If you do not know of a good garage or the one you typically deal with does not perform the important and often overlooked body inspection, you can find a good reliable garage in a number of ways.
You may contact the Automobile Protection Association (APA) as they provide some names to the general public. For the full list of garages for both inspections and regular maintenance, you must become a member. Depending on where you are situated in Canada, they can recommend an accredited mobile inspector which is the best alternative.
Another option is contacting and joining a local chapter of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
Family and friends
Your immediate entourage, be they family or friends, probably have a number of suggestions for you. A word-of-mouth recommendation is also an excellent and inexpensive way to find a reliable repair shop for an inspection.
New-car dealer of the make in questionA new-car dealership of the make is a plausible alternative. Their knowledge of the brand and the car you fancy gives them an advantage but they usually do not perform car-body verifications. The other issue could be the price of the inspection which can run upwards of $125.
- In any case, an inspection is of the utmost importance if only to show that you did your due-diligence prior to signing on the dotted line. Should you ever have to sue the seller, proof of this could make the difference between winning or losing your case.
WHO AND WHERE FOR AN INSPECTION?
The Automobile Protection Association (APA) is an excellent source of recommendations for garages across Canada. Their network of shops includes a number of garages that adhere to the APA's own very complete vehicle inspection form.
The list of recommended and accredited garages holds a number of specialized repair shops, be it by brand, such as Subaru, or by origin, such as European.
The list of recommended inspection shops is available to the general public whereas the recommended and accredited garages are reserved for APA members.
There are a huge number of repair shops out there that are dedicated to specific brands. The reason is quite simple and relates to particular tools. These shops are nearly or as well equipped as dealerships and therefore can service most if not all of the cars from a same brand.
In many cases, older cars from specific regions of the World share similar technologies. Garages dedicated to, for example, British cars can therefore be very useful.
Regardless of who, what, when, why, where or how, an inspection must be performed on the used car you intend to purchase. Too often do consumers realize after the fact that the car they purchased with their hard earned money is not exactly in the condition they were led to believe it was in.
The Johnsons did right by getting the Audi Q7 inspected prior to their purchase. The repainted body-panel could have just as easily been the result of an impact and gone unnoticed until the repair rears its ugly face as rust or chipping paint a few years down the line.
Too often consumers take the seller's word on the condition of the vehicle offered for sale only to find out a few weeks, months or years later that it was misrepresented.
In the worse case scenarios, the vehicle is in such poor condition that it cannot be used for the purposes for which it was purchased. In these circumstances, legal action must be taken and always at much greater expense than a simple inspection. A $100-$125 investment in an automotive check-up really is nothing when you think about it.