I am in the process of selling my used car to a private buyer. The buyer asked to have the car inspected at a local mechanic. After picking the car up from the shop, I asked for the results of the inspection. The mechanic informed me that the potential buyer asked to not share the results of the inspection with me. The buyer won't buy the car until everything has been fixed, but won't disclose what needs to be fixed. The buyer paid for the inspection. The mechanic said they are hipaa compliant and their clients information is private. Is this a normal practice to keep inspection results hidden from the buyer?

  • 6
    You might ask the mechanic "How much will you charge me for an inspection of this car?" ... followed by... "how long will you need the car for?" And as the seller, you can now provide a copy of the inspection to your next buyer. Add the price of the inspection to the sales price of the car. If the other buyer is serious about The buyer won't buy the car until everything has been fixed, but won't disclose what needs to be fixed. then he is a doofus, and you don't want to sell the car to him anyway. And if the doofus still wants the car, remind him of the new price increase.
    – zipzit
    Jun 2, 2016 at 1:50
  • 3
    An alternative is to tell your buyers that this is an as is transaction. The buyer is welcome to take the car to any mechanic of his choosing with his own money after the price is paid and title transferred.
    – zipzit
    Jun 2, 2016 at 1:55
  • 9
    Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) - Probably not important with a vehicle transaction! :)
    – PeteCon
    Jun 2, 2016 at 3:09
  • @Pete I was perplexed, to say the least, when they mentioned personal health information privacy compliance
    – Ivan Lesko
    Jun 2, 2016 at 18:29
  • 2
    car health is health too. car lives matter... living the hipaa life, i can dig it.
    – Zero
    Jun 3, 2016 at 1:10

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is customary for the inspecting agent to hold the results from the seller. It is a matter of the buyer of a service retaining exclusive rights to the purchased product.

This comes up fairly often at our shop. We only give the seller the results of inspection if we have written permission from the buyer. Only a few buyers are willing to share.

I am not sure HIPPA has anything to do with this as it applies to health care law in the US. That said most repair shops keep client information private as a matter of courtesy.


While it is not unusual for the shop not to show you, they buyer should be willing to give you a copy.

Not to sound sleazy, but seeing as this buyer has already spent money on an inspection, you have them on the hook. I would see no problem with you refusing to negotiate price until he has disclosed the shops findings.

There has to be a certain amount of respect between buyer and seller, so if you ask to see the report, and the buyer refuses to show it, you have every right to walk away from the sale.

  • Agreed. Open and honest dealings all around or walk. Jun 2, 2016 at 23:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .