The majority of us know a little about cars but we wouldn’t call ourselves qualified mechanics by any means. Cars have become much more complicated in recent times. You need more than just a quick check of the tyre treads and a glance at the engine. This is why if you’re buying a second car you should consider booking a used car inspection.
Here we outline why you should hire someone to carry out a proper inspection on the car before you buy it. While it may cost you a little extra money, it’s worth it when you consider how much a car with problems is likely to impact on your finances.
1. You Want a Car That Works
The last thing you want is a car that is going to cost you hundreds, maybe even thousands to put right. There are lots of horror stories online about how someone bought a car that was not fit to drive, or worse, a death trap.
Getting an informed and professional opinion on what you are about to buy will put your mind at ease and reduces the risk of having to fork out for costly repairs. In short, you get a car that works the way it’s supposed to.
2. A Used Car I nspection is More Than an MOT
Most second-hand cars have some length of time remaining on their MOT, whether you’re buying from a private seller or a used car dealer. The MOT itself looks at whether your car is roadworthy at the moment the test is carried out.
It doesn’t highlight potential problems that could occur further down the line. A deeper investigation is needed to spot major mechanical or structural problems that could be an issue. This kind of inspection looks at whether you’ll need to replace costly parts in the future, for instance, not just whether you’re safe to drive on the road.
The inspector will examine the bodywork and check for areas where you might have to do some remedial work. A car can pass its MOT if there are rust spots or worn areas but that doesn’t mean you won’t need to spend money to put these things right.
They’ll also look at the engine and the gearbox. The gears might have started to wear down and may need replacing in the near future which is an expensive job. They’ll check if the car hasn’t been looked after properly which could be a sign that problems are just around the corner. They’ll also do a full road test to make sure your car is fit to drive.
3. The Benefits of a Used Car Inspection
With cars now a lot more technically complicated, it pays to have an informed opinion from someone you trust. It’s not just the high powered engines and catalytic converters either, modern cars have sophisticated software, even in older models.
Of course, you expect some wear and tear on a used car. It’s whether this is going to cost you more down the line that is the main concern. An unscrupulous dealer, for example, may have hidden chips and dents that can affect the bodywork. Replacement parts could be the sign of a recent accident.
There is, however, a limit to what a used car inspection can achieve. Most will only take about an hour and it’s easy for minor defects to be missed. Despite this, it should give you an overall picture of whether your car is a good buy or not.
For a start, it can act as a viable second opinion which may help you negotiate a better price with the dealer or to get them to sort out more serious issues before you buy.
Finally, one other thing you can do is get a HPI check which will look at the vehicle history, including any outstanding finance. This further ensures there are not any other shocks when you decide to make your purchase.