Basic vehicle security inspection (for civilians)


If the vehicle is left unattended, it and the area around it must be searched before you approach and get into it. Keep the vehicle in a locked garage when not in use, always lock doors and boot. If the vehicle is garaged parked the exterior of the garage needs to be search for improvised explosive devices, electronic listening/tracking devices and signs of forced entry. If the vehicle cannot be garaged park it in a secure or guarded area, at night, park it under illumination. Any drive-ways from a garage or residence to a main road should regularly be search for improvised explosive devices and signs of threat activity, regularly used routes should be swept often.


A vehicle needs to be searched before use, after being serviced or repaired, after being left unattended for any length of time. How to search a vehicle:

  • Search the general area around the car for any devices or persons waiting to ambush anyone approaching the car. Always search the outside of a garage for any signs of a force entry before you go in. Also always search garage doors and drive ways for any signs of booby traps/land mines, etc.
  • Search the immediate area surrounding the car for disturbances, wires, oil/fluid stains, footprints, etc.
  • Visual checks through the windows. For anything suspicious i.e. things out of place, wires, etc. It helps to keep the inside of your vehicle tidy.
  • Search the wheels and arches for devices, cut tires, lose wheel nuts, inside or fenders.
  • Get down on your hands and knees and check underneath the vehicle use a torch and mirror if necessary, don’t forget to check the exhaust! Exhausts can have bolts or wire mesh put in them to stop IEDs from being placed in them; if you do this, make sure the bolts of wire mess is not visible as this can draw attention to the car.
  • Search the boot and Interior for improvised explosive devices, electronic listening/tracking devices even if there is no sigh of a forced entry.
  • Search under the hood. Clean wires might be an indication of something having been placed in the engine; if the engine is kept dirty, new wires and hand prints are easy to see.
  • Final test check all accessories and electrics.