Top 5 Questions to Ask a Seller Before Having a Vehicle Inspected

Here are the top 5 questions to ask a seller prior to having a vehicle inspected by an independent 3rd party vehicle inspector.

Top 5 Questions to Ask a Seller Before Having a Vehicle Inspected
Print this blog post and keep it next to your computer when you are shopping for a used car…

Here at TDT get some very common questions so we thought we would throw this quick list of questions out there for vehicle buyers to ask a seller prior to having a vehicle inspected…  Print it and keep it next to your computer when you are shopping online for quick reference.  Don’t get duped into the emotional vehicle purchase.

Before you start throwing stones at me through your screen please understand that we have been in this business for a long time and understand the industry very well.  Our job as independent vehicle inspectors are to represent the vehicle and nothing further however, we have learned some things along the way which can help a buyer like you.

  1. Can I put money down on the vehicle contingent on a quality inspection by an independent 3rd party vehicle inspection? Chances are the dealer or seller will say no to this however, in the case they do agree to it be 100% sure to get it in writing prior to providing them with any money or card information.  Many classic car dealers require 10% of the vehicle asking price and it is non-refundable. Be careful!
  2. Will you allow a full inspection of the vehicle by an independent vehicle inspector? If you get any pushback at all from this question politely decline any further dealings with this seller. It is obvious that he / she does not want to sell the vehicle or is hiding something from you.
  3. Will you allow the independent vehicle inspector to test drive the car? Many sellers will allow a full test drive of the car. Some sellers would rather drive themselves and the vehicle inspector ride a long and that is pretty common and is OK.  If the seller refuses a test drive of the vehicle or says the vehicle cannot be test driven, you may want to politely decline and further dealings.
  4. Do you have a lift to place the vehicle on so the independent vehicle inspector can fully inspect the undercarriage of the vehicle? Many of the times a dealership will have a lift that can be made available to place the vehicle on however, some shops do not allow inspectors inside the shop area for insurance reasons.  Your independent vehicle inspector should be prepared for this and should bring ramps with them so they can get under the vehicle.
  5. I would like the independent vehicle inspector to photograph the title and any other documentation that comes with the car. Can you make that available for them?  Any pushback on this at all and you should consider walking away.  If the vehicle has been advertised with documentation, then it should be available with the vehicle for photographing.  If it is not, chances are the vehicle is on consignment or misrepresented in the advertisement.

Here is a great article from the Consumer Reports about putting money down and dealing with a vehicle purchase…  It speaks directly to the point of noting a refundable deposit and how to get the dealer to agree to it.

If we can help inspect a vehicle for you feel free to reach out to use by phone, text message or email.  You can also send us a quick message through our website by using the form to the right.