Having a vehicle inspected is the smartest one can do before making such a large purchase. Although no inspection can reveal every single defect, it is certainly beneficial and can provide some peace of mind, especially if you are someone who is not mechanically inclined.
More women than men currently hold driver’s licenses and also make the majority of car buying decisions, as recently reported in Forbes. Yet, a study by Frost & Sullivan revealed 50-70% of females reported dissatisfaction with their cars, and 3 out of 4 indicated they felt misunderstood by car companies. The CARCHEX Women’s Auto Resource Series strives to provide timely, relevant information for women on extended auto warranties, vehicle inspections, auto insurance, vehicle history reports, and auto financing.
Not all cars are the same. Sure, you can find thousands of cars on the road just like yours — same make, model, year, even built in the same plant. However, even though a certain model may have years of technology and an automaker’s reputation backing them, something could still have gone wrong during the production of your automobile. According to Edmunds, women make up 80 percent of car-buying decisions. But most car buyers (women and men) may not have the expertise to know what to look for when it comes to a vehicles ‘soundness’. And any problems that crop up after the car is yours will mean extra expense and the loss of your precious time. That’s why it’s important to have the vehicle professionally inspected before making a purchase.
Pat Goss of Goss’ Garage and Motorweek shared in a recent episode: “When you’re buying a used car, one of the most important parts of making the decision is to have a professional evaluation of the entire car”. A pre-purchase car inspection provides peace of mind that a car is being represented accurately. The inspection will verify mileage, age, reveal missing parts of the presence of leaks, dents or scratches, and the condition of the electric system and drivetrain. A comprehensive pre-purchase inspection will include up to 155 points, and can be especially helpful when you are evaluating a few different cars. it allows you to eliminate any that don’t meet your standards and keep your options open.
Often a pre-purchase car inspection will also include a test drive. Of course, you’ll want to be sure that the vehicle is comfortable for your body frame, that you have good visibility from all of the mirrors and that all of the controls are placed conveniently for your specific body type. Additionally, DMV.org recommends you pay attention to engine and tire noise; make sure the vehicle brakes easily without hesitating, grinding, or shifting to the side; check for excessive resistance in the steeping wheel or drifting to the side; and listen for any grinding noices when shifting gears or reversing.
If a car seller or dealership balks at the idea of a pre-purchase inspection or test drive, you should re-evaluate your options and look for another vehicle. “My family’s mechanic said he would look at any vehicle I wanted to buy before I purchased it,” Mary Ann Merrill said. “He also told me that any good dealership would let you take it to get inspected before you bought it. And if they don’t, then run!” A trusted and well-respected dealership will assist a customer in addressing pre-purchase concerns. “If our potential customer would like to have their mechanic inspect the vehicle, we’ll allow them to take the vehicle to their shop,” said Five Star Ford’s Plano, TX General Manager Brian Huth.
Pre-purchase car inspections are important for anyone looking to buy a new or used vehicle. If you feel like you’re short on time, look for a qualified vehicle inspection service that will travel to the dealership, or your home or office.
Written and edited by: Diana Merrill Claussen