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

Vanessa Rawlings
Vanessa Rawlings

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 weeks ago

These guys know how to treat their customers. My car had a weird ABS problem and Tracy and the team knew exactly how to handle it. Very flexible with my schedule and we’re so informative and knowledgeable. They were honest about pricing and very realistic about my car’s issue. Thank you for the outstanding care I will be back no question. Although hopefully not that soon ha ha!

Christine Cranston
Christine Cranston

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 weeks ago

I tried Tom's after years with another shop. The other shop's service had deteriorated over time and I could no longer trust them to do the right thing for my car and for me. The Tom's Automotive Service team is warm, friendly and most importantly, competent and honest. They first did an assessment of the car. Then, I got a call with each needed improvement estimated and prioritized. Now, that the car is fixed, it drives SO much better. It's a 2006 Honda CRV with lots of pep and strength. I will go to Tom's again. It's great to find such high quality car services in West Seattle (my own neighborhood). Thank you!

Charmaine Richardson
Charmaine Richardson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 week ago

What a great team at Tom's, they are so nice and keep me informed of everything as we go. I trust their advice and they treat my car as if it were their own. Such a great group of people.