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Old 2nd July 2004, 13:12   #1
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Default Buying a Second Hand Car - Learn from my mistakes!!!

Buying a Used Car from a Second Hand Car Dealer is a learning experience. I would like to share my experiences and hope that people learn from my mistakes.

The first time that I got into buying a Second Hand Car was in January 2002 from a car dealer in Bangalore. I bought a Maruti 800. The tyre of the vehicle looked in excellent condition but I had a puncture within two days of buying the car. When I took the tyre to the puncture repair shop – I was shocked when I was told that these are cut or crafted tyres which mean that these tyres are fully bald and some dealer has had them crafted or cut with fresh grooves – by driving on these tyres you are risking your life. When I took the car to buy new tyres – I was told the same thing by the tyre dealer too and I ended up buying a new set of tyres.

The second experience came in January 2004 – when I bought a Ford Escort from a Second Hand Car Dealer – the test drive that I took was extremely good in terms of the feel of the car. I asked the dealer if this car entailed any major repairs to which he told me that the car does not even require a Rupee to be spent on. After buying the car for Rs.2,25,000/-, I took the same to Metro Ford for service the next day. On seeing the car the Service Manager refused to take the car for servicing as he said that I need to first attend to the major repairs that were told to the previous owner – the harness had gone, the catalytic converter needed replacement and the vtec drive also needed replacement – the Service Manager informed me that all this would cost Rs.1,49,000/-. I immediately decided to sell the car within 3 days of buying it to another car dealer and he seemed to have known the problems with the car and bought the same for Rs.1,57,000/-. Thus, I incurred a loss of Rs.68,000/- in 4 days of buying the car.

My next purchase was a Santro – I had no problems with the same.

Now that I am looking out for a change in my car to a Wagon R – let me tell you about my experiences:

1. There is a shortage of second hand Wagon R cars in the Bangalore market. The dealers are quoting any kind of price for the same.
2. I looked at a one year old car done only 7800 kms. – the car had met with a head on collision; the side fenders had been replaced. I was lucky this time out because I had learnt from my previous mistakes and had taken the Service Engineer of one of the Maruti Service Stations with me.
3. Another car was a VX model but the logo at the back read VXI and had all the features of the VXI too – that means the dealer had made all the additions.

Please check the following while buying a used car from a Car Dealer:

1. Check the Original Certificate of Registration – see if anywhere it reads DRC issued (DRC means Duplicate Registration Certificate). Ask for it in writing that the Original Certificate of Registration is available.
2. Check if the Comprehensive Insurance is valid and for how long.
3. Ask for it in writing that the Car is an accident free car.
4. Do not believe the Speedometer reading as almost every car sold by a dealer is calibrated – add atleast another 20000 Kms. to whatever is showing on the speedometer.
5. Check the tyres for date of manufacture – the date of manufacture should be two or three months before the date of purchase of the car as mentioned in the Certificate of Registration. This gives you a fair idea whether the car’s speedometer reading is genuine or not.
6. Most of the cars come with pirated music systems.
7. Insist on a duplicate key – if the duplicate key is not there – most likely it would be with the Finance Company.
8. Avoid buying a car which has been repossessed/confiscated by the Finance Company – you will not get the Original Certificate of Registration and besides you may end up in problems with the original buyer even though the car maybe transferred in your name.
9. The dealers will make you talk to the seller directly face to face – but these sellers are not the original customers but are free lance car dealers who have bought the car from the original customer and want to make a quick buck on resale. To find out whether the seller is a direct customer or a dealer himself – just carry a set of transfer forms (Form 29, Form 30, Insurance Form, NOC Form, Sale Receipt and Delivery Note) with you and if the deal is truck ask him to sign on the same when you make the advance payment – he will immediately refuse or will take out another set of forms already signed by the original owner.
10. Check where the car is being serviced – you can find this out in the Car Manual but in the event that the manual is not available – most of the service companies put the sticker on the cars – call them with the car number and ask them for the history of the car. Also, you can check with the service company as to what was the last service date and the Km. reading recorded with them at the last service – this way you can figure out whether the speedometer has been tampered with or not.
11. When taking the delivery of the car – please mention the date, the time and speedometer reading on the Delivery Note – this way you are ensuring that before that date, time and speedometer reading if any liabilities are on the car it would be on the seller.
12. Bargain on the EMI as there are varying figures for EMIS. Also, if the car dealer is a DSA of any Finance company – he is earning anything between 2% to 3% on the loan amount from the finance company.
13. Bargain on the transaction fee – though most dealers charge 2% they normally settle between 1% to 1.25%.
14. If you are buying a second hand car that is less than a year old – please check the total cost i.e. your investment + the loan amount + the interest that you would end up paying at the end of your loan term period. The interest is almost half or more than half for a new car loan vis-a-vis the interest on the Used Car Loans.
15. Preferably if you know someone in one of the service stations or having been using one – take the car for a drive there and ask them to evaluate the car.
16. All the second hand car dealers are hand in glove with one another.
17. Use only reputed car dealers who advertise for accident free vehicles and who have had a good reputation in the market for a number of years.
18. Now that Maruti as well as Hyundai have a division dealing with used cars – take my advise buy preferably from them though they would be slightly more expensive than the market but remember that the car is certified by the manufacturer.

