Very few (if any at all) used motor vehicles are in a perfect condition, and many of them require multi-thousand dollar repairs straight after (or rather before) the purchase. We have carried out inspections on vehicles that needed new engines, transmissions, etc. Bear in mind that an Extended Warranty policy you might have signed up for will NOT COVER repairs in this case because the defect is "pre-existing" . In other words, you will be the one footing for this bill. This consideration alone justifies our reasonable inspections fees especially considering the fact that no matter how minor it is, a single repair will cost you considerably more! And yet, we haven't even mentioned a possibility of any safety-related problems.
Many people may wonder why do we have to inspect a brand-new car which is supposed to be in perfect condition?
Have you ever wonder what did the brand-new car gone through to get to the dealers who serve you? Think about all the manual handling involving so many people from the origin, to the container port which ship the car and the logistic center which distributes it in Hong Kong. The slightest mistake can cause damage to the car. Consumers are encouraged to minimize own risk by participating in the “Screen the Brand-New Scheme“, which supports new car inspection prior to signing the final papers. [Screen the Brand-New Scheme hotline: 51828282
After initial inspection, the dealer/ seller may have promised to repair or replace worn out parts. The double checking cannot only ensure that the promise is kept, but to confirm that the car you are picking up is the original one under the initial inspection, and all the original working parts, accessories and rims…etc are intact.
The fee for double checking is $800.
You return the leased vehicle at a dealership, and it may actually take months before the leasing company picks it up, or makes other arrangements. During that time, the vehicle may get damaged by hail, various "normal" parking lot misfortunes, scratches, vandalism, etc., and you are the one responsible for any damage incurred. Having a detailed inspection report covering mechanical condition as well as appearance is an necessary step in avoiding possible complications.
As we have discussed in the previous question, no Extended Warranty contract covers "pre-existing" faults/damages as well as there is no Extended Warranty that covers everything. One example of a non-covered damage would be rust or corrosion. There are literally hundreds of exclusions in every contract that a person not related to this specific motor industry is unable to understand.
To answer this question, we need to explain how the business works. Used vehicles generally have two ways of arriving in a dealer's lot. First, they are traded in by customers who buy new ones, the second, from an auction. It's only common that people are more likely to change to a new vehicle if the old one starts to break down on a regular basis, or when they learn that a major defect is about to develop. Auction vehicles are those repossessed by banks, former rentals, and similar sources. Some of these vehicles may even be rebuilt from salvaged vehicles. This source of origin is not an indication of good handling/maintenance. In both cases a used car dealer is in charge of purchasing. This person is not a mechanic, and would probably choose a vehicle based on the looks alone. Once the vehicle is acquired it will be sent to a pre-delivery inspection. A dealership technician checks it out and make a list of areas that need to be fixed. Now, there are a few financial motives why the dealers do not always have their newly obtained used cars thoroughly inspected before they are put back into the market for sale again. (1) Having a highly experienced mechanics pulled away from performing the normal profit making repair tasks to inspect the vehicle for free is not very rational as it is usually not revenue generating for the company. (2) If any faults/problems are found at the end of the inspection, the dealer is obligated to make these problems known to the future potential buyers. (3) The more faults/problems that need to be repaired prior to putting the used cars back into the market for sale, the fewer profit margins there will be for the dealer. All the above mentioned reasons are sufficient to explain why it is not at the dealer's best interests to have each and everyone of their used vehicle properly inspected prior to putting them back into the market for sale again.
Definitely, this is better than nothing but bear in mind that some dealerships have different standards for different situations. For example, if a customer brings a vehicle in for service, and the customer is the one who's paying for the bill, their standards are extremely high, and any imperfection will be considered a must to repair. In many cases, they will insist on replacing components "based on mileage" alone. However, if it comes to a problem with a vehicle they sold, it will more likely to be found as acceptable. The standard line in this situation is: "We do not recondition our used vehicles, we only do a safety inspection". And a "safety inspection" is done according to the manufacturer's specifications. Here are some examples:
- A well known car manufacturer allows a lower ball joint play up to 1/8", and the fact that half of that play makes the vehicle wonder all over the road is not a factor.
- Many major motor manufacturers state that the alternator output between 13.0v and 16.0v is normal. In fact, 13.0v will ruin the battery because it will constantly stay undercharged, and may prevent the vehicle from starting in a cold weather especially after a long trip in traffic with headlights and other accessories on. Ever wondered why your battery lasted only three years or less? Now, what happens if the alternator output is 16.0 v? It will ruin the battery as well because the acid will boil, and sulfate will cover the plates. But this is a relatively minor problem. Too high voltage also will cause electrical and - most importantly - computer equipment malfunction and repeated failures.
