Best Tips For Buying A Used Car In India - V3Cars

Buying a used car offers a lot of advantages. For the price of a new car, you can get a larger, more feature-loaded car and that too from a higher segment. However, shopping for a used car isn’t really a hassle-free experience and you could end up with a bad example or get taken along for a ride! If you are planning to buy a used car, you must be wondering where to start and how to go about it! To make your journey easier, we have compiled a few tips for buying a used car in India and things that you should look out for.

Tips To Buy Used Cars In India

1. Narrow Down Your Options

In the pre-owned market, there are plenty of lucrative deals along with numerous brands and models to choose from. It's easy to feel overwhelmed with the options that are available today to used car buyers. Hence, the first step is to fix a budget and stick to it. Then, spend time researching which type of vehicle to go for based on your requirements. For example, you may want a hatchback over a sedan or an SUV for your particular requirements. Read up on the issues and expenses that plague a particular vehicle brand or model.  

Do take into consideration the kilometers that the vehicle will clock annually and the expected fuel cost. This will help you decide whether a petrol, diesel or CNG vehicle will fit your purpose. Also, buying a used car is only the initial cost and you will have to budget for regular expenses, such as insurance, maintenance and fuel. So decide wisely to avoid falling into the trap of buying an expensive car at an attractive price only to find that the maintenance cost are a financial burden!   


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2. Organised Vs Unorganised

The used car market can be broadly segmented into organised and unorganised sectors. The organised players in the market include Maruti Suzuki True Value and Hyundai Promise, to name a few. Unless you are extremely knowledgeable about cars and can gauge their overall health accurately, it's better to buy a used car from organised players. This is because they claim to focus on delivering a hassle-free buying experience and their cars are checked across multiple parameters, are accident-free, refurbished using genuine parts, are offered with a warranty and the paperwork is taken care of by them.   

Owing to the multiple claimed benefits being offered by the organised players, their asking price usually tends to be on the higher side. The unorganised sector, on the other hand, comprises private used car dealers and individual owners. The prices quoted by the unorganised players are usually more competitive but the buyer needs to do their due diligence. Also, information provided by the used car dealers need to be taken with a pinch of salt and all paperwork and the vehicle needs to be thoroughly checked for any abnormalities. 

3. Physical Inspection And Road Test

Once you have shortlisted a car, the next step is to go and check it out in person. With the easy availability of photo editing tools, it has become easy to make bad cars look good in pictures! Seeing them in person will help you spot any bodywork damages, dents, paint issues, signs of rusting, the actual state of the vehicle interiors and its overall health. Do check the engine bay and boot for any signs that could reveal that the vehicle has been repainted, such as rust or paint tone mismatch. Also, check if all the external body panels have the same paint quality. It's better to avoid vehicles that have been repainted for it usually gets done after an accident or collision.    

Post checking the car externally and internally, take it for a test drive to gauge its mechanical condition. It should drive smoothly without the suspension or steering making any noise over bad roads. The AC should manage to cool down the cabin quickly. All the electronics, such as headlights, power window switches, and audio system, should be working fine. The vehicle shouldn't be pulling to one side and all tyres should have sufficient tread. Also, the gearbox and the clutch should be smooth to operate. If anything feels odd during the test drive, then it's better to consider other options. To rule out any hidden issues, get the car checked at a garage by a mechanic before making a buying decision. If the dealer objects to the car getting checked by a mechanic, walk away and look elsewhere.


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4. Documents And Service History

It's common to come across used cars with tampered odometers. This is done because cars that have clocked low kilometers usually tend to command a higher resale value. Check if the vehicle has a detailed service history. This will give you a clear idea of how well it was taken care of, if it was serviced as per the manufacturer's recommended intervals and what the actual odometer reading should be. It will also reveal if the vehicle has been involved in an accident as the bills will show the purchase of uncommon parts such as fenders or bumpers. 


Check the Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle and confirm that the engine and chassis numbers are matching. Unless specifically asked, some dealers could avoid mentioning the number of previous owners. Vehicles with more than one owner usually tend to command a lower resale value. The RC also mentions the number of vehicle owners. In case of any doubts, you can get the details from the RTO (Regional Transport Office) where the vehicle was registered. Ensure that all the vehicle documents are original and not duplicate copies.  

5. Don’t Forget To Negotiate

When buying a used car, never agree to the price quoted by the dealer. Always negotiate with the dealer by quoting a price that you feel is justified. To find out the ideal price for a used car, as per the make, model and kilometers driven, you can refer to multiple online used car price checkers. 

The dealer will come up with many reasons to justify their asking price. They could say that there are already multiple offers for the car or that someone is ready to pay the booking amount and so on. Every dealer resorts to the same tactics to make a quick sale. Be confident with your ask and stand your ground. Remember, there are plenty of good cars and good deals available in the pre-owned market. So, don’t be in a hurry. 

If you are someone who absolutely hates bargaining or negotiating, then take a friend along who is skilled at closing deals. It could help you get a better deal!  


Also read: Here’s 10 Car Accessories That You Must Stay Away From


Pradeb Biswas

Dreams of owning a motorcycle. Dreams of owning a car. Dreams of owing a truck. Once reality dawns, writes an article hoping to attract a pay check!


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