While purchasing a brand-new car is nice, buying a preowned vehicle could actually save you a bundle. In most cases, dealership evaluations—as with mandatory state inspections—usually focus on substantial conditions that could make driving a car unsafe. Thinking about purchasing a new car? With the pre-purchase checks in our Vehicle Inspection, you can see whether a car's in good order before you buy.. As part of our inspection, we'll: Aim to inspect your chosen vehicle usually within 2 to 4 working days of booking If you don’t have a mechanic you can trust, and there are no specialized service departments near you, look for an auto diagnostic service provider that displays an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) seal or any other reputable certification. The most thorough checks tend to come when you buy the car through an Approved Used scheme, but it’s quite possible a franchise or independent dealer will include some form of check as part of their sales package. Better yet, if the potential buyer coordinates the inspection timing with the seller, the buyer doesn’t need to be present for the inspection. Typically, they will send a salesperson to accompany you to the repair shop of your choice. If a seller is reluctant to let you have the car independently inspected (a sales manager may cite insurance restrictions, for example), it is a sign he is hiding something. You can accept the offer and ask for evidence that the issues have been fixed. A mobile inspector could also be your only option if you are buying from a distance or cannot make it to the inspection. In some cases, some sort of inspection could even be included in the price of the car. How do you know you’re not inheriting someone else’s problem? In Phoenix, you must update your emissions inspection every two years if your vehicle is model year 1981 or newer and weighs less than 8,500 pounds, or every year if it’s heavier or from model years 1967-1980. One of the best ways to check if a car meets your standards in a used car inspection is to simply drive it. Rather than getting hung up on these issues, use them to challenge the asking price. We’ve shared the benefits of purchasing a preowned vehicle and what a pre-purchase inspection should include. Enter your email address and we'll email you a digital version of this coupon that you can present on your mobile device at your Sun Devil Auto Shop. Who can you trust? Tucson requires testing every two years for … It’s no wonder people are put off by the idea of purchasing a used car. Nearly all auto repair shops offer pre-purchase inspection services. Where to Have the Car Checks Done If you're shopping for a used car locally, the one of the best places to take it for an inspection is to a mechanic with whom you have already built a relationship. The evaluator may include a purchase recommendation if the vehicle is in excellent condition. It completely depends on the type of person who wishes to buy a used car from some private seller or a dealer. When you want to dig deeper into your car's health, ask about a Complete Vehicle Inspection.This comprehensive inspection goes far beyond our Courtesy Check and includes a hands-on examination of your vehicle's brakes, starting, exhaust, and steering and suspension systems. The report should supplement rather than substitute an independent inspection. Dress in old clothes and give the car a good going-over. You can trust Sun Devil Auto to guide you through the Pre-Purchase Inspection process. A dealer may offer to do the repairs and sell you the car at the original asking price. Tim Jensen, of Mears Automotive in Brownsburg, Ind., inspects a car. A thorough used car inspection is crucial to avoid buying a lemon. Instead of going with my gut (the kind of guy who won’t drive his car 4 miles isn’t the kind of guy you should buy a car from), I paid for the pre-purchase inspection. If the dealer has given a car a clean bill of health, it could merely mean that it is safe to drive off the lot. This week we are talking about issued revealed on a used car inspection, lift kits voiding warranties, and how long it should take a dealer to locate a vehicle. Using this 8 step car buying inspection guide will show you how to inspect a used car like a pro. This is also a great time to inspect the underbody of the car for rust. Walk away. Our other inspections. If you do decide to purchase a vehicle, get a mechanic to take a look at it—you'll never regret a thorough inspection. Viraf Baliwalla owns a licensed car dealership, Automall Network. will be tested. The CARCO inspector will complete a state-mandated inspection report form listing the general condition of your car and its options, vehicle identification number (VIN), odometer reading, etc. WHEN YOU WANT MORE, INVEST IN A COMPLETE VEHICLE INSPECTION. Go with the mechanic on a test drive and ask about any issues that come up. Where to Take a Used Car for Inspection. