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Is A Pre-Purchase Inspection Worth The Cost When Buying A Used Vehicle?
When people are doing research on how to buy a used vehicle, they often see information encouraging them to have an independent pre-purchase inspection done of the vehicle before purchasing it, but people may wonder whether or not itís worth the money. It is almost always a good investment.
For around $100 you can typically get a general inspection of the mechanical condition of a vehicle. It is generally a good idea to have this done even if the vehicle has been certified and inspected by the dealer. Ask your regular car mechanic to do the inspection for you. If you donít have a regular car mechanic ask family and friends for their recommendations. Or look for certified facilities.
There are also companies that specialize in pre-purchase inspections. Their services often include an estimate of what the vehicle is worth so youíll know whether or not youíre being asked to pay too much money for the vehicle.
A company specializing in pre-purchase inspections may be your best bet if a dealer wonít allow you to take a used vehicle youíre looking at off the lot (maybe because of insurance reasons). Companies specializing in pre-purchase inspections usually will come to where the vehicle is. One of the drawbacks of this type of service though is that they cannot put the vehicle up on a lift to look at the underbody for any obvious damage. But they can still do a fairly thorough job of inspecting the vehicle and find obvious problems that could cost you a lot of money down the road.
Make sure to get a written copy of the inspection report, including the estimated costs for any necessary repairs the vehicle needs. Make sure the report includes the make, model and VIN of the vehicle. If the vehicle needs repairs done and you still want to purchase it, you can use the inspection report to help negotiate a better purchase price.
Having a pre-inspection done can help you avoid buying someone elseís problem or lemon. Almost everyone knows of someone who has had a bad experience when buying a used vehicle Ė both private party and from a dealer. People may unknowingly buy a vehicle that was in a major accident, didnít show the accurate mileage, was in a flood, or was a salvage vehicle Ė all things that can cost major repair dollars down the road and major headaches. Having a pre-purchase inspection done can help you avoid having your own horror story to share.
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