Buying a second hand car offers several advantages that include affordability, lower depreciation, lower insurance premiums, and much more. But the real challenge in bringing home a second hand car is the complexity of the process involved. Couple that with duping dealers and a lack of experience, and chances are that you will end up in a tough spot. But fret not, for we are here to help you sail through the process of buying a used car so that you know what to look out for. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Step 1: Choose the car that suits your needs
Choosing the car that suits your needs is one of the most important steps in bringing home a pre-owned car. Start off by deciding what kind of car you need: a robust SUV, a reliable hatchback or a comforting sedan. Decide a budget that suits you, and do a quick research to narrow down your choices. Once you have 2-3 options in mind, head to explore used-car dealers and platforms.
Step 2: Explore used car channels
Once you know what to look for, the next step is to decide where to look. When buying a used car, there are several channels that can match you with the car you love. If you are not buying directly from an owner, you can explore nearby local dealers, online aggregators, or even certified dealerships of prominent carmakers. Try out each channel and explore their stock. Make sure to pick a channel that offers maximum variety and peace of mind.
Step 3: Inspect the Vehicle
The most crucial step in purchasing a second hand car is the pre-purchase inspection. A car tells a lot about its previous owner, as well as its overall health. Once you have selected the car of your choice, ask your used car channel to organise a vehicle inspection and test drive.
- Start your inspection by thoroughly inspecting the exteriors, followed by the interiors. Look out for red flags, such as repainting of bodyline and unexplained cracks or dents that can indicate accidental damage.
- Move on the inside and check the interiors and electric components such as buttons, knobs, dashboard lights etc.
- Once you are done with the interiors and exteriors, move on to check the mechanical health of the vehicle.
- Check for signs of leakages, battery damage, and tyre condition and a thorough underbody inspection for signs of rust.
- If possible, take an experienced mechanic or a knowledgeable friend along.
Step 4: Take a test drive
Once you are done with the inspection, it’s time to take the car out for a spin. Start the car and look for unexplained noises. If everything is good, then start off by driving the car for a few kilometres. Make sure to take the vehicle over bumps to check the suspension. Pay attention to the gear movement, clutch operation, and steering manoeuvre. Make sure to check the performance of the AC, windows and indicators as well. If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to ask questions.
Step 5: Inspect the documents
Once you finish the inspection and test drive, the next step is to check the documentation and other paperwork. Start by inspecting the registration certificate and matching the mentioned chassis number with the one on the vehicle. If everything is good, then move on to check the insurance documents for the No Claim Bonus, indicating that the car is accident-free. Last but not least, check the car’s service records if available, and cross-check the information with the car manufacturer.
Step 6: Figure out the payment options
Once you have done all the due diligence, it’s now time to figure out the payment options. If you wish to finance the car you love, then ask your used car channel for the financing options available, and have a discussion about the down payment formalities. If you wish to pay the entire price upfront, have a clear discussion about the price of the car and the mode of payment with your preferred car dealership/aggregator.
Step 7: Transfer the ownership
Once you have finalised the deal, make sure the ownership transfer process is initiated on time. Submit all the relevant documents, such as Form 35, original RC, NOC (if applicable) etc, to the Regional Transport Office, along with transfer forms no. 29 and 30.
While the ownership transfer process might seem a little complicated, many states have online services for the same that make the entire process simple, convenient and hassle-free. Before initiating the process yourself, ask your preferred pre-owned car seller for the same. Several used car dealerships/aggregators offer complete ownership transfer services either for free or for a nominal cost.
Once the transfer process is complete, enjoy your second hand car the way you want. Make sure to undertake timely servicing and make your car age like wine.