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A car inspector is a professional who evaluates vehicles for safety and physical condition. Some car inspectors work on an independent basis, assisting consumers by inspecting used vehicles before purchase. Others work for auto insurance companies, inspecting a vehicle's condition before coverage is provided. Car inspectors also provide reports to insurance underwriters or consumers after completing inspections. Because becoming a car inspector does not require licensing or certification, anyone with strong communication skills and a background in auto repair or maintenance can begin a career in the car inspection industry.
Becoming an Insurance Car Inspector
Locate insurance offices in your area. You can find insurance offices in the telephone book, through online directories or by visiting insurance company websites.
Compile a professional resume detailing your experience in the automotive industry. Emphasize any experience that involved performing maintenance or repairs on vehicles. Also, include any formal education and certifications pertaining to the inspection, maintenance or repair of vehicles.
Call or visit the insurance offices in your area to inquire about potential openings for car inspectors. Offer to forward a copy of your resume so that hiring staff can review your experience and qualifications. Also, ask for an interview with the hiring manager.
Compile a list of questions you want to ask at the interview. Asking questions shows the hiring manager that you are serious about your career choice, and that you want to become a valuable asset to the company. Ask the hiring manager what kinds of vehicles the company accepts, what types and extent of damage are permissible and what types of damage render a vehicle unacceptable for coverage.
Elaborate on your automotive experience in your interview. Tell the hiring manager what kinds of vehicles you have worked on, and what types of safety and condition issues you have identified in vehicles you have serviced. Also, elaborate on any relevant certification or training programs you have completed.
Send the hiring manager a short thank you letter after the interview. In the letter, briefly recap your qualifications and experience in the automotive industry.
Becoming an Independent Car Inspector
Obtain business cards, fliers and brochures for your business. Your fliers or brochures should list the types of inspections you perform, and should contain a summary of your experience, training and certifications. You can also boost the value of your fliers and brochures as sales tools by including an explanation of why a car inspection is necessary before a new car purchase, and why you are the right person to perform inspections for clients.
Visit used car dealerships in your area. Ask the dealership manager if she will refer customers to you when they want an inspection before making a vehicle purchase. A dealership manager who sells high-quality inventory will happily provide referrals -- it shows potential customers that the dealership is confident in the condition and quality of its vehicles.
Negotiate rates with dealership managers; a dealership that plans on sending you consistent business will likely want to negotiate lower rates for its customers. Provide a statement of the agreed-upon rates in writing, and keep a copy for your records.
Leave fliers, brochures and business cards with the dealership manager. He can provide these materials to prospective customers to generate interest in your services.
Place ads in area newspapers that specialize in connecting automobile buyers and sellers. This is an effective way to target the people who need your services. People who plan to buy a vehicle from an independent seller can benefit from having the car inspected before purchase, and independent sellers can expedite the sale of a vehicle and command higher selling prices by offering to pay for a vehicle inspection.
Avoid printing rates in fliers, brochures and ads. You may want to change your rates as your business evolves. If you print your rates, you will have to design and print new promotional materials when you change your fee structure.
Owen Pearson is a freelance writer who began writing professionally in 2001, focusing on nutritional and health topics. After selling abstract art online for five years, Pearson published a nonfiction book detailing the process of building a successful online art business. Pearson obtained a bachelor's degree in art from the University of Rio Grande in 1997.