The process can be overwhelming and exciting when you’re looking to purchase a new or used vehicle. Your first concern might be how to ensure that you don’t purchase a bed vehicle or a “lemon.”

This is a valid concern because, in some cases, you will not so easily find a vehicle’s defects and flaws. But if you miss these defects before you purchase the vehicle, it could cost you more money in the future.

A vehicle inspection consists of the following:

  • A test drive
  • Exterior check of the body and frame
  • Glass
  • Interior (A/C, heater, gauges, etc)
  • Tires
  • Engine
  • Suspension
  • Frame
  • Transmission
  • Brakes
  • Steering
  • Miscellaneous
Vehicle Inspection

What is a pre-purchase inspection (PPI)?

A pre-purchase inspection (PPI) is a vehicle inspection that a professional mechanic or technician conducts. In the inspection, the whole vehicle is thoroughly checked for signs of structural, mechanical, or cosmetic damage before you purchase it from a private seller or dealership.

From this inspection, a detailed report will be created and used to help vehicle owners learn if the inspected vehicle is worth purchasing. A licensed technician or mechanic will also use this PPI to determine if the vehicle is suitable for sale.

A professional PPI could save you from spending thousands of dollars on component repairs and replacements. This is because, after a PPI, a mechanic will be able to tell you about any existing issues with the vehicles. You could even use these issues to negotiate with the seller.

If you’re purchasing a classic vehicle, a PPI conducted by a licensed professional will give you some peace of mind. Investing in a PPI gives you an expert second opinion on whether or not the vehicle is worth the purchase price.

What does the PPI cover?

Having a PPI done isn’t an industry-standard procedure, which means that each PPI will differ depending on the auto repair shop that conducts this inspection. But in a typical PPI, you can expect to know more about what the vehicle may need going forward.

A licensed mechanic or technician will typically take the vehicle for a test drive to check if it runs properly and if there are other glaring issues. A typical PPI will take an hour, but the inspection could last longer.

When should a PPI be done?

It would be best to have a PPI when considering purchasing an uncertified pre-owned vehicle. It’s also best to have a PPI done if you’re looking to purchase a vehicle from a private party, dealer, or franchise dealership that doesn’t offer a warranty.

This is because a certified pre-owned vehicle will have gone through more rigorous tests and inspections that the vehicle’s manufacturer has monitored. This rigorous testing will lead to fewer issues in the future.

How to be informed about buying a vehicle

You can do a few things to be informed about purchasing a new or used vehicle. These will include the following:

You should list the potential cars you would like to purchase: Then, research the different models to learn more about repair costs, typical defects, and the various price points. You should ask yourself, “How much will the vehicle be worth in three years? What weak points can I use as a bargaining chip?”

Use a pricing tool to get a quote: A pricing tool will help you get a quote on a potential new vehicle. You should remember that a vehicle’s mileage and any added features will affect the value of the vehicle.

Always ask questions: A quality private seller or dealership will happily provide answers to your questions. You can ask questions like, “Has this vehicle been involved in accidents? Why is the vehicle being sold? Has there electrical damage? How many previous owners are there?

Complete a physical assessment before going on a test drive: You should check the vehicle for flood damage, body repair signs, and rust that could lead to issues in the future.

Do a test drive: When purchasing a new vehicle, you should do a test drive. It’s best to do the test drive in a large parking lot or on a road where you can drive faster than 60mph. Concentrating on the steering wheel alignment, windshield wipers, brakes, air conditioning, and power windows would be best.

Ask for the history report: Not every vehicle seller will have the best intentions and won’t want to disclose a comprehensive vehicle history. You should note the 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and ask for an extensive history on Autocheck.

Pre-purchase inspection: Make a booking for a professional pre-purchase vehicle inspection before purchasing the vehicle.

Final thoughts on pre-purchase inspections

A pre-purchase inspection or PPI is a vehicle inspection that you can pay to have done before purchasing a new vehicle. In fact, it’s recommended that you do this before you spend any money on a vehicle, especially a used vehicle being sold from a private party or private dealership where there is no warranty offered.