The pre-purchase inspection

Having the vehicle inspected prior to the sale is the most effective way of making sure you won’t get stuck with a lemon or pay too much for a vehicle that needs a lot of maintenance. A complete vehicle inspection includes a visual inspection of the body and chassis to spot collision damage. A thorough inspection takes from about 45 minutes to two hours depending on the condition of the vehicle. A more complicated vehicle with lots of accessories, or a vehicle in uneven or poor condition, requires more time. Vans can take longer because the engine bay is crowded. A thorough inspection should include a road test and a written report should be provided.

Not all inspections are created equal. The facilities that follow have been chosen from the list of shops provided to APA members, and have performed very well in the past.


Andrew Bleakley
Mobile Vehicle Inspection Service
(514) 890-5000

The APA's recommended mobile used car inspection service includes a meticulous examination of body and mechanical components and an inspection of the odometer for signs of tampering. The service costs $130 ($120 for APA members) including taxes in Montreal, with a surcharge if you're farther away from the city center. A visit can usually be arranged within one or two days of your phone call. The inspection includes a detailed written report. This service is available within Mirabel, Repentigny, Richelieu and Valleyfield area.


These garages inspect used vehicles based on APA's vehicle inspection form. Basic inspection for APA Members starts at $129.95 plus tax ($149.95 for non members). Additional charges apply for VIN information.

8 Laidlaw Blvd.
Markham, Ontario
Contact: Emily Chung 
Mark-Caesar Auto Service Ltd
986 Roselawn Ave. 
Toronto, Ontario
Contact: Caesar or Mark Testani 
Vertex Auto Repair 
336 Birchmount Rd. 
Toronto, Ontario
Contact: Bob Baker 
901 Kipling Ave.
Etobicoke, Ontario
Contact: Mark Sach-Anderson 
Gary's Automotive
1435 Wallace Rd.
Oakville, Ontario
Contact: Gary Van Den Boom
Graf Auto Centre
151 Bentworth Ave.
North York, Ontario
Contact: Rudy or Herb Graf 


Kirkham Auto
9298 Horton Road S.W., Calgary, AB
(403) 253-2033

InspectaCar Inc.
542-38A Ave SE
Calgary, Alberta
T1H 1X4 (403)-266-5588
Contact: Cody Paxman
3231 2nd Ave N
Lethbridge, Alberta
T1H 0L5 (403)-394-9550
Contact: Sheldon Anderson



Obtaining a pre-purchase vehicle inspection in Vancouver can be difficult. Some repair shops perform only cursory inspections that will identify tune-up and light maintenance opportunities for the shop. Others will refuse an inspection outright because they don’t want to get into a conflict with a dealer. The mobile inspection service recommended by some used car dealers and shopped by the APA performed an incomplete inspection and checked off items that had not been verified.




For APA members who choose not to use a used car inspection service or members outside Toronto and Montreal, the APA has a list of repair shops in Greater Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Québec, Vancouver and Calgary that can perform a general inspection.

If you plan to use your own repair shop, print the APA Inspection Form below and give it to your repair shop. APA's Form includes the body as well as a mechanical checkup. Inspecting a vehicle prior to purchase is important because it can reveal costly repairs, mechanical work and major collision damage.

APA Vehicle Inspection Form: Click here for the APA VEHICLE INSPECTION FORM