Where to get used prius inspected?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by TreForTrey, Apr 28, 2015.

  1. TreForTrey

    TreForTrey New Member

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    TL;DR Where is the best place or what is the best method to get a used prius inspected by a 3rd party before I buy it?

    Hey, sorry if this is in the wrong place or there is a better resource for this, but let me know. Thanks in advance for the help! Looking forward to being a Prius owner and doing more than lurking on this board.

    I'm in the process of buying a used 2011 Prius III Plus Performance, 46k miles, $16k. Buying it from a one-man dealer who works with and adesa auction place here.

    The car looks amazing and I got to poke around in it for about an hour, everything looked good to my somewhat inexperienced eye. My main concern though is it having any underlying problems (there is still warranty, but something that might not be covered under warranty) that I don't know about that could cost me a reasonable amount of money, although so far I trust the guy. The place has already given it their own pre-inspection certification, but its not like a certified pre-owned thing at a dealership, so I dont trust it. I'd like to get it checked out by a third party. Who should I go to, or what is the process for that? What can I expect to pay?

    Secondarily, do you think that is a good purchase? It seems in great condition, besides a very very minor door ding, and I love the Performance Package

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    You can get a Brand New worry free Prius 2 for under $20,000 in most states now. Toyota is very aggressive in selling them for 2015.

    A 4 year old car for $16000 or a Brand New one for under $20,000......I'd go with the new since there's only $4000 difference in price.

    To answer your inspection question, bring it to a Toyota dealer and expect to pay 1 to 2 hours of labor fee.
     
  3. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    At a Toyota dealer of course. Why go anywhere else? Ask for a pre-purchase inspection, Should cost about $150

    btw, I'd be pissed to have to let a 2011 three w/ performance package go for $16k w/ only 46k miles. That performance package is $$$
     
  4. TreForTrey

    TreForTrey New Member

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    Cant justify getting a new one, especially because I would at least like trim level III, love the performance package, and 16k is already the max end of my budget.

    Alright cool, looks like toyota dealer is the way to go. Last little paranoid fear- would a Toyota dealer be motivated to exaggerate things wrong with the car, in order to get me to buy from them instead?

    Thanks for the help so far, really appreciate it!
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If you "pay" for the inspection, they are obligated to give you the true inspection details.

    What is included in the performance package?
     
  6. TreForTrey

    TreForTrey New Member

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    That makes sense.

    In addition to the normal stuff that comes with the III, the Plus Performance comes with some appearance modifications and some performance modifications

    front and rear bumper spoilers, side skirts, unique style rear defuser, modified body kit, they give it 17-inch forged alloy wheels instead of the standard wheels (very nice lootuned, lowered springs, king rims, several performance benefits as well). Different external badging.

    On the performance side, tuned springs lower the vehicle an inch or so, a tuned rear sway bar is added, plus some other stuff.

    I find it just looks much more attractive, and is a slightly more fun drive.

    Looks similar to this:
    [​IMG]
     
    #6 TreForTrey, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome! that's a beauty, all the best!(y)
     
  8. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    You may have your moneys worth for it
     
  9. ursle

    ursle Gas miser

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    Gowning to any parts store and having them read the obd2 port for codes is a good start, the Toyota dealer is privately owned and the mechanic may be a teen on their first day.
    The obd2 read will check brakes, emissions and you can visually check tires
     
  10. qdllc

    qdllc Senior Member

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    I hate stealerships, but given the high technology of the Prius, I'd probably only trust a Toyota Prius-certified tech to look over every inch of a prospective purchase to spot possible issues.
     
  11. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Most dealers operate the service department as a separate business from sales, so that -should- remove any games from the picture. Ask around, some dealers can be a little "iffy" re honesty, most are fine. Usually depends on the current manager. But ask your friends and co-workers. Stories get around.
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    My first thought when I hear Performance Plus: did the previous owner do anything else, any mods that mighta backfired. Maybe or no, but just have a good look yourself:

    Anything look odd or out of place the hood?

    Any wires cut, taped or hanging under the dash?
     
  13. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    No.
    Here's why:

    1. 2011 - 3's are going from $13-17K depending on condition.
    If this car were a creme puff, then it wouldn't have been auctioned off from wherever the previous owner traded it in.
    Many new car lots make more money on the used car side than the new car side.
    Given the spread, and this car's asking price of $16K, I would expect that this car would be more creme than puff.

    I smell salvage title..

    2. I'm an old fart, you're a kid.
    We have different expectations for $16,000 and they've been making Fast & Furious movies since the old days.
    No....not the 1993 old days....or even the 1955 old days.

    Anyway....I get the spoilers and rim thing.....but I'd get a 2011 G3 and make my own mods.
    Rims and spoilers are cheap and modding is fun.
    Have that fun.....and know that all of the pieces/parts were installed right.

    I'd be looking to spend closer to 13k for a higher mileage (and non wrecked) G3and capitalize on the Prius' good reliability.

    III. Make sure that your "car guy" knows what they are talking about. I might be wrong, but the Toyota fumbled the snap in the North American market with car naming which is why sometimes a 5, or a V, or a v is used to identify three cars that might be the same car - or entirely different.
    IIRC- for 2011, it's a "3" and not a "III"

    4. Salvage titled cars are not covered by a warranty.
     
    #13 ETC(SS), Apr 29, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  14. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Wow, you're almost as paranoid as me. This should serve you well...until you age and then it starts to result in insomnia and nights filled with staying awake on Prius Chat and binge watching television series on Netflix.

    Sure disingenuous or deceptive response IS possible. But I think highly unlikely. The service department would probably value you as a future customer more than trying to steer you into buying a different Prius from them.

    Just go directly to service and don't stop to talk to the sales people and you'll probably be OK.
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Geez, you got me there.
     
  16. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Not for a Prius, but I am using carchex.com for a possible purchase.
     
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