A pre-purchase inspection should happen every time — but all too often, used car buyers skip it. When you buy a used vehicle, always have a third party inspect it before committing to the purchase or putting any money down.
Why do people skip this? Sometimes, it comes down to cost. Buyers don’t want to pay for a pre-purchase inspection on top of buying the vehicle, though inspection fees are generally low. But if you’re putting down potentially thousands of dollars on a car, a small inspection fee is nothing compared to what it may cost to fix any issues that arise after the purchase.
Some people opt to do a self-inspection or a walkaround of the vehicle. They might pop the hood and look through the interior — but that’s it. While a visual inspection is important, a mechanical inspection is a must. That’s where the costs can really add up should you need a repair or replacement.
Even if you know what to look for mechanically, it’s still important to get a second opinion. Hire someone who is impartial and has the training and experience to conduct an inspection. Many auto care and repair shops offer used car inspections, and it can pay to take advantage of them.
A FEW RED FLAGS WHEN BUYING A USED CAR:
No Inspection Allowed If a seller won’t let you take the vehicle in for an inspection, that’s a red flag. While the vast majority of sellers, both private parties and dealers, will gladly allow vehicles to be inspected, there’s always a chance you’ll find someone who won’t allow this. If so, it might be time to walk away.
No Test Drive Allowed This isn’t always a red flag — certain vehicles may be rare or high value and the seller doesn’t want to take on any risk — but generally speaking, you should test drive the vehicle you want to purchase. If the seller says no to a test drive, but you feel it is a reasonable request, consider that a red flag.
Yes to Inspection, but … Be wary if a seller says yes to an inspection BUT they want you to take the vehicle to their recommended inspection service you’ve never heard of and cannot verify. If it’s a shop you are familiar with and can verify, that may be a different story, but be sure to ask plenty of questions and be vigilant.
If you are in the market for a used vehicle, our certified Technicians will make sure you are getting a reliable vehicle for your investment. Contact us today to ask about our Pre-Purchase Inspection Service.
Wake Forest 919-453-0345