Why a pre-purchase car inspection is important
(NC)—Once you've found the car that you think is “the one”, it's tempting to rush through the buying process so you can get into the driver's seat as soon as possible. But before you fully commit, there's one more important step you need to make and that's to take the car for a pre-purchase inspection (PPI).
What is a PPI?This thorough inspection is performed by a qualified and licensed mechanic who will determine the cosmetic, mechanical and safety condition of the car. The technician will examine the exterior of the car, the interior, under the hood and the undercarriage and they'll pinpoint any existing conditions as well as highlight potential issues that could arise in the future. By learning more about what's happening underneath the hood, you'll either feel more confident that you're making a great investment or you'll discover that there are a few hidden conditions that could give you more leverage with price negotiations.
When you take the vehicle for a PPI, it's always a great idea to bring along the vehicle history report, purchased through companies like CarProof. The mechanic can view the report and confirm that any prior accident or damage that's occurred during the vehicle's lifetime has been properly repaired.
Where can I get one?If you're buying a car from a dealer, many dealerships can conduct the PPI onsite. They should also be open to you taking the vehicle for an inspection by an independent mechanic. As a consumer, it's your right, and a non-binding offer to purchase and a refundable deposit are usually considered acceptable pre-conditions to an inspection.
If you're getting the inspection done offsite or dealing with a private seller then you'll want to take the vehicle to a mechanic that you have a great relationship with. If you don't have a go-to service centre, you can ask friends and family for recommendations.
A pre-purchase inspection is the final step to making sure the car you're considering is the right vehicle for you. By arming yourself with information from a CarProof report and a PPI, you can be confident about the history of the vehicle, as well as its current state.
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