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Old 04-02-2014, 10:34 PM   #1
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Very small (Just Me) business idea

I am trying to find some part time work. I've been into cars,Trucks and Jeeps since 1980. Rebuilt my first car engine at 17 (yes is did last) I'm 50 now and just left my old job in industrial maintenance because I knew I couldn't make it to retirement swinging sledge hammers. I now have a 22 hour a week job that provides me with health insurance. (I drive a school bus now.) So I want to fill some of my off time and some of my salary reduction as well. I have a simple idea. I used to help a friend in the late 80's rebuild totaled cars. We cut Camero and Firebirds in half and stuck them back together. You can usually spot body shop repairs when they are NOT done right.

Independent Used Vehicle Inspector.

Any one here ever paid anyone to inspect a used Car,Truck, or RV?
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:52 AM   #2
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I used to buy salvaged cars from auctions and rebuild them in my late teens early 20s before joining the military. I have helped a lot of friends and families with buying used cars because I can spot anything that has been redone in a car. I thought about that inspection thing a few years back, but I think the problem is that most people don't want to pay for the service. "Show me the CarFax" is what most people prefer. Not saying it would not work though. I guess it depends on the area.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:57 AM   #3
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Sorry I can't give you any advice, but good luck with your venture!
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:09 AM   #4
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Check with a car dealer and see if they have a gig where you pickup a car from one location and drive it to another. One of my wife's uncle did some of that during retirement. A lot of dealers also have a guy the will drive you to work or home while your car is being repaired. Good luck.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:53 AM   #5
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Let's see, you'll need a liability policy to cover errors and omissions, some sort of "certification", allowing you to use some letters after your name, business cards and advertising, and be able to convince a prospective customer that you can provide a service better that which CarFax can provide at a lower cost.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:58 AM   #6
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When we went looking for a new used pickup truck I was told that Car fax isn't bullet proof as the info from body shops is voluntary and repairs don't always show up on Car fax.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliej View Post
Check with a car dealer and see if they have a gig where you pickup a car from one location and drive it to another. One of my wife's uncle did some of that during retirement. A lot of dealers also have a guy the will drive you to work or home while your car is being repaired. Good luck.
This sounds like a good idea. Wouldn't work for me because I don't enjoy driving. My wife does all the driving when we are together. Maybe I could interest her in a deal like this.

Don't know about the car inspector deal but it sounds like decent idea.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:22 AM   #8
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Any one here ever paid anyone to inspect a used Car,Truck, or RV?

I have not. However I do know there is a market for the service. I was a police dispatcher for many years and we got calls all the time asking for a vehicle inspection.

Alas, that is not a function of the police dept. Though many of the inspectors in my state are also Police Officers, the vehicle inspectors are licensed and certified by Department of Motor Vehicles (Secretary of State in Michigan).

So there is some market.. Not a big one, but you might get to take the misses out to dinner a few times a year.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:33 AM   #9
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My 1st thought when reading this was the liability. I wouldnt want the grief if you were held accountable.

Me, I drive part time for NAPA.....easy work and a few bucks. A couple of buddies do the car transfer thing, they like that.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:56 AM   #10
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I think 95% of the time CarFax is a Joke. I do not agree with those that say it is better than nothing. Because it is Just a piece of paper. It could have you head spinning looking closely at the back of a car when you REALLY need to look at other parts .
If some fixes a Car Correctly using Good parts and workmanship, You will NOT find the repair.
And the opposite is true as well. We all at some time been driving down the a 2 lane road @ 35 MPH and had a car pass going the other way and by the way it "Carried its self" You KNEW 100% in the 5-8 seconds You could see it that car had at some time structural damage and still carried some with it. You didn't need a paper warning (Carfax) to tell You that.
And every one wonders the same thing when you see them.
Just how bad its got to drive when you see that.
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:55 PM   #11
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You asked if anyone ever paid to have someone inspect a used vehicle. Yes I have, with every used vehicle I ever bought including my motorhome. In every case I paid the appropriate dealership for the vehicle inspection.

It would take A LOT to convince me to trust the word of an independent inspector, especially one without an impressive brick and mortar shop behind him. But that's just me, I'm no small business expert and you may or may not be onto something. As a customer my first question to you would be "why would I hire you instead of getting a dealership inspection?"

