What to Know Before Buying a Used Vehicle

What to Know Before Buying a Used Vehicle

Hello everyone! Jason from Rob’s Import Repair. The used and new car markets are not without challenges, and now more than ever it is getting tough to find the right vehicle replacement. Whether you are purchasing for the first time, upgrading the family truckster, or just looking for that summer cruiser, finding that “good deal” can be a real challenge. We all want a good, safe, reliable vehicle that fits our budget. So what are our options?

The APP can solve it; I love technology! There are so many advertisements for simple apps you can download to find your perfect vehicle fit. Cost of ownership, repair records, accident damage, average price in your area all compiled in a flash with just one click. This is a great place to start, although some of the information can be deceiving. Averages are just that, an average among the good and bad of the many vehicles in service. Think about the cost of ownership. If you put nothing into a vehicle, do you really expect to get high mileage out of it? And unfortunately, accident damage is not always reported and can be fixed without any slight on the vehicle’s permanent record. Even documentation of repair records can be altered, however this is one of the best ways to reveal a vehicle repair/care history, if any.

I got it from my mom or am buying it from a friend; Family and friends are a great support system and contain years of experience and knowledge. They are a great place to source that new-to-you vehicle, sometimes for a bargain price! We have had many customers give hand-me-downs to newly licensed family, hoping to instill a sense of responsibility and ownership. And we all know that uncle Al did all the maintenance and required services, right?

It’s from the dealer and has a warranty; Great! Some places even provide a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your purchase. We also hear “the place purchased from did an inspection and has found everything is great with the vehicle”. Did you know the standards for meeting a “certified used vehicle” from different manufacturers is just above the lowest service limits in most cases? Just above is not new and that makes it really difficult to judge what service would be required on the horizon. It is disheartening to spend that much on a vehicle only to find out it requires brakes and tires, along with some catch-up maintenance and a battery before the end of fall. Most dealers have a bottom line, so when a vehicle is too expensive to fix, it gets shipped to an auction where a different dealer picks it up and attempts to stick some money into it to try and make a profit. That means minimums need to be done to get to that profit. And then there is warranty… most of the time some of the issues are covered. Warranty coverage documents are highly technical with many “outs” not mentioned up front. We deal with these all the time and it is difficult for us to tell you that something is not covered when the expectations of a “warranty” is that it should be.

“I can get it for such a good price” …; “I don’t mind sticking a couple of extra bucks into it”, or “I can have it fixed for cheap”. How much is a couple of extra bucks? What is really wrong with it? Is it still a deal when you add up the purchase price with the cost of repairs and maintenance required?

Okay, so it seems like there are more questions than answers. Apps will only get you so far, friends and family provide some options, the dealer, well the dealer has some more options, and we don’t have a crystal ball to be sure what we are going to have invested when buying from a private party. What is the answer?

Great news! We have worked on a solution to the vehicle buying experience that can tie this all together. We call it the PPI or Pre-Purchase Inspection, also known as the post-purchase inspection for

those who just could not wait. From accident damage and body repairs, to engine performance and hidden codes, we inspect the vehicle with extreme attention to alleviate most every major or minor issue the vehicle has now or is headed for. Now, cars are cars and our crystal ball is broken too, but our customer feedback is glowing with praise on our attention-to-detail as well as our advice on next steps or whether-or-not to purchase.


· Know before you buy. Detailed inspection with pictures and information for transparency.

· Treat your vehicle like an individual, it is unique.

· Get an estimate of what is required now, and what is on the horizon. A NON-BIAS source, we don’t work for the dealer.

· “Bargaining chip” getting that deal, talking down the price of the vehicle, or getting some service completed.

· Listening to you about budget and type of vehicle desired.

· Expert experience from our technicians on known issues, cost of maintenance, what to expect in the future.

We invest in tools, testing equipment, and training specific to your vehicle because we love what we do and we are elite. Besides, who has the time to do all that research on a vehicle only to find out this vehicle was treated different than the average vehicle? Not only are we over-qualified to inspect your potential new purchase, we can repair your vehicle and make the transition of fitting your new vehicle to your needs seamless. Our technicians hold accolades and accreditations from many of the major European and Asian manufacturers as well as ASE and system-based training formats.

We have seen the horror stories from people purchasing a vehicle and now in so deep financially they just want to get out. We have even had someone who purchased a vehicle for a couple thousand dollars from a “friend” only to drive it from our shop to the salvage yard for scrap. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. We have literally saved customers thousands of dollars in either purchase dollars, repair costs, or simply steering clear from a money-pit. One truly tough case was when a customer brought us a car after purchase and the place they bought it from tried to complete the repairs. The dealer in this case was on a budget too and decided to “fix” the vehicle with sub-par parts. After the mess was over and we were able to get the vehicle not only safe, but driving again, the customer shared a great wisdom with me. “If the place selling me the car was not interested in telling me what was wrong with it, why would they be interested in me bringing it back and fixing it properly with quality and precision?”

If you are ready to buy a vehicle and are tired of hidden expenses, want to find something safe and reliable, want to know if you are really getting a deal, call us at Robs and schedule a PPI. We understand there is a limited window for getting this inspection done and will do everything we can do get you scheduled within 24 to 48 hours.

THEY KEY IS KNOWING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE about what you are buying from a TRUSTED source, from someone who is working for you.

There is some luck when buying a vehicle, but actual knowledge is always better than a guess or feeling.

We would be more than happy to help with your buying decision. Please fill out the form below and we will reach out to you as soon as possible to discuss your options further. We are able to either text or email you a sample of out inspections so you are able to see what all the “fuss” is about.