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7 Tips you should follow before buying an Old Car

Updated on October 21, 2016

7 Tips you should know before buying an used car

Buying a used car may be a wise option or a stupid one.If you do not have any prior knowledge or experience you might be end up with somebody junk in your garage, whereas a knowledgeable person save money and get a good deal.

Here are some point you can consider while buying a used car:

  1. Plan before you purchase - Plan your budget, see how much you can gather from your sources. Once you know your maximum budget then start checking the different options available.If you know your budget its easier to discuss it with dealer or check it in websites.Also it will help you in case you need to take loan and go for EMI option.

    Planning also includes type of vehicle you want, for example if you have family with more than 4 members you can go for SUV or big cars.If you need it for more city uses then better to go for small cars which works well for city traffic and parking.

    In this phase also decide whether you need a petrol or diesel version.Diesel version will be little costly but will be useful if you use your car often for longer distance or on highway.But remember maintenance will be more in diesel.Petrol will be good for city uses and have less maintenance also.So first know your use and then decide.Mileage play a critical role in this phase, as petrol and diesel cost are running up daily in India and other country too, so check and make sure you will get maximum mileage in your budget.

  2. Select a right car Dealer - There are 3 ways you can find a right dealer for your car.

    • Check authorized used car dealer - Nowadays all big car dealer like Maruti,Hyundai,Toyota etc have their own authorized used car can go there and checkout the deals and can also take test drive.Use their website to get contacts and phone number of your nearest location.
    • Car Portals - There are many car portal available where you can see quotations of used cars in various of the portal I like is you can get more on can check prices there.
    • Newspapers and magazines - This is and old fashioned but reliable way of browsing different options available at your location, you can then contact owners or dealer by phone and can get more details.
  3. Shortlist and get review of cars - Once your budget and requirement is final, shortlist your option and start reviewing of your options.Online research is the best option, do market research and get a closer view and see how best it suits you.check web portals to get online review of can also take help from your friends,relatives and colleagues to get more info of similar models.Review option also help you to get right price for your car.

  4. Get detailed History of Car - Once you finalized the car next step will be to get more detail about the car -
    • Distance - Check how much distance car is being used.An average for petrol car is 12000km/year and diesel car is 15000km/year.It can reduced or increased by about 10% margin.If the average km crosses it do not purchase that.Also If the car has covered more than 50K in 3 years, do not go for it.
    • Age of car - If the age of car is more than 3 years , my opinion is do not go for it unless it is dead cheap.Also for insurance purpose it is much difficult for car which is older than 3 years
    • Number of owners - Always prefer car which has only one owner, more than 1 owner's car needs more maintenance and also efficiency will be less
    • Car documents - Check original documents of the car.Car documents also reveal important details about accidents and technical faults car went through.Check original RC(registration certificate) and insist to owner to show it first before you see the car.
  5. Check Car condition - When you start inspecting the car, there are 2 possible way exterior and interior.Exterior includes dents and scratches.check to make sure if there was any serious accidents in past.Check for rust on the body of car.Two important thing which you must take care is tyres and oil leaking.

    Special inspection is required for front part and see if there is any dent on bonnet, it may be because of any front side accident. Another types of inspection can be of interior where you need to see is engine,brake pedals,and dashboard.See other accessories like music player if any and seat covers.

  6. Test drive - Here comes the important moment when you actually get the feeling of the car.Check ignition and see if you can start the car at first special attention to synchronization of steering wheel,brake pedals, clutch etc.This advice I got from maximum friends w hen they tell me to check for sounds from different part of the can feel it while driving.See how A/C is working while you drive.

  7. Negotiations and Final deal - When you are satisfy with the car here comes the moment to make a decision and close the deal.keep some margin for negotiations.Get the market price of the car and your maximum budget and start negotiation from cheapest amount.You can slightly raise the price based on your max budget.While raising the price keep in mind about the expenses you need to make after the deal, like batteries,accessories or maintenance.

    you can keep max 10% margin in negotiations.Keep mode of payments through cheque or Demand draft,never go for cash.Complete all the legal formalities like RC transfer,and other RTO related work.

So after finishing all these steps modify your new car with some modifications and accessories and heat the road.


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    • maxravi profile image

      Ravi Singh 6 years ago from India

      Thanks Nancy for your comment!

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 6 years ago from USA

      Sound advice for purchasing a used car.

    • maxravi profile image

      Ravi Singh 6 years ago from India

      Thanks for your comment Credence2.I will keep posting such article.

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Thanks, Maxravi, for sharing that information with us. We would probably be in the market for another car in a year or so and this has been a timely reminder as to what to avoid !!