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What Should You Look For Before Buying A Second Hand Car

Adhil Shetty

With a booming and organised used car market in India, several consumers, especially first time buyers are opting for a second-hand car. It makes sense when your budget is not allowing you to opt for a new car and also when you are still perfecting the art of driving. However, no matter how cheap the car is, there is a cost involved, which you will pay through your pocket. Depending on the car you choose, the costs could vary widely and you need to be financially ready for it. Take a look at some crucial points to grab a good deal.

Is The Car Worth Your Money?

First and foremost you should check the condition of the car and assess if it is worth your money. It would be wise to inspect the vehicle by taking a test drive and seeking the help of an expert auto mechanic to ascertain if all its parts are in working and good condition. Before the delivery of the car, you should also check if any parts have been changed or damage repaired from the time you checked out the vehicle.

Insurance Cover

You should check whether or not the vehicle you have opted for has an existing insurance cover. Remember, if the car’s insurance has expired, you as a new owner of the vehicle you will have to renew the insurance. The amount incurred can thus be adjusted against the final deal price. You should also check the number of claim bonuses in the past 2 to 3 years and the frequency of claims made to get a fair idea about the accidents and repair the car went through. You can also get the Car Insurance transferred in your name or get a new policy within 14 days of the date of transfer of the car’s ownership.

Registration Certificate Is A Must

This document is crucial as it reflects the date of registration of the car. You should verify the car’s engine number and chassis number with the details given in the RC book. In case the chassis number is changed owing to an accident, the RC book should mention the new number.  Therefore, a thorough check of all the documents before you buy the car is very important.

Other Important Documents

– Make sure the taxation book shows the tax payment status. Since an RTO tax is paid once in a lifetime, do check if it has been paid by the original car owner
– You should also collect the original invoice from the owner as it has important details like the engine number, the chassis number, the date of delivery etc.

– All cars should have pollution under control certificate (PUC). If the car is new, this certificate is valid for a year and after that a certificate has to be obtained every six months

Resale Value

If the used car you are planning to buy is not more than 3-4 years old, you should consider the resale value of the car as well. If resale value of the car after 2-3 years of your usage is decent enough, the final deal price may not pinch you much. Higher the resale value lower is your contribution when you go for your second car purchase in future.

Finally, doing some research on your budget range may throw some surprises as well. You might get a brand new car at almost at the same price, though you may have to compromise on parameters like size of the car, brand and its resale value. However, if the new car in the same range can fulfil your requirement, you should prefer going for a new car. For instance, if you have chosen a used sedan with a budget of Rs 5-7 lakhs, it’s preferable to go for a new compact sedan which will cost you almost the same. Or else you can also look for a good car in the hatchback segment, if you’re ready to comprise on size.

Remember that car is a depreciating asset, whether new or used, so choose wisely to make the most from your vehicle.

The writer is CEO, is a leading online marketplace in India that helps consumers compare and apply for credit cardpersonal loanhome loancar loan, and insurance.