Seven golden rules for buying a used car

Jan 11 2014, 17:51 IST
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While a test drive reveals a lot about a car, nothing compares to a thorough inspection by a professional. While a test drive reveals a lot about a car, nothing compares to a thorough inspection by a professional.
SummaryBuying a used car is harder than you think. But don’t worry, we have you covered with our 7-step guide.

The biggest advantage of buying a used car is that you can buy a bigger and better car for the same money, compared to a new one. And with cars improving every successive generation, there shouldn’t be too many issues to deal with in second-hand cars these days. To simplify things, we have broken up the used car buying process into seven golden principles that will keep you in good stead no matter what car you want to buy. Read on and you will find the used car that is just right.

Know the risk

When buying a used car, you have three options that you can choose from. There is the organised sector which includes big independent players like Mahindra First Choice and the car manufacturers’ own used car entities like Maruti True Value and Toyota U Trust, with outlets at their respective showrooms.

Buying a new car? check prices

Buy a car here and you’re assured that the car hasn’t been in any accident and has gone through proper checks. Although prices are slightly higher here than at other used car dealers, you are most likely to get an engine and gearbox warranty. Then there is the unorganised sector comprising small used car sellers. You don’t have the same peace of mind as in the organised sector but prices are comparatively lower. There’s more risk but greater rewards as well—there isn’t any warranty on offer and it’s the buyer’s ability to gauge the car that plays an important role here. Finally, you could buy from an individual seller. You stand to get the best deal here, since it eliminates the middle man, but then there is the hassle of getting the paperwork done on your own.

Always check a car’s paperwork

It sounds rather boring and it is, but a thorough check of the paperwork is a must. This will expose possible outstanding finance or accident write-offs on insurance. Some of the documents that a seller should hand over to the buyer are the original delivery note of the car, the owner’s manual, RTO tax certificate and the insurance papers.

Driving the point home

No matter what, always drive the car you are interested in as well as other examples so you can compare. And don’t just drive it around the corner for a few minutes, but drive it for as long as you can and over varied surfaces if possible because

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