The Seond Hand Car Dealers market is flourishing in India because people like you and me do not have the time or patience to advertise for the Sale of Cars. These car dealers offer a person ont he spot cash settlements even if you have a loan existing against your car - they will reduce the outstanding loan amount and pay you cash upfront. But we actually end up loosing money both ways i.e. we sell our existing cars at lower prices and buy another second hand car at a higher price.

Please do not go by the outward appearance of the car – get it checked. Remember all that glitters in not gold.
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Old 2nd July 2004, 14:47   #2
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Great sharing, remember the market place is a small world, most dealers know the history of the rogue cars around. Nothing like a good service record and a good honest seller - makes me wonder who goes to dealers ?
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Old 2nd July 2004, 15:00   #3
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That really made for interesting reading. Many ways of dealer cheating that i didn't know in the first place. Very well written. Surely this will help others in making an informed choice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Now that Maruti as well as Hyundai have a division dealing with used cars – take my advise buy preferably from them though they would be slightly more expensive than the market but remember that the car is certified by the manufacturer.
I'd advise you to read through the archives & you will see that even 'Certified' cars can be played with. Case in the point our own Admin's Honda City Vtec which was damaged by the Ichibaan Honda people but he sure took the matter to a logical conclusion
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Old 2nd July 2004, 15:36   #4
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hey deepash, that was really a bad experience. thanks for making us aware of it.
Next time whenever you go to buy a used car, take along your mechanic or someone who knows cars inside out.

BTW , why did u pay 2.25L for an Escort? Its too too too much for that car. You are really lucky to get 1.57 for it.
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Old 2nd July 2004, 16:07   #5
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Great write up pal.

This will definately serve as a comprehensive buying guide for second hand cars.

Dippy
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Old 2nd July 2004, 16:25   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (v12 @ July 02 2004,14:06)]hey deepash, that was really a bad experience. thanks for making us aware of it.
Next time whenever you go to buy a used car, take along your mechanic or someone who knows cars inside out.

BTW , why did u pay 2.25L for an Escort? Its too too too much for that car. You are really lucky to get 1.57 for it.
right said V12...a used escort retails for anything between 75 K to 100K max

~A
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Old 2nd July 2004, 17:11   #7
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Hi Deepashpuri,

Man! it appears you just wrote the bible of buying a second hand car!!
That is an absolute wealth of information right there and is sure to be incredibly useful to a lot of people!

I was wondering if you or anyone else had similar pointers to educate car owners on the tricks played by second hand car dealers when it comes you trying to sell your old car to them ? That would be really helpful to me right now!

thanks,
Rehaan
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Old 2nd July 2004, 17:13   #8
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Thats a very comprehensive write-up that you are sharing with us, Deepash. Even though there are some debatable points, overall its got some very valuable advice for those who are car-shopping in the second hand car market. Thanks.

I had a horrible experience with Ichibaan Honda - supposedly Bombays premier Honda dealership. Here is the Ichibaan Honda Thread (Ichibaan HONDA tried to DUPE me!!!)

GTO

Last edited by Dippy : 15th November 2009 at 11:24. Reason: Correcting link in post :)
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Old 3rd July 2004, 02:18   #9
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hey guys, how much would u pay for a decent condition Cielo GLE 97 model
done genuine 85000 kms .the car is sound, but only the AC sensor needs to be replaced ...thats the the only expense in the car i see..
PS , PW , Cl and auto antenna , defogger all functional

I understand that 85000 km is a bit high .
the ac sensor is still working, but not so good, If I would buy it , i would definately change it.

the tyres still have abt 40 % life...so that should serve me for a year
no rust on the car.
steel grey color
the car returns a fuel efficiency of abt 6.5 with ac in city.
Actually it belongs to a friend of mine....so I trust the mileage he told me.

How much should I pay for the car , if at all i buy it?
Please gimme a price band.
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Old 3rd July 2004, 02:30   #10
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Honestly you should not buy a now defunct model which has no manufacturer backup in sales or service.

If you really have to, get it for less than 50 grand.

GTO
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Old 3rd July 2004, 12:09   #11
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hey deepashpuri,
my friend has a m800 in very bad condition ,wud u like to buy it for 2 lacs, only u wud buy it.
hehe no offence meant ,but i think b4 going into all these deals u cud have taken some mechanic along with u to check these vehicles.
and going for an escort in 2004 is something i cannot understand,
anyways be careful next time.
satya
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Old 3rd July 2004, 14:39   #12
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Gr8 write up deepashpuri...I'm sorry to hear about ur previous experiences..it has a lot of points that one needs to remember before buying a second hand car...
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Old 3rd July 2004, 15:07   #13
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I sold a friends immaculate Escort advantage petrol to a colleague for 1.5 lakhs - that guy is still talking to me !!!! anyway, now you know, we are always around when you want to bounce an idea about a possible deal!
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Old 5th July 2004, 21:31   #14
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Very Helpfull guide.

Hey just saw Ford Escort 1998 model - fully loaded for Rs.1 Lakh - negotiable. This car is available for very cheap and some one told me buy this and install LPG kit in this car.
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Old 21st January 2005, 15:24   #15
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You can also get the insurance certificate and check with the insurance company for vehicle history. You also get some bonus points for an accident free vehicle when you transfer the insurance to your name.
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