Date: November 30, 2014
Used Car Buying Tips. Know Detailed Buying Process from Vehicle Inspection to Executing the Sale Purchase Transaction
Buying a Second Hand Car is not as easy as New Car.
Where New Car is backed with Manufacturer Warranty, Trust, Flawless Condition and Free Services - A Used car does not necessarily hold in any of these factors.
Add on to it Documentation and Service History which needs to be thoroughly checked - failing which one is inviting a Miserable Buying Call
Though, it may see relatively easy to buy car in Organized Sector i.e. Used car Dealers. But, There is still high underlying Probability of Odometer tampering, cosmetic changes and jacking up price by substantial amount. Even, if the dealer is genuine, he will still manage to keep his cut - on both buying or selling transaction - ultimately this is his bread and butter - thus Real Price Discovery does not happen.
Its best to contact direct Owner as seller, for your purchase - who can provide you History, Service Bills and documentation. You will get in a car at the right price with all documents from the Original Owner of the car.
Below is an Attempt to Provide a One Stop Guide from Vehicle Inspection to Deal Closure of your Used Car Purchase
Step 1 - Evaluating & Inspecting Car
Inspecting a Car is not a Rocket Science - provided the basics are correct
There's a Saying - 1+1 = 11 .Its better to have a Friend / Colleague / Family Member Accompany you - in case you miss a part of Inspection - can well be caught by him. (For Easing the Inspection Part - Take a Local Trained Workshop Personnel or your Trusted Mechanic in Cars to get Car Inspected for you on Paid Basis. He will also check on Engine Bay additionally)
- First and Foremost is Check Car in Day-Light in Open and Not Covered Parking.
- Check Body Paint Condition from All Sides - Is Body Paint Uniform - A Patch of Color Change Can be Indication of Accidental Car - Inspect it Closely
- Check Odometer - Check Tyre Condition, Generally Tyres Call for Replacement at around 40,000 to 50,000 Kms - Check Tyre Tread along with Disc closely
- Check Interiors - Seat Upholstery - Is The Seat Fabric Dirt / Intact / Torn / Clean - How Cushioned are Front and Rear Seats.
- Check for Doors - Can you open and close all 4 Doors with Ease or any Noise.
- Take a Test Drive of the Car Thoroughly with Windows Open without turning on the Music System to listen to any Noise or Squeach Sounds - Inspect Brakes, Clutch, Pickup, Gear Smoothness, Steering Easeness, Reverse, Car Pickup, Noise or Rattling Sounds (for Suspension), Try to Drive on Rough Patch for Shockers. Do not be shy to drive more Kms or applying brakes or Taking Sharp Corner Turns
- During last Leg of Test Drive (2 km) - Turn Windows Down, Check AC Cooling, Music System Head Unit, Speakers Sound Level
- Check Car Features - Is AC, Blower Fan, Music System, Central Lock System, Power Window System, Lights Fog Lights, Horn etc on arrival at Starting Point.
- Last but not the least - Check Engine Bay for Signs of any Repair / Leaks / Fluid Levels etc.
Assess a Price for Used Car basis Condition. Refer - Used Car Valuation Matrix for Indicative Assessment Value and basis car conditions - Average to Excellent - can see Owner Demand as Fair Price or with Possibility of Negotiation.
Step 2: Evaluating Service History of Vehicle
Note: Car Dealers / Agents Generally Do not Provide Previous Owner Service Bills.
Proceed for Step - 2 & 3 - only if Car Condition and Inspection is Satisfactory and Price Budget seems Negotiable or in Range
Ask Owner Politely for any Known Issues in Car Condition for any Major / Minor Repair, Estimated Service Interval and Maintenance Costs and basis his statement ask for Service Bills / History of Vehicle - which serves Dual Purpose :-
» It helps in Preventing as Victim of Odometer Tampering. Service Bills at Authorized Workshop have Kms Mentioned in it. One Can Match it with kms on Odometer.
» Apart from it, is but obvious whether the owner following service schedule and where were the services done - Authorized Workshop or Local Garage
Step 3 - Evaluating Ownership Documents
» Smart Card: Smart Card erstwhile known as RC Copy is the most Important Document. ORIGINAL RC COPY is Mandatory document required to be submitted in RTO for effecting Car Sale. Having a Duplicate Copy (DRC Mentioned) is not accepted at time of transfer. If Original Owner has Lost RC, insist on him to get New Smart Card Issue. Refer: Process on Lost RC Book. Further Checks based on RC
- Read RC Carefully - Model, Sub Variant, Owner Name, Address, Registration Number
- Check Owner Serial Number (1 signifies First Owner, 2 signifies Second Owner, 3 for Third Owner)
- Match Engine Number of Car as in RC Book and Insurance Policy
- Take Chassis Imprint - Match with RC Book n Insurance
- Check on Manufacturing Year of Car as in RC. This could be Different from Registration year
- Will help in Negotiating price further, if manufacturing year is previous year to Registration Year (Ex - Mfg is Nov 2009, Regist is Feb 2010) - Technically for Valuation per Se - Car will be marked more than a Year Old if Manufacturing Year is Previous to Registration year
- Check Hypothecation Column in RC, if any Loan is Taken Financier Name would be there
» Insurance: Insurance Policy should be Valid on date of Purchase and should have atleast 3 weeks for expiry so that RC Transfer can be done smoothly
- Check Owner Name, Validity Date on Insurance Policy. Check for Matching Engine/Chasis Number as in RC
- Check for NCB Amount. If NCB (No Claim Bonus) is Zero - there could be a claim in previous year - ask for reasons of claim
- Check Hypothecation (If Car is Financed on both RC & Insurance)
» Finance : If Car has Active Loan or Finance HP -
- Ask for Loan Repayment and Foreclosure Statement
- Assess Outstanding on Loan through Loan Foreclosure Statement from Bank, Check Name and Car Registration Number should match with Loan Statement
- Cars sold in India - comes with Pair of 2 Original Keys. Try on Checking both Keys - If the car open and ignition switch can turn on
- Check on Name of Owner as in RC, Matching Original Copy of ID Proof and Address Proof - if dealing with unknown individual
- Check on All Original Papers - RC, Insurance, PUC and Latest Service Bills
- Do Not Miss to Execute Sale Agreement documented for avoiding any claim
Step 4 - Executing Sale Transaction (RTO Formalities)
We Strongly Recommended that its Not Price but Condition and Maintenance of Car to be given Utmost Consideration and Importance. Its advisable to buy a well maintained Car driven 80,000 Kms with Proper Service Records and Scheduled Maintenance Vis a Vis Car which is driven only 50,000 Kms but with Poor Maintenance and without Service History.
Remember, all Verbatim talks are useless - if not backed by documentation. Do not miss to know Pre Hand
so that you can check on documents and feel confident of executing the used car transaction at time of deal closure.
Transfer Fees : Generally its the buyer responsibility for transferring the RC and Documents in his Name - either through self or agent. Still - you can make it clear this point, if dealt otherwise - wherein seller will bear the cost.
Hiring a Broker for Used Car Transfer can shelve off Rs. 2500 - 3000. But its to be know that Official Transfer Fees is no more than Rs. 500 for RC Transfer Including New Smart Card Issuance
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