How Much Does a Multi-Point Inspection Cost?

Last Updated on January 29, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Routine vehicle inspections are crucial for keeping your car in optimal condition and identifying issues early. A multi-point inspection examines all major systems and components to evaluate overall vehicle health. But how much does this comprehensive auto checkup typically cost?

Read on for an in-depth look at multi point inspection costs, services, and how to maximize value from your vehicle’s routine checkups.

How Much Does a Multi-Point Inspection Cost?

A standard multi point inspection from a professional mechanic or dealership typically costs between $45 to $150. However, pricing varies based on the shop, technician time required, your vehicle make and model, and any necessary adjustments or repairs recommended during the service.

Here are some average price estimates:

  • Independent Garage – $45 to $100
  • Franchise Repair Shop – $60 to $120
  • Dealership – $100 to $150

Dealerships tend to be the most expensive option due to higher shop rates. Independent garages offer more affordable pricing.

Premium or extended inspections go even more in-depth, covering additional systems. These comprehensive vehicle examinations can range from $150 up to $600 at some luxury and import dealers.

According to Randy Marion Chevrolet, a multi-point inspection can cost around $200, but there are some shops that may do this as a courtesy at no cost.

What is a Multi-Point Inspection?

A multi-point inspection is a comprehensive diagnostic exam performed by a professional auto technician. The technician will thoroughly inspect the engine, drivetrain, suspension, fluids, tires, brakes, electrical systems, and other major components.

This allows them to evaluate the current state of your vehicle, identify any issues requiring attention, and recommend necessary maintenance or repairs. The technician will provide you with a detailed inspection report outlining their findings and suggested actions.

The inspection serves as a vital preventative maintenance measure to help optimize performance, reliability, and safety between standard servicing intervals.

Benefits of Regular Vehicle Inspections

Consistent multi point inspections provide valuable benefits for your vehicle’s health and longevity:

  • Identify potential problems early before they become major repairs
  • Prevent breakdowns and safety hazards on the road
  • Maximize operational efficiency, gas mileage, and drivability
  • Extend the useful lifespan of your vehicle’s systems and parts
  • Ensure compliance with vehicle manufacturer maintenance schedules
  • Provide peace of mind knowing the condition of all components

Investing in routine comprehensive checkups through a multi-point inspection saves money over the life of your vehicle ownership by avoiding costly damage from ignored issues.

Factors Affecting Inspection Cost

There are several factors that influence the cost of a multi-point inspection:

  • Vehicle Make/Model – More complex vehicles take more time and specialized knowledge to inspect thoroughly.
  • Age and Mileage – Higher-mileage, older vehicles require closer inspection.
  • Shop Hourly Labor Rate – This base shop rate ranges from $80-$150 per hour based on overhead costs.
  • Technician Skill Level – Master technicians command higher hourly pay rates.
  • Inspection Scope – Basic vs. deeper bumper-to-bumper inspections.
  • Location and Shop Type – Dealerships and urban shops have higher overhead costs.
  • Recommended Maintenance – Any additional repairs or parts will add cost.

What’s Included in a Multi-Point Inspection?

During a standard multi point inspection, the technician will inspect the following systems and components:

  • Engine – Oil levels, coolant, leaks, motor mounts, belts, hoses
  • Transmission – Fluid levels, leaks, shifts smoothness
  • Brakes – Pad thickness, rotors, fluid levels, pedal feel
  • Steering and Suspension – Shocks, struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel alignment
  • Electrical – Battery, lights, ignition system, wiring
  • Fluids – Oil, transmission, brake, coolant, washer
  • Filters – Air, fuel, cabin air
  • Tires – Tread depth, pressure, wear patterns
  • Interior Controls – Gauges, windows, locks, horn, wipers

You might also like our articles about the cost of car tuneup, rear main seal replacement, or AWD servicing.

They will also check the vehicle underbody, exhaust system, and safety components. Any issues or irregularities found will be noted on your inspection report.

