Frequently Asked Questions

What do we do?
Automobile Inspections, LLC is a division of Buyer Services International LLC (BSI). For over a decade BSI has been providing services to help people buy all types of cars (especially Classic, Exotic and Specialty cars) long distance. Automobile Inspections, LLC makes on-site, detailed pre-purchase inspections on any vehicle, anywhere in the USA or Canada. BSI can help you with negotiations, creating legal purchase agreements, handling the financial transaction securely, making transportation arrangements and if required, exportation.
For more information about Buyer Services International, click here. BSI also owns and operates several highly useful resources like www.Hi-Bid.com, www.BuyClassicCars.com and www.BuyClassicCarParts.com to name a few!

How does the process work?
We only need the name, address and phone number of the seller, the Make and Model of car along with your credit card details. We contact the seller to let him know that you have retained our services and that our nearest inspector will be calling him shortly to arrange a convenient time to inspect the car. Once the inspection is underway, we charge your card the agreed amount. When the completed report is ready, we send you an e-mail to let you know that you can view it on our web site. We also provide a phone number for you to call us if you have any questions. That's it! - The whole thing is usually accomplished in 72 hours. Our detailed reports cover an extensive amount of information, digital photos, optional opinions of value or full written appraisals and VIN checks can be made available at your request.

Why us?
Simply, because our mission is to provide you with a premium service. We pay our operatives well so they can afford to take their time and do each inspection thoroughly. Our feeling has always been that if you don't get all the information you need from an inspection, you may as well have not bothered at all, because one key thing that gets missed could end up costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You need to know all the cars faults BEFORE you buy it not when it rolls off the delivery truck into your driveway.

What does your inspection cover?
Just about everything it is possible to check at the seller's house without the use of tools. Plus we can add 'special questions' so we cover problem areas or weak spots that may be peculiar to your type of vehicle. Like the wood frame on a Morgan or early MG for example. We recommend you ask the seller if he can arrange the use of a lift for an inspection, or at the very least have him get some ramps set up in his driveway. We do not mind getting dirty!

Click here to read what people who have received a completed inspection have to say.

Will you perform a compression test?
Due to liability issues it is just not possible for US to perform any test that requires the removal of parts from the vehicle with the use of tools. We do, however, check and report oil pressure at startup and on the road, on cars fitted with an oil pressure gauge. We can check for 'blow-by' and cross contamination of fluids by removing the valve cover cap, radiator cap and dipstick. If there are internal issues with the engine they will likely be evident here if not on the test-drive. On occasion we have had clients arrange with the seller to have the car inspected at a local garage or muffler shop. If the seller agrees to it, they can have a mechanic perform a compression test and our inspector can witness it for you and record the results as part of our report.

Do you offer an assessment of the cars value?
As an add-on to any report, we offer an Opinion of Value, a professional valuation of the vehicle added to the report summary which serves as a guide as to what we feel the vehicle is worth in today market. The Opinion of Value costs an additional $25. We also offer a Written Appraisal, this is a separate document for your personal records or for use with insurers, lenders etc., for an additional $50.

Are your inspectors ASE Certified Automotive Technicians?
Yes, many of them are (or have been), yes BUT ASE Certification is really about knowledge of mechanical equipment on late model cars and trucks. There is no nationally recognized certification for inspectors of older or classic cars. We demand more than that from our inspectors than just having knowledge of the modern mechanicals.
We need them to be able to spot accident damage, bondo, rust, poor paint or repairs and originality because when it comes to a car (with the possible exception of Exotics) repairs to the mechanical are the thin end of the wedge. If the car has been hit, is rotted or is full of bondo, you could spend tens of thousands of dollars getting that fixed.

Are you insured or bonded?
No, an inspection is NOT A GUARANTEE. It is merely another tool for you to use in the purchasing process. When used in conjunction with pre- and post- inspection interviews of the seller, you should be able to garner enough information to decide whether or not the car met your expectations and if not, adjust your offer or walk away accordingly. Our service offers you the ability to have someone with your best interest in mind, look at a car for you and simply report what they see. The final decision as to whether the vehicle meets your needs, rests firmly with you.

Will I be able to talk to the inspector after he has looked at the car?
Usually, you will find answers to all your questions in the report and photos. If there are a couple of things you would like clarified or need further details on, we will ask the inspector for you and will get back to you with the answers. For logistical reasons, our inspectors are not "on-call" to answer questions as they come up.

Click here to read what people who have received a completed inspection have to say.

What is your refund policy?
Although we 'run' your credit card and put a 'hold' for the agreed amount, you will not actually be charged until the inspector sets out to perform the inspection. From that point on, there are no refunds.

What happens if your inspector is unable to test-drive the car?
We will ask the seller to drive and observe as a passenger, if he will not allow us to do that, then clearly there is nothing more we can do. Of course we will let you know that we were unable to perform that part of the inspection and you'll have to take that into consideration when you decide whether or not to purchase that particular vehicle. On occasion, honest sellers who were unwilling to let a car be driven (because of a legitimate reason, like snow or salt on the roads etc), can later be coaxed into offering a short warranty on the drive train if the buyer makes it a condition to close the deal.

If I decide to purchase the vehicle, can you arrange transportation?
Yes, Buyer Services International can help you negotiate the best price, ensure all the paperwork is in order, handle the safe transfer of funds make trucking arrangements to have the vehicle delivered to your door, all for around $650!* (If you handle your own negotiations that number is almost cut in half!) In addition, if you live outside the USA, they can all export arrangements too!
*Actual cost of trucking not included.
* For a detailed description of services and rates or to order a report click here.