Why Used Cars Need More Than Just a History Check

Vehicle Inspection

A common misconception among car buyers is that vehicle history is the most important report to get when shopping for a used car. A vehicle history check covers most things that have happened in a vehicle’s past, such as odometer accuracy, title status, and accidents. But what about accidents that were never reported or information regarding the car’s current condition?

You may assume that a history check is enough to be able to determine how the vehicle is running now and will continue to run in the future, but in actuality, there is much more that goes into determining a vehicle’s current and future state — and that information you can only get from a pre-purchase vehicle inspection.

What exactly does a pre-purchase inspection tell you about a used car that a history report does not?

With a multi-point inspection, you get all the crucial information, including details on the vehicle’s safety, wear and tear, interior and exterior operational functions, and mechanics. It even includes a road test to ensure that no problems go unnoticed before you drive off with your vehicle. See what’s included in a SureSale multi-point inspection:

Under the Vehicle Check

The under the vehicle check focuses on frame, drivetrain, suspension, and transmission. This includes confirming the suspension system is free of leaks and wear and checking that the axle shafts are operating well with no sign of damage. 

Under the Hood Check

Additionally, the inspection covers under the hood checks, which focus on assessing engine coolant, air conditioning, heating, battery, and fluids. The fluid inspection includes a portion that detects whether there are any signs of fluids that may have entered the vehicle through cracks and leaks.

Road Test

The mechanical portion of this inspection includes a road test, where the vehicle is actually driven to test how it runs and to check for any issues that may not have been noticeable when parked. This includes, but is not limited to making sure the engine, steering, and brakes are all functioning properly.

Vehicle Walkaround

During the walkaround, a technician is focused on assessing functionality of items such as the horn, exterior lighting, door operation, and backup sensors. 

Interior and Exterior Appearance

Checking for excessive wear and tear includes making sure that paint, carpeting, upholstery and door panels, for example, are all in good condition.

Can I do an inspection on my own?

In order to get the most accurate and thorough information, it is best to have a trained automotive mechanic, such as an ASE certified or OEM trained technician, perform the inspection. Even the most savvy car buyer is not able to do an inspection as successfully as a trained professional.

Why is this inspection necessary?

Without an inspection, car buyers run the risk of paying for unforeseen repairs after purchase. These can be quite costly as the average vehicle repair costs up to $600. This is another reason why this quality inspection is worth the time, effort, and cost – By paying for an inspection upfront you can be sure you’re  purchasing a quality vehicle and avoid costly unforeseen repairs  that may otherwise have been missed if you only had a vehicle history check

The Benefits of Having Both a History Check and Quality Inspection

There are many benefits to getting your used vehicle inspected. Not only will it free you from the worry or anxiety of having any lingering problems with your car, but it will also tell you whether A) this is a quality car or B) some repairs need to be done before it is ready to be purchased. It can even be the deciding factor between choosing to purchase a pre-owned vehicle or choosing to walk away. Additionally, finding areas that need to be fixed may give you an opportunity to negotiate the asking price, in order to pay for repairs, or negotiate to have those items fixed before you buy the car.

It is always better to be aware of any and all unforeseen issues with your vehicle before driving off the lot. Plus, if your inspection shows that the car is in great condition and does not need anything fixed, that is another selling point that will give you confidence in your car buying decision.

Get all the Decision Making Car Facts

Now that you know the importance of getting a pre-purchase inspection on your vehicle, be sure to read the SureSale vehicle quality report when researching used cars online or at a dealership.