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
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Bree Fealy
Bree Fealy

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

I went to Tom's yesterday to get my car diagnosed and it was a great experience. First, they were all booked with appointments but they still said to come by and they would try and get me in. Within 10 minutes, they informed me what the issue could be, looked up the warranty on my car and instructed me on how to talk to the dealership to get the issue fixed. I was impressed by the genuine care and empathy I received and I will definitely go back if I have another issue.

Amrakx Mark
Amrakx Mark

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 days ago

It is with pleasure that I share my experience with Tom’s Automotive in West Seattle. In expedited response to the service engine light indicator I drove to their reliable and expert shop. They were kind enough to take the time to read the codes and source the issue to low radiator fluid. I had just had BMW Seattle perform an oil service and complete top off of fluids a few days ago, which they obviously failed to do! Obviously I was unable to schedule the oil service with Tom’s due to my schedule. Tom’s Automotive service to the rescue! They are simply the BEST at what they do!

sam brenner
sam brenner

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

I had a snag on my latch to open my car hood and John at Toms was very helpful at fixing the problem. He also graciously replaced both of my headlight bulbs while he checked to make sure everything was good to go! Awesome service and will be taking my business to Tom’s from now on.