Questions about buying classic car inspection and antique auto appraisals

Q: Do you perform the inspection where the car is located?

A: Yes, we are a mobile service and always travel to where the vehicle is located. That is the benefit of the service and makes it more convenient for the buyer and the seller.

Q: How long will this take and when do I received the report?

A: We have a fast turnaround time, in most cases 24 to 72 hours depending on the day of the week and how busy the schedule is, plus you will receive the report and photos via email on the same day the inspection is performed.

Q: How much time do you spend doing the inspection?

A: The on-site vehicle inspection takes approximately 90 minutes to perform, but our total time invested for the entire service is 6 to 7 hours on average when you factor in the communication, scheduling, invoicing, researching, traveling, processing, etc.

Q: What is a Specialty Vehicle?

A: The term “specialty vehicle” refers to a broad range of special interest vehicles of any age including but not limited to a kit car, exotic, sports car, custom, project car, hot rod, late model muscle car, high-end luxury, etc.

Q: Will this inspection report tell me the value?

A: No, our inspection is an overall condition evaluation service, if you need an appraisal that is a separate service we provide.

Q: Can I use your appraisal for market value or insurance value?

A: Both, our appraisals are very thorough, extremely professional, and held to the highest standards. Pittsburgh Vehicle PPI is certified by and in good standing with Pennsylvania Antique Auto Appraisals (PA3) and follows the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) as declared by the Appraisal Standards Board of The Appraisal Foundation, which is accepted by institutions for insurance, estates, tax purposes, etc.

Q: Why does the appraisal cost so much?

A: Actually our prices are on the low side. The national average for a properly prepared antique auto appraisal is $300 to $500. Since our appraisals include everything a legitimate appraisal should have with a professional presentation, we are providing our customers with $500 worth of service for only $315. Our goal as an independent operation is to provide a higher quality service than the national companies at a lower price. While you might find a company that charges $150 for an appraisal they are usually one piece of paper without industry standards, and that is not a legitimate appraisal and would not be accepted by major institutions.

Q: This is my first time buying (or selling) an old car and don’t know what to do, can you help?

A: Absolutely, we offer consultation services and we’ll try to assist you any way we can.

Q: How are your services different or better than CarFax or AutoCheck?

A: Those services are essentially a background check for 1981 and newer automobiles using the Vehicle Identification Number. It can inform you how many owners, accidents reported, odometer issues, flood damage, fleet use, or other adverse events. While we recommend obtaining a vehicle history report on the automobile you are interested in buying because it can provide important information about its history, it cannot be relied upon 100% because it doesn’t inform you of the current condition and the reports often have errors because accidents are not always reported.

Q: Do you offer PA State Inspection or repair services?

A: Sorry, we are a mobile third party inspection service only. You will have to take your vehicle to an auto repair facility near you that offers annual PA State Safety Inspection and repair services.

Q: Do you put the car on a lift or remove the wheels?

A: Since we are a mobile service we are unable to put the car on a lift and we cannot pull the wheels due to the liability incurred with the removal of components. We specialize in third party inspections and are able to thoroughly inspect the functionality and condition of the automobile, which includes an undercarriage inspection with the vehicle on the ground.

Q: I need other items checked on a vehicle, can you do that?

A: Sometimes, while we offer a standard inspection procedure for every vehicle we understand there are circumstances that require other needs. Small special requests are welcome and we will try to accommodate you as best as possible. If you need assistance that the inspection cannot provide we also offer consultation services.

Q: Does your service offer a warranty or guarantee?

A: No, our service is not a warranty or guarantee. While we make every effort to find every defect of the vehicle, we cannot possibly see every flaw. We cannot visually inspect internal components within the drive-train and other hidden areas, therefore we cannot see some potential or impending failures. The vehicle could also have intermittent issues that were not revealed at the time of the inspection and any vehicle can malfunction at any time. The purpose of our service is to provide you with an unbiased inspection report based on what we see at the time of the inspection, and with that information you are able to make a more informed buying decision, thus eliminating most of the risk associated with buying an older vehicle.