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View Poll Results: Can the Branded Pre-Owned car dealerships be trusted?
All Of Them 2 1.65%
Some Of Them 59 48.76%
None Of Them 60 49.59%
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Old 25th May 2010, 00:42   #1
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Exclamation Poll - Can Branded Pre-Owned Car dealerships be trusted?

I just started my hunt for a used Honda car last weekend. I chose to start looking for cars at Honda Autoterrace and other branded used car dealerships first.

I went to Honda Autoterrace at Badarpur and Saket, i saw one Civic and another Accord. Though the exteriors were top notch as most of the scratched or damaged panels were fixed already but at the moment i sat in these cars i knew these cars were clocked, the first indicators about the high mileage are worn out steering wheel and discolored gear levers. When i told the sales person that the cars were clocked he had the typical smile on his face.

Yesterday evening i was at MG road i saw a Mahindra First choice outlet with a lot of cars on display, i decided to check them out. You won't believe each and every car here was clocked and most of these cars have probably done over a Lakh kilometers. They had 4-5 Elantra Petrol cars on sale, each and every car had 61XXXkms on the odo (+/- 200kms) and every car here had interiors much much more worn out than my Elantra which has already done 130k+ kms. The manager here asked for my car's mileage i said less than any of the Elantra you have for sale here: 130k kms, he instantly had that typical smile and he never denied it.

What i want to state here is if you are looking for a used car do not trust these pre-owned with big brands with your eyes closed? Yes there are genuine cars too, the Honda City S At i saw was a genuine car.
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Old 25th May 2010, 00:51   #2
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@.anshuman : This is a good info which you have posted here. My brother is also looking for a pre-owned car and we have been test driving from last few weeks. After visiting lot of local dealers I was of a notion that Branded ones like Mahindra, Maruti True value etc. are better and you can trust them. This is strange that they also can clock the odos like local dealers.

What are the points which one can check to identify if the odo is clocked(apart from worn out gear knob and steering) ?
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Old 25th May 2010, 09:22   #3
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Anshuman, I've had good experience with these dealers and tampering is the norm. Every seller of the car wants the best price no matter how old or how much it has done and these dealers provide him with the price he wants. In order to earn decent profit, these guys resort to Clocking.


From my experience, I can vouch for the following to ascertain whether the Car is genuine or not:

1. Check with the Service Center: Whenever you visit a dealer (or even the Original owner), do check the papers. Take note of the Smart Card details and call up the service center to extract details like the last service, accidental repairs (if any) etc.
I was looking for a Verna CRDi and got a tempting deal but the Service Center guys told me about the entire one side of the car being repaired.

2. Tyres: Check the Date of manufacturing and the treadwear. You possibly won't have a car which shows 30k on the Odo with brand new tyres.

3. Branded Outlets (Non-Manufacturer's): Most of the outlets are owned by Veterans in the Second Hand Dealership industry, they've just re-branded their shops and resort to Clocking.

4. Newspaper Classifieds: Those with Brokers Excuse mentioned have high probability of being a Broker's ad.

5. Engine Number and other details (inside the hood and other parts of the Body): The details on the metal plate or any embossing should be intact. If rubbed then high chances of the vehicle being a stolen one.

Almost all the Clocked cars I came across were had their reading reduced by 40-50%.

These were a few observations I came across during various searches for the right car.

Generally, most of the old Second hand cars have their bumpers re-painted as told by a friendly dealer. Whenever you sell your car to a Dealer, be adamant on getting the ownership transferred to avoid any hassles in future. I've seen cases where foreign students in my college have been owning pre-owned Pulsars, FZ 16's, Santro's etc. but I don't think they've the ownership on papers as law doesn't allow them to own without a local ID proof. Now you'll ask as to how will they dispose the vehicle, simply sell it to the old dealer and they're more than happy to buy it and sell it again. The consequent buyer gets a 3rd hand vehicle with the Smart Card showing him as 2nd owner upon transfer of new ownership.
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Old 25th May 2010, 09:27   #4
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Only way to check is through genuine service receipts/ invoices which normally have the details. If available, go through them, note invoice no's and cross check at dealer
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Old 25th May 2010, 10:12   #5
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Branded or unbranded both tamper with the kms, but the bigger danger in both cases is accident cars that have been nicely done up.

Serivce history from an authorized service centre helps check orginality of the kms.
Age of Battery, Age of Tyres (date of purchase - kms marked on purchase) etc help.

Yep the dealers will do some paint touchup but that should be fine as long as they do it well.
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:49   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post

I went to Honda Autoterrace at Badarpur and Saket, i saw one Civic and another Accord. Though the exteriors were top notch as most of the scratched or damaged panels were fixed already but at the moment i sat in these cars i knew these cars were clocked, the first indicators about the high mileage are worn out steering wheel and discolored gear levers. When i told the sales person that the cars were clocked he had the typical smile on his face.
Hey Anshuman,

I would seriously recommend staying away from the Badarpur AutoTerrace. I had tried to purchase a car from them last year and directly dealt with their manager Mr Miglani. He had shown me an OHC which was showing 62k on the odometer. When I inquired about the service records he had told me that since this was a Delhi car he did not have the details and could not find them from the other dealerships.
I then called up the various service centers in the city and none of them had a record. On a whim I called up the Honda Badarpur service center and lo behold they had the ENTIRE record. Well shocked would be an understatement. As per their records the car was last serviced at 98k six months prior to my call. The manager continued to deny any knowledge even when faced with a printout of the service record.

