I never thought about getting a used car inspection before buying a vehicle, but now that I’ve had one, I wouldn’t buy a used car without it. It’s also worth it to get car to a mechanic to be checked out before a long road trip, here’s why.
I’m not talking a CarFax vehicle history report. That’s important too, but I mean having a mechanic come out and do a pre-purchase inspection before you buy to find problems to give you real peace of mind. Those findings can help with negotiations, or better yet, keep you from buying a lemon. And best of all, I have YourMechanic, plus since they are a 365 Atlanta Family ambassador, we have a $10 off your first service for car repair at your home or office when you use the promo code ATLFAM!
YourMechanic is a car care service with ASE certified mechanics that come directly to you. They go through a used care inspection checklist and send you a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection report that includes a ‘health score’, as well as photos and even voice notes – that’s my favorite part, the voice notes.
My other favorite part is they come to you, or go to the dealer if you prefer. I set up a time online that was convenient. I was given a half hour window of when YourMechanic would arrive. On the day of the used car inspection, I received a text that Tung the YourMechanic representative was on his way, and another text just moments before he rang my doorbell.
My appointment was between 9 and 9:30 am. Tung arrived at 8:59. I know that because I was impressed with the status texts, so I was paying attention to the time. Plus I was toying with starting a project, but didn’t want to get interrupted five minutes later. The status updates from YourMechanic were considerate of my time, which I appreciate.
As Tung performed the pre-purchase inspection, I went back to start my project in my home office. No waiting around at the garage, reading two-year-old magazines and watching bad talk shows.
Used Car Inspection
Should you still get a used-car inspection if you buy from a dealer? Yes. According to a survey done by YourMechanic, 65 percent of lemon cars came from a dealership, and more than 60 percent of lemon owners spent $5,000 or more on the faulty vehicle. The most common problem – issues related to brakes!
The pre-purchase (credit card payment accepted) inspection started with only a phone call, and took about an hour and looked at the suspension, tires, brakes, belt, windows, and as much of the car as is accessible. They also research known problems with the vehicle you are purchasing and look for signs the car might have those problems.
During his used car inspection, Tung also took lots of pictures, including the VIN, so car buyers know they have the right car. He even took the vehicle out on a road test drive. At the end of the inspection, YourMechanic emails you an online report.
The Used Car Inspection Report
In truth, my cousin had given the car to my son, so our pre-purchase inspection was more just a used car inspection. I’m still glad we did it. It uncovered a few issues that we will need to address soon, including replacing a sway bar, whatever that is.
That is another good thing about YourMechanic, they have a blog chock full of useful information, as well as an Ask a Mechanic feature. Here’s what you need to know about a sway bar, plus how much it should cost to replace.
If you are wondering what your post used car inspection report looks like, here are a few sample reports, be sure to notice the tabs as well. It helps to familiarize yourself with what you’ll see beforehand.
I’ll say it again, I love the voice notes. I wish Tung had given us more voice notes explaining what he saw in my inspection report. If I had known this was a thing before his visit, I could have instructed him to make sure he reviewed his report in those notes. Good to know for next time.
YourMechanic comes to inspect the vehicle– and also comes to you to perform routine car maintenance or to fix something that is broken. The system keeps your used car inspection record, as well as any follow-up maintenance so you know what’s been done, and when the car is due for a follow-up. A perfect service to make sure your car is in shape while you pack for your next road trip.