How fast do you need a garage report?

Insurance question

What are the rules about garage reports? Insurance companies usually want a satisfactory garage report (GIR) within 30 days of insuring a vehicle. You might hear this report referred to as a vehicle inspection report (VIR). Both mean the same thing. If you fail to provide the information when requested then the insurance company can cancel your policy.

The exception to the 30 days would be when an insurance company wants a certain car or truck inspected immediately upon being insured. This could be because it failed to pass inspection in the past or because it is a specialty vehicle.

The standard in Alberta is an inspection can be requested for any vehicle 12 years-old and older. Not all companies hold to that rule though. Some will not require the report until 15 years-old. This is done to help keep unsafe vehicles off the road and help to reduce car accidents.

What is on the report? A garage report will have certain information that has to be completed in a timely manner. The form shows the name of the person who owns the vehicle. It defines the vehicle by year, make, model and serial number. The report also has to be completed by a licensed mechanic. Mechanics have a license for the work they do. This license number and the mechanic's signature are also required on the form. The report also has a date shown and insurance companies will usually only accept a report that is within six months old.

The report itself declares the condition of the vehicle. Areas that are considered include:

  • Steering Box/Rack
  • Head Lamp/Tail Lamps
  • Struts/Shocks
  • Stop Lamps
  • Front Suspension
  • Signal Lamps
  • Tie Rod Ends
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Tires
  • General Conditions
  • Front
  • Body Condition
  • Rear
  • Muffler/Exhaust
  • Brakes
  • Motor
  • Front Lining or Drums
  • Windshield
  • Rear Lining or Drums
  • Seat Belts
  • Park
  • Is the vehicle roadworthy?
  • Brake Hoses
  • Brake Lines
  • Has the vehicle been altered for speed or performance?

If you are concerned about the inspection or requirements then talk to your broker or agent. They can give you the options for the companies that they have available. Often an underwriter will consider special circumstances but this is on an individual basis.