, Halesowen, Ipswich, Mountsorrel, Newport Pagnell, Northampton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Swanwick, Tamworth and Wembley.

Step 1 - Vehicle History, Documents & Credit Checks

Vehicle Registration, HPI Checked

We check the vehicle details against Registration Documents (V5) from the DVLA and every vehicle has a “Confirmation Certificate” provided to us by HPI. These checks reassure our customers that there will be no surprises when they buy, because all our stock has been verified by HPI, the leading vehicle check service. Avoid the potential problems associated with outstanding finance, stolen vehicles, undisclosed insurance write-offs or switched registration plates - buy your next car from Imperial Car Supermarkets!

  • Details confirmed by DVLA
  • Registered date provided
  • Number of owners
  • Finance position confirmed
  • Condition: checked & cleared
  • Confirmed not stolen

Step 2 - Assessment, Inspection & Road Test

Fully Qualified Engineers At Our Preparation Centre

All our cars are inspected by qualified engineers. The Inspection is thorough and evaluates the condition of all the key components of every vehicle including the engine, gearbox, clutch, cooling system, steering, brakes, suspension, drive shafts, electrical, security, wheels and tyres, under body, interior and luggage space. This is followed by a road test.

Auto Protect

  • Body Exterior
  • Brake System
  • Front Suspension
  • Rear Suspension
  • Steering
  • Electrical / Controls
  • Engine Compartment
  • Exhaust Systems
  • Fuel System
  • Interior / Luggage Space
  • Transmission
  • Underbody
  • Wheels and Tyres
  • Road Test & Final Checks

Step 3 - Re-Conditioning & Repair

Vehicle Condition Reports

Based on the vehicle inspection and assessments, we make sure every vehicle is repaired and prepared to meet strict mechanical and cosmetic standards. If there are any remaining cosmetic imperfections, we highlight them on the vehicle details page along with high quality photos and an explanation - no surprises!


normal for some cars, depending on mileage and age

Type A imperfections involve standard wear associated with normal vehicle usage. The marks are generally faint and often difficult to see. Any scratches are generally less than 3cm in length. Scuffs, stains and discolourations are small. Dents are generally less than 1.5cm in diameter or size. Repair work on these imperfections often includes minor paint touch ups, additional detailing and buffing/polishing.


generally re-conditioned before being made available for sale

Type B imperfections are minor defects or wear located in higher visibility areas. Scratches can be between 3cm to 10cm in length. Scuffs, stains and discolourations are minor in degree and small in size. Dents are generally about 3cm in diameter and less than 0.5cm deep. Repairs on these imperfections generally include minor paintwork, interior cleaning and general dent repair.


very rare for any of our cars!

Type C imperfections include defects or wear that is more noticeable and more significant than standard wear. Scratches may exceed 10cm in length. Scuffs, stains and discolourations are more substantial and may exist in highly visible areas. Dents tend to be greater than 1cm in diameter. Repair on these imperfections can often be minimal because the defect is incapable of being corrected or the cost to do so is excessive.

Step 4 - MOT, Servicing, Wheels & Tyres

Excellent Condition - Safe & Sound

If a service or MOT is due, this will be carried out as part of our preparation process. We make sure all our cars have a valid MOT certificate and they are serviced (minimum oil and coolant levels). We check that the wheels are not damaged (we upgrade many wheels) and that the tyres meet safety standards and legal tread depths. The Service Book or equivalent and the MOT Certificate are available to view at the showroom for every car - summary information is displayed on each car details page.

Example Summary

Service Date Mileage
27/09/19 84,615
28/01/19 66,855
28/01/18 50,095
19/11/17 33,813
ABCD 123
  • Valid MOT
  • Expires 04/03/21

Step 5 - Professional Valet & Showroom Inspection

Professional Valet - inside & out

Every car goes through our professional valeting team and the car is cleaned, hoovered, washed and polished inside and out - including the engine bay and the luggage compartment. The valeting team also keep an eye open for any cosmetic defects which may have not been picked up by any other inspection.

Showroom-Ready Checks

When our vehicles are delivered to one of our showrooms, they are again checked and inspected for documents, functionality and appearance. We double-check - just to make sure! Our aim is to make sure our customers can be 100% assured when it comes to vehicle quality and safety.