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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Tom's Automotive Service
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Bethany Manahan
Bethany Manahan

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month 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!

Jason Spencer
Jason Spencer

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

The staff was very friendly and helpful. I came in late and they serviced my within 30 minutes. Will definitely go back when my car need more service.

Rochelle Dobson
Rochelle Dobson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

I had an incredible experience with Tom's Automotive, my window was not working properly, after getting it replaced at a different auto body shop I decided to go to one I knew I could trust and took it in to Tom's. I first described the situation on the phone, brought it in for them to see, and their team spent time researching what could be wrong. They called me back to bring in my car and within minutes had it fixed. Tom's Auto and their whole team is top-class, I will DEFINITELY be using their services again. I highly recommend them. Thank you for going above and beyond my expectations!

Nancy I
Nancy I

5 out of 5 stars

posted 5 months ago

I take my car to Tom's because they are friendly and reliable. I appreciate they are able to "triage" and explain the maintenance needed to keep my car up and running. It's great they offer a shuttle in the morning and late afternoon to help the locals get back to work!
I once had to pull off the freeway due to my car acting oddly. I called Kandie at Tom's and she was able to explain what I needed to do. This helped me stay calm and confident in an otherwise stressful situation.