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Getting An Inspection When Buying a Used Car

Mechanic working on a carThinking about purchasing a new car? Have you considered purchasing a “new-to-you” or used car instead? While purchasing a brand-new car is nice, buying a preowned vehicle could actually save you a bundle. 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. How do you know you’re not inheriting someone else’s problem? 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. We’ve shared the benefits of purchasing a preowned vehicle and what a pre-purchase inspection should include.

Why Purchase a Used Car?

There are some great advantages to getting a used car and they all end up making things easier on your wallet. Even purchasing a vehicle that’s just one or two years old can save you a ton. Here’s why you should consider purchasing preowned:

  1. Avoid Severe Depreciation – New cars depreciate by about 20% immediately after they leave the dealership’s lot. What’s more, the vehicle will continue to depreciate another 10% in the first year. You can avoid that hit by buying a used car that’s just one year old.
  2. Save On Insurance – Used cars have less value than newer cars, decreasing the cost of insurance. Plus, certain coverages can be dropped, such as choosing liability only, over full coverage. Check with your Insurance Agent to determine what is right for you.
  3. Reduced Registration Fees – Registration fees are calculated based on the price of the car. Some states are even raising the cost of registration to create more revenue. Purchasing a used car is a great way to avoid such increases.
  4. Better for Your Budget – You can afford more car for your dollar when purchasing used. While a brand-new luxury vehicle may not fit your budget, one that’s two or three years old just might. Additionally, modern cars are made to last longer and can run up to 200,000 miles (with proper care and maintenance, of course) whereas in the past, vehicles barely made it to 100,000 miles.

Good to Know

Buying a used car in the past was tricky. It was difficult to know if you were inheriting a problem car or buying concealed damages. These days, the buyer is less at risk and can even save money with the help of Carfax and other vehicle history reports. 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. 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. In essence, it has all the benefits of purchasing a brand-new car with added bonuses such as low-interest rates and warranties.

The Importance of a Pre-Purchase Inspection

It’s no wonder people are put off by the idea of purchasing a used car. Who can you trust? 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. Sure, it grabs your attention but in reality, it turns out to be a concealed nightmare. That’s where the Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) comes in. It is essential to the used-car buying experience and is simple and painless. 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. A seller should be receptive when the request for a PPI is made. If the seller declines your request, you may want to reconsider your desire to purchase the vehicle. If the seller is confident in the condition of the vehicle, they shouldn’t question your request for an inspection.

What You Should Know About a Pre-Purchase Inspection

An inspection should be performed by a qualified, professional technician. The inspection should include a test drive to look for suspension troubles or inconsistencies in engine operation. 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. A technician will be able to identify major problems such as:

  • Frame damage. This can reveal the vehicle has been in a severe accident. Unless repaired properly, the wheels may not be aligned which may cause the vehicle to pull to one side or accelerate tire wear.
  • Shoddy repair work. This includes inadequate engine repairs, poor bodywork, or incorrect installations of accessories and aftermarket modifications.
  • Flood or fire damage. A vehicle history report can also indicate if the car has had damage as a result of a fire or flood.

Sometimes car troubles are unpredictable no matter the circumstance. Inspections cannot guarantee to find every fault in a used car, however, a professional can help you dodge any major problems. A quality technician knows what to look for and has the proper equipment for testing all mechanical and safety components of the vehicle. 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.

Where to Take a Used Car for Inspection

Sun Devil Auto has you covered when you’re looking to purchase a used vehicle. 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 vehicle will be test driven and all electronic systems including windows, radio, and sun roofs, etc. will be tested. 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. 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. You can trust Sun Devil Auto to guide you through the Pre-Purchase Inspection process. Schedule your Pre-Purchase Inspection today!