Money making idea for car sellers

Instead of the potential car-buyer paying for an inspection, what if the seller purchased the inspection themselves before putting the car up for sale? The inspection would be obtained from an independent inspection service. Then the seller could offer to sell the inspection report for $250 to whoever is interested in the car. All the buyers who want an inspection would get to read the inspection report, and the seller wouldn’t have to worry about questionable inspectors.
Plus the seller might pocket 3 or 4 inspection report purchases along the way, coming out $500+ to the good.

Hmmm lemme see… You want me to TRUST a used car dealer? As much as I trust Lucy to hold the football for Charlie Brown.

NO, Nope, Nyet, not gonna happen.

This is exactly what “Certified” used cars are supposed be to buyers.

How “independent” do you think that independent shop is going to be to the dealer paying the bill? Or how many “bad” inspection results they submit before they get replaced? The only inspection I would trust is one I paid for.


100% agree with Mustangman… And you are correct sir, it would be a great money maker for the Dealer while the buyer gets screwed…


Last used car I bought I got the free carfax and a standard inspection report plus a warranty. You know, brakes, etc. and all the stuff looked at every time the car goes to the dealer. Just take a 30 year old car to the dealer for a $40 oil change and you’ll get the report free. Might be a lot of stuff in yellow or red though, but don’t have to give it to the buyer. Just say it’s been a great car for 30 years. That’s puffing, not fraud.

Years ago when I had my own shop, I had a customer who consistently had bad luck and made poor choices. Like buying a used car on a Sunday when I wasn’t open to do an inspection.

The dealer suggested that the Pep Boys down the street could check the car out. He paid them for an inspection and they found a torn CV boot and a leaking valve cover. They gave him an estimate for valve cover gaskets and a CV axle, which the customer then used to get a few bucks off the price of the car.

Later that week he goes to the same Pep Boys to have the CV axle replaced and the valve covers resealed, as noted on the inspection he paid for. While the car is there, they inform him that during their courtesy inspection they found that the steering rack is leaking and needs to be replaced and that the rear brakes are starting to grind.

An inspection by a shop you don’t know or don’t trust is worse than no inspection at all, I reckon.


Charge a potential buyer for an inspection report that the seller had performed? Why would any buyer agree to pay the seller for that?

Oftentimes, home sellers will have an inspection done prior to listing their house for sale and they make the inspection report available to prospective buyers for free. I would look it over but still want to pay my own inspector and be present during the inspection.


You think I, as a prospective used car buyer would pay to read an “inspection report” provided by the seller? And you think that a fair price for this “service” is $250??? Hold on while I wipe my spit off the screen, I literally laughed so hard!

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Then wash and wax it charge a prep fee :star_struck:

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There was a scam going on. I think it may have involved Craigslist buyers. The buyer told the seller that they would buy the car if the seller purchased some Carfax like report. The buyer never intended to purchase the car and the buyer was working with or for the company that sold the reports.

Why would the seller charge for the inspection report? Why not give the inspection report for free and then increase the cost of the vehicle by that much to cover the expense? It doesn’t make sense for a buyer to pay the seller for a potentially biased inspection report when they could pay for their own non biased one.

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A Carfax report is only as good as the prior seller(s) were honest at reporting anything/everything (wrecks, small or large) and or what was reported to Carfax on the maintenance side of it, most indy or chain shops do not report to Carfax…

Just as a pre inspection is only as good as the mechanic doing the inspection… If the mechanic is good at his job and honest, you will get a good inspection, if he/she is not then you won’t…

In theory, you should be able to take a given vehicle to any shop across the USA for an inspection, but in real life depending on the type and in-depth of the inspection, I can almost guarantee that every inspection will be at least a little bit different, sometimes even from the same shop and or mechanic depending on mood and time of day etc etc…

Not every mechanic is as honest as the members on this forum…


I always paid for an inspection prior to selling my cars when I sold to a private buyer. In this case it was a required safety inspection. The state would not register the car to the new owner without a safety inspection at a shop licensed to provide it.

As for the inspection we usually talk about, I did not provide one. If I were buying a used car I’d get the inspection myself at a shop I know and trust.

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Is the seller a a used car dealer?

There’s nothing in this idea preventing the buyer from paying their own inspector for their own private report. The buyer isn’t required to purchase the seller’s report. If the seller won’t allow another inspection , the buyer will have to take their money & look elsewhere.

Interesting idea. But I’ve never used a dealership for an oil change. Do they really offer such a bargain rate for an oil & filter change & inspection report, parts and labor? If so, that seems like a pretty good deal. In that case I expect the buyer would refuse the seller’s $250 inspection report and get the report for $40 from a dealership. Seller is less likely to complain b/c worse case and its a “no sell”, the seller keeps the car & the buyer gives them a free oil & filter change.

Maybe over-stating you case a little?; in any event the buyer always has the option to pay another mechanic for an inspection report, if they think they can get better info for less money. Or the buyer can just skip the inspection report altogether.

B/c the inspection is already done, no need for the buyer to spend time to find a mechanic, and no waiting for the report’s completion. An opportunity to get the transaction completed quickly.

Remember, besides speeding up entire transaction it saves the busy buyer an hour or more of their personal time to find a good shop to schedule an inspection. And in the time awaiting
the inspection the seller may sell the car to somebody else, another cost to the buyer.

The seller could choose to do it that way. But they’d be giving away the upside of a little profit on the inspection report. I’ll grant your comment about the possibility of a the inspection report being a scam is something a buyer might worry about. Of course they can always obtain their own inspection if they are concerned. Any time somebody is selling a car, this presents all sorts of possibilities for scams.

So what would I do? I’d refuse the seller’s $250 report and do the inspection myself. Almost everything a car-experienced buyer needs to know they can obtain from just a short test drive anyway. I expect most of the folks here buying a mid-priced car for basic transport make their decision only by a test drive, maybe peeking under the sides car as it sits on the ground at the most.

YES you don’t need an inspection on a new car…

Then why would I ever even consider buying one from a dealer? No trust there. None. Why would anyone trust it?

Couldn’t the seller be a private party?

They could be, but I’d trust them even LESS!


You’d trust a used car dealer more than a private seller? Me, I’d trust a private seller more. I’ve only purchased one used vehicle, and it was from a private seller. All the known issues w/the vehicle that weren’t obvious were disclosed. Smallish town, so everybody knew everybody else though.

Heck yes I would and do (but only more, not a lot), at least you know the used car dealer is lying to you before hand… If a dealer has been in business for a while, they will have a reputation as well as you can google reviews etc etc… A private seller has nothing to go by but your gut feeling if you have never met them before, or even know them…

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, the engine is in good shape, it was just rebuilt just to turn out to be junk, that I have seen… Just because you are a private seller doesn’t mean you are honest… Now they are just called craigslist rebuilds… lol Watch Roadworthy Rescues w/ Derek Bieri on Motor Trend… I’m sure a few members on here won’t get his humor… Or Vice Grip Garage on YouTube…


Seems like a close call. I wonder which other folks here tend to trust more, user car dealers or private sellers?

If after about 15 minutes you can’t determine if someone is trust worthy, the best is just to buy a new car off the lot with a warranty.

Yes, because the used car dealer must follow consumer laws in their state. The private seller doesn’t. Advantage dealer.

Both lie. No advantage

Competing the deal with a pro vs a rank amateur. Advantage dealer.

Your single experience doesn’t lend much info to this discussion.