Unfortunately, none of the above or similar concerns will be addressed by a dealer since they are "within manufacturer's specifications", and none of them will be covered by ANY warranty, including Extended Warranty. It's one thing to have warranty, and yet quite another to get repairs done when you need them, and the best time for ANY negotiations is before you signed the papers. To make it simple, the only opinion you can trust can come from an independent Inspector who has no interest in the matter either way.
First of all, our integrity and honesty are NOT compromised by conflict of interests. Our inspectors are completely impartial - they do not have ANY relationship with dealerships or repair shops, therefore, they are not interested in you buying (or not buying) any particular vehicle. We will not try to sell you another car or make money on repairs of the one in question. Secondly, we perform a professional 260-point inspection. Thirdly, all of our Inspectors are mechanical specialists as well as structural/frame specialists. This means our Inspectors are expertise in every automotive component and system, not just a few. However, repair shop mechanics usually specialize in only a few automotive areas and are usually not frame specialists. You would have to take the vehicle to a panel shop to have the frame properly inspected for previous accident damage. Second, HKMI does do not perform any repairs. This allows our inspectors to give an unbiased inspection. HKMI will give you a genuine assessment of the vehicle and will not suggest repairs may not be needed.
You just need to call 2588 1822 and talk to one of our friendly operators.
- Computerized operating systems
- Satellite navigation testing
- Items that rely on microprocessors for their operation
- Dismantling of engine parts
- Radio system and CD/Cassette players
Our service area covers the whole of Hong Kong.
We provide a visual and chemical inspection without dismantling any parts. In most cases the experienced engineers will be able to tell you of any problems based on results from a combination of our inspection checks, eg./ visual and chemical inspections of the engine, the sound of the engine and the road test, etc.
We do welcome pre-booked appointments; however every appointment we reserve will require a credit card payment at the same time of booking.
We understand how difficult it can be to match with the seller's availability, that's why in most cases, an inspection can be arranged the same day but the next day appointments are preferred.
An inspection takes around 60 to 90 minutes, and the inspection covers a test drive of the car if the owner of the car allows for it. The time it takes to complete the inspection will also depend on the condition of the car, it might take longer for vehicles with multiple defects. We have a flat rate for the inspection service, regardless of how long the service will take.
This is dependent on the location and the inspector's judgment.
No, it is not a requirement but it's in your best interest to be present.
Currently we accept payment in cash, direct bank deposits, ATM transfers and online payment transfers.
We do not accept cheques from any customers at this time.
Should you cancel the inspection your inspection fee will be refunded less $400 to cover the cost of the administration. Such information must be advised to our Customer Service Department on tel: 2588 1822. However, if the inspection is cancelled within 24 hours prior to the appointment time, the full fee of the inspection service will remain payable. This is referred to as our “date of the arranged inspection” fee.
No. There is no such thing as guarantee in the Auto Inspections Industry. This Inspection confirms the condition of the vehicle at the time of inspection. Please see the Disclaimer section for more details.
If the inspector didn't notice the problem, you can call Customer Services on 2588 1822 where the issue will be investigated. If the inspector was negligent, further action will be taken.
Our business hours are 9am-6pm 7 days a week.
The fee for a second inspection is $800. It is reminded that to make sure the seller has done a proper repair; the second inspection will mainly be focusing on the items that listed as pending repair in the initial inspection report.
You can obtain an estimation on the value of the vehicle from various websites. HKMI inspection will let you know the true condition of the vehicle and the cost of any repairs needed. You can then take that information to adjust the price of the vehicle to obtain the value of the vehicle.
Each vehicle must be judged on its own merits. We do not endorse or rate used car dealerships. All reputable dealers will encourage you to have a vehicle independently inspected.
The inspector will contact you as soon as he has completed the inspection. The phone consultation will give you all the important information to conclude your deal. HKMI will then email or fax the report to you when the inspector returns to the office. The paper report will be your receipt.
We do not carry out any repairs. This allows us to be totally impartial when we inspect a vehicle.
We do not recommend any repair shop. We suggest that you get at least 3 estimates for any needed repair. Be sure that the repair shop guarantees their work and that they are specialized in that area of repair.
Absoolutely! Our “Check Our Own Car Scheme” encourages car owners to inspect their beloved cars regularly to ensure safety of the vehicles. Also, there are owners who inspect their cars before expiry of warranty period or servicing, just to double check the items in need of repair.
We do not perform such inspections. A Government registration is a very simple inspection and is mostly for checking the safety/road-worthiness of the vehicle.