Now that you’ve received your pre-purchase inspection report… what’s next? It’s not just a simple rundown of the vehicle’s condition. Here’s how you can maximize the value of your pre-purchase inspection (PPI) report!

We are here to help!

Let’s be real. In the USA, there’s no shortage of vehicle inspection companies to choose from. Some are independent entities, while others are affiliated with national companies tied to insurance firms and dealership groups. We happen to belong to the former category as a veteran- and family-owned independent third-party company based in St. Louis. Whether you opt for our services or choose another provider, we respect your decision. However, we want you to make the most out of your pre-purchase vehicle inspection report. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide to help you get the maximum value for your investment.

Making sure it is what they say it is with a pre-purchase inspection…

How To Use Your Pre-purchase Inspection – Getting The Most Out Of Your Ppi

Your pre-purchase vehicle inspection report serves as a crucial tool for evaluating the overall condition of the vehicle and comparing it to the seller’s claims. This provides you with trust and verification in your transaction. First and foremost, ensure that your report is easily understandable and provides all the necessary information to make an informed decision.

A comprehensive vehicle inspection report should include essential details such as the year, make, model, vehicle identification number (VIN), and mileage. In cases where the VIN and mileage are unavailable, the inspector should explain why. Additionally, the report should specify the vehicle’s trim, color, and features, including driveline type, transmission type, and brake design. This basic information helps confirm that the vehicle matches the seller’s description.

Moreover, a high-quality inspection report should break down the vehicle by system and part, covering areas such as body and paint, interior, features and options, engine, transmission, driveline, brakes, suspension, electrical system, and undercarriage or frame. At TDT, we utilize a grading system ranging from 1 to 6, similar to classic car auctions, and then average the score to provide you with a comparative value assessment without requiring a full appraisal. This approach aids in comparing the vehicle to others and determining its overall value.How To Use Your Pre-purchase Inspection – Getting The Most Out Of Your Ppi

Making an offer based off of true vehicle condition…

Another valuable use of your vehicle inspection report, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, is in making a solid offer for the vehicle purchase. The inspection report should provide you with an accurate assessment of the vehicle’s true condition. By utilizing the checklist provided by your vehicle inspector, you can determine the vehicle’s value based on a grading scale, such as concours, excellent, very good, good, and fair.

With this information, you can compare the inspected vehicle to others on the market, giving you a clear idea of what you believe is a fair offer to the seller. If the seller rejects your offer or shows resistance, you have the backing of the inspection report to justify your offer amount. This often helps in negotiating the seller closer to your offer number.

While it may seem like a lengthy process to save some money, our experience in assisting clients indicates that nine out of ten times, the asking price is reduced, and the inspection fee is saved multiple times over. Thus, taking these steps proves to be highly beneficial in ensuring a fair and cost-effective vehicle purchase.

Using Your Pre-Purchase Inspection as a Backup documentation if the unfortunate happens…

How To Use Your Pre-purchase Inspection – Getting The Most Out Of Your Ppi
Photo Credits by Erin Heffernan,

The final aspect I’d like to touch upon is the importance of having proof of the vehicle’s condition at the time of purchase. While some classic and collector car insurance companies may require an appraisal inspection before issuing a policy, disputes may still arise regarding the car’s condition in the event of a claim down the road. Pre-purchase vehicle inspection reports offer an independent third-party assessment of the car’s condition at the time of purchase. These reports are typically signed by the inspector or the inspecting company, providing you with valuable backup evidence of the vehicle’s condition should any issues arise in the future. While the inspection may not directly assist in disputes over value, it serves as crucial documentation of the vehicle’s condition prior to any loss, offering you added protection and peace of mind.

How To Use Your Pre-purchase Inspection – Getting The Most Out Of Your Ppi

Final words…

While there are undoubtedly numerous other applications for a pre-purchase inspection that I haven’t addressed in this article, these outlined uses represent the fundamental purposes of a PPI. Undoubtedly, the primary and most crucial application of a pre-purchase inspection is gaining insight into the vehicle’s condition before completing a purchase. This knowledge serves as a potent tool, empowering you to negotiate a more reasonable purchase price and offering reassurance that you’re making a wise investment in the vehicle. Additionally, it can sometimes prevent you from making a costly financial mistake, providing peace of mind and confidence in your decision-making process.