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.

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posted 1 month ago

I got a flat tire across the street from Tom's Automotive. Although they don't repair tires, they immediately sent over a technician to change my tire. They also filled it with air so I could make it safely to a tire shop, all free of charge. Thanks Adam and the friendly staff at Tom's Automotive for your great service!

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posted 3 months ago

My bosses were the ones that recommended me to see Tom's when I had my 'check engine' light on some time last year. They were very helpful, and kindly, turned the light off as there wasn't anything particularly wrong with my car. However, recently, my car was being looked at by them (as I've had other things happen to my car), and the staff helped me walk through the process of either furthering the fix or getting rid of my car. As someone who doesn't know anything about cars (oh boy), they really did a great job of explaining things to me. Thanks!

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I had a great experience with Tom's. We had a good dialog, lots of great communication, and I am happy with the work done. Prices were as expected and no work was done that didn't need to be. I will be going back as needed.

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posted 1 month ago

I always take both my company vehicle and personal vehicles directly over to Tom's whenever I need issues taken care of...except for that one time I had to change a headlight in my Yukon. After struggling with trying to figure out how to take it out, I watched a YouTube video and followed all the steps. It turns out that you cannot simply take the headlight casing out, but you need to take the grill off first, then take the wheel well liner off (which I successfully completed) and then there is a hidden screw that needs to be removed. You cannot see this screw because it is tucked away behind the frame, and a standard socket wrench head is too large and will not work to remove. Feeling defeated, I called Tracy. He said to come on by and they took the screws out for me and helped replacing the headlight. I told him I wanted to at least pay something for the service but he refused to accept anything. These guys have always been good to me, and I appreciate their hard work and honesty.

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They were very professional and helpful at all times - even when I didn't have time to use their services before I headed out of town, Casey spoke with me on the phone for upwards of 15 minutes to figure out what was wrong with my car, so I could get help elsewhere. Really stand-up place!