The best money you can ever spend is on a Pre-Purchase Inspection of your next vehicle. Even if you are buying from respected used car dealership that advertises their vehicles as “certified” or “inspected” it is still imperative to get the opinion of a non-biased third party. Looks can be deceiving and even though we don’t have a crystal ball that can predict future mechanical problems, a trained eye can give you a detailed look at what repairs are needed right away, which should greatly influence the purchase price of the vehicle.
There are a few very good reasons to get a Pre-Purchase Inspection. The obvious one is that you don’t want to find yourself buried under a pile of repair bills immediately after the large financial expense of purchasing a new vehicle. How does this happen? Well, even though the mechanic at the used car lot is probably very thorough in their assessment, and the salesman and staff are well trained and friendly, their goals are not always aligned. There is no way to guarantee that what is disclosed during your test drive is as complete as it could be, and if you do not have access to the technician that worked on the vehicle that is a sure sign that you should seek out an inspection from a non biased third party.
We are able to look into their vehicle’s maintenance history to see if it has had regular tune-ups and oil changes that follow the manufacturers suggested intervals to help determine if it has been well maintained. Irregular past maintenance is a very good indicator for premature wear.
Once we write-up our opinion on the necessary immediate repairs, we provide you with a document outlining everything we found. You are welcome to take that back to the car dealer and go over it with them. Sometimes when there is a large immediate repair that goes beyond a regular tune-up (alternator, timing belt, etc) you can often negotiate a lower price to accommodate the expense of the repairs.
When you buy a new home your purchase is conditional on the home inspection.
For vehicles you should do exactly the same thing.
It is important to set appropriate expectations for your Pre Purchase Inspection. Your mechanic does not have a crystal ball that predicts future complications. The nature of modern vehicles is that we simply cannot see inside certain components. We can’t look inside the transmission, and we cannot look inside all of the engine components and assess any damage that might be hidden therein. What we can do is give an educated opinion on the strength of the vehicle based on a wide variety of markers from our decades of experience. We look at the vehicle and assess it as though you are about to take a long road trip, what would you need to repair to be safe if you were to push this vehicle to the limit today? When we answer that question it gives you a very good idea of what would need to be done tomorrow if you purchased that vehicle today.