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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A guide to buy 2nd Hand/Pre-Owned Cars in India


India is rapidly becoming a huge market for 2nd hand /used/ pre-owned cars in Asia. In fact purchasing a pre-owned/used car makes a lot of sense when you have recently learnt driving & want to practice it to perfection or you want another car but afraid of spending huge funds that you’ve saved for something else. However while shopping for a right pre-owned car it is very difficult to ensure if you are buying car which has no strings attached & not being cheated upon. In our post today we shall discuss on right approach on buying pre-owned car in city of Chennai which has witnessed a huge surge in demand of such cars.

Also Read: Hyundai Creta Compact SUV - 10 Key things to know

Getting to know about 2nd Hand/Pre-Owned Car Market in Chennai

Chennai, the capital of Tamilnadu in past few years have seen a lot of economic growth. That’s to big IT players & Automakers which have established their offices & factories in this state. With an increase in economic status, the buying potential of people in the city has increased many folds. It has directly resulted in huge demand for 4 wheelers. 4 Wheelers in India are much safer than 2 wheelers, and hence people want to transition quickly into this mode. But not all are able to buy a brand new car always. The price of brand new car – TATA NANO which is India’s cheapest car starts above INR 2 Lakhs. The city population who are interested in buying a 2nd hand car wants a better car at this price range. Hence the need & demand for 2nd hand cars especially have grown up significantly.

Also Read: Review of SsangYong Tivoli Compact SUV (Spotted)

Tips to buy a 2nd hand/Pre-owned/Used Car

STEP ONE: Get your homework done
Couple of factor based on the amount of funds you want to shell out – you need to decide the following:
  1. Type of car – Hatchback, Sedan, MUV, SUV etc
  2. Model of the car – Diesel / Petrol; Indian, Japanese, Korean, American or European make.
  3. Source - Used car dealers, brokers, Internet Portals like Carewale , CarTrade, Firstchoice etc, authorized dealers, newspaper ads and personal referrals are some commonly used sources. It’s generally a good idea to interact directly with the previous owner, so the Internet and print classifieds are great sources of good deals on used cars.
  4. Finance – Another important aspect is how you are going to buy the car, in white cash or loan? A caveat  - Interest rates for loans on used cars are higher than those for new cars.    
STEP TWO : All that glitters is not gold – Caution!!!
  1. History: It’s most advisable to choose a car with a fully documented service history. A car that has been maintained exclusively at a single authorized service station should score very high on your rating. They will help you know any accidental history to make your decision easier.
  2. Certified Cars: This is the latest fad one would see. Some car manufacturers and dealerships offer certified used cars which under go through detailed checks where defective and worn-out parts are replaced. A well refurbished certified car may well be worth the extra price but these dealers are known for tampering with odometer & hence beware.
  3. Non Popular cars: Many branded cars just weren’t popular despite of being reliable when they were new; in the second-hand market these are often great bargains.
  4. Avoid certain discontinued/old models: Never even consider buying a car whose manufacturer no longer exists as they suffer from an inconsistent supply of spares, high maintenance costs and terrible resale value.
  5. Lightly used cars: A car that is ten years old with only 30,000 km on the odometer is probably not a good buy. Cars are built to run and long periods of inactivity cause problems.
STEP THREE : The Final Car Check

  1. Expert friend: Call a friend or mechanic who has sound knowledge of cars and may discover problems unknown to you and a second opinion can be helpful.
  2. Daytime check: Always examine a car in broad daylight; darkness can conceal obvious damage.
  3. Cold Start: A cold engine will give away far more than one that has reached operating temperatures. Insist on starting the car from cold, and work the engine up yourself.
  4. Documentation: Verify  car’s original documentation for discrepancies & always insist on a service records. Key documents that you should check include:
1. RTO tax receipt: This is now a one-time tax and the original owner should pay it.
2. Registration of the car: Check for the state of registration and see if the letters “DRC” appear on it anywhere. DRC means Duplicate Registration Certificate.
3. Insurance: Check whether the insurance is comprehensive or basic third-party and when it will expire.
4. Original invoice: Take a look at the car’s original invoice. Details like the chassis and engine numbers can be found here.
5. Finance NOC: If you are looking at a financed car, make sure that the NOC is available. Cross-check with the finance company directly to make sure that the NOC is genuine and there is no loan outstanding on the car.

STEP Four: The other Parameters
  •  Odometer tampering: Artificially lowering a car’s odometer is a common malpractice and hence call the dealer / workshop (where the car was maintained) to procure historical data on the car's odometer readings at each visit (dealers always maintain these records). The date of tyre manufacture may also indicate the actual mileage traveled.
  • Verify Engine size: There are far too many smaller engine variants being rebadged, and sold off as, larger engines (e.g. Honda 1.3 being sold as a 1.5). Ensure that the car is indeed the variant that you wish to buy.
  • Comprehensive test drive: Switch off the stereo and drive the car under as many conditions as possible: bumper-to-bumper traffic, open highways, inclines and declines.Check for right bargain, duplicate keys, brokerage etc.

In Chennai you can buy 2nd Hand/ Pre-Owned cars in areas such as T Nagar & Kodambakkam. You can also check out cars at True Value from Maruti & Honda Terrace. Other option you can go out is from MahindraFirstChoice. If you want to buy car directly from owners, you can refer to,

Also Read: Pros&Cons: The new Maruti Suzuki Ignis 2016 decoded in 10 points

General Observations & Verdict

The used/ pre-owned cars definitely offers a great ROI especially when you are a new learner. A dent on a new car always hurts & hence to refine your driving skills used cars are best suited for. With steps & guidance shared above, you are best poised to get a car without being cheated. Let us know how you felt about this post.

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