Buying a used car can often take a lot of research, knowledge, and understanding. While the risks involved in buying a new car are practically zero, a used car can either become a great deal or a lemon sitting in the garage. There are a number of different factors that can help you make the correct choice and here are 8 of them.
Essentially, there are 3 main sources from where you can buy a used car – directly from the seller, used car dealerships, and certified pre-owned outlets.
- Going direct to the seller is often considered the easiest and best way to buy a used car as you can not only get a better, negotiable price but also it cuts out the middleman so you save more. Most of these sellers advertise their cars through online ads and newspaper classifieds which allows interested buyers to contact them directly.
- With the increased demand for used cars in India, many private dealerships have popped up around the country. Here you can find a selection of second-hand cars that you might not find through the direct sellers. In terms of pricing, these dealerships also leave room to negotiate so bargaining is a must for all buyers. You will also have to conduct your own thorough inspection of the car before you can take it home.
- If you approach a certified pre-owned car dealership, you will only find cars of a single brand. These dealers buy used cars from sellers, repair or replace any parts, and resell them. Although the prices at these dealerships are a little higher than the other two sources, the cars on offer are completely and thoroughly checked before being put on sale. This eliminates the need for added checks and the quick and easy paperwork makes it simple and hassle-free.
As mentioned earlier, research is a big part of buying a used car. You have to consider everything before you can actually sign the papers and bring the car home. Before anything else, you have to narrow down your options and decide on which car is best suited to your daily needs. It is extremely helpful to discuss with other owners about how the car you want performs. Find out everything you can about the car including the comfort, power, steering, and more. Once you have all that ready, you have to decide on what variant you want as most of the prices vary depending on the colour, condition, the year it was made, and more. Lastly, you need to learn about the car and what it has to offer so you can discuss it with the seller when it comes time to purchase the model.
Set a Budget
When it comes to buying a new car, setting a budget is a lot easier than a used one. With the almost unlimited options available in the used car market, it is extremely difficult to make a quick decision. But, you have to have your budget ready before you can even think about looking for a suitable car. The best way to do this is to have a minimum and maximum point which you do not cross – no matter what. This bracket must include everything from the car itself to the other expenses like repairs, modifications, interest payments, and more. While it is virtually impossible to go below your minimum cutoff point, it is very easy to be tempted to exceed the limit so you have to control yourself.
Beware of Salesmen
As they work on a commission basis, car salesmen are trained to talk their way into your head and your entire savings as well. This is where a basic knowledge about cars, in general, is a must when buying a used car. These salesmen usually direct potential buyers towards cars that are not selling or the more expensive options available but it is up to you to take in the information about the car and leave out all the rest. The final decision is always yours and you need to know what you’re buying so it is best to brush up on engine parts, mileage, materials used, transmission, and more before you visit the seller/dealer.
One of the most important parts about buying a used car is the inspection as it can be the difference between driving home in a new car or taking the bus. Although the exteriors of the car might appear to be absolutely brand new, the insides could be just the opposite. If you don’t know much about cars, it is better to seek the help of a professional mechanic during the inspection. Check the engine, transmission, steering, brakes, and all other components. Ask for the car to be lifted so that you can check the underside of the car as well. Look inside for any imperfections or repair work on the seats, roof lining, carpets/floor mats, etc as it can help lower the price of the car eventually. Check the air-conditioning, heaters, infotainment system, windows, door locks, lights, and everything that could easily get damaged.
Age of the Car
From the moment a new car is driven out of the dealership, it begins to depreciate and it continues to do so for the first 3 years of ownership. You can find a used car valuation tool online to help you get the value of your car for free. After those 3 years, the depreciation value remains the same for a few years. This means when you buy a used car that is anywhere from 2-4 years old, you can get the best resale value for it. This period is the sweet spot where the expenditure is low and maintenance is barely anything. Any car over 5 years is prone to some repair work and should be avoided at all costs when it comes to buying a second-hand car.
As with all second-hand cars, the prices are just an estimate of what the seller believes it should be. This is where your negotiation skills or bargaining power comes in. Every second-hand car seller leaves a little room for bargaining when setting the price for their car and you have to take advantage of that. Negotiating is all about sticking to what you believe, no matter what. If you feel that you cannot give over a certain number, you have to do whatever it takes to get the seller to meet you at that point as well. If it is a direct seller, you can use their home, the way they dress, and the way they speak as a base for setting a target price and then stand by it.
The final step before you can drive home in your newly bought car is to complete the paperwork. You have to make sure everything is in order, including the registration certificate, purchase invoice, insurance papers, pollution certificate, road tax receipts, NOC, and all the required forms so that there are no complications in the future. Once everything is signed and handed over, you can take full ownership of the car immediately.
There you have it, 8 important things you should know before you buy a used car in India. Whether it’s used cars in Indore or a second-hand model in Chennai, these 8 things will help you go through the process quicker and easier.