HAVE THE VEHICLE INSPECTED before you buy it. Some dealers selling rebuilt wrecks, tried to make it very difficult for the APA shoppers to have a vehicle inspected without buying it first. Make it clear to the dealer that no pre-purchase inspection means NO sale.
The APA has located and tested the following RELIABLE used car inspection services in the cities we visited for their investigation.
In Vancouver the first step is a history search. Record keeping in BC for collision and mileage for cars registered in the province is the most complete in Canada. Use CarFax to do a first screen on the vehicles of interest, because it's less expensive, and will quickly reveal if the vehicle is from out of province. When you've found a vehicle you like, the ICBC CarProof report is expensive, but the way to go.
- C. Martino Auto Center, 2055 Clarke Drive, Vancouver, B.C.. (604) 255-3558
Mechanic Carmen Martino and his crew have worked with APA on many investigations.
- Hemrich Brothers Garage, 8506 Ash Street, (Marpole) Vancouver, BC (604) 325-8511
If you're buying a rebuilt vehicle in Vancouver, this is a shop to consider. A competent mechanical repair facility with good alignment equipment and the knowledge required to use it, derived from setting up vehicles for competition.
Use CarFax to narrow down your selection and the more expensive CarProof as a final check on the history. At this time, collision reporting on Quebec vehicles that have made their way into the Ontario market is incomplete, although a "rebuilt" brand should show up.
A private seller should have in their possession the Used Vehicle Information Package from the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, which costs $20. You can also obtain one yourself for any vehicle registered in Ontario. The UVIP can provide valuable information on previous owners in Ontario.
- Priority Plus Inspection Centres, 120 Carlauren Road Unit #4, Woodbridge, Ontario, L4L 8E5, Tel: 905-264-1142
Mechanic Vince Carnovale has worked with APA on several investigations. He can also help you order the history search that is appropriate for the vehicle you are considering.
- Andrew Bleakley at 514-890-5000
This mobile inspection service offers a complete body panel inspection, mechanical verification, and road test for $100. Call and leave a message on the pager to book an appointment.