Things to Avoid When Buying a Used Car

The sales of used cars in India are rising in India with every passing year. Even a decade ago, the scenario was not like this. Most people who bought second hand cars did so from people within their circle of faith comprising of friends, relatives, neighbours etc. There were very few dealers of used cars and they did not have the necessary infrastructure to convince a buyer about buying a car from them. All this changed when Maruti Suzuki seized the opportunity to start its own used cars line in 2001, termed as True Value. Since then a number of car manufacturers such as Mahindra and Mahindra, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and Honda have started their line of certified used cars. This has provided considerable boost to the used car market.

For the year 2013, both Maruti Suzuki and M&M have stated that the sales of their brand new cars have dropped while that of the used cars has risen. There are several reasons for which you should buy used cars.

Low Price – Without doubt, the price of a used car is much lesser than its brand new counterpart. This is because the car has suffered some wear and tear and has lost value. The older the car, the cheaper it will be.

Large variety of cars – Used cars markets are brimming with models which are currently out of production. For example, you can find the Honda Accord, Hyundai Getz, Toyota Qualis and other such vehicles teeming in the used cars market even though their production has been long stopped by their respective companies. Therefore, if you fancy these cars, then you could opt to purchase them.

Lack of Depreciation in Value – Used cars hardly depreciate in value and hence would fetch good money when you do decide to sell it. It has been noted that silver coloured and white coloured cars sell the most.

Running Engine – Brand new cars are not very fuel efficient although they become fuel efficient once they have been on the road for 5000kms or so. With used cars, these problems do not arise and hence the engines run smoothly and they provide adequate fuel efficiency.

Savings on Taxes and Insurance Premiums – Tax and Insurance Premium on a car are decided based on their age. The older the car, the less will be the tax required to pay. The insurance premium would also be lower in this case.

Buying used cars may sound highly profitable but a lot of caution needs to be exercised. What you must bear in mind is that the true quality about the car- the condition of the brake and suspension plates, air conditioner, engine, mileage etc. is known only to the driver of the car. Therefore, to sell his car, he would camouflage a few facts or omit them from the dealings entirely. Therefore, you would have to make your decision partially blind. In that case, you should make all possible enquiries and tests before buying a car. Remember, unless you buy the car from a certified used car dealer, you stand to lose in case there is any fault with the car. Most dealers and individuals sell the cars “as is” and hence you cannot make claims later on about damages parts and functioning.

Here are some pointers that you should follow before buying used cars:

Avoid Cars that have been involved in Accidents
Cars which have been involved in accidents become liabilities and you would have to spend a lot on them from time to time to keep them on the road. The cost of repairs could actually exceed the actual value of the car. No matter how thorough the repair was done after the car was involved in the accident, there is always a chance that something is wrong with it. The suspension may be shot or there may be a crack in the engine. Since you cannot be sure about such cars, it’s better to avoid them.

Avoid vehicles which do not have their papers in order
All papers of a particular car such as the Blue Book, Pollution Clearance Certificate, Road Tax certificate, Insurance certificate etc. are required for transferring the ownership of the car. If one of them is missing, then getting the ownership transferred of the car would become a huge problem.

A car with missing papers also indicates that it may have been obtained via unfair means and hence you should avoid such a car completely.

Cars whose service history is withheld from you
Ask for the service history of the car that you intend to buy. The service history will tell you how well the car was maintained by the previous owner and hence is of high importance. If the dealership or owner withhold the information then it is best to avoid such a vehicle. It may not have been serviced ever or it may have an irreparable problem.

Cars which the owner do not allow you to inspect
When you look at a particular car, ask for permission from the owner to get the car inspected by a professional mechanic. Only a professional would be able to tell you exactly if there is any problem with the car. If the owner refuses to cooperate with you then you should walk away. It is quite obvious that there is some problem with the car that he does not want revealed.

Keeping in mind these problems when you are hunting for a used car would help you immensely. It is best you opt for used cars which are sold by renowned dealers or certified used cars dealers as they would ensure that the quality of the car is top notch when it is sold to you. Moreover, they would also help with the transfer of ownership of the car to your name. An individual seller or small dealer would not do such things.

Buying second hand cars can be quite tricky if it is not done well and hence you should exercise every caution possible to get a good deal.


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