In the market for a new-to-you car? Awesome! The used car market is a great place to find hidden gems, vehicles coming off a lease, a first vehicle for your teen and an environmentally friendly way to upgrade your ride. However, there is one new risk when buying used that usually doesn’t come with new cars – if it is in good, running shape.
The used car market is sadly a place where cars that look fine but are severely broken are often times sold off for a quick buck or to dump problems onto someone else. Everything from water damage to severe engine problems can be hidden just long enough to make a sale… which is why a pre-purchase inspection can save you some major dings to your wallet.
At most shops, pre-purchase inspections are the most thorough inspections offered. On top of being a visual inspection of all major parts, there are also electronic tests, historical engine code readings, and a quick check of the Carfax to see what has – and hasn’t – been done.
Pre-purchase inspections aren’t just designed to catch things like worn tires or bad brakes, they’re also designed to see if there have been any more expensive problems like electrical gremlins, missed services, or major engine problems.
All used car lots are used to and expect to be asked to have their vehicle inspected by a third party. If the company selling you a used car are not willing, run. That’s a dead giveaway.