Buying a gently used car is a great way to save a few thousand dollars but it’s important to know that the vehicle is safe– and not in need of major (read: costly and time consuming) repairs.
What To Look For
That’s why a pre-purchase inspection is a crucial step when buying a vehicle. Generally, a thorough check-up examines all of a vehicle’s mechanical, safety features, and appearance aspects, such as:
- Fluids (including oil, antifreeze, power steering, coolant, and even your wiper fluid)
- Body condition
- Exterior surface
According to the DMV.org, the best inspections include a road test and a computerized engine analysis. Some more intense examinations also evaluate the condition of the instrument controls, pedals, seats, and sound system.
Why It’s Important
By getting the car inspected by a professional, you’ll have a much stronger sense of its true condition. Your mechanic can identify underlying issues, estimate the cost of necessary repairs, and advise on any repairs that will need to be made soon after purchase. Your mechanic’s report will also let you know for sure if you’re getting a fair deal- and helps you to negotiate the price if you’re not. If the current owner is reluctant to have your mechanic give it a look, or refuses altogether, that’s a huge red flag.
Some used car dealerships will have a mechanic or a team of technicians on staff to examine in-coming vehicles and peform a detailed analysis, so they can be upfront about any services that need to be done; some will even preemptively do them knowing that a car sells better when it runs more efficiently– and when the customer knows exactly what they’re getting.
If you’ve never purchased a used car before, you might wonder how you go about setting up a pre-purchase inspection. V&F offers comprehensive pre-purchase inspections for vehicles of all kinds. Call us today at (413) 314-2280, or schedule an appointment online.