Cars these days are durable and are built to withstand the test of time. This makes buying a second-hand car not only an economical move but an astute one as well.  

Buying a second-hand car can be a grim experience for many, but by keeping a few pointers in mind it can go a lot smoother than you think. Asymmetric information is always a problem in this market where there is always the risk of lemons. Keep a cautious eye out and it is best to educate yourself.

Take a look at 10 things you need to keep in mind while choosing the second-hand car, that is not only safe and reliable but is worth every penny you spend.

TLDR? Take a look at the video:

  1. Where to buy and how much should you pay?

    You can get the car you are looking for from service providers, individual sellers, dealerships and virtual resources. You can take advantage of pre-outlets of any car manufacturer.

    second hand used car dealership or private seller
    second hand used car dealership or private seller

    Do not be afraid to choose another seller if things don’t feel right.
    It is important to decide on your budget beforehand. There is a big chance of being swayed by the sweet-talking salesperson after you get to the dealership. You should also consider all the potential costs including insurance.

  2. Choosing the right car

    2011 Chevrolet Cruze
    2011 Chevrolet Cruze

    Make sure you know what you are looking for when it comes to features, specifications and the kind of car you wish to buy. Try to buy newer models if possible. Remember that the prices of new cars tend to plateau after three years of purchase. And never purchase cars that have been discontinued. Trust us when we say it is not worth the trouble.

  3. What is the overall condition of the car?

    Rusting on car doors
    Rusting on car doors

    The car should be free from any major defects. There really is no point in buying a car if it is not usable. Go an extra mile to make sure the vehicle systems like the brake, emission, lighting, engine cooling, steering and suspension are all in good condition. Doing this can save you a lot of maintenance expenses in the long run. If anything is amiss, don’t be afraid to walk away and look for another dealer.

    If you can try to get the car’s major systems checked by a mechanic. GoMechanic offers a Second-Hand Car Inspection Service. You can download GoMechanic app from the play store for this and all the other car-related queries.

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  4. Check the body, underbody & wheel wells

    Anti-Rust Underbody Coating
    Anti-Rust Underbody Coating

    The bodywork of the car should be thoroughly inspected for signs of motor accidents. You should look for chipped paint, dents, fender benders, rust and other telltale defects. Inspect wheels thoroughly to find out any of them would require replacement.

  5. How is the interior?

    Chevrolet Cruze 2012 Interior
    Chevrolet Cruze 2012 Interior

    Check the upholstery for tears or cigarette burns. This can be good reasons to ask for some money off the offer price. Check the stereo, air conditioning unit and windows. Take a look at the mileage reading on the odometer. Thoroughly inspect the interior so that you get what you are paying for.

  6. Take a thorough Test Drive

    Steering wheel stiffness means failing power steering system
    Steering wheel stiffness means failing power steering system

    It is very important to take the car out on a drive before committing. Get behind the wheel and drive around for about 20 minutes at different speeds. This would help figure if the car is in fact in good shape and you can also spot defects that were previously missed.

  7. Double-check the paperwork

    car paperwork
    Car paperwork

    Look at the original invoice, receipts and other paperwork. This would help make it clear if the car has met with any accidents. We can also understand if any work was done on it as well as the car’s true mileage. With the Registration Certificate, you can see how many times the car was bought and sold.

    Compare the car’s Engine and Chassis number against what is given in the RC book. Take a look at its service book and make sure the original owner has paid all the taxes.

  8. Transfer of ownership

    HSRP 3rd Sticker For a Petrol Car
    HSRP 3rd Sticker For a Petrol Car

    All the paperwork from the RC book, Pollution Under Control certificate (PUC) to the car’s original invoice should be transferred to the new owner. Check if the insurance papers are in proper order.

    The ownership has to be transferred legally and in paper to prevent issues if the car is sold again in the car in the future. The documents would be inevitable if the car is ever met with an accident. For the car’s transfer to be made official the buyer and the seller must sign RTO forms 29 and 30.

  9. Planning on making modifications?

    Weird and wacky car mods
    Weird and wacky car mods

    If you are planning to make modifications choose your car accordingly. Engine modifications, engine fuel, colour modification or whichever modification you are planning on, choose the model that can accommodate them. Newer models are more likely to support upgrades and conversions than older ones.

  10. How’s your negotiation skills?

    Hyundai Aura Rear Profile 2 (Doors Open)
    Hyundai Aura

    Some bargaining if not a lot would be required to get the deal you are looking for. Haggling can be nerve-wracking, get some help if you need. Always make sure you do your homework. Or you can cut out the negotiation all together by visiting a pre-owned outlet of any carmaker. It has advantages like the original manufacturer warranty and certification.

Keep these things in mind, be patient, practical and make sure to drive a hard bargain. Go get that car you are looking for!

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