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Vehicle Pre Purchase Inspections

Buying a second hand vehicle can be a daunting task. Using the Internet has made it easier to access a lot more of the market to find the perfect vehicle to buy.

Although with more choice comes more confusion, especially if there is a particular model and year of vehicle that you are searching for.


The most effective way to narrow down your  search 

  • Check what the market value of the vehicle. How many are on the market and how much are they   being advertised for?
  •  Are there additional options that are a must for you? Sunroof, leather upholstery or upgraded sound system. How much did these cost when the vehicle was new and what additional value do they add to the vehicle?
  •   Search for the common faults for the vehicle on forums. Some vehicles had faults from the factory that were ironed out in the next model. Best to know if you are looking at the improved version of the vehicle or not.

Once you have confirmed the year, make and model of the vehicle that you are interested in, let the search begin.


Road side assistance

Always use Qualified Mechanics

Always have a fully qualified mechanic do a Pre-Purchase Inspection on the vehicle. The money that you spend is minuscule compared to the potential costs of buying a lemon will bring.

The mechanic/Examiner is looking not only for parts that are worn, faulty or broken but they are looking to see what has been replaced. They have seen a lot of different types of vehicles in all kinds of conditions and will be able to tell from the combinations of the repairs if the vehicle has been in a serious accident.

The mechanic will be looking for evidence of panel and paint repairs as well as giving you a full condition report as to the interior and exterior of the vehicle.


Roadworthy & Safety Certificates

When it comes to buying and selling a vehicle in Queensland it is law that the seller provides a valid Safety Certificate for any registered vehicle that is advertised for sale.

If the seller does not have one, ask them to provide you one before taking the vehicle.

In the circumstances when the vehicle is unregistered it is legal to be sold without a Safety Certificate.

The first question you should be asking is why is the vehicle unregistered (keeping in mind that you won’t always get the truthful answer – they are trying to sell you the vehicle).

The second question is why haven’t they organised a Safety Certificate and registered it because the asking price is considerably more when the vehicle is registered.

These are the points that the mechanic doing the Pre-Purchase Inspection will be asking the owner on your behalf and determining if the vehicle has been left unregistered or deregistered because there are lingering issues that are costly.

It is always advisable to have a Pre-Purchase Inspection done by Approved Inspectors who are accredited by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to do Safety Certificates. They will be able to advise you if the vehicle would or should have passed a roadworthy inspection. This is particularly important when there are unfortunately some examiners who issue certificates for vehicles regardless if they are road worthy or not.

It is also a possibility that the examiner has honestly missed something.

This will be picked up in the Pre-Purchase Inspection and can be rectified before you take ownership of the vehicle at the seller’s cost.

Never rely on a Safety Certificate that the car is mechanically sound.

When it comes to a Safety Certificate Inspection the vehicle must meet the minimum safety standard set by the Transport Department.

This does not include how mechanically sound the vehicle is and this is the most costly part of the vehicle to fix if there is an issue.

A Pre-Purchase Inspection is a thorough examination of the condition of the vehicle with the years of experience of the mechanic inspecting the vehicle. The mechanic will advise you their opinion on the condition of the vehicle in relation to its kilometres.

Remember that they are working for you. Everything that they find on the vehicle should be kept confidential and should not be disclosed to the seller. This is what you are able to use to negotiate the price with the seller. When booking the Pre-Purchase Inspection make a point of checking that it is the procedure of the examiner to not disclose any information to the seller.


Car history report

Car History reports & REV checks

Always do a Car History Check on the vehicle, even if the vehicle comes with one. You don’t know how old the paperwork is and there are some sections of the report that you tick a box to not show on the report such as insurance claims against the vehicle.

This report will also tell you if there is any finance owing on the vehicle. Once you take possession of the vehicle you are liable for that finance even though you technically have paid for the vehicle in full to the previous owner.

Having a mechanic do a Pre-Purchase Inspection on your vehicle not only gives you peace of mind but you will know exactly what you are buying and what you should be paying for it.

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