Should You Have A Pre-Purchase Inspection Done on a Car You’re Considering?

Purchasing a used car is always a mixed blessing. On one hand, used cars are usually considerably cheaper than brand-new cars and they generally don’t depreciate as quickly. On the other hand, you always wonder if there’s something wrong with the vehicle that will end up costing you in the long run.

One way to ease your worries is to have a pre-purchase inspection done on the vehicle you’re considering. This process is a little more extensive than simply bringing your car-savvy friend with you on a test drive. When you get a pre-purchase inspection, you actually take the used car to a certified mechanic who will spend a little time going over the vehicle and see if there are any warning signs of a serious problem. The pre-purchase inspection may cost you a few hundred dollars, but it could also spare you the financial headache of purchasing a used car that turns out to be a lemon.

Before bringing the vehicle you’re considering to a pre-purchase inspection, you will want t do a few things.

Choose the Mechanic Wisely

Ideally, you should bring the vehicle to a mechanic you know and trust, but if the vehicle is located out of town, the current owner may be reluctant to have you take it too far away. If you can’t go to your own mechanic, choose one that has a reputation for honesty, who isn’t connected with the vehicle’s current owner, and who is willing to take their time and really go over the vehicle.

Know What You Want From the Vehicle

No used vehicle is perfect and the older the car that you’re considering is, the more problems there are likely to be. Before you take the vehicle in for a pre-purchase inspection know what your expectations are for the vehicle. How many problem-free miles do you hope to get from it? How much are you willing to invest in repairs during the first month of ownership? How will you be using the vehicle?

Make sure you share this information with the mechanic who is handling the inspection. They will use it to help determine if they think the vehicle is a good fit for you.

At the end of the inspection, make sure you really listen to what the mechanic has to say. As they are sharing details about the car’s current mechanical state, feel free to ask questions, just remember that the mechanic can only share their professional opinion. It’s unlikely that they will be able to guarantee anything.

Have you ever had a used vehicle inspected before you purchased it?