There are a number of popular myths and mantras over what cars or bikes prove to be the best ones to buy second hand. For example, there is a belief that all European cars and especially the ones from reputed manufacturers last longer and perform better even though bought second hand. The fact is that the condition and the performance of a used car depends much on its previous owner than its make or model. So it will be advantageous if the buyer knows what to look for in the car in terms of usability and the care that has been put into its upkeep.
There are countless used vehicles in very good condition both on the visual aspects and the functioning ones that are more than capable of providing longevity and user satisfaction. Like the manufacturing industry, the used car market is colossal in India, owing to the huge population and the number of cars being manufactured and sold every year. A lot of manufacturers have been offering used cars restored to perfect working conditions but even then their prices fail to bring a large number of buyers because of their over pitching.
Companies’ retail outlets for used cars
Companies like Maruti, Hyundai, General Motors, Toyota, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, etc. all have retail outlets for used cars – some of their own brand and some that play by ‘brand no bar’ – that go through numerous stages of repair work and testing before finally being deemed fit for sale. Almost all of these companies also provide warranty on their used cars along with maintenance and repair packages.
There are also a number of companies that sell restored or repaired used cars but without any form of certification or warranty of sorts. These cars cost substantially less but are generally more expensive when compared to those being offered by local dealers or brokers.
It is at a closer look that one understands how unorganized and haphazard the used car market in India is. It is basically a dead stop if you don’t know what you’re looking for or unsure whether to go in for a used car in the first place, but if you know the right things and the right questions to ask, a very good deal can be struck. And often it is the unorganized part of this sector that provides for the best of deals, again only if one is cautious and does a little poking around.
Although it is frowned upon by most people, buying a second hand car is actually quite a good idea. The only major drawbacks that buyers are cautioned against while buying used cars are the number of hassles involved, like repainting or minor touching and other body repairs, internal mechanical maintenance or replacement of parts, running condition testing etc.
Papers and documents
Most of the time, even cars in the best of visual and functional conditions attract prices much lower than their original retail tag since they are seen as depreciating assets. For example, if one buys a new car around 12 lakh and tries to sell it with barely any km on the meter and within a month’s period, the best they would be offered is 10 – 10.5 lakh. The more premium and high end cars tend to prove the better deals than the mid range ones or the hatchbacks.
While buying a used car, apart from the physical condition, a number of factors need to be looked into. The engine revs give away almost everything and anything about its running condition. The clutch and brake pedals should work with acceptable precision and response. The doors and windows need to have a smooth locking and unlocking mechanism. All the filters should be freshly changed and the water and oil levels topped off. The steering mechanism and suspension systems should work with ease and have quite a lot to say about the general drive quality that the car offers. The horn, wipers, light switches and other minor gadgetry that come as part of the interior are also good to check and cross check.
The resale of the car is another thing to keep in mind. The two most popular colours and therefore slightly pricier than others are White and Silver. Spare parts and their prices and availability are also extremely important.
Most importantly, all the papers and documents should be correct and in accordance with the local transport authorities’ criteria.
As soon as one finalizes one’s car, it should be purchased without any hesitation since there’s many an eager buyer who would seize the opportunity in front of you should you delay it and allow the seller to look for others.