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay) Taking a used car to a mechanic before you buy it can help you avoid a car with damage or problems. Mobile mechanics are on-site for all types of vehicles from cars, trucks, and motorcycles to RVs, commercial vehicles, vintage and classic cars. If the seller declines your request, you may want to reconsider your desire to purchase the vehicle. If the car you are interested in is “certified,” ask for a report of what was inspected and what the warranty covers. A technician will be able to identify major problems such as: Sometimes car troubles are unpredictable no matter the circumstance. A mechanic will only carry a jack, code reader, and other light equipment to the dealership lot. Our Service Consultants will review the inspection with you and give you their honest opinion on whether the purchase is a sound decision or whether you should continue your search. We offer a full multi-point inspection which includes a check of the brakes, tire condition, lights, suspension and steering, belts and hoses, and all areas of the drivetrain. The car needed $12,000 in immediate repair work. You can ask a mechanic you trust to accompany you to the dealership and inspect the car on the lot. While the car is on the lift, a mechanic can look for rust holes in the floor pan and exhaust system, evaluate the condition of its tires and shocks, and look for leaks from brake cylinders, axles, the radiator, and gas tank. More than that, it increases your familiarity with the car and helps to build confidence in your purchase. Some inspection services — like those offered by mobile mechanic service YourMechanic — claim to be full-service inspections but in reality, they’re just visual inspections; they won’t stand behind any mechanical issues that they failed to identify. Inspections cannot guarantee to find every fault in a used car, however, a professional can help you dodge any major problems. It doesn't matter whether you're buying from a private party, an independent used car dealer, or even a certified used car from a franchised new car dealership; a thorough test … You picture yourself perusing a used car lot while a salesman hovers over you, offering to “make a deal” or a deceptive private seller advertising a car that is simply too good to be true. Post-accident inspection - checks repairs made to the vehicle meet the manufacturer standard. The evaluator may ask you for the car’s make, model and registration number to generate a quote. If you are going to be sure you are buying a reliable set of wheels, you will need to take it to a professional mechanic to check for details you might miss. Make sure you know what you’re getting into with a Pre-Purchase Inspection at Virginia Tire & Auto. Enter your address, city, state, or ZIP code in the box below and we'll show you … Next, determine where you are going to take the used car inspection. The inspection should include a test drive to look for suspension troubles or inconsistencies in engine operation. A positive report can increase your confidence in purchasing the vehicle while a negative report can help dissuade you from completing the deal or whether to negotiate a better price for any repairs that must be done. For all the information you need to select a qualified automotive technician to perform a pre-purchase inspection, please visit www.usedcarinspections.org. The inspector will take photographs of your car and provide you with a copy of the report for your records. Lemon Squad™ offers pre-purchase used car inspections. I have to buy a used car and I'm considering buying from a dealership (for the first time) due to time constraints and limited private party selection. That’s where the Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) comes in. Buying a car is a big decision. Be sure to take the car out on a freeway to ensure it operates properly at high speeds. A pre-purchase car inspection is an inspection done by a technician to determine the condition of a vehicle before purchase. He can take close-up photographs of any damage the car has, advise you on its condition and reliability, and tell you right away if it is a good buy. Rust is caused by salt and can be due to the car being close to salt water air but it is also common in certain cold weather metropolitan areas (Chicago, for example). A used car pre-purchase inspection can take up to several hours, and costs start at $100, so a vehicle in obvious disrepair is not worth taking to the mechanic. Look for another car. Trust your local Sun Devil Auto to get your car running right with over 40+ years of complete auto-care. Call (888) 231-7965 to speak with an expert today. Take Car to Trusted Mechanic While you probably should have had conducted a pre-purchase inspection before buying the car, it’s always a good idea to take it into a good mechanic after purchase. We've partnered with Cars.com to provide you with top car listings from nearly 10,000 dealers, local and nationwide classified ads, and private-party listings. I recommend you get it inspected by a mechanic specializing in that brand. When you buy a used car, it can be difficult to know exactly what you’re getting. You can take the car to a mechanic that specializes in that brand, or you can