BTW I'm also on my second "career" and driving a school bus. You said you're only getting 22 hours, man, that's rough. I've been whining about only getting 42 hours, down from 53 last year. Now they swear there will be no OT allowed next year. It's a tough gig to support a family on, so I get your desire for a sideline. My sincerest wishes on your success.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:32 PM   #12
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We bought a extended warranty/insurance against failure and they sent out an inspector prior to issuing the policy. He did a basic run through all the components and then took a ride with me driving. I don't recall him having any certificate so I guess you would have to sell yourself to the policy providers with your experience.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:06 PM   #13
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You asked if anyone ever paid to have someone inspect a used vehicle. Yes I have, with every used vehicle I ever bought including my motorhome. In every case I paid the appropriate dealership for the vehicle inspection.

It would take A LOT to convince me to trust the word of an independent inspector, especially one without an impressive brick and mortar shop behind him. But that's just me, I'm no small business expert and you may or may not be onto something. As a customer my first question to you would be "why would I hire you instead of getting a dealership inspection?"
......

When I say independent, I mean that I don't have a repair shop.
I can just see some inspectors that have a repair shop saying a vehicle is OK (no better or worse than average) and then says its going to need maintenance work on these 15 items soon. (Using the Inspection to Fish for Service revenue $$$)

I believe Dealerships know almost nothing about most of the owners and usage of the pre-owned cars they sell. Usage Can mean a lot.
I would try to get people to hire me to inspect vehicle on dealerships lots.

Tell me more about which dealership you used to inspect the vehicle?
Did you take a used Ford from a private seller to a Ford dealer? something like that?

Before I went shopping for a used TJ jeep in 05 I went to the local Jeep dealer and Drove a New one so I could accurately compare the used one to a new one to see how they hold up. That year I bought a 99 Jeep with 82K on it and you really couldn't see any difference in the way it drove.
I was totally up front with the sales guy at the Jeep dealer, I Told him I need to test drive a New TJ so when I drive a used one I'll know how much it is worn. He said good idea. I bought a used Grand Cherokee from That Jeep dealer 2 years later.


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BTW I'm also on my second "career" and driving a school bus. You said you're only getting 22 hours, man, that's rough. I've been whining about only getting 42 hours, down from 53 last year. Now they swear there will be no OT allowed next year. It's a tough gig to support a family on, so I get your desire for a sideline. My sincerest wishes on your success.
Well I work 645AM-9Am & 2PM-4PM and I get paid $12.87 X 40 hours per week plus I get the usual health insurance and the usual days off. I'm fine with the hours. We have a decent contract. when I take extra runs I get my usual hourly rate till I REALLY work 40 hours then any hours after that we get OT. I'm single and never had kids so I can live cheap.

My dream is to drive the bus and Teach short courses classes of
These types of classes are usually 4 nights a week for 4 weeks

1 basic introductory Auto/Vehicle Maintenance for car/truck/RV owners.
2 Fleet sales/Fleet Maintenance where to save, where to spend.
3 Home Inspection basics doing (Weeding out the truly bad before you spend money on a professional inspector)

My local vocational school is full up on regular classes and I Brought this idea up to them and they are discussing it.
I should know what subjects they think will work in the next month.
The real icing on the cake is that I Can make the school idea work I'll still have the whole summer off next year.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:02 PM   #14
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You may, or not, be familiar with Hemmings Motor News. This magazine has many ads by independent inspectors along with lots of collector cars for sale.You can usually find Hemmings in book stores, so buy a copy & see what these ads look like, and what the people claim to do. This might give you some insight into the "Inspection" world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekanic View Post
I am trying to find some part time work. I've been into cars,Trucks and Jeeps since 1980. Rebuilt my first car engine at 17 (yes is did last) I'm 50 now and just left my old job in industrial maintenance because I knew I couldn't make it to retirement swinging sledge hammers. I now have a 22 hour a week job that provides me with health insurance. (I drive a school bus now.) So I want to fill some of my off time and some of my salary reduction as well. I have a simple idea. I used to help a friend in the late 80's rebuild totaled cars. We cut Camero and Firebirds in half and stuck them back together. You can usually spot body shop repairs when they are NOT done right.

Independent Used Vehicle Inspector.

Any one here ever paid anyone to inspect a used Car,Truck, or RV?
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