The 1-2-3 Steps When Buying a Used Vehicle

Did you know that 1 in 4 used cars on the road today have altered odometers, 1 in 15 used cars have been rebuilt from salvage, and 90% of used vehicles have maintenance items not performed? To reduce the risk of buying a used vehicle with existing problems and previous accident damages, you should follow the 3 simple steps below.

But first, some general information:

Whether you buy a used car, either from a dealer or individual, and no matter what kind of used car you buy, young, old, or certified pre-owned, the buyer must determine the TRUE condition before purchase. A good-looking used car can cost you thousands in repairs and be structurally unsound.

Regardless of what the seller or salesperson tells you about the vehicle, it is your responsibility to determine the actual condition before purchase. Any oral statements made by the salesperson or seller about the vehicle's condition are not enforceable in a court of law. And remember, there is no Used Car Lemon Law in Texas.

A Carfax report is NOT a pre-purchase inspection. No history report can tell you the current condition on ANY component or system, and most accidents will not show up on a Carfax report.

Follow these 3 steps:

Step 1)  Take it for a test drive.lemon car
After finding a vehicle, take it for a test drive for at least 10 minutes and determine you like the vehicle cosmetically. This is your opportunity to detect any obvious problems that would eliminate them from consideration.
BE AWARE! Many salespeople and sellers may pressure you to buy the car after the test drive. Just because a car runs well during a test drive DOES NOT mean it doesn't have existing, hidden, or potential problems or accident damage.

Step 2)  Negotiate your best deal.negotiate
Ask your loan officer, or go online for pricing information about the vehicle. The prices listed in these "Buying Guides" are for vehicles in good condition with no repairs needed and have never been in an accident. Your initial negotiated price assumes that the vehicle is in good mechanical condition and has no previous accident damages. Make your negotiated price contingent upon a pre-purchase inspection.
BE AWARE! Many salespeople and sellers may pressure you to buy the car after you negotiate a price. However, you can't negotiate your best deal unless you know the TRUE condition of the vehicle.

lemon car

Step 3)  Get a Professional Unbiased Pre-Purchase Inspection.
There are no qualification standards for pre-purchase inspections. Auto P. I. inspections are performed by ASE Certified Master Technician and Frame Specialist to give you a complete inspection. Auto P. I. 600-Point inspection includes all mechanical, electrical, body & frame, and Texas title search. Auto P. I. will document any needed repairs, problems, or accident damage discovered by the examination inspection.

After the inspection, your first negotiated price can now be re-negotiated for problems discovered by the inspection based. The dollar amount to fix these problems should be deducted from the original negotiated price or fixed by the seller before purchase.

You cannot negotiate your best deal until you know the EXACT condition of every component and system.

**CAUTION** Getting your vehicle repaired. Repair facilities make more money when they suggest and make repairs. If you take your vehicle to a repair facility and want to fix or replace items NOT on our report, STOP. Call us first before authorizing any additional repairs. If questionable, we will re-look at any item(s) to determine the actual condition.

Serving Austin and Surrounding Cities
Call 512-454-5999 or email at to
schedule an inspection. Monday - Saturday 8-5:30

Vehicle outside the Austin area - click here to find a company