If you're in the market for a used vehicle, then you're probably considering a pre-purchase inspection. The purpose of these inspections is to help provide peace of mind when making an expensive purchase. Often, pre-purchase inspections can turn up major issues with a vehicle, as well as uncover evidence of incomplete or poorly executed bodywork. Pre-purchase inspections can save you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, but what about post-purchase (or post-sale) inspections?
What Are Post-Purchase Inspections?
As the name implies, a post-purchase inspection is an inspection that's completed after you purchase a vehicle. At first, this might seem like a waste of money. After all, what good is an inspection after you've already purchased a vehicle? In fact, post-purchase inspections offer a huge number of benefits and are worth considering after any major vehicle purchase.
Where pre-purchase inspections are usually conducted on-site and can only cover a limited number of items, post-purchase inspections are significantly more detailed. During a post-purchase inspection, a greater number of items can be checked and the car can usually be raised on a lift to allow for a detailed inspection of the undercarriage, brakes, and suspension components. Post-purchase inspections may also include slightly more "invasive" work, such as compression testing.
Why Should You Have a Post-Purchase Inspection Performed?
One of the most straightforward reasons for performing a post-purchase inspection is simply to uncover any issues that your pre-purchase inspection may have missed. Since pre-purchase inspections are by their nature shorter and less in-depth, it is possible that some issues may have been missed. These will often be minor problems, but knowing about them is helpful since it can provide you with a list of repairs to conduct as time and money allows.
If your car is still covered by either a manufacturer or a dealer warranty, then a post-purchase inspection offers some additional benefits. By having your car thoroughly inspected, you can discover any hidden issues which may still be covered under your warranty. This allows you to have these issues fixed for free while you are still in your warranty period rather than waiting for symptoms to appear. In some cases, dealerships may prefer that you have these warranty inspections performed by their own technicians, so be sure to consult with your dealership first.
How Much Will It Cost and What is Included?
The cost an inspection varies, but you should generally expect to pay between $80-300 depending on the make and model of your car and how thorough the inspection is. Inspections for some high-end or exotic cars may be significantly more expensive, but as these vehicles are often temperamental a thorough inspection is that much more important.
Although inspections vary, you should expect the following to be performed during any detailed post-purchase inspection:
- A test drive to note any apparent drivability issues or unusual noises
- Verification that all interior equipment is working properly and that switches, knobs, etc. function as they should
- Scans with diagnostic equipment to look for sensor abnormalities or pending warning codes
- A thorough check of the steering, suspension, undercarriage, and braking components with the car on a lift
- An evaluation of both the engine and transmission for proper operation
- A compression test to check for possible internal engine issues
While even a thorough inspection cannot guarantee that there are absolutely no hidden issues with your car, it can rule out many of the most common problems and provide you with peace of mind that you've made a solid purchasing decision. If problems are discovered, then finding them early is likely to save you money and help you to avoid being stranded in the future. Contact an auto inspection service for more help.