Hence stay away from them unless you can verify the mileage of the car using service records or have someone very knowledgeable to help you out.

Mudit
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:56   #7
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My experience is the same. Branded pre-owned car dealers tamper with the odometer. Its something thats totally unexpected from them and thats where the common guy fails thinking he got a good deal and is mentally satisfied. They also charge premiums for their guarantee (which is quite limited and dont expect any avg car to fail in that duration)

One has to look for syptoms and indications to konw the age of the car. Tyres are one good indicator. Similarly wear on steering, gear lever

But the best way is to look for service records and actually get them verified at the place where they were serviced. If they dont produce service records, then somethings fishy. Go by your instinct. See if you can buy through or from someone you know. This will reduce the risk
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:04   #8
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++ 1

You simply can't trust anyone in the used car industry. Even reputed companies have cons for their technicians and sales men of used cars. I have a friend working in a Maruti true value in Kerala and he always drops me shocking stories.

The only way to verify is, as others said, to go through the service records. If not found, one should definitely stay away.
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SinghBHP View Post
@.anshuman : This is a good info which you have posted here. My brother is also looking for a pre-owned car and we have been test driving from last few weeks. After visiting lot of local dealers I was of a notion that Branded ones like Mahindra, Maruti True value etc. are better and you can trust them. This is strange that they also can clock the odos like local dealers.

What are the points which one can check to identify if the odo is clocked(apart from worn out gear knob and steering) ?
The first indicator of very high mileage car is severely worn out steering wheel and gear knob, Cars with OE leather covers wear out later than non covered plastic ones.

If you are looking at a car with less than 30k on odo that car should have tires wear and manufacturing date in order. Tires in most modern cars last longer than 30k. Plus nobody replaces tires just like that especially applies for the changed tires with OE size.

Always check the service record and match the dates in the service book and later confirm the same form some authorised service center. If you are buying a car from the same company's Pre-owned divison get the record from some other service center of same company, Most companies like Hyundai have a centralised service record that cannot be erased by a dealer.

There are some branded dealerships like Mahindra First choice which sell their franchises and only deal in used cars, they are not better than your local car dealer.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk13 View Post
Anshuman, I've had good experience with these dealers and tampering is the norm.

Every seller of the car wants the best price no matter how old or how much it has done and these dealers provide him with the price he wants. In order to earn decent profit, these guys resort to Clocking.


Branded Outlets (Non-Manufacturer's): Most of the outlets are owned by Veterans in the Second Hand Dealership industry, they've just re-branded their shops and resort to Clocking.

Newspaper Classifieds: Those with Brokers Excuse mentioned have high probability of being a Broker's ad.

Engine Number and other details (inside the hood and other parts of the Body): The details on the metal plate or any embossing should be intact. If rubbed then high chances of the vehicle being a stolen one.

Almost all the Clocked cars I came across were had their reading reduced by 40-50%.
Yes I agree every seller wants the best value for his car but people like us have trust in names like Honda and Maruti, if such good brands resort to clocking who should we trust?

Even in the newspaper classifieds there are a lot of dealers. The terms used like Brokers excuse, going abroad, sell any one or all household items also on sale are tactics used by dealers most of the times.

I am sure the Branded used car dealerships do not deal in stolen cars or cars with trouble, the only major issue is they hide some facts and clock the odo.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Only way to check is through genuine service receipts/ invoices which normally have the details. If available, go through them, note invoice no's and cross check at dealer
I agree with you.
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:21   #10
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I am not sure about other players, but I can vouch for the Maruti True value dealers (the one in Chennai run by CARS India). The car appearance seemed realistic to the odo readings.
Additionally the SA was also kind enough to get the print out of the service history of the vehicle (which he said is not allowed).
And I had no doubts whatsoever in my mind while buying the car, needless to say the car has been delivering on its expectations and promises.
I wish even other brand manufacturers have second hand retail outlets like that of True value Format.
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:41   #11
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Can Branded Pre-Owned Car dealerships be trusted?

Answer - Mostly NO

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My Indigo CS TDI which I banged up, was sold off to TATA Pre-Owned cars. I didnt want to lie around the town to get a better price, I took a 20K~ beating and let the TPOC rake in the profit on some poor buyer!!
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:49   #12
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Can digital odometers also be clocked ? Like the one's on the Accord or Civic ?
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:56   #13
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I will not trust a dealership. You will pay a min of 30% more, and as for reliability - trust in God. In the west the most despicable person is a used car salesman, I see no reason why things should be different here. Try and find a decent seller, and then go to a good mechanic for a check out. Far better. there are signs like tyre change points, fsh, pedal rubber wear which will give you a cross check on the claims. In any case the 30% or so you will save by going private can cover a lot of bills.
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:57   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overboost! View Post
Can digital odometers also be clocked ? Like the one's on the Accord or Civic ?
Easily Sir, easily.
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Old 25th May 2010, 15:03   #15
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^^ Easier than the cars with analogue odometers. A preset chip needs to be touched at specific point and you have your desired reading. If you guys have have observed the post#1, i saw 4-5 Elantra GLS cars with the exact same mileage at an branded place.

I have asked the Moderators to add a poll to this thread.
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