Buying a used car in the 20th century has become trickier and trickier. With time the bad cars are always resold into the market, leaving a used car market saturated with used cars that have problems. For the average consumer, this causes a lot of issues because they need to weed out the good from the bad. The typical used car buyer is not well versed in the mechanical complexities of a car, and thus does not know what to look at when buying used.
Buying a used car that has a lot of problems results in potentially thousands of dollars lost due to the need for repairs. This hidden cost could have been avoided if the buyer did some due diligence and got help from a more experienced individual or company. That is why nowadays, vehicle inspections from a mechanic or pre-purchase inspection company is more prevalent nad highly recommended. These companies have been popping up all over the place. For instance, in Toronto, Carcheckcanada provides vehicle inspections across the GTA.
The value that is gained from a vehicle inspection is not just due to the avoiding the really bad cars, but also being able to have information to use as leverage in the negotiation process. Not everyone knows that you can get a discount from a dealer due to mismatched tire brands, uneven wear or low tread depth. Even harder to spot are things like odometer tampering, frame damage and water damage. There are a multitude of things to consider and only a seasoned mechanic or inspector with a history of tracking down these problems can spot them consistently.
The most common pre-purchase inspection people get is from a family member or friend who is “car savvy”. Unfortunately being car savvy doesn’t neccesarily mean that they know the inner workings of a car and what common issues certain makes and models have. However, this is usually enough to satisfy the concern portion for the car buyer, since they aren’t really looking for car advice from that family member or friend, they are just looking for an external confirmation to assuage their anxiety about buying a bad car.
The probability of buying a bad car when buying used gets higher as the vehicle years grow older. This is due to the lemon law theory that bad cars are resold into the market whereas the good ones are kept or snatched up very fast. Now more than ever buyers have to do more due diligence, planning and investigation just to protect themselves from getting ripped off. Losing money immediately after spending thousands on a car is tough to swallow, but perhaps worse than that, is the safety concern.
The concern for safety is definitely valid, as sometimes these cars will be resold into the market with a salvage title or as accident cars without declaring things like bent frames. If you value your safety, a vehicle inspection should be a no brainer. Not only do you know that your family will be safe but also that you are not getting ripped off!
We highly recommend you to get a car inspection if you are buying a used car!