Should I Have A Used Car Inspected Before I Buy It?

Unless you are buying a used car from a dealer that has certified its operability, you should have the vehicle inspected before you buy it. In fact, you should probably have the dealer’s vehicle inspected, too, but that’s a conversation for another post. Don’t think of this as a mechanic’s way to get money out of you; think of it as an insurance policy purchase. You never know what could be wrong with the used car you’re considering, but we here at Village Autoworks do.

Let’s Talk About Money

Safety and dependability aside, let’s get to the nitty-gritty when it comes to money because that is what influences car buyers’ decisions the most. Assume for a moment that you are looking at a used Honda Accord for your son. You’ve entered the vehicle’s information into the online estimators, and the owner’s asking price is right in line with what they say. Perfect, right? Wrong.

The owner doesn’t need to be honest when he or she values the car online. They can answer the series of questions any way they want and nobody would know the better. Perhaps the Accord’s price is just outside of your budget but your son really likes the car. Unmentioned issues discovered during an inspection can knock that price down to a more reasonable amount.

Now Let’s Talk Safety and Dependability

Of course, your ultimate concern is getting your son into a safe and reliable vehicle, but kicking the tires isn’t going to ensure you achieve that goal. When you rely on a certified mechanic to inspect the used car prior to purchase, you make certain the car is in top condition from roof to tires. For example, a quality used car inspection includes a check of/for

  • All equipment and options
  • Brake and tire wear and tear
  • Body issues, including those underneath the vehicle
  • Frame issues, including those underneath the vehicle
  • Engine and engine component issues
  • Computer trouble codes
  • Electrical concerns

What does all this show? A lot! For example, the frame inspection will confirm whether the vehicle has ever been in a serious accident. Body work can hide a lot, but if the Honda was totaled and then repaired, the frame will reveal things not visible to the naked eye. A full inspection also reveals poor maintenance work, and you don’t want to purchase a car with previous fire or flood damage.

Should you have a used car inspected before you buy it? Yes, you should, and Village Autoworks would be happy to help. We have shops in Roseville and Woodbury, MN, and you can call us at 651-362-9598 or 651-350-1466, respectively, to set up an appointment.

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