How Much Is A Pre Purchase Car Inspection?

From our experience the average cost of a pre-purchase inspection in Brisbane is between $200-400. There is a broad price range as the quality of inspection depends on the inspector experience and the depth of inspection. Price also varies depending on how hard the car will be to inspect, 4×4 and truck inspections will be at the higher end whereas standard hatchbacks will be at the lower end

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What Is A Pre Purchase Inspection

Right, so let’s get clear about what a Pre Purchase Inspection (PPI) is. If you are looking to buy or sell a car, you can get an inspector to check the vehicle head to toe so you can get a professional opinion on the health of the car before you buy. This is different to a roadworthy certificate

These inspections go over all the major working parts of the car you’re looking to buy, looking for hidden issues that could cost an arm and a leg down the line. 

So guys, the idea of this is getting a professional to check out a potential car before you buy, so you don’t end up buying a Lemon and losing money fixing it up or overpaying. At the very least you would buy the car knowing what work it needs doing and making an offer based on what the PPI says.

Let’s not forget the quality sellers too. If you have a quality car, getting a PPI is a great way to attract serious buyers without having to lower your asking price.

The Average Cost of A Pre Purchase Inspection in QLD

Right, so from what we know from our experience the average price of a pre-purchase car inspection is between $200-400 in QLD.

I know this seems like a broad price range, but you’ve got to imagine how different each car can be and how many factors might affect the price. For example, the experience of the inspector can vary, the depth of inspection you want and even the region you live in all will have an effect on how much you’ll be forking out.

The quality of inspection varies so much and so does the price, it’s better to prepare yourself for a range between $200-$400+. 

What Factors Determine The Price

The Depth of Inspection Determines Price 

First off, If you’re good with cars and just looking for a basic once-over to get a professional opinion, it will be at the lower end of the price range. But, if you want a comprehensive inspection that covers every nook and cranny then expect to pay more.

The best example I can give is our pricing. We offer a bronze, silver or gold package which varies in the depth of inspection costing between $220 and $375. As you go up the tiers the more things we will look at, starting basic and ending with a full digital diagnosis scan.

The Experience and Quality of the Inspector Could Mean You Pay a Premium:

One thing I noticed was that the inspector’s experience and reputation has a significant effect on your price. Experienced mechanics or inspection services with great reviews will likely charge a premium. 

And honestly, this makes sense to me. Paying a bit extra for someone who knows their stuff is worth the peace of mind. 

Some cheap inspectors may be useless and actually cause you to buy a faulty car, costing you more money down the road on repairing your bad buy than you would have on a premium inspector. So personally, I prefer to pay the extra bit more for a good inspector.  

What Type of Car Affects the Price of a PPI:

Now, another factor is the type of car you’re looking to buy (or sell). High-end, luxury, or rare cars usually need more specialised knowledge and equipment to inspect. Basically, the more complicated the car to inspect, the higher the cost.

So, simply put, some cars are easier to inspect than others. Older cars may take longer whereas newer cars might be quicker and luxury cars might have unique designs which are hard to get too. So the type of car has an impact on the price you pay

The Cost of a PPI is Likely to Differ Region to Region:

Lastly, where you are in Queensland can also make a difference. Prices can vary from one region to another. In urban areas, the costs were higher compared to rural locations. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re flexible about where you can get the inspection done. 

So then, in summary, how much you pay for a PPI can depend on the depth of inspection you want, the type of car you have, the inspector and location in QLD.

Why Buying The Cheapest Pre Purchase Inspection Could Cost You Big Time

Right, this is important to know. Just because an inspector does a once over a car and tells you it’s good, it doesn’t mean that car isn’t a lemon.

Remember buying the cheapest tier of PPI will mean the depth of inspection won’t be the best, and so there are issues that can be missed. 

Imagine this causes you to buy a car then it breaks down on you with some major engine issue, you’ve paid for the pre purchase inspection and now you’ve been left with someone else’s car problem causing you double the issues, and money.

Also, going with the cheapest inspector could come back to bite you as they may be doing a slap-dash job of inspecting with none of the right equipment. Again, you get the all clear from someone you think you trust then next month you’re stuck with a broken car and money out your pocket.

In summary, there are risks to getting cheap inspections in the form of low skilled inspectors and missing major problems with the car. So unless you’re car savvy and were just looking for a second opinion, take it from me it’s worth paying that little extra for better quality.

How a Pre Purchase Car Inspection Can Save You Money

There’s a few ways you can save money through a pre-purchase inspection, the first being you don’t buy a lemon of a car with lots of work and money needing to be put into it.

Take it from me, having a PPI on your side gives you great negotiating power to get the car below the asking price if you find minor issues that you’re willing to take on. On top of that you can ask the owner to get the issues the PPI highlighted fixed before you buy, meaning you won’t be getting a car that needs any work and won’t have to pay for it.

So yes, a pre-purchase inspection is worth it and can save you lots of money.

Buying a Lemon

Well it’s a pretty simple one this, the most obvious way a PPI saves you money is by identifying potential issues before you buy the car. Imagine buying a car then finding out after it needs a new transmission or major engine work. A good PPI inspection can uncover these problems, meaning you’ll avoid a vehicle that would cost a fortune to repair.

Negotiating Power

So let’s say that you’re in the final stages of buying a car and you’re set on a price, then you take it to get a PPI done and it reveals some minor flaws you didn’t know about. Let’s say the aircon needs a regas, you now have the negotiating power to knock off money from the price you previously were going to pay.

Getting them to do the work

On top of that, you can always ask them to get the work done themselves. Perhaps make an offer for the car on the condition that they get the minor issues fixed. This way you won’t be incurring the cost of the work and will get peace of mind the car you’re buying is free of even small issues.


So there we have it, that’s a comprehensive look at how much a pre purchase car inspection is going to cost you.

You can expect to pay between $200-400 for a PPI in QLD depending on the type of vehicle you want inspecting, the depth of inspection you want done, the quality of the inspector and your location in QLD.

My advice to you would be to always get a PPI done before buying any vehicle, as no one wants to buy a lemon, and they can potentially save you a lot of money.

Remember, we specialise in PPIs so if you are looking into buying or selling a car feel free to give us a call to chat about an inspection.

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