What is a Pre Purchase Car Inspection for a Used Car and Why you need one?

Follow these steps to avoid buying a lemon

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When buying a used car, it’s easy to go with your emotions over anything else. To ensure peace of mind, we recommend a Pre Purchase Car Inspection

Your heart is set on a particular make and model, and even a certain color – and you really want that car.

But before you part with your hard earned dirhams, you need to put facts over feelings. Doing so ensures you can rest easy knowing that the car you’ve bought is in perfect working order and not likely to give you any issues anytime soon. After all, car purchases require decent money to be spent so it’s not a light decision to be made!

At AutoDrift.ae, we know a thing or two about cars and we’ve got a big pro tip for you when it comes to buying your next car:

Book a Pre Purchase Car Inspection before you buy

A Pre Purchase Inspection is carried out by a mechanic and it covers everything from top to bottom, inside and out. From leaks to rust, to tyre tread and electrics, the report is typically multi-point with lots of things to check in your car. Think of it like a general checkup at the doctors.

In the UAE, you can simply go to any car workshop and ask them to carry one out. The report will detail its findings and recommendations and give the car a pass if its in good working condition. With this information in hand, you can make an informed purchase decision which can save you hassles down the line. It can even help with price negotiation!

We’ve found costs for pre-purchase car inspections in Dubai to vary between 250-350 AED and in most cases, a report can be prepared within 1-2 hours.  You will probably find similar pricing elsewhere in the UAE. No one wants to spend more than they should on a car but the amount paid for a pre-purchase car inspection is a lot smaller than what you’d pay for any major issues that could occur later on – all because you failed to do your due diligence.

Ask around to get a good deal but remember to work with a reputable car workshop – check their reviews on Google Maps as a starting point. Side note: if the seller is reluctant to allow a pre purchase inspection, this is a red flag!

Ask your own questions

You may not know enough about the workings of a car – fair enough, but there are questions you can ask that really don’t need any technical knowledge. If the seller is hesitant or isn’t clear with their answers, this could be cause for concern – but this is where the pre-purchase inspection will come in because it will tell you everything even if the owner doesn’t. Once the pre-purchase inspection done, you can raise any questions with the mechanic and go back to the seller to discuss further and possibly begin negotiating a discount!

Some good questions to ask the seller of the car:

  • has the car been in any accidents, and if so, how many and what was damaged (and replaced/fixed)?
  • how many owners before the current owner?
  • does the car have any modifications, and if so, what are they?
  • has the car been serviced regularly (as per recommendations) and has a service log been kept? (ask to see the book)
  • why are they selling the car? what did they love the most? what aren’t they a fan of?


AutoDrift.ae recommends getting a pre-purchase car inspection before buying a car in Dubai
(or anywhere in the UAE). No matter how much of a petrol head you are, it pays to get a professional opinion. It could save your life one day.

Here’s to your safe driving and to a smooth purchase of your next car!

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