Trading in your car is one great way to get rid of an outdated vehicle to make room for the model of your dreams. But to get the best appraisal from a dealer, your automobile will need to be in good shape.

As a result, you might be considering getting an inspection to identify all the fixable issues. Below, we explore whether an inspection is worthwhile before a trade-in and what other alternatives you have.

Getting Your Car Inspected Before A Trade-In

If you want to get the most for your used vehicle during a trade-in, getting an inspection beforehand can help.

Whether it’s a state-mandated emission or safety inspection or a regular multi-point inspection, your technician can identify the parts that need repair or maintenance.

Getting this information will help you determine what is worth repairing or leaving as-is.

Where Can You Get Your Car Inspected?

where can i get my car inspected

You may be asking, “Where can I get my car expected near me?” A local service provider is likely closer than you think. That’s because numerous automotive centers and repair shops are certified to perform an inspection.

For state-mandated inspections, you’ll need to head to a licensed inspection station or emissions testing location. You can easily find one by inquiring with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or by conducting a quick online search.

Fortunately, many of the locations that conduct multi-point inspections are also licensed to perform state inspections including:

  • Dealerships: Dealerships often have the latest equipment for performing diagnostics. Additionally, technicians at dealerships are regularly trained in the latest repair and maintenance methods, so quality is expected to be high, especially for brand-specific service. However, this comes with a higher price.

  • Chain auto care centers: Popular chains like Firestone, Pep Boys, and Jiffy Lube have all the equipment necessary to thoroughly inspect your car. Plus, these automotive centers are located nationwide and are often easy to access and offer online scheduling. However, not all locations are equipped to handle all types of repairs the way dealerships are. These are better options for routine maintenance services.

  • Independent repair shops: At these locations, you’re more likely to find technicians with a breadth of knowledge of automotive repair. They can fix a variety of issues and as well as be candid about the best course of action for your vehicle. However, they may not have the latest tools or the best turnaround times.

Benefits Of Getting Your Car Inspected Before Trading It In

benefits of getting car inspected

Getting a car inspection before trading your car in can be beneficial in a few ways:

  1. You’ll get a thorough understanding of your car’s condition. This will enable you to get a more accurate estimate of the vehicle’s value before repairs.

  2. You’ll find out which repairs your car needs. The inspection technician can provide you with a list of services that can get your car into better shape so that you can plan repairs accordingly.

  3. Inspections look good on paper. Official inspections show up on vehicle history reports, which are viewed favorably by buyers (including dealerships).

What Do I Need To Get My Car Inspected?

For a state-mandated inspection, you’ll need to bring the following items:

  • Title

  • VIN Inspection form

  • Proof of Insurance

  • Bill of Sale or registration

  • Driver's license

Depending on the inspection site and state you live in, you will likely also need a form of payment as state inspections can cost between $10 and $50.

However, if you’re only going in for a multi-point inspection, you likely won’t need to bring anything special with you should always have your registration, insurance, and valid driver’s license on hand.

Should I Repair My Car After The Inspection?

Completing the repairs recommended by your inspection technician can increase the value of your trade-in. However, not all repairs are worth it. This is because high-cost repairs do not add significant value to your vehicle.

For example, if your automobile, valued at $5,000, needs a new transmission, you will be paying between $4,000 and $8,000 for parts and labor. However, your car will not increase in value by $4,000 to $8,000.

In general, major repairs are often not worth the cost, especially if they cost more than the value of your vehicle. Some minor services that can be worth it though include:

  • Replacing major fluids (motor, brake, transmission, radiator, and windshield washer fluid).

  • Checking and replacing headlamps.

  • Washing and waxing the car.

  • Detailing the inside of the vehicle.

DamagedCars Buys Cars Without An Inspection

buy car without an inspection

If your car is damaged beyond repair or you know that the necessary repairs will be far too costly to be worth it, then selling to DamagedCars is a great option for you.

We don’t require an inspection before the sale, nor do we need a fixed and working car to buy! We will buy your car as-is even if it’s totaled, rusted, or not running.

This is our easy and straightforward process:

  1. Fill out our online form with information about your vehicle.

  2. Accept our offer and schedule your free pick-up.

  3. Get paid in 24 to 28 hours when a tow driver comes to get your car.

Get your free quote today!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Get My Car Inspected In Another State?

Multi-point inspections can be conducted in any state. Requirements for passing missions and safety tests, though, vary by state. So, it will depend on your state’s specific rules about out-of-state inspections.

Can I Get My Car Inspected Without Registration?

For state-mandated emission and safety inspections, you will need your registration. If you live in a state that does not require regular inspections, you will not need to have your registration.

However, if you need to drive your car to an inspection location, registration will be required to legally drive on the road unless you have applied for an exemption.

Can I Get My Car Inspected Without Insurance?

Technicians that perform state-mandated inspections require that you have proof of insurance to complete the inspection, but you also need insurance to legally drive on public roads.

On the other hand, if you are getting a multi-point inspection at a repair center or dealership and you have the car towed rather than driven, then you might not need insurance (especially if you live in a state without state-required inspections). However, it’s best to ask the service provider before you go.

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