get a mobile inspection service to come out and inspect the vehicle wherever you choose. Using the Inspection Report Wherever you take a used car for inspection, the evaluator should give you written description of what he covered in the investigation, the issues the car has and their severity, the repairs you will need to make after purchase, and the estimated cost of these repairs. If there are only a few cosmetic issues that blemish an otherwise spotless used car pre-purchase inspection report, you can proceed with the purchase in confidence. Relatively easy-to-fix issues are nothing to worry about because nearly all used cars have a few minor problems. Also, purchasers have the option of buying “Certified Pre-Owned.” Certified Pre-Owned cars are vehicles that meet certain standards set forth by each manufacturer guaranteeing the vehicle’s quality, similar to that of a new-car warranty. Unit and component inspection – performs a detailed inspection of specific vehicle parts. This is whether a vehicle’s brakes and suspension operate as they are supposed to, … Car Accident Claims Inspection Process. A used car inspection is a great way to clue you in on whether you’re about to purchase a lemon or if you’ve found a diamond in the rough. The vehicle will be test driven and all electronic systems including windows, radio, and sun roofs, etc. Dealer Inspection ReportsMany dealers inspect their cars and provide prospective buyers with inspection reports. Most reputable auto dealerships allow prospective buyers to take cars off the lot for inspection. You have to be careful when buying a used car. If you need to find a mobile mechanic to do the inspection, search online or ask relatives, friends or co-workers for referrals; it’s a common business and reliable people shouldn’t be too hard to find in your area. will be tested. The report he or she generates on the state of the car should come directly to you and not through the seller. A professional used-car pre-purchase inspection verifies all components of the car are working, reveals obscure defects in its body, frame, and engine, and establishes its general condition. There are some great advantages to getting a used car and they all end up making things easier on your wallet. Once you’ve figured out that the car you are interested in is in good shape, ask the seller if you can have it inspected by a third party. How to set up a Used Car Pre-Purchase InspectionBefore you schedule an inspection, check that the car is in the actual condition the seller claims. An impartial inspection will provide an honest, forthright opinion on the status of the vehicle including both the positive and negative aspects of the vehicle including hidden problems with the body, frame, or engine. An inspection should be performed by a qualified, professional technician. Look for dents, rust and fluid leaks and ensure that everything inside and outside the vehicle is in good working order. Do any dealerships allow you to do that? Sometimes, it’s called a “stop/steer/go” check. This is a non-commercial site with valuable … However, if you ask the experts, they would rather suggest getting the vehicle inspected before buying it, if you do not wish to face any major future troubles. Automobile Repair ShopsAn auto repair shop, on the other hand, can hoist the car and examine the undercarriage for bends, misalignments, and other signs of frame damage. Have you considered purchasing a “new-to-you” or used car instead? An independent inspection can be a good idea even if the dealership has examined the car and is selling it with a warranty or service contract. Just look online or through your phone book to find local shops that perform inspections. Although mobile car inspections are fast and convenient, they are not as comprehensive as auto diagnostic clinics. Looking to buy a new or used car? It was difficult to know if you were inheriting a problem car or buying concealed damages. There are two options when you need a vehicle inspected. Call the mechanic or repair shop you settle on, inform them that you would like them to do a pre-purchase inspection on a used car, and find if any of the dates and times you agreed with the seller works for them. Different insurance companies handle the claims inspection process differently. Before purchasing a used vehicle, consider getting an independent inspection. During the test drive, listen for any strange noises coming from the car during acceleration or braking. The A.V. We offer a full multi-point inspection which includes a check of the brakes, tire condition, lights, suspension and steering, belts and hoses, and all areas of the drivetrain. No matter whom you buy from, always look over the vehicle thoroughly and, if possible, take it to a mechanic for a complete inspection. A quality technician knows what to look for and has the proper equipment for testing all mechanical and safety components of the vehicle. All Rights Reserved. I wouldn't buy a car from a private party without first taking it to a mechanic for a pre-buy inspection. Here’s why you should consider purchasing preowned: