Let’s go through a little story…
Let’s say that your ready to get rid of your old vehicle, or your old vehicle kicked the bucket and needed to be shot… So you find yourself in the position to find a new vehicle. You only have up to $1000 to purchase a vehicle and you can’t afford payments, so you know it’s not going to be a brand new vehicle. You decide to buy a new used vehicle through a private seller.
So you go shopping for your new used vehicle. You search through craigslist and angie’s list. You search through local papers and go to a few auto auctions. You find yourself running low on time, so you decide on a new used car. It looks nice on the outside, get’s at least 30 mpg, drives nicely and seems like it’s a good buy for $900. The person you buy it from says it needs a little work but nothing major, it’s always run well for them. They seem nice, and you’re not a “car person” so you don’t think to ask more about it. You buy it that day and drive it home.
Everything seems nice as you drive your new used vehicle around for the first couple of weeks. You’ve just barely gotten used to driving your vehicle and haven’t noticed anything alarming. It isn’t until the end of that second week or into the third, that the vehicle starts to act funny. It might take a lot of turns to get it to start, or it could loose power when going up hills. It might be stuttering when you accelerate, make funny grinding noises when you turn or have a little squeak that happens whenever you hit the breaks. None of these things seem to bad, but you have it looked at by a mechanically inclined friend, or your regular mechanic, just to make sure it’s nothing major.
Your mechanic looks over everything and tells you that you need to have a light tune up and minimum but that it needs some more work to be a good commuter. They estimate that it could cost you hundreds of dollars to get it in shape, and that there are a handful of other potential problems that you could run into real soon. Basically, in nicer words, they tell you that you’ve bought a lemon and that it’s best to look for a new vehicle again.
This is a really common scene for most used vehicle buyers. It’s not something to be embarrassed about, but it certainly is a lesson to learn from if you want to find a reliable vehicle and avoid buying another lemon.
The truth is, that you don’t have to spend crazy amounts of money to get a good vehicle, and you don’t have to be an experienced mechanic. To get a good deal and find a good vehicle, you simply need to consider the benefits of a Pre-Buy Inspection before you buy a new used vehicle.
A Pre-Buy Inspection is your save-all before you buy a vehicle. Whether you’re buying from a dealer or a private seller, it can save you the hassle of bringing home a car that can become a money pit. Your inspector will usually be a mechanic, who will test drive the vehicle, inspect the engine, electrical and chassis components. They will check the tires, accessories and interior. They will give it a 360* inspection and tell you exactly what’s up with the vehicle you have your eye on, and give you their opinion of it’s current over all value.
A pre-buy inspection can cost you anywhere from $60 to $150 depending on who you select to do the inspection. It could be less if you have a cousin or brother-in-law who is a mechanic, you might even be able to get a cheaper inspection. Either way, that money you pay to get an inspection, can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Just buy completing the inspection in front of the vehicles current owner, you might get the price dropped buy a few hundred dollars, or you could save yourself from buying a vehicle that needs thousands of dollars worth of work.