When it comes time to replace your old car with another one, you might have mixed feelings about the process. On one hand, you may be excited to get into a different car and have a change of scenery. On the other hand, the process of buying a car can be extremely stressful—especially if you don’t want to get taken advantage of.

Used cars present a unique challenge to car buyers in that they’ve been driven before and have likely incurred problems in the past. Rarely do drivers take such excellent care of their vehicles that you’ll have reliable options to choose from everywhere you look. That’s why it’s important to enlist the help of automotive professionals who can perform a pre-purchase inspection for you once you find a car you are considering investing in. Here’s a little more information about pre-purchase inspections, including what a pre-purchase inspection entails and why they’re important.

What Do Pre-Purchase inspections Entail?

When buying used cars in particular, pre-purchase inspections are necessary to maximize the success of the transaction. There are certain parts that must be inspected before buying a used car in order to protect yourself, which includes the condition of some of the key elements of the car that will affect its reliability and performance. Here are some of the most important factors pre-purchase inspections address in used cars before you buy them:


When someone puts time and energy into taking care of their paint work, it is usually evident, and is a good predictor of the condition of the rest of the vehicle that you cannot see with the naked eye at first glance. Inspecting for scratchesdentsevidence of a previous accident, and other concerning signs of negligence is common in a pre-purchase inspection.


The condition of the inside of the car is nearly as important as the condition of the outside. Even though a used car might look shiny and new on the outside, the condition of the interior can tell you a lot about the previous owner’s care-taking habits. While it’s normal for the interior to sustain a bit of wear—especially depending on the age of the vehicle—abnormal signs of wear are what to look for. If the interior is stained, torn, or ripped excessively, you might consider looking elsewhere.

Mechanics: Not Just What’s Under the Hood

Of course, the most critical aspect of pre-purchase inspections is investigating the condition of the various engine components and transmission. Without a functional engine or transmission, the car might as well be a paperweight in your driveway. Records of care are helpful to learn what parts of the car have been replaced over time. In addition to the engine and transmission, it’s also important to inspect the other mechanical systems like the suspensionwheels, and tires for abnormal wear or deficits.

Important Safety Features

Safety features in cars can be updated or fixed relatively easily, depending on the problem area. For instance, if a seatbelt is torn or not functioning, the fix isn’t too difficult to handle—or expensive for that matter. However, when it comes to other safety features like anti-lock brakes and stability control systems, things can get a little more dicey. It’s best to have a professional check it out first so you don’t jeopardize your safety even while driving off the lot.

Why Is a Pre-Purchase Inspection Important Before Buying a Used Car?

Pre-purchase inspections can spare car buyers the hassle and stress of purchasing a lemon vehicle. When we drive a “new” used car off the lot, it’s somewhat of a gamble without a pre-purchase inspection. Since we can’t be certain how well the previous owner cared for the vehicle, our second best option is to evaluate the condition of the car with expertise.

How We Can Help You

The experts here at Cerrone’s European, located in Redwood City, CA, have performed countless numbers of pre-purchase inspections for our clients. As one of our favorite services to provide for our community, we feel that pre-purchase inspections are not only necessary, but can be outwardly life-saving in certain situations. Sparing clients from buying cars that are in less than optimal condition has earned us our reputation for honesty and integrity. If you have questions about our services or would like to schedule a pre-purchase inspection, please contact one of our helpful professionals directly. We look forward to hearing from you!