Car Buying

Car Dealer inspection Vs Independent 3rd Party Car Inspection

Car inspection from independent 3rd parties like CarExamer are very different to the inspections that come from car dealers, and in a huge number of ways. Getting a pre-purchase vehicle inspection could well be one of the best decisions you could ever make when it comes to buying a car. They can save you countless sums of money should something be wrong with your car-to-be, and more and more people are beginning to understand just what makes them so important. In fact, this is also exactly the reason why many used car dealers, both online and bricks and mortar companies, they do inspect they used cars but quality remains a mystery as it can be listed as self-serving nor customer focused inspection. In reality good quality used car dealers, they’re even welcoming car inspections from 3rd parties.

The issue that comes with this seemingly great thing, however, is that the inspections from used car dealers are just another grey area. They are included by many dealers as standard before buying a used vehicle, but the issue is, no one outside of their business is quite sure what actually happens in most cases just a check box exercise. That’s why independent 3rd party vehicle inspections are still almost always worth the investment when comparing the two.

Inspection Quality

The main thing to think about when looking at independent vehicle inspections versus inspections from the used car dealer themselves is that the quality of the inspection is almost always going to be better from an independent. Their sole purpose is to inspect the car after all. They are experts in the field and know exactly what to look for with your car. That’s their whole world, after all.

Independent used car inspectors also have specialised tools to test cars, too, and not to simply fix them. They put cars through their paces in numerous ways, and that includes road tests that don’t just test drives. That’s helping them to get a true understanding of what the condition of the car is like inside and out at the time of the inspection. Your inspector will visit the car no matter where it is, speak with the car seller on the customer’s behalf, and carry out the test wherever is safe and legal to do so without causing any problems. You don’t even need to be there for it to take place. That is really handy if it’s not a local purchase.

Transparency of Inspection

On top of the quality that independent vehicle inspections have over used car dealer inspections, what’s even more important in the eyes of some is that there’s a huge level of transparency in the inspection, too. After all, how is a used car buyer supposed to know if the car has been tested to a high standard if they aren’t told what the test entails in the first place or the rules behind it?

To put that into context, most high quality independent inspection services will be happy to tell customers what their inspection packages entail. That helps them pick the right one for what they are looking for, and rest assured that they’re buying safely. Simply being told that a car you’re looking to buy has been inspected has little to no value. You’re not sure as to when it was tested, what the outcome was, what the issues were, or the quality of the test as we mentioned above, either.

Motives and Gain

Even with the highest quality dealer inspection service, it’s always going to be difficult to determine just how much the dealer is willing to give up in order to make a sale. With numerous processes going on, multiple members of staff involved, and a few opinions too, it only stands to reason that a car dealer has to put sales at the heart of their business from time to time. Any issues that are flagged up mean that they can’t sell the car after all. In the best case, it may take a while, while they fix it (and pay for the repairs out of their own pocket), but in the worst case, it may make the car unworthy of even selling. That’s bad news for them.

The key difference of course with independent inspections, however, is that they gain nothing, regardless of the outcome of your inspections. They don’t pay for the repairs, they don’t benefit from the sale. 3rd Party car inspections come from a completely neutral party to the transaction, and only want to help customers get a truly fair deal without any negatives from their experience. They do still try to maintain happy relationships with customers and used car dealers since they’re either only for clarity and not to pass judgement, but there’s no monetary gain no matter how the inspection turns out.

Information Quality

Finally, the last big win that needs to be mentioned as a result of an independent vehicle inspection is that the quality of information that you have available to you is incredible. As we said, with a dealer car inspection, you’re not even sure what’s been tested, after all, never mind what the results were.

With an independent car inspection, you have a full breakdown of exactly what condition your car is in, and that goes for what’s likely to occur in the near future too if anything is on its way out. All of the information of the inspections given to you in one easy report, usually with photographs as well. You can even speak to the inspector to make sure that you understand exactly what they’re saying. All of that information helps you make the best possible decision, and all in all saves you money. Shortage of quality used car stock.


All in all, independent 3rd party car inspections are there for one reason, and one reason only; to help you buy a car without having to worry about problems occurring down the line, and you being left out of a car or out of pocket to put it right. Anything can happen when it comes to used cars, but even with dealers trying to make things easy for customers, it’s never a black and white situation. More research is always a solid investment. It could be the difference between a great car, and a very expensive repair bill.

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