Rather than spending a considerable amount of money on expensive cars, most people in India tend to buy budget-friendly pre-owned vehicles. The market for buying pre-owned is thriving, and people save big money by investing in a pre-owned car. There are more buyers for second-hand cars compared to new cars.

However, the possibility of the pre-owned car being a complete waste of investment is not zero. Some insecurities come along with buying a pre-owned car, such as vehicle history and many more—some things you should consider that will make your purchase a breeze.


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Firstly, you should thoroughly check the documents of the car. You can check the insurance papers and check if there are any records of past accidents. You should check if all the records in the documents match those of the car. There is a high probability that the car might be stolen, and unordered documents might tangle you in a mess with the registration office. Some relevant documents that you must revise are:

  • Registration certificate
  • Vehicle insurance papers
  • Original purchase invoice
  • Road tax receipt
  • Bluebook
  • NOC(No Objection Certificate)
  • Owner’s manual and warranty details
  • Pollution Under Control(PUC)

You can inquire with the Regional Transport Office (RTO) to check whether the documents are genuine. The seller should take the responsibility of transferring the registration to the buyer.

A thorough inspection of the car

You should hire your trusted mechanic to do a thorough inspection of the car before investing your money. You should check the breaks and check if the car has been through accidents. You should also consider checking if all the parts are intact and the car is worth your investment.

Exterior inspection

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Most used cars tend to have missing parts. The probability that the car might be stolen or gone through some accidents is not zero. Hiring a trusted mechanic is always a good idea because they know a thing or two about cars and their functionality.

If you are not able to afford them, then you can inspect the car yourself. The external display of the car might be eye-catching, but some scratches on the surface can be detected. For example, feathering of tires can be seen on the surfaces which are expensive to replace.  

Interior inspection

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To inspect the car’s interior, you can check the roof liner, the seat, the lights, airbag, and many more. You can check it to see if there is rust formation on the car, and the mirrors are intact. You can test the car at different gears to check the car’s efficiency.

If the seller does not agree, then you should insist on a test drive. Without driving the used car by yourself on the smooth road and also on the unpaved road, you cannot trust the vendor blindly. If the car is not satisfactory, you can negotiate or always find another one. 

History Report

The car with a clean quick revs report is always a worthy buy. So, you should always use the online platform to check the history and legal clearance. When you do a history check of the vehicle, you can find all the trustworthy information that assists a lot to determine whether the used car is a good buy or not.

Age of the car

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Considering the market value of cars in India, it is affordable to buy a used car, but how old of a car should you invest in? If the car the too old, it will cost you a huge maintenance cost. The car might look shiny and smooth from outside while being rusty and ragged on the inside.

When buying a new car you get a warranty but buying a pre-owned car doesn’t so. If the car is too old most of the car parts need to be replaced and maintained frequently, which might lead to more expenses and less satisfaction. Sometimes, you can buy a new car with the same investment that comes with a warranty rather than the pre-owned, which requires high maintenance costs.

So, it is a wise idea not to invest on something that requires more maintenance and replacement.

Who is the seller? 

There is three procedure by which you can buy a second-hand car in India. A pre-owned car dealer, an individual, or the franchised pre-owned dealer. If you know the seller, then the customer-to-customer is the most comfortable choice. You don’t need a middle man, and you don’t have to pay extra for the middle man.

You can also find advertisements in the newspapers and magazines to directly contact the private sellers. However, some sellers are smooth talkers and try to sweet talk you to buy and a car not worth your money. It is advised to buy from a trusted person or a source or site. You can check the reviews of other customers and their experience before investing your money.

The way to buy a second-hand car is to meet an experienced broker and remember not to be tempted immediately and inspect it yourself. Some vendors give you a professionally inspected car. Some small scale companies also provide information and reviews but make sure the company/vendor is trustworthy before investing. OLX, Quickr are some websites where you can buy pre-owned cars. Also, be sure to bargain as there is always room for negotiation.

Budget and Bargain

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You should fix the amount of money you want to spend. Considering how easy it is to get tempted to spend more money while buying, you should be observant and must remain grounded during the purchase. Be sure to keep in mind that the interest rate for used cars is more than that of new cars.

When it comes to the price, it is widespread for sellers to set their products at a high price. You should not hold back and speak up your mind if you think it is not worth the money. It is the broker’s job to find a suitable buyer for the car and get paid for it.

So, do not get swayed and only agree if you think your money is worth the investment. If you are not good at the bargain, you can look up online in sites where there are multiple sellers with different range of prices. Some websites, like OLX, have multiple sellers with varying ranges of price and use reviews.