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CARCO Inspection : What Is It and How to Get It?

  • Auto Insurance
  • Natasha Young
  • 6 minutes

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Depending on the state you live in, you may need to have your car inspected before you can buy car insurance. These evaluations, called CARCO inspections, are used to figure out the physical condition of your car before you buy physical damage coverage, such as collision and comprehensive insurance. If your state requires a CARCO inspection, you should know where to get one and what the inspectors will be looking for. 

What is a CARCO inspection? 

A CARCO inspection is a pre-insurance inspection that you may need to get before buying physical damage coverage (collision and comprehensive insurance) for your car. 

Through a physical inspection, CARCO makes sure that vehicles are properly valued and insured. This helps bring down the cost of physical damage insurance. The inspection includes: 

  • Photos of the car in great detail (except in Florida) 
  • A reading of the odometer 
  • The state of the car as a whole 
  • Alternatives and add-ons 

During a CARCO inspection, a person will look at your vehicle and take pictures of it. They will also look at your car’s mileage and any extras you may have bought for it. From there, the photos are uploaded to a database that uses advanced technology and artificial intelligence (AI). These are used to look for signs of fraud, like flood damage or a salvage title. 

In addition to anti-fraud software, a fraud analyst looks at every vehicle’s photo in person. This is to add an extra layer of security. Once you look at the results and sign the report, your insurance company gets the information. Based on the results, your collision or comprehensive insurance coverage may be approved or turned down by your insurance company. 

CARCO inspection

Who needs a CARCO inspection? 

Most people need to get CARCO checks. If you want to buy a car, you’ll need a CARCO inspection unless you meet some specific requirements that vary by state. And If you buy or lease a brand-new car, you may be exempt. But you’ll still need to show the bill of sale with a full list of the car’s options and accessories. Along with the copies of the window stickers, dealer invoices, and any other required documents. 

If your car is older, you may not need a pre-insurance inspection either. Depending on where you live, the car could be anywhere from 7 to 10 years old or older. If you aren’t sure if you need a CARCO inspection, you can call your state’s DMV to find out. 

Which states require CARCO inspections? 

Before they can buy physical damage coverage, many drivers have to get a CARCO inspection. But it’s not always necessary to do a physical check. For example, you might not have to get a CARCO inspection if you just bought or leased a brand-new car. CARCO inspections are only required in the following five states: 

  • Florida 
  • Massachusetts 
  • New York 
  • New York City 
  • Rhode Island 

Even if you don’t need a CARCO inspection, your insurance company will probably still want to see proof that the car is in good shape. This could be the invoice from the dealer, the bill of sale, or the window sticker. 

The requirements for your pre-insurance inspection are different in each state. This can include how long you have after buying the car to get it inspected. Most of the time, you have anywhere from five to thirty-five days. If you don’t get your inspection done in that time, some of the coverages on your policy could be taken away. 

CARCO inspection

Where are CARCO inspection sites? 

A CARCO inspector is the only person who can do the inspection. In the five states where these inspections are required by law, the company keeps up a large network of inspection sites. 

These inspection stations are at places like gas stations, car dealerships, and stores that sell tires. On the website, you can look through a list of sites to find one near you. The review takes about 15 minutes, and there is no charge for the photo inspection. 

You don’t have to bring any paperwork to the inspection site, but if you live in Florida, you have to show your vehicle registration. Also, CARCO suggests that drivers bring any insurance documents with their company’s name and policy number to speed up the process. 

What paperwork is required? 

In most states, all you need for a CARCO inspection is your insurance company’s name and vehicle identification number (VIN). Your VIN will probably be taken a picture of anyway during the inspection. But the state of Florida does require you to bring your registration with you to your inspection. 

Can I submit my CARCO inspection online? 

Yes! CARCO has a free mobile app for both Android and Apple devices that lets you take pictures of your car to do a pre-insurance inspection on your phone. The app uses smart anti-fraud technology to make sure that the information recorded is correct, and it lets users look over everything before signing off on the inspection submission.  

The inspection is then saved in a central place where data is kept. Self-evaluation might not be allowed in every state, though, and a CARCO inspector might still need to look at the car in person. If you want to do your CARCO inspection through the app instead of going to an inspection site.

Check with your insurance company to see if that’s okay. Another thing to think about is that both the App Store and the Google Play Store have very bad reviews of the CARCO app, so getting an inspection in person may be a better idea. 

What happens if I do not get a CARCO inspection? 

If your insurance company requires a CARCO inspection and you don’t get one, you probably won’t be able to get collision or comprehensive insurance. If you already have these policies, your insurance company may drop your coverage if you don’t show them the results. 

How long do I have to complete a CARCO inspection? 

When you insure a car, your insurance company should tell you how long you have to finish the CARCO inspection. It could be a few weeks or a few months. Your insurance company will tell you how long you have, so an agent should be able to tell you for sure. 

Will a CARCO inspection help me save money on car insurance? 

No, getting a CARCO inspection won’t change your car insurance cost in any way. A CARCO inspection is only used to look at your car’s condition, mileage, and any extras you might have bought. It also looks for signs that a claim might be fake.  

CARCO inspection


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