Should I Get a Used Car Inspected?

Info about car inspections

Charles Krome · May 28, 2024

Should I Get a Used Car Inspected?

Perhaps the most important thing you can do before you buy any used car is to have it inspected by an independent expert – even if the car you are looking at is a certified pre-owned model with a spotless CARFAX report. After all, in a perfect world without shady auto sellers, someone might still make an honest mistake that keeps an accident off a vehicle history report or prevents damage from being noticed during a certification process. And the world of used cars is certainly not perfect. 

The bottom line is that not having a car inspected can be a very costly error if you get stuck with a used vehicle that’s broken before you even buy it.

How Do I Get a Used Car Inspected?

It’s a good idea to ask the seller if they’re with a vehicle inspection right at the start. If someone says “no,” you can move on knowing you’ve saved yourself some time and, probably, some hassle if something’s being hidden. That holds true regardless of whether you’re talking to a private seller or a dealership, too. Either way, there’s no substitute for an independent vehicle inspection. 

Finding someone to do the inspection has become a lot easier in recent years as more and more people have realized how important it is. So if you’ve already got a good relationship with a trusted auto repair shop, ask there. There are also local and national companies that now specialize in used-vehicle inspections, and they can be easy to find online. 

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Used Car Inspected?

The costs of these services can vary depending on the kind of vehicle and exactly how comprehensive of an inspection you prefer, but they are typically about $150 - $300 per car. It’s a bargain compared to how much you may have to pay to repair a vehicle that wasn’t inspected. 

What Is Included in a Used Car Inspection?

Different companies/mechanics may have different checklists, but you should expect them to do a deep dive on the motor and transmission, drive the vehicle for a road test if possible, and consider factors such as:

In addition, some inspection services provide detailed photos to help you understand and judge the vehicle’s condition for yourself. Have a specific request? Be sure to ask, as many inspectors will do what they can to help meet your individual needs.


Now that you know more about used car vehicle inspections, you can start shopping here, start selling here, and enjoy the whole HMSMC site from wherever you have an Internet connection.


Ready to get started?

Sell your vehicle for more money, faster, and with less hassle.