What to Expect in a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Let’s say you’ve found a pretty good looking used (pre-owned) vehicle and are seriously considering whether or not to buy it. Awesome. The best form of insurance you can buy for a used car, truck, SUV or hybrid is information about the state of the vehicle as it stands right now.

The good, the bad… and a head’s up about any needed repairs. Right?

That’s why you’ll want to consider having a comprehensive Pre-Purchase Inspection performed.

Any reputable person or business will allow you to get the vehicle inspected without hassle, pressure or hurry.

So, if you’re feeling any of those 3 things, hassled, pressured or hurried, consider that a warning sign.

In fact, consider walking away from the whole experience now.

But for this scenario, the private party is completely on board with you getting the vehicle inspected.

Great. Here’s what you do:

Schedule your inspection in advance

Make an appointment and plan to leave the car with the shop for at least ½ a day in order for the shop to do it right.

Don’t expect a shop to drop everything and conduct this inspection while you wait.

This isn’t the same as a “quick lube” service. It’s more like a “wellness check or physical exam” for your next investment that you and your family will rely on frequently….even daily.

The findings

Upon completion of the pre-purchase inspection, what you’ll receive is a report outlining and itemizing safety and maintenance ratings. We’ll also share what may need to be fixed or repaired in the near and further out future for the vehicle as well.

If safety issues or maintenance work is needed

We’ll give an idea of what it will cost to repair those issues as well, so you, as the potential buyer, will have some negotiating power based on findings from our specific report.

If it’s been in a collision

We’ve seen, and actually continue to see, several cars where we can tell, at some point during the inspection, that the car has been in a wreck. In these instances, we just stop the inspection and advise you, the potential buyer, to just walk away from the car.

So, when you’re considering making a purchase, either from a private party or even from a dealership, the important thing is getting good solid information about the state of the vehicle, so you can make your best decision for you and your family.

Our Reviews

Tom's Automotive Service
Reviewed from Google

4.7 out of 5 stars

Holli Margell
Holli Margell

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

What I appreciate most about Tom's Auto in West Seattle is their level of customer service. Compared to a dealership shop, their personal attention to details like explaining the list of items your car needs in order of priority helps to break it down and not be overwhelmed. Yes, car repairs can add up, but their approach makes it palatable. It puts us in the position to prioritize what to take care of first. They are experts in auto repairs and customer service!

Joelle Hammerstad
Joelle Hammerstad

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

EXCELLENT service. I went in for burned out tail lights. They took me without an appointment; got me in and out in 20 minutes and chargedme less than $25. Definitely going back

Denise H
Denise H

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

This place has been so friendly and helpful. Twice I've brought my car by and they've look at it without charging to troubleshoot an issue for me. I've been looking for a new mechanic in the West Seattle area and plan to use this place whenever I need something.

Cassie Johns
Cassie Johns

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

Tom's takes excellent car of my elderly car. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. I've recommended Tom's to everyone I know!

Sheila Honeycutt
Sheila Honeycutt

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

This was my first time at Tom's and it was a wonderful experince. The staff treated me with respect and provided great customer service. Thank you.