Car Inspection Vs. Car Appraisal – Everything You Need to Know

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Car Inspection Vs. Car Appraisal – Everything You Need to Know

While the words inspection and appraisal seem similar, they are not when talking in terms of a car. Whether you’ve renewed your car insurance or buying a pre-owned car, you might have come across these words. But do you know what they mean?

Car inspection and car appraisal are both for the purpose of ascertaining the roadworthiness of the car. The methods undertaken by car appraisal are very different and for very different reasons than car inspection.

Estimating your car’s worth or getting regular checks, what kind of car service do you need? Car inspection and car appraisal are two words that often come to mind.

With their obvious differences but similar names, car owners are bound to get confused.

While both car appraisal and car inspection deems to check the health of your vehicle, they have very different goals. Let’s see car inspection and car appraisal in detail and where you can avail these services!

Car Inspection: Explained

Car inspection is a regular maintenance process that checks if the vehicle is safe for use. While the car inspection frequency depends on the age of the car, it’s recommended that it should be done with due diligence.

Car Inspection is mandatory to make sure that your vehicle is safe for the road. With regular car inspections you can minimize the risks of accidents and mechanical breakdowns. From emission standards to safety inspections, car inspections are mandatory in many American states.

Are you wondering what is checked during a car inspection? From the visual and indication system, structural integrity, braking system, wheel system, steering system, propulsion system, and the condition of the car’s body is checked thoroughly.

When Do You Need Car Inspection?

In different American states, the state government holds the right to decide the norms for vehicle inspections. Out of 50 states, there are 18 that have mandatory annual or biennial vehicle inspections.

Apart from mandatory car inspections, here are some other scenarios in which you will have to get your car inspected.

  • A preventative measure for car accidents caused due to fixable issues.
  • Before going on a safe road trip.
  • After a major car accident to check if the car is worthy of driving on the road again.
  • Car inspection is important when purchasing a preowned car.
  • When you have to renew your car insurance policy.

Where Can You Get Car Inspection?

Getting your inspection from a reliable authority is important. Here are some of the best places you can get complete car inspections.

Car Appraisal: Explained

Car appraisal or car valuation is the process by which a professional defines the worth of your car. In contrast to car inspection, car appraisal is not a mandatory process. This is a special type of service that you can do for specific purposes like selling your car.

Unlike car inspection, car appraisals are more detailed and thorough checks done on your vehicle. For estimating the true value of your car, appraisals are for determining the market value.

Knowing how much your car is worth is a great thing even if you don’t plan on selling it.

When Do You Need Car Appraisal?

Being a detailed and thorough process, car appraisals are not a quick job. From using tools and latest vehicle inspection technologies, car appraisal uses a lot of data and rigorous checks. A professional will look into your car’s age, model and make, maintenance, mileage, and so on.

Here are some scenarios in which you will need car appraisals.

  • You want to sell or buy a car and want to estimate its fair market value.
  • If you want to know your car is an asset during bankruptcy, divorce, or estate planning.
  • If you’re planning on buying or selling a collector car.
  • To get a fair insurance claim.
  • If you want to put your car up as a collateral for a loan.

Where Can You Get Car Appraisal?

If you’re trading your car or buying a pre-purchased car, it’s best to get car appraisals from at least two different places. By comparing reports, you can get to know the real value of your car. Here are some of the ways you can get car appraisals.

  • Online

If you’re looking for a rough estimate or mildly accurate free car appraisals, you can use websites like Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds.

  • Car Dealership Appraisal

When shopping around for the best price, it’s best to compare different dealers and get the best price for your car.

  • Professional Car Appraisal

With physical inspection, OBD diagnostics tests, and detailed reports, professional car appraisal services can give you an in-depth look at your car’s health.

Difference Between Car Inspection Vs. Car Appraisal

 Car InspectionCar Appraisal
DefinitionCar inspection is a regular maintenance process that checks if the vehicle is safe for use.Car appraisal is the process by which a professional defines the worth of your car.
Is it mandatory?Yes.No.
PurposeFor regular maintenance, insurance policy, fulfilling government criterions and general upkeep of the car.Done for special occasions like buying or selling a car, to estimate car’s market value in dollars, to put the car as collateral for loan, or getting a fair insurance claim.
Where To Get ItCar maintenance and repair shops, car dealerships, and expert vehicle inspectors.Free online websites, car dealerships, and professional car appraisal services.
BenefitsSafe car that will be less averse to breakdowns and car accidents.To get a real dollar value of the car’s worth which is essential for trading the car.

Summing Up

While online websites give great insights, they might not be an accurate representation of your car’s value. The appraisal process has become more convenient with apps like Vehicle Appraisal app.

It uses data from’s revolutionary On-Board Diagnostic scanning technology to generate accurate and comprehensive reports.

Car Appraisals and inspections are both essential services when it comes to your car’s health. That is why you should only trust professional vehicle appraisal services and inspectors to give you the professional quality check!

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