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PPI: My place or yours?

Old 08-03-2001, 04:32 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 6
Question PPI: My place or yours?

I am in the final stages of trying to buy a 1993 964 C2. I have found the car and the mechanic who will do the Pre-Purchase Inspection. The problem is location, the car is being sold by a used car dealer and he will not allow the car to leave the shop before I have paid for it.

For the people on the list who have bought their used, did you have the inspection done at the mechanics place or at the sellers? Does this seem like a reasonable condition or is a deal killer, in your opinion? For those of you who are mechanically inclined, do you think that one could discern abuse of the car, accidents, etc... if he had to look at it with only the benefit of tools that that he could carry with him?

thanks for any help,

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Old 08-03-2001, 04:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: London, UK
Posts: 104

Sounds rather strange, not letting it leave the shop - I assume that you have taken it for a test drive?

If a dealer wants to sell a car, and they have nothing to hide, I would assume that they would let your PPI take place anywhere within reason. If they are wanting to be awkward, ask them why, and unless there is a good reason (like they think you are likely to drive off into the sunset and not return), play hardball with them. Your inspector does not want a salesman mechanic from the vendor standing over them while they conduct an inspection that is, after all, a barganing chip for you.

I had my PPI (on a private sale) done on the roadside - but the engineer carried ramps etc, and he knew if was a porsche and came equipped. I don't think it matters where it is done, so long as the inspector knows what he/she is looking for and comes tooled up, so to speak.
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Old 08-04-2001, 04:11 AM
Bill Wagner
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EVERY car dealer I dealt with that was reputable said they would allow me to take a prospect in for a PPI. The only dealers that didn't comply with this were a few I talked to over the phone at "general" used car lots.

To do a PPI properly, the car needs to go into the shop. A tactic you might try (can't guarantee it will work) is to offer them a non-refundable deposit of say $100.00...if the car fails the PPI the dealer keeps the money, if it passes it's part of the downpayment. You'ld be better off losing $100.00 plus the cost of a proper PPI than $10,000.00 in repairs because this guy may KNOW there are some serious problems with the car.

A decent mechanic COULD come on site and at least identify some obvious problems, but I can't imagine how he'd do a leak down and other tests without dragging a LOT of equipment with him. He should be able to detect collision damage and if he was allowed to take the pans off, oil leaks and maybe even their sources.

My experience has been that the "bring your mechanic on site" is just a tactic to get you to buy the car without an inspection because they know very few decent mechanics will be able to do a PPI locally without charging a fortune for it.

Good Luck,

Bill Wagner
'91 C4
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