Market for used cars in India has grown exponentially in the last decade. So much so that used car dealers have now made a fortune for themselves by mediating deals between parties and taking commissions.
While sometimes these used cars can turn out to be great bargains considering how the value of a new car drops as soon as its on-road, other times these cars can turn into your worst nightmares because of the issues with the car which were neatly hidden and polished by the car dealer you purchased it from.
If you want to buy a second-hand car its best if you take into consideration these 10 things
PAPERS and OWNERSHIP
You have to keep in mind that when you buy a second-hand car, it could be second hand, third hand or fourth hand. Sometimes there are more than 4 previous owners of the car. it is important for you to keep a check on how many and who all have been the prior owners of the car.
If more number of people have bought and sold the car in a short span of time then it could be because there is a recurring fault in the car or a fault.
Every time the ownership changes the price of the car falls. So a two-year-old car which is second owner will be considerably cheaper than a two-year-old car which is first owner. You can negotiate the price further if you the owners are more.
ENGINE and MECHANICAL PARTS
The engine is the most important part of the car. Most parts in the car are replaceable and repairable. But the engine of the car is one part which is not easy to repair or replace. It could cost you a lot of money to repair or replace your engine. Also, not to mention, the engine is key to your driving experience, a rugged out engine will not be fun to drive.
Best way to get it checked is to take the car to the company service centre. Most companies check your car for free and give you a thorough report on the condition of the car. Some higher-end companies like BMW and Mercedes-Benz might charge you some money for the same. It's always safe to get things checked from professional company mechanics.
Being sure that the car is non-accidental should be an important part of your survey. If the car has been repaired properly there is little chance that a common man can figure out if the car is accidental or not. So again, it is best to get it checked from the company service centre.
One should always be wary of buying an accidental car because even though the body shop work has been done properly, the accident might have caused some issues in the engine and mechanics which might reoccur.
Also in the outer body, one should look for dents and scratches. These dents and scratches sometimes small and insignificant are a good way to negotiate the price. Always check the car out in bright daylight and keep your eyes out for scratches and dents.
Many car owners maintain service records, it is important you see these service records as they give you a good idea as to how ofter the car has been to service. Normally a car has to go for regular services after fixed intervals like - 10,000 km or 1 year - you can see through these records if the car has been taken to service regularly or not.
The car service centre also maintains the service record so you can also ask them for it. A car which has been to service regularly is more likely to last longer than a car which has had long spells on the road without being serviced.
Condition of tyres in inversely proportionate to the usage of the cars. There is a specific life to every tyre and buying a car and then getting the tyres replaced is an added expense you will have to consider. Therefore, always see the condition of the tyres.
Remember: The more the rubber, the better the condition or the tyre
Still, you can take the car to any tyre dealer nearby and ask them about the condition of the tyres and they would tell you.
Some people don't get their insurance renewed when they know they have to sell the car. Make sure you are checking the insurance papers. Valid insurance is important. Otherwise, you will have to get the car insured right after buying it which is again an added expense.
Also, insurance papers will tell you the on-paper value of the car, which could again be another bargaining point.
With time the seat covers can get a bit rugged. It also depends on the owner and how well he maintains his car. A car which has been drycleaned regularly will have its seat covers lasting longer than a car which runs without interior maintenance.
AGE of the CAR and BRAND
Service for some cars is more expensive than the others. And as the car gets older the need for service only increases. There is more chance for the parts to need replacement. Before buying a car make sure you do thorough research on the service charges for the company to which that car belongs.
The service charges for German cars are normally higher than the other car makers. For example, service or part replacement of a Volkswagen Polo will be higher than that of a Maruti Baleno, even though the two cars are in the same luxury hatchback segment.