Why You Need a Pre-Purchase Inspection Before You Buy?

I have attached an inspection completed today. As you read you will see clear reason why you should have a pre-purchase inspection completed before handing over your hard-earned cash on a car, truck, trailer or motorbike. I have also attached photos to further demonstrate why you need a pre-purchase inspection.

We have had a lot of inquiries about pre-purchase inspections of late and I am surprised at the reluctance of some potential buyers to part with a couple of hundred dollars to potentially save them thousands as shown in the example below.

Pre-purchase inspections are insurance against buying a lemon. I guarantee that when most sellers tell us how good the car is and it will be a quick inspection, there are issues

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At East Coast Mobile Safety Certificates, we have over 18 Year’s experience in pre-purchase inspections on all makes and models of cars, trucks, trailers and motorbikes. We have a highly respected team of qualified technicians, whose job it is to find the vehicles issues and inform the buyer. As you can see in the comments below, it is the opinion of the inspector that the seller has tried to cover up the oil leaks found. This is not only typical of some sellers, rather than fix a problem, they try to disguise it from the unsuspecting buyer. Hidden issues like this require an experienced trained eye to spot the sellers attempts to cover up costly faults.

Broken and crack seals and gaskets cause numerous oil leaks which are sometimes easy to spot and sometimes very difficult to find and fix.

You might think that a drip of oil is nothing and it is not a big issue, however you are only noticing a drip on a driveway when you look at the car. How much oil is running out of the car when the car is being driven and there are pressures forcing oil out of any leaking seal or gasket it can find. You may find that not long after you purchase your car that has not had a pre-purchase inspection completed, the oil light comes on. This is most likely because the seller has cleaned up the oil leaks just prior to your arrival. Not only have they cleaned them up, they have attempted to plug the leaks with some temporary filler. Now that you are driving down the highway on the way home with your new pride and joy, pressure is forcing oil out of those hidden leaks and your car is screaming out for oil.

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Now that you realise that you have an issue with the car, there is little recourse to be had with the seller (unless there is a warranty through a dealer). You had the chance to have the car, truck, trailer or motorbike inspected, but chose to save a couple of hundred dollars and not have the pre-purchase inspection completed. This is your choice of course, but unlike buying or selling a house where it is compulsory in most states to have a pest and building inspection completed, cars are not required to have a pre-purchase completed. The seller is however required to provide a Safety Certificate of inspection or a Roadworthy Certificate of inspection. These inspections are as defined by Queensland Transport, “a basic inspection” and does not require the inspector to make comment on what he/she really thinks of the car, truck, trailer or motorbike. For example, if there is no evident oil leaks or oil dripping from the car at the time of inspection, the inspector is obliged to pass the vehicle. Now, whilst that enables the seller to get the car passed, it does not give much of an indication to the potential purchaser that the car is a good buy and they should enjoy reasonable trouble-free driving for a realistic length of time. Quite the opposite in some cases, as the safety certificate inspection is quite limiting in several areas.


You now have a car with issues, what do you do from here?

Oil leaks are often considered an out of site out of mind problem. One crack in a $30-$40 dollar gasket can cost $000’s to fix. How can that be you might be thinking? Unfortunately, gaskets and seals are used when two parts are attached together or where there is movement between components. A number of these are easy to identify and relatively cheap to replace however many are not. Some gaskets are at the bottom of the engine and require numerous parts to be removed to even start working on them. Time is a labour cost to the customer, ticking over at up to $145 per hour. During the process of removing parts to get to you leaking gasket or gaskets, the parts that are being removed may also require gaskets replaced to ensure there are no further leaks from other areas. Who knows what else will be found when engines, transmissions are pulled apart and repaired?

I hope I am painting a picture for you here about saving money and buying that bargain without the pre-purchase inspection being completed.

I had a mate ring me recently to ask if I would do a pre-purchase inspection on a ute for him. He needed it in a hurry as the seller said he had other people interested, and the car looked in good condition. Whilst I was busy organising one of our inspectors to get to him, he rang me back and said he bought the car. I was speechless, I just had to listen to how he might have lost the car to another buyer if he didn’t buy it then and there. Anyway, two weeks later it started blowing smoke and has cost him about $2,000 so far.


Please invest in a pre-purchase inspection, it can save you $000’s and provide you with a safe and reliable vehicle.

Safe & Happy Driving!

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