Many of us look forwards to the prospect of purchasing a used automobile since it is the conclusion of weeks or months of research to figure out our budget and select the ideal vehicle. There may also be a tinge of anxiety. Pre-purchase car checks are a good idea because not everyone knows their way around a car’s trunk, bonnet, and everything else that goes on below. By doing a few car checks, you may feel more confidence in your decision-making. A malfunctioning vehicle or a “lemon” can cost you thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs, so it’s worth the money to have a vehicle inspected before you buy it. 

Let’s take a look at how you may get car checks done on a used automobile before you fork over any money. 

What do pre-purchase car checks involve?

A pre-purchase car inspection is what it sounds like. Unbiased evaluation of a car’s general condition is performed by a pre-purchase inspection service. An assessment of the vehicle’s exterior and interior is included in a basic level inspection, while a complete inspection includes an examination of the vehicle’s chassis and mechanical systems to ensure everything is in working order. 

Before making a final choice on whether or not to buy a used automobile, have a trained mechanic do pre-purchase car checks. The results of an inspection report may be provided to you throughout the sales process if you are purchasing from a dealership. A pre-purchase automotive inspection performed by a third party may be worthwhile when purchasing a used car from a private seller. The brake pads, for example, may need to be changed shortly even though the car has an excellent service history and current logbooks. Knowing about these ‘solutions’ ahead of time may help you plan ahead. 

Keep in mind that you should enquire about the scope of your pre-purchase car inspection, especially if you are considering acquiring a second-hand vehicle from a dealership. 

Are pre-purchase car checks different to vehicle history checks?

While a pre-purchase inspection can help you determine whether the car you’re considering buying is free of any financial obligations (such as being listed as collateral for an outstanding car loan), it should not be confused with a vehicle history check that verifies the vehicle was never stolen or declared a total loss before. An inspection report will let you know if there are any mechanical issues with the vehicle, giving you extra peace of mind before you sign anything. 

Vehicle identifying numbers, engine identification numbers, and registration numbers should all be checked, as should the vehicle’s registration papers. 

Your entitlements

If you buy a used car from a dealership, you are legally entitled to a warranty. You may wish to double-check the warranty’s details and, if necessary, have the vehicle tested or repaired as soon as possible so that the work can be completed before the guarantee expires. 

Why should I get pre-purchase car checks done before I buy a vehicle? 

Even if you buy a used automobile from a friend or family member, it’s always risky because you never know what you’re getting into when you buy online or in person. If you’re not a trained mechanic, you may overlook or misunderstand numerous aspects of a vehicle’s condition. Aesthetics have the power to mask serious flaws that may be lurking beneath the surface. A pre-purchase automotive inspection is an absolute must because it lets you make an informed decision before you hand over payment. 

Who does car checks?

A pre-purchase vehicle examination is often offered by most mechanics, car dealerships, and major state and territory driving organisations. If you want a mobile service, many companies will come to you, or you can bring your car to them for an in-house service. It’s quick and easy to use a mobile service, but bringing it to a technician means the vehicle will be examined using more specialised on-site equipment. Collectible cars should be examined by a specialist who is familiar with the specific make and model of automobile you are interested in purchasing.