Want to make sure your seller isn’t pulling a fast one on you? A pre-purchase car inspection is the best way to go in assessing the true health of a used vehicle.

The standard rate for a pre-purchase vehicle inspection typically ranges anywhere from $105 to $150, and some auto shops adjust pricing based on your car’s make and model.

Why a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection?

There are many areas of a car’s condition that cannot be determined by a simple glance. A pre-purchase inspection (PPI) covers the major components that affect a vehicle:


The most important reason to get a PPI for a used car is to find out if there are any safety hazards. Issues such as faulty brakes or tires will need to be corrected right away to ensure your vehicle is fit to drive.


Functions such as air conditioning aren’t necessary for a car to drive well, but make a significant impact on a driver’s overall experience. Assessing a car’s features will help you determine whether it is a good fit for your particular needs.

Potential Future Costs

Certain issues might not need to be addressed immediately but may require extensive repairs down the road if left alone. It’s best to have these kinds of repairs done sooner than later to avoid problems worsening, leading to a more costly fix in the future.

What Does a Pre-Purchase Auto Inspection Include?

Different shops will include various services in their inspection, so be sure to research exactly what your Marietta mechanic’s pre-purchase inspection includes before you schedule.

To determine the full function and health of a used car, an auto shop will perform many different inspection services such as a test drive, visual inspection, and emissions code check.

  • Test Drive

    By taking your car for a spin, a mechanic can see for themselves exactly how it performs on the road. A test drive will alert the inspector to issues such as unwarranted noises, malfunctioning breaks, improper alignment, and problems with steering.

  • Visual Inspection

    A thorough visual inspection will assess more than just the aesthetics of your used car. Certain aspects such as mismatched body paint are indicative of a larger issue, like unreported vehicle repairs for car wrecks. During this inspection, the technician will also determine if there are any problems with the transmission, fuel, engine oil, and other essential vehicle components.

  • Emissions Code Check

    To find out if your vehicle is ready for an emissions test, a mechanic will check the trouble codes. Sometimes a used car will have the codes cleared, either due to a recently jumpstarted battery or the seller clearing them intentionally. If the readiness is not complete (that’s when a car is checking its own systems) it will not pass emissions.

Are you looking to purchase a used car? Scott DeLong’s Auto in Marietta charges a flat rate of $120 for all pre-purchase auto inspections, regardless of vehicle make and model. Contact our trusted mechanics today to determine if your used vehicle is a wise investment.