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10 Things To Keep In Mind While Buying a Second-Hand Car

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By Chandeep Arora:

A second hand car is always a good option if you are a rookie and have just learnt driving. In this way you can test your hand and gain confidence before trying on a new car. Also, less capital investment and affordance of luxury models in reasonable price makes used car a fastidious preference. Albeit useful, second hand cars have a few downsides too. Old cars may require replacement of tyres, batteries and some worn out parts. They are less reliable and frequent breakdowns may occur. There are 10 most important things you should keep in mind while buying a used car:

1) Decide your budget: It is always better to have a rough idea of the amount you can afford on the used car. This way you can avoid overshooting of your finances and choose better. Keep in mind the insurance and other costs while deciding on the funds.

2) Choosing the apt model: Once your budget has been fixed, the next step comes to finding the right car. Internet is available with a wide range of information and is a good source to rummage around on automobiles and their specifications. If you have the specifications in mind, it’ll help you in narrowing down your search and thereby choosing the right one. Always possibly look for used cars that are comparatively newer. We recommend looking at

3) Dealing options: You can either buy the automobile from an individual, a dealer or also from the internet which has in recent times turned out to be a good option for trading old cars. The web offers fine offers and discounts. If you opt for buying from an individual ask him why he/she wishes to sell the car, how the car was used and finally get permission for getting it checked from a mechanic. Proceed only if you the right options otherwise find a different seller.

4) Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles: When buying used cars it is advisable to opt for certified pre-owned vehicles. These kinds of automotives give similar benefits just like new cars besides saving significant amount of money. While purchasing certified pre-owned vehicles, you not only get the additional extended warranty plus any remaining original manufacturer warranty.

5) Inspect the car: An individual may allow you to get the car checked from a mechanic but a dealer may not be that interested. In those cases don’t refrain from checking the car on your own. Just keep the following points in mind while inspecting the car and use a OBD2 scanner !

  • Make sure everything is in shape and there is no fading, mismatching bodywork.
  • The engine should work smoothly and accelerate from stand still without resisting.
  • Inspect the chassis of the car. The bodyline will give you an indication whether the car has met an accident or not.
  • Check the tyres for any signs of uneven wear, this could show lack of maintenance or suspension issues.
  • Check for all the electric and electronics and make sure everything is working is fine.
  • Check the condition of the battery.
  • If possible ask for the service history which should be in the Service Booklet/Owner’s manual as that will show you if proper maintenance has been performed and where.

6) Take a test drive: According to the buying guide at, this is the most important part of buying the vehicle. This would give you a feel of the car and help you arrive at the decision if the car is fit for you or not. Test driving should be preferably done on different road conditions and should be for at least 4 to 5 km. While driving just check for the condition of clutches and brakes. Also, verify whether the speedometer as well as the mileage recorder is working properly. If the steering is vibrating it could indicate that something is seriously wrong with the engine.

7) Ensure the paper work: It may be possible that you are lured into buying a stolen auto by a tempting price. This makes it important to ensure the paperwork is done properly before finalizing the deal. The checklist for paperwork is :

  • Registration Book: It is issued by the RTO, showing date of registration. The car’s Engine No. and the Chassis No. should be verified with that shown in the RC Book. If the car has met with an accident which involved changing the cars chassis, then the RC Book would have a noting of the new chassis no.
  • Taxation Book: This document shows the status of tax paid. The RTO tax is paid once in a lifetime and should have been paid by the original car owner.
  • Invoice: It carries the engine no. chassis no. date of delivery, etc. Don’t forget to get original invoice from the owner.
  • PUC certificate: Every car needs a valid PUC certificate. PUC Certificate is valid for a period of 1 year for all new cars and subsequently a certificate has to be obtained every six months.

8) Car loans: If you are buying an expensive model, car loans may be a good option. Nowadays lots of banks offer car loans with low rate of interest. The car loan has an eligibility criterion which must be fulfilled by the owner. Besides, keep a check on the documents required for issuing of the loan. Be sure that you do all of the research necessary in order to not sell yourself short when getting a car loan and buying a car.

9) Transferring ownership: With the sale of the car the ownership is also changed. The original owner (Transferor) who is selling the car, must inform the RTO with which the car was registered about this transfer, by sending a letter with information about the new owner (Transferee) within a period of 14 days.

10) Bargaining: Try to negotiate the price according to the condition of the car. If the vehicle requires some immediate repairs, reduce the price consequently. Ask a friend or relative to help if you are not comfortable negotiating alone.

There are various websites which specifically deal with buying and selling of cars. As, they are in this business full time, they know what the customer wants. Ergo, it’s not a bad option to consult the web for information. Now, that you got all the information in your bag, get that dream car of yours and drive on!

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You must be to comment.
  1. mitesh bairwa

    nice post really helpful for buyers. thanks for sharing such valuable information.

  2. CarVar

    Thanks for the post Chandeep. Buyers should also have some trusted mechanic to inspect the car. This single step can literally save you more than 10K in the future (Example – Check the tyres).

  3. Pratik Yadav

    What about comercial vehicle , ?? Paperwork n how would we come to know that they are not ola/Uber blacklist ??

  4. shelly vardekar

    Whether you buy a used car or a brand new car, there are many factors to take into consideration like internal-external components of your car, the financial budget and many more. Based on those factors, you select a car. One of the important features of the car is tyre. Good quality tyres are essential for a smooth drive. There are many various types of tyres available in the market and not all of them provide the same levels of performance depending on which tyre brand you choose. Certain tyres provide much better performance in wet weather or snow, while others provide smoother flow at high speeds for better fuel consumption and reduced noise. Thus selecting a good quality tyre from popular tyre companies is mandatory to have smooth drives in future.

  5. subash malhotra

    All the points which are shown in this blog are really very important to know before buying a new car. Thank you for sharing this informative blog .

  6. Autoparts Miles

    Nice article and thank you for this valuable information

  7. Peter ferry

    A new thing to learn about this article. Thank you for sharing the information.

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