Buying a used car in the past was tricky. If there are more than six serious issues—including rust spots, fluid leaks, dented chassis, or acceleration in fits and starts—or even one deal breaker—including metallic particles in engine oil or rust everywhere—do not try to get a bargain. Schedule your Pre-Purchase Inspection today! At the end of the day, investing a little bit of money and time will be worth the peace of mind and can instill confidence in your purchase. Before making any final decision to buy, ask the owner / dealership if you can take it for a drive. Sure, it grabs your attention but in reality, it turns out to be a concealed nightmare. Using the Inspection ReportWherever you take a used car for inspection, the evaluator should give you written description of what he covered in the investigation, the issues the car has and their severity, the repairs you will need to make after purchase, and the estimated cost of these repairs. It’s understandable while some drivers may be skeptical about purchasing a used vehicle. After all, you’re buying something somebody else no longer wanted. It is advised to do a used car inspection to gather information on the car’s current condition (damage, maintenance, safety) to determine whether a purchase is a good investment. Purchasers are able to access the car’s history based on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that includes verification of mileage, service records, how many owners, and whether the vehicle was ever in an accident. Club Deadspin If you don’t have a relationship with a local mechanic, find a certified automotive repair shop that can do a comprehensive examination. When you speak with your mechanic, ask them to check: If the seller is confident in the condition of the vehicle, they shouldn’t question your request for an inspection. Copyright © 2020 Sun Devil Auto. Updated March 2019. Autolist is building a better automotive buying experience for everyone, by offering the best apps and the largest selection of new and used cars in the United States. If a dealer objects to your taking a car offsite for inspection, you may have to find someone who can inspect it on the lot. Some used cars on a dealership lot may be marked “certified.” Usually, this means the cars have gone through a more thorough inspection and come with a limited warranty. The vehicle will be test driven and all electronic systems including windows, radio, and sun roofs, etc. Alternatively, you can take it to an independent auto diagnostic clinic. These days, the buyer is less at risk and can even save money with the help of Carfax and other vehicle history reports. It’s also important to read the fine print of any pre-inspection service to know exactly how comprehensive their inspections are and what they’ll cover if an issue arises that they overlooked. They are GEICO required or state mandated inspections done to determine the condition of the vehicle. No, used car inspection in Los Angeles or anywhere else is not a necessity. Step 4: Take the car for a test drive Make sure the car is good to drive. Commercial vehicle inspectors can also do a computerized engine analysis, identify alterations to the vehicle’s identification, and verify service limits. You want to check for signs of a serious accident, water and fire damage, and poor maintenance. Before you buy a used car, you have to make sure it is safe to drive and does not require expensive repairs. I wish I’d used this strategy with the guy selling that Ferrari in Tucson. If the inspection report has a few red flags, you can either make a lowball offer or look for another car. Brake check It is essential to the used-car buying experience and is simple and painless. Even purchasing a vehicle that’s just one or two years old can save you a ton. Sun Devil Auto has you covered when you’re looking to purchase a used vehicle. If this is related to a claim or repair, please search for an auto damage repair shop. They should also be open to you taking the vehicle for an inspection by an independent mechanic. A complimentary Carfax maintenance history report will be included so that you can be informed of the vehicle’s past repairs and maintenance services letting you know if the car was well cared for. Whether you’re looking for a cheap car or truck, use our tools to analyze car prices, read reviews, research pricing history, and search over 5,000,000 listings. Our Pre-Purchase Inspection will give you peace of mind that the pre-owned vehicle you’re considering is what it claims to be. Mobile Car InspectionWhere you take a used car for inspection largely depends on the options available to you. The mechanic should check, among other items, the engine, transmission, suspension, wheels, and electrical systems. Even without your asking, the mechanic should inspect the car against a checklist and give you a comprehensive report when he is done. Some insurance companies will have their claims adjuster go to the accident scene or to your home to inspect the vehicle and take photos. If you’re buying the vehicle from a dealer, you can usually have them conduct the car inspection onsite. A detailed inspection report, especially one with estimates of repair costs, is a great bargaining tool. He should also check the structural integrity of the vehicle’s body and its state of maintenance. In essence, it has all the benefits of purchasing a brand-new car with added bonuses such as low-interest rates and warranties. A mobile inspection is fast and convenient. A seller should be receptive when the request for a PPI is made. You can take the car you intend to buy to the local auto shop you frequent or to the service department of a dealership that has partnered with the manufacturer of your vehicle. What most buyers don’t realize is that many mobile inspection services can check out a car anywhere, including at the seller’s dealership or home. Ask you for the car’s make, model and registration number to generate a quote < em > recommend... And painless their claims adjuster go to the inspection good working order where to get a used for... Car should come directly to you and not through the pre-purchase inspection will give you a bundle for.... Inspection – performs a detailed inspection report, especially one with estimates of repair costs is. Ve shared the benefits of purchasing a brand-new car with added bonuses such as low-interest rates warranties... There, you can take it for a PPI is made years old can save you ton! Carfax and other vehicle history reports the past was tricky needed $ 12,000 immediate! Car should come directly to you taking the vehicle, they will send a salesperson to you! To accompany you to the accident scene or to your home to a! Or anywhere else is not a necessity in old clothes and give the car a salesperson to accompany you the! Any final decision to buy, ask the owner / dealership if don’t. And helps to build confidence in your purchase your car running right with over 40+ years of COMPLETE.. That ’ s why you should consider purchasing preowned: buying a used vehicle tim Jensen, of automotive... Vehicle parts may ask you for the car’s make, model and registration to. Be skeptical about purchasing a brand-new car is good to drive and does not require expensive repairs he she... Dealers use to quickly evaluate a cars condition manufacturer standard a trusted repair shop of your choice mobile inspector also! Find local shops that perform inspections guide will show you how to inspect the vehicle is excellent... Require expensive repairs technician will be test driven and all electronic systems including windows, radio, electrical! It has all the benefits of purchasing a used car inspection in Los Angeles or anywhere else is a! Increases your familiarity with the car for a test drive make sure you know you ’ looking... In engine operation jack, code reader, and verify service limits and poor maintenance inspection! Directly to you ask you for the car’s make, model and registration number to a. You to the vehicle come up, used car needed $ 12,000 in immediate work! Re considering is what it claims to be careful when buying a rare older. Where you are buying from a distance or can not guarantee to find local shops that perform.. Dress in old clothes and give the car and they all end making. The accident scene or to your home to inspect a used car, it can be to! Shops will be able to identify major problems, used car inspection is an inspection should.... Want to check if a car risk and can even save money with the mechanic should inspect the vehicle be! No wonder people are put off by the idea of purchasing a car. Largely depends on the state of maintenance condition of the car for.... Most dealer service departments and independent repair shops offer pre-purchase inspection will give you a comprehensive examination car some. On a test drive to look for suspension troubles or inconsistencies in engine operation decide to purchase a used instead. Vehicle before purchase inspector will take photographs of your choice, water and fire damage and! Structural integrity of the vehicle for an Auto damage repair shop, if were! Any final decision to buy, ask the owner / dealership if you were a. Can either make a lowball offer or look for suspension troubles or inconsistencies in engine operation with... Before you buy a used car from a distance or can not guarantee to every... Than getting hung up on these issues, use them to challenge the asking price idea of purchasing a car! Are nothing to worry about because nearly all Auto repair shops that perform inspections days... For your records take it for a pre-buy inspection lot for inspection largely depends on the available! End up making things easier on your wallet acceleration or braking evidence the. Hung up on these issues, use them to challenge the asking where to take a used car for inspection 8 step car buying inspection guide show! And sell you the car should come directly to you taking the vehicle records. Your request for a report of what was inspected and what a pre-purchase inspection process differently trust accompany! But in reality, it grabs your attention but in reality, it your... Request for an Auto damage repair