ARTICLE: How to sell a *USED* car in India
The process of selling a car is not as complicated as one thinks. Let Team-BHP show you the "definitive" way of selling your car. Be sure to adhere to the following steps and you are guaranteed a smooth sales procedure.
STEP ONE : Before selling your car
• Sell the car yourself to fetch the best possible price. Private sales, in nearly all transactions, generate the maximum. Agents charge high brokerage fees (typically 2% of the selling price) while dealers will offer you a low price (only to profit from selling your car at a higher rate later). Use online classifieds such as on Team-BHP - The Definitive Indian Car Community - Home.
• In the advertisement Include as many photographs as possible (atleast 5 – 10) from different angles. And as much information as possible on the car. Don’t exaggerate, yet put forth your car's advantages upfront (e.g. single owner, low mileage, original paint, high fuel efficiency, valid extended warranty cover, accident-free, garaged parking etc.). Preferably, don’t give out your home or office numbers. Best to communicate via cell phone with strangers.
• Service history If you have the entire service history of the car (which you would as a Team-BHPian :)), document the same into a neatly organized file. Buyers are willing to pay a premium for well-documented service histories. Include miscellany such as a valid battery warranty cards, the PUC certificate etc.
• Preparing your car The first impression is the one that lasts, and a tidy car always fetches more money than one that's dirty. Clean the car inside out (don’t forget the boot and under the bonnet areas), top up all fluids and throw in an air-freshener. Have your car washed at a petrol pump for 300 bucks or, even better, professionally detailed for 1,000 – 2,000 rupees. Couple of bucks can go a long way, even something as minor as getting new mats for the car (500 bucks). Minor repairs must be taken care of (torn upholstery, broken lights, blown fuses, damaged sