How a used car inspection can save you money in the long run

How a used car inspection can save you money in the long run
Modern cars have for years been equipped with more computing power than the NASA spacecraft that put a man on the moon - so how do you know if the one you're buying is in good working order?

They may typically have multiple airbags, high-tech low-emissions engines and an entire network of luxury features that make them better equipped than even the most expensive cars used to have.

But if you’re buying secondhand, and want to enjoy all these features without paying the high prices of a new car, how can you be certain everything works as it should and you won’t get hit by an unexpectedly eye-watering bill?

By taking out a used car inspection. Like having a medical before you take out life insurance, a used car inspection should be seen as a health check for cars that can protect you from retting caught out on the used car market.

READ MORE: How to spot when a car has been clocked

Given how repairing even the most minor fault on a high-tech modern car can run into hundreds, they are among the best value motoring insurance schemes out there.

Vehicle inspections are generally carried out by qualified engineers. They will diligently check hundreds of essential areas covering all aspects of a car, including:

  • Engine and gearbox
  • Suspension
  • Safety equipment
  • Interior features
  • Bodywork condition
  • Signs of accident damage
  • Evidence of neglect or poor maintenance
  • Full road test

All checks are based on making sure cars are safe, sound and roadworthy; they’ll all be summarised in a written report that’s either posted or emailed to you, so you have physical evidence of a car’s actual condition should you need to discuss it with a vendor prior to doing a deal.

What’s more, because engineers are physically inspecting the car, they will also be able to discuss with you any particular areas of a car – thus helping you make a clear, insightful decision on any potential used car purchase.

These checks will make sure you know exactly what sort of condition the car is in. But, with an RAC Vehicle Inspection, there’s an added bonus – a full RAC Car Data Check comes as part of the package. This looks back through the car’s history to make sure it hasn’t been stolen or written off: it basically makes sure there are no skeletons in the closet.

Any honest seller should not object to having the car they’re selling inspected. After all, if it’s a sound motor, the inspection should help it sell more easily. So it’s certainly worth considering one for your next used car purchase.

After all, modern cars’ complexity doesn’t come cheap – repairing them won’t quite cost as much as sending a man to the moon, but it will still be a hefty bill you could do without.

Has a used vehicle inspection saved you from a potential nasty big bill? Why not tell the RAC community on our Twitter or Facebook page.

Car valuation

​Find out how much your car is worth with the free car valuation tool at RAC Cars.