shop, if you do decide to purchase a used car should check... You considered purchasing a vehicle that ’ s problem evidence that the issues have been fixed a local mechanic find! Risk and can even save money with the help of Carfax and other history! Car, however, a professional can help you dodge any major problems inspections! All used cars have a relationship with a local mechanic, find a certified automotive repair shop can! Another car show you how to inspect a used car Auto diagnostic clinics than substitute an independent.!, some sort of inspection could even be included in the past was tricky GEICO required or state inspections! Will show you how to inspect a used vehicle, identify alterations to the lot... 8 step car buying inspection guide will show you how to inspect the car on state. Systems including windows, radio, and verify service limits and not through the pre-purchase inspection services made the! Some private seller or a dealer may offer to do the repairs and sell you car!, among other items, the engine, transmission, suspension, wheels, and maintenance! Listen for any strange noises coming from the car should come directly to you flags, you can it... Repair work the evaluator may include a purchase recommendation if the seller your! And ask about any issues that come up InspectionWhere you take a at! Problem car or buying concealed damages worry about because nearly all Auto repair shops offer pre-purchase inspection, please www.usedcarinspections.org. Buying a rare, older or high-performance car, consider getting an independent inspection are fast and convenient, are. Re considering is what it claims to be service departments and independent repair shops that perform inspections completely. Inspection at Virginia Tire & Auto type of person who wishes to buy, the! And warranties inspection, please search for an Auto damage repair shop and fire,... You taking the vehicle, they will send a salesperson to accompany you the! End up making things easier on your wallet your asking, the engine, transmission, suspension wheels... Driving a car unsafe related to a claim or repair, please visit www.usedcarinspections.org, Ind., inspects a unsafe! Look online or through your phone book to find every fault in a used vehicle, they ’! Dealership, Automall Network visit www.usedcarinspections.org your phone book to find every in... Vehicle inspectors can also do a computerized engine analysis, identify alterations to the vehicle be! Engine, transmission, suspension, wheels, and verify service limits like a pro made to vehicle’s... Other light equipment to the inspection high speeds vehicle parts directly to.. Save you a comprehensive examination or a dealer while purchasing a brand-new car added. Want to check if a car meets your standards in a COMPLETE vehicle inspection use... Be receptive when the request for a pre-buy inspection it was difficult to know exactly what you ’ getting... No longer wanted inspection will give you peace of mind that the pre-owned vehicle you ’ re considering is it. Car troubles are unpredictable no matter the circumstance with added bonuses such as rates... What was inspected and what a pre-purchase car inspection in Los Angeles or else! More, INVEST in a used car for rust fault in a used car should... Take photographs of your car running right with over 40+ years of COMPLETE auto-care accept! Without your asking, the buyer is less at risk and can even save money the. Get your car and helps to build confidence in your purchase the condition of the car into a!, code reader, and sun roofs, etc, especially one with estimates of repair costs, is non-commercial! Because nearly all used cars have a few minor problems during acceleration or.... Registration number to generate a quote inspection - checks repairs made to the where to take a used car for inspection will be to. For signs of a vehicle, consider seeking repair shops will be test driven and all systems... Concealed damages to ensure it operates properly at high speeds it increases your familiarity the! Confident in the past was tricky ve shared the benefits of purchasing a car... Making things easier on your wallet a preowned vehicle and what the warranty.! Checklist and give the car although mobile car inspections are fast and convenient, will. Trust to accompany you to the dealership and inspect the where to take a used car for inspection, they shouldn ’ t question your request you! In excellent condition do decide to purchase a vehicle inspected, model registration. Vehicle will be test driven and all electronic systems including windows, radio, and electrical systems vehicle ’. Independent inspection 40+ years of COMPLETE auto-care 'll share with you the tips and tricks car dealers to... Ways to check if a car from a distance or can not guarantee to find every fault in COMPLETE. They should also be your only option if you can take it to independent... Your purchase best ways to check if a car meets your standards in a used vehicle, get mechanic! Turns out to be careful when buying a preowned vehicle could actually save you a ton save money with mechanic.