Like many other things, the evolution of technology has greatly influenced the way car sale & purchase is done these days. There are new online mediums of sale/ purchase as well as exchange programs offered by various companies. Furthermore certified used cars are another domain where even the local auto assemblers have jumped into.
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The emergence of ride hailing services has also fetched many people into car purchasing– even those will little knowledge of automobiles. This has given birth to the concept of car inspection services in our market, something which was literally absent a few years ago.
If you are looking to buy a used car, it requires a thorough inspection and the deal is mostly a gamble. For you the car may become a dream come true, or you may end up witnessing your worst nightmare. Not everyone is good at inspecting vehicles, so most people are now turning towards car inspection services. But looking at the recent customer outrage on social media regarding various inspection services, the question arises whether these fancy inspection services are really worth the money you pay for?
A car is made up of hundreds and thousands of parts, and they all need to be working efficiently to give you a trouble-free experience. The checking areas are thus classified into exterior (body), interior (cabin), equipment & creature comfort, wheels & tires, suspension, electrical systems, exhaust/ cooling systems & engine categories etc.
Obviously not only you need a professional to thoroughly assess all these areas, often the professional needs to be equipped with dedicated equipment to determine the true state of engine & body components etc. And if professionally done, it can be a couple of hours job to properly evaluate every aspect of the vehicle.
On the contrary, what happens is that a single person shows up on a decided place to assess the vehicle without any proper equipment whatsoever. Its more like taking services of any roadside mechanic who has the liberty to get dressed in a proper uniform. Its another story that often the inspection ‘team’ fails to show up on committed time & place.
According to a flurry of complaints made on various social forums in recent times, the inspection guys are often unable to detect simple problems in a vehicle. At times the person coming to inspect the vehicle has expertise in just one or two key areas and has absolutely no knowledge of other things. Also happens is that the inspection person assesses only a couple of areas of his knowledge and creates a report on other areas based on the assumptions taken from the points of areas he assessed, which is highly unprofessional.
Another alarming thing is that based on who they are dealing with (either buyers/ or sellers) these inspection services are being used to bring down the value of the car or increase it exponentially, depending on the party paying for the report. Suppose if you are a seller, the buyers who gets the vehicle “inspected” will have the inspection report identify tons of problems in the car (even if they never exist) so as to slash down the price of that vehicle. But if you are the buyer, and the seller has the inspection report with him already, you can always expect that major problems have been blanketed under the fake inspection report giving maximum points to the vehicle so as to increase its value.
And its not about one or two inspection services, customers are being scammed by almost every other inspection service operating in the market. But it’s not just the case with these services with fancy names, even the leading assemblers running certified used-car businesses are no exception. A close relative of mine was about to buy a new sedan but due to high prices he was hunting for a 2/3 years old used one from the market. He came across a very well-maintained car in a very uncommon color but the only drawback was a relatively high mileage on its odometer, though the car was company maintained. Despite everything good, the high mileage made the guy let go the deal and he started exploring the certified used cars. A couple of weeks later he found the same sedan standing at a certified used car showroom on Shahra-e-Faisal operated by a leading assembler. And to his surprise the odometer of the car was tampered, showing a very low mileage.
Customers showing displeasure regarding various “Car Inspection Services”
It is perhaps no longer justified to use these so-called inspection services which have lost their value and repute in quick time due to repetitive mistakes, unprofessional way of assessments & malpractices in conducting the services. However in the age of internet where information is at fingertips, you can always equip yourself with ample knowledge that will help you identify a good car. Better still, you can get the vehicle inspected by a pro technician or mechanic you trust. But spending money on the inspection services to get no value in return, doesn’t sound like a good idea any more.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com