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

Katie Melton
Katie Melton

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 days ago

I have nothing but good things to say about Tom's Auto! I had stopped by before and they helped with my windshield wipers, free of charge and without having been a paying customer before. That's just one example of many--they are incredibly professional, friendly and trustworthy, and they've 100% earned my business for life. They seem to genuinely want to help their clients, and to educate them on the problems. I've NEVER had a report with photos from any car-related company...ever! I love that I found a local business I can support, that I can trust and that's only a few minutes away 🙂 Thank you!

aliyah a
aliyah a

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 week ago

My car is older, a 2005 PT Cruiser and from what I was told by a previous mechanic not the easiest to work on. Tom's has kept it running very good since I started taking it there, much better than before. The professionalism and customer service are top notch as well. Never had one interaction that I could say was off or bad. And I love the lockbox option for your key if you have to pick up your vehicle after hours. I've lost my back up key so the lockbox was a lifesaver. Call or email them when you need something done. You'll be happy you did.

Lawrence Reid
Lawrence Reid

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 days ago

They were really great with their Covid set up/ distancing and cleaning measures as well as great communicating with me. Great experience all around.