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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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 3 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.