Dealership vs. Independent Garage Inspection Costs

Multi Point Inspection RecordDealerships typically charge $100 to $150 for a standard multi point inspection. The reasons for their higher rates include:

  • Higher shop labor rates
  • Use of dealer-specific diagnostic scanners
  • Factory-trained technicians
  • Convenience of one-stop service

Independent repair shops offer better value inspections ranging from $45 to $100 on average. Benefits of using independent garages include:

  • Lower overhead and labor costs
  • Competitive market rates
  • No pressure to use dealer servicing
  • Greater price transparency

Independents can be the more budget-friendly option for routine maintenance inspections. However, dealers may provide greater familiarity and specialization for newer models.

How Often Should You Get a Multi-Point Inspection?

Most mechanics recommend bringing your vehicle in for a comprehensive multi point inspection at least once or twice per year, depending on your mileage.

Every 6 months/6,000 miles is ideal for most drivers. More frequent major mileage intervals like 15,000, 30,000, 60,000, etc. also warrant inspections to coincide with oil changes and other maintenance.

High-mileage vehicles over 100k miles or those used in demanding conditions benefit from more regular inspections every 3-4 months.

Saving Money on Vehicle Inspections

Here are some tips to save on multi point inspection costs:

  • Ask about any current service specials or coupons
  • Consider independent garages to avoid high dealership rates
  • Buy multi-point inspection deals as part of a service package
  • Join AAA for member discounts on vehicle inspections
  • Check retailers like Walmart for affordable garage rates
  • Learn to inspect some basics yourself between professional inspections

Timing inspections with coupon deals, specials, or service combos is a great way to maximize value.

Preparing for a Multi-Point Inspection

To get the most out of a multi-point inspection, be sure to:

  • Thoroughly clean interior and exterior prior to appointment
  • Check owner’s manual for recommended inspection intervals
  • Provide service history documentation to the shop
  • Note any new noises, leaks, or changes in vehicle operation
  • Ask questions and discuss any concerns with the technician
  • Review the detailed inspection report carefully

Proper preparation sets the technician up for an efficient bumper-to-bumper examination of your vehicle’s systems and saves you money by quickly identifying necessary maintenance needs.


Regular comprehensive multi point inspections play a crucial role in prolonging the life of your vehicle and avoiding costly repairs down the road. While prices vary by provider, you can expect to budget $45 to $150 for a standard bumper-to-bumper inspection from most professional shops.

Consider the expense as a valuable investment in your vehicle’s safety and performance. With routine thorough checkups, your car or truck will last for many more miles to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are multi point inspections important to the technician?

Multi point inspections are very important to auto technicians due to a few reasons:

  • They allow the technician to thoroughly evaluate the overall condition and health of the vehicle. This helps them identify any issues to address or monitor.
  • They ensure nothing gets overlooked, helping technicians make sound recommendations.
  • They serve as a record of the vehicle’s condition at that time, protecting technicians if issues arise later.
  • They help build customer trust through detailed reporting and transparency.
  • They allow the shop the opportunity to provide comprehensive maintenance services.

Performing quality multi point inspections demonstrates the technician’s expertise and attention to detail. It is a vital part of providing excellent service.

What is a 12-point check?

A 12-point inspection checklist is a common standard used by many auto repair shops to examine mechanical and safety-related components. While not as exhaustive as a full multi point inspection, a 12-point check typically includes:

  • Engine oil and filters
  • Brake system fluid and components
  • Steering and suspension
  • Tires and tread depth
  • Coolant system hoses and levels
  • Transmission fluid
  • Wiper blades
  • Lights and electrical
  • Air filter and HVAC operation
  • Fluid leaks
  • Battery and charging system
  • Road test of drivability

This hits many of the major systems most susceptible to wear and tear. Some shops offer it as a lower-priced alternative to a deeper multi point inspection.

What is the most important reason for doing a safety inspection?

The number one reason to perform routine vehicle safety inspections is to identify and address potential hazards that endanger the driver, passengers, and others on the road.

Catching and repairing problems early through safety inspections helps ensure the vehicle operates properly and prevents accidents and breakdowns. A comprehensive check helps confirm the brakes, tires, lighting, steering, and other key components meet safety standards.

No one wants the inconvenience of a breakdown. But more importantly, well-maintained vehicles protect drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists from the far more tragic consequences of an accident or system failure resulting from an unidentified issue.

Routine multi point safety inspections are absolutely essential to vehicle and public safety.

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