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What Is The Cost For A Pre-Purchase Car Inspection?
Pre-purchase costs depend on your vehicle’s make and the inspection charges prevalent in your locality.
You can expect to pay around $100 – $200 to get a mechanic to inspect a car near you. This usually covers everything from a complete mechanical check to a test drive.
Why Should I Inspect A Car Before Buying?
If you’re looking to buy a used car, a pre-purchase car inspection (PPI) is a highly recommended step in the car buying process. This is especially true if the car is not a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) vehicle or does not come with a warranty.
Having complete information about your potential vehicle will help you decide whether to walk away or buy the car.
Here’s how a pre-purchase inspection can help you:
Know your car’s actual worth: An expert’s extensive mechanical tests and the test drive will help you understand if it’s worth your money.
Reduce maintenance costs: A thorough inspection will help you identify potential issues in the future, which may cost you more in the long term having to get problems fixed. Knowing ahead can help you save on future repair costs.
Verify the quality of car parts: Some cars may not come with original or superior car parts. A pre-purchase inspection will help you check the quality of the vehicle parts.
Allows you to make an informed decision: Pre-purchase inspection will provide you with solid facts regarding your car’s actual condition like safety, emissions, performance, etc.
What Does A Pre-Purchase Car Inspection Cover?
Here are some of the parts and systems your mechanic will inspect:
Dashboard: Ensures all features like the odometer, speedometer, etc., are correctly working and that no warning lights are lit on the dash.
Tires and suspension: Checks to ensure tires have no wear or alignment problems.
Fluids: Inspects all fluids like engine oil, coolant, etc., maintain proper levels, and have no leaks.
Brakes: Ensures that the brakes work perfectly, including brake pads and rotors.
Engine: Tests if all engine components like the thermostat, radiator, etc., are in good working condition.
Transmission: Checks if gear shifts smoothly. If you have a manual transmission, inspection will ensure that there’s no grinding.
Exhaust: Looks for leaks or blocks in the exhaust system like the catalyst converter, tailpipe, etc.
Vehicle body: Inspects the vehicle body for dents, scratches, and rust that you may overlook, for example, the underside of your car.
Vehicle lights: Makes sure both your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights are working properly to ensure a safe driving experience.
HVAC system: Looks for issues like foul smell or mildew in the AC and heater systems.
3 Pre-Purchase Car Inspection FAQs
Here are answers to some common questions on getting a pre-purchase inspection:
1. Who Performs A Pre-Purchase Car Inspection?
A pre-purchase car inspection is done by a licensed mechanic or auto technician. They’ll check your car’s cosmetic, mechanical, and safety conditions and let you know the actual state of your vehicle. The mechanic will also detail potential car issues you may face later.
2. What To Do If I Find Damage During A Vehicle Inspection?
A vehicle can still be a great buy, even if it has any damage. However, it depends on the severity of the damage, and if the owner disclosed the information before the pre-purchase inspection.
If the damages aren’t severe, you can use it in negotiations to get a favorable price. The inspection also ensures that all damages are fixed before you receive the car.
3. Where Can I Get A Pre-Purchase Car Inspection?
Depending on whether you’re getting your vehicle inspected at home or at auto repair shops, there are two types of pre-purchase car inspection.
For a mobile pre-purchase inspection, a mechanic will visit your home to inspect your vehicle. These inspections are usually brief and thorough. You’ll get the inspection report with your car’s images on the spot.
Whereas, for a garage pre-purchase car inspection, you’ll have to take the car to a certified auto service shop to do an extensive assessment. In-shop inspections let mechanics use specialized equipment and inspect the car’s underbody.