7 Things to Do When Considering the Purchase of a Used Car

Get your car inspected before buying it.

If you’re considering the purchase of a used car, either from a dealership or from a private party, we’d like to share these 7 things to do before you decide to buy. We do a lot of pre-purchase inspections here at Tom’s Automotive.

And a couple of suggestions prior to

  1. Check Carfax to see if the vehicle you’re considering has been in an accident.
    1. Now, Carfax doesn’t share everything, it’s not a failsafe. The main thing to find out here is whether or not the car has been in an accident. If it has been in a collision, and it went through insurance to fix or repair it, it should show up on Carfax.
  1. Ask for records of maintenance & repairs
    1. If no maintenance records are shared, don’t assume any work has been done on the vehicle. We just don’t know, but to protect yourself, assume the worst & hope for the best.
  1. Look at the paint carefully for patches, texture differences, signals of obvious bodywork that’s been done or still needs doing.
  1. Remove any and all external decorative accessories to get a complete view of the body of the car.
  2. Look for part number tags underneath the hood of the vehicle. This will give you clues as to which parts have been replaced.
  3. Anyone who pressures you or hurries you into a decision about purchasing a used car is not someone you want to buy a vehicle from.

Anyone who is reputable will give you the time needed to get the inspection done, answer your questions and let you make the right decision for you.

We’ve seen situations where a seller won’t let a potential buyer get the car inspected until they sign the papers saying that they want the car. This is not in your best interest for you as the potential buyer at all.

You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you can’t walk away from the car.

 

BE CAREFUL!

If you’ve signed the papers, you’ve agreed to purchase the car, no matter what the inspection says.

So, it’s too late for the buyer to make an informed decision based on the results of the inspection. Don’t put yourself in that position.

If someone is pressuring you or won’t allow the car to be inspected, your best next move is to walk away.

Most used cars are sold under the “buyer beware.” Once it’s in your name, all of the problems are yours too.

  1. Schedule a Pre-Purchase Inspection. (aka: Comprehensive used car inspection)

Pre-purchase inspections are the cheapest insurance you can buy for a used car. It’s comprehensive knowledge that will specify what is in good shape, and what may need attention or repairs.

Someone popping the hood and looking at the surface of the insides for several minutes is not performing an inspection.

Ours are 100+point inspections. Pretty much a head-to-tail comprehensive inspection of the vehicle. We provide ratings for you about specific safety and maintenance items we find.

Schedule your pre-purchase inspection now.

Our Reviews

Tom's Automotive Service
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4.7 out of 5 stars

Cory c
Cory c

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 weeks 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 2 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 1 month 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 6 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 4 months 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