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

Meg Halverson
Meg Halverson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 weeks ago

Everyone at Tom's cares about delivering great, expert service and keeping your car or truck in excellent mechanical condition. I have a 2001 Yukon XL which is a 3/4 ton towing vehicle and has been serviced at Tom's for 14 years. It has 187,000 miles on it, and I credit their commitment to excellent service and workmanship for the vehicle's longevity. They are the best in the business, and we are super fortunate to have them in West Seattle.

Cory c
Cory c

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Hands down the best auto shop I've ever been to. Tom's is always friendly, accommodating and takes time to explain the issue. Recently they went the extra mile on an issue with our car and spent time (that the dealer wouldn't) diagnosing, finding and fixing the issue. All for a fair price and with an incredibly helpful attitude. Don't hesitate for a minute to go to this locally owned small business who consistently knocks it out of the park. We've been going to them for 10+ years and always had A+++ customer service.

sishi691
sishi691

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

I called in to get oil change for my 2018 car and the guy who took my call told me about the importance of going back to the dealer for the first oil change so that we wouldn’t have any warranty issue in the future. He told me that he would be happy to work on our car next time. I’m definitely taking our car back there! Hard to find a place like this nowadays 🙂

Angelique Wouters
Angelique Wouters

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

Thank you so much guys. They fixed my rear tyre for free! Now i can go on my roadtrip without any worries! Keep up the good work.

Holli Margell
Holli Margell

5 out of 5 stars

posted 7 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!