Here are some useful tips for
buying a used car / second hand car / old car.
Tips For Buying Used Car
It is always better to go for a used car if you are a
greenhorn and have just learnt driving. This way you can refine your
driving skills and gain the necessary confidence before investing a
substantial amount on new car.
Some of the reasons, which have made used car market, a big attraction
- Less capital investment
- One can afford a luxury model in relatively less price.
- Lower depreciation
- Used car market has developed these days and most car makers now
sell certified used cars, which include warranties.
- Financing rates for used cars have dropped in recent years.
But buying a used car has a few downsides too. Used
cars have higher maintenance cost as compared to new cars. You may have
to go for replacement of old tyres, battery, clutch plate etc. Used cars
have low reliability and they are susceptible to frequent breakdowns.
New cars tend to have advanced and more safety features as compared to
Now that you have decided to buy a used car just follow these simple
tips to get the best bargain.
1. Decide your budget: It is always better to have a rough idea
of the amount that you can afford to spend on buying the car before
starting the car buying process. This way you can avoid overshooting
your budget. While deciding about the budget also account for the
insurance and other running costs.
2. Finding the right car: Unlike buying a new car you can't be
fastidious while buying a used car. You have to be flexible. If you're
set on one model, in a specific color, with a certain mileage or
specification you may find it hard to get a bargain as you're focusing
on a narrow market. If you're prepared to consider something similar to
what you want, you'll find a much wider choice available and it becomes
easier to negotiate.
3. Communicate with the seller: You can buy the used car either
from a dealer or from an individual. While buying the car from an
individual enquire why he/she is selling the car, how the car was used
(single hand, daily commuting etc.), and finally ask for permission to
get the car inspected by a car mechanic. If you get the right answers
only then proceed further otherwise look for some other seller.
4. Thoroughly inspect the car: While an individual seller may
permit you to get the car inspected by a mechanic, a dealer may not be
so obliging. Don't let this stop you from doing some inspection on your
Keep following things in mind while inspecting the car.
- The engine should idle smoothly without surging or sputtering,
and accelerate from standstill without bucking or hesitating.
- Inspect the chassis of the car. The bodyline will give you an
indication whether the car has met an accident or not.
- Look for signs of repainting. Check whether all the body parts
are of same colour. Open the trunk, hood and doors. Look for paint
specs or over spray-a telltale sign that all or part of the vehicle
has been repainted.
- Check the wheel alignment of cars. Uneven wear and tear of
tyres-balding on the sides or in the middle-indicate poor alignment.
- Check the condition of battery.
- Check whether all the headlights and indicators are working
- Check air conditioning for proper operation. Sufficiently heat up
the engine to test the efficiency of air conditioner. Check the
operations of defroster, heater and fan.
5. Take a test drive: A test drive will give
you the feel of the car and help you arrive at the decision whether the
car is fit for you or not.
Look out for following things while taking a test drive:
- With the engine idling before you start your test-drive, turn the
steering wheel right and left. There should not be any play in the
wheel before the tyres start to turn.
- The engine should idle smoothly without clattering or metallic
sounds, or sharp hissing, in the engine compartment. Normal sound is
smooth whirring of belts and fan.
- Check the condition of clutch plates.
- Test the brakes on an empty stretch of road. From a speed of 30
kph, apply the brakes hard. The car should stop straight and
quickly, without pulling to one side and without any vibration. The
pedal feel should be smooth and linear, and stopping the car
shouldn't take a huge effort.
6. Ensure that the paperwork is in order: It
is very important to ensure that the paperwork of the vehicle is in
order before finalizing the deal. It is quite possible that you may be
lured into buying a stolen vehicle by a tempting offer. The checklist
for paperwork is as follows:
- Registration Book (Registration Certificate / RC Book):
It is issued by the RTO, showing date and address of registration
and a record of the owners of the vehicle. The car's Engine No. and
the Chassis No. should be verified with that shown in the RC Book.
If the car has met with an accident which involved changing the cars
chassis, then the RC Book would have a noting of the new chassis no.
Check the state of registration mentioned in the papers. The state
of registration mentioned in the books should be the state in which
you intend to use the car otherwise you have to get the registration
transferred. Transferring the registration from one state to another
is a cumbersome process and hence ensure that the seller transfers
the registration to the state in which you plan to use the car.
- Taxation Book (Tax Certificate / TC Book): This document
shows the status of tax paid. The RTO tax is a once in a lifetime
tax and should have been paid by the original owner of the car. If
the owner of the car has not paid it, it can add up to double digits
in thousands, which you will have to ultimately bear.
- Insurance: Insist on the insurance papers, as these
papers are mandatory for any transfer by the RTO. Premium for
Insurance is paid on a regular basis and it is advisable to check
the due date. Also, ensure transfer of the insurance papers to your
- Invoice: Do not forget to get the original invoice of the
car from the original owner. You can know details like engine no.,
chassis no., date of delivery, delivery dealer and whether the car
was financed or not.
- PUC Certificate: Every car needs a valid PUC certificate.
PUC Certificate is valid for a period of 1 year for all new cars and
subsequently a certificate has to obtained every six months.
If you are planning to buy a used car that was bought
on finance by the seller, remember to collect the following documents in
addition to the above mentioned ones.
NOC (No Objection Certificate): NOC issued by the finance
company. This document ensures that the finance company has no claim on
the car anymore.
Form 35: You must keep a copy of this form duly signed by the
7. Negotiating the price: While negotiating the price keep in
mind the condition of the cars. If the car requires some immediate
repairs such as change of battery, replacement of tyres, wheel
alignment, suspension etc then reduce the price of the car accordingly.
8. Transferring ownership: With the sale of the car the
ownership is also changed. The original owner (Transferer) who is
selling the car, must inform the RTO with which the car was registered
about this transfer, by sending a letter with information about the new
owner (Transferee) within a period of 14 days. In case the new owner
falls in jurisdiction of another RTO, then the owner has to inform this
RTO by sending a similar letter.
The following documents have to be submitted to the RTO to effect the
transfer of ownership of the car:
- Form "TCA" - Intimation of transfer by Transferee
- Form "TCR" - Intimation of transfer by Transferor
- Form No.29 - Notice of transfer of ownership of vehicle. This
form is used to notify the RTO 'transfer of ownership' of the car
and to obtain confirmation from the RTO.
- Form No.30 - Report of transfer of ownership of vehicle.
- Valid Insurance policy
- PUC Certificate
- Address proof of the Transferee (Buyer)
- Evidence of payment of all taxes up-to-date.
- Form No.28 - Application for N.O.C. and grant of certificate.
This form is used to apply for NOC from the RTO for transfer of the
vehicle to another RTO's jurisdiction. This is required when you
shift the registration of the car from the jurisdiction of one RTO
to another RTO.
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