Car Buying 101: A Guide to Pre-Purchase Inspections

Buying a car involves a huge investment, so it’s important that you get what you pay for. Before making a purchase, you have to do some due diligence so you won’t end up driving an unsafe faulty vehicle. This means inspecting the car thoroughly before bringing it home.

A pre-purchase inspection is a great tool for revealing any issues the car may have before completing the buying process. It can also provide you with some leverage when negotiating the price with the seller.

Here’s everything you must know about a pre-purchase car inspection and why car buyers should get it done.

Pre-Purchase Car Inspection – What Is It?

A pre-purchase inspection is a thorough car assessment by a specialist with the aim of identifying any electrical, mechanical or safety problems. It also ensures that all past problems were repaired accurately and determines any possible issues that can happen in the future. If you become cognizant of what is happening under the car’s hood, you can be confident about making the right purchase, decide if it is the most suitable ride for you, or glean the essential details that you can use as leverage for price bargaining.

A Guide to Pre-Purchase Inspections

How It Works?

The process of a pre-purchase inspection involves more than just kicking the tires. It can take an hour and includes the following steps:

Step 1: Car Inspection

The car mechanic will perform a 200-point technical check to make sure that the car is safe to drive. It includes:

  • Monitor checks – Dash warning light and bulbs
  • System checks – Electrical, exhaust, HVAC, battery and charging, interior and exterior lights, radiation and cooking, and ignition
  • Mechanical checks – Hoses and belts, suspension components, steering linkage, and inspection for fluid leaks
  • Maintenance checks – Fluid levels and condition, glass and windshield, tires, and brakes

Car specialists in Dubai may also test drive the car to check its performance. They consider essential details like braking, loud noises, and steering.

Step 2: Vehicle Report

After a thorough inspection, you will be provided a detailed technical report that includes anything that requires immediate attention and significant notes for future consideration.

Step 3: Market Price Accuracy

The car specialist will determine the car asking price based on the results of the inspection and current market conditions.

A Guide to Pre-Purchase Inspections

Why Should You Get It?

Taking the car you want to buy to a reputable specialist for an inspection will give you peace of mind before buying it. Here are the reasons to get a pre-purchase inspection.

A pre-purchase inspection will inform you if the car is mechanically sound. It will also determine if it matches up with the price and condition advertised.

  • The inspection is inexpensive yet comprehensive

Investing in a pre-purchase inspection is cheaper than paying for constant car repair and maintenance bills. It is also insightful compared to the routine job you could perform since, at the end of the inspection, you will get a list of the points covered and important notes to ensure the car’s optimum performance.

  • You’ll know when to walk away

The detailed car assessment will reveal a lot of important things, from faults like fluid leaks and rust, to major issues like fire or flood damage, sloppy repair work, and frame damage. One significant problem is a sign that you should search for another car.

  • The inspection helps with price negotiation

Though some sellers try to conceal defects of the car, many are not aware of what is happening under the hood. A pre-purchase inspection will help ensure that the final price is fair for both the buyer and the seller. The car specialists will evaluate the car’s condition to give you an idea of any issues that will soon require attention, giving you the leverage to negotiate for a lower price.

Where Can You Get It?

Most car dealers conduct car inspections onsite. However, it is better to bring the car to an independent third-party inspector. Find a vehicle specialist and a performance tuner who are skilled and have a trained eye to spot any car problem. They must provide you with an overview of how the inspection process happens and what to expect from it. When possible, visit their shop and observe how they perform their job and deal with their customers.

While an inspection won’t guarantee that all the flaws a car may have will be identified, a trained eye can help prevent any serious problems. Since buying a car requires a huge investment, the cost of inspection and an hour of your time would be well worth spending. Let an independent car specialist focus on the technical and mechanical aspects of the car so you will get the assurance knowing that you are putting your money toward a safe and reliable car.

Other Things to Consider When Purchasing a Car


Ahmad Ramadan is a Managing Partner at Deutsche Technik Service Center, Dubai’s first and largest VW, Audi, Mercedes, Bentley, Porsche, & Lamborghini vehicle specialist and performance tuner. DT has also built an illustrious portfolio in classic car repair, maintenance, and restoration, as well as body work (accident repair, painting, and denting). DT Service Centre offers a full range of services: mechanical repairs, maintenance, servicing, etc.

Ahmad Ramadan Managing Partner

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Great post. Very useful.

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Enjoyed reading the article above , really explains everything in detail. Thank you and good luck for the upcoming articles.


Thank you for the excellent article. It explains everything in detail in a straightforward manner. Looking forward to your future articles.

Johnny Chapman

Car inspection is really important. The goal of it is to know the quality of the car and check if there are unseen damages. If none, regular repair and maintenance should be done regularly.

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