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Think of it as a full medical checkup for cars - a car evaluation is an extremely useful service for potential car buyers to assess the used car they are eyeing.

Category: Car Buying Advice


Buying a car is typically a sizeable investment, and with any investment, there are risks involved. So what would a smart car buyer do? Well, like a smart investor, he would work towards minimising the risks involved with extensive research on the car he intends to purchase.

This sounds simple if you are someone that knows the ins and outs of cars, but what if you don't? Here's where a car evaluation comes in handy.

Is that the thing where you bring your car to STA or VICOM?

Vehicle inspection is not the same as a vehicle evaluation
Well, yes and no. If you are thinking of the vehicle inspections mandated by the Land transport Authority (LTA), then nope.

Car evaluation is a different service that can also be found in vehicle inspection centres such as STA and VICOM. Unlike the vehicle inspections which are performed to ensure road worthiness and compliance with LTA's emissions standards and regulations, a car evaluation is a comprehensive check on the condition of a used car before you buy it.
 
 
Is there really a need to spend the extra money?

If a vehicle evaluation can help you avoid a used car with dubious history, wouldn't the money be worth it?
Unlike buying a brand new car, used cars don't usually come with a warranty. The fact that it is used also means there could be wear and tear components that require repairs. There's also the slight chance that the used car for sale that you are eyeing is actually hiding a severe accident in the past.

Unless you enjoy the hassle (nobody does) of dealing with a lemon, frequenting workshops to repair your new, used car, you surely wouldn't want to end up buying a car riddled with issues.

Without intrinsic knowledge on cars, chances of us missing all the tell-tale signs and ending up with a lemon is high. By opting to have the used car evaluated by a trusted inspection centre or workshop, you can likely avoid the pitfalls of a lemon car at a low cost.
 
 
So… what does a car evaluation comprise of?

A car evaluation comprises of various checks to paint a complete picture of the car's condition
Typically, the purpose of a car evaluation is to ensure that the car is mechanically sound and safe for road use. It will highlight to you the issues that are found on the car, giving you a complete picture of the car's condition as well as the repair works that should be done, so that you can make an informed purchase.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) came up with a Standard and Functional Evaluation Checklist to help consumers narrow down the scope of what to look out for when purchasing a used car. The car evaluation services at STA, VICOM and Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) comprises of the minimum checks set out in this checklist as well as other checks

Car evaluation services offered by STA, VICOM and AAS include checks set out by CASE
For a better idea of what to expect from a car evaluation, here's what STA includes:

- Chassis frame inspection and measurement
- Undercarriage Inspection
- Rims, tyres and brake rotor inspection
- Engine bay inspection
- Boot inspection
- Bodywork inspection
- Interior inspection
- Road test
 
 
Where can I get a car evaluation done?

You can get a car evaluated at vehicle inspection centres such as STA and VICOM, or AAS. Another option is to approach a trusted workshop that offers such services, car evaluation may also be known as a Pre-purchase Inspection (PPI).
 
 
Great, the car has been evaluated. What now?

With the evaluation report in hand, you now know what repairs the car needs, should you decide to go ahead with the purchase
Sending the car for an evaluation gives you a complete picture of its condition. With the evaluation results in hand, you would now be able to make an informed decision. If the car is given a clean bill of health, you can go ahead and bring it home without any worries.

If it happens to be riddled with issues, you might want to reconsider the deal, or even renegotiate for a better one should you be willing to iron out the kinks it has.

Even if you have already purchased the car, it is not too late to send it in for an evaluation. Should there be any issues with the car that were deliberately covered up, or not made aware to you, you might be able to obtain resolution under the Lemon Law.
 
 
Here are some articles that you might be interested in

Does buying a used car mean you're protected by Lemon Law?

Lemon Law refund policy frequently asked questions

Buying a used car: A guide to getting the best price

Buying used cars is the smarter choice in Singapore. Here's why

Six crucial components to consider before buying a used car

Have issues with your used car? You might be covered under the Lemon Law. Head here for legal advice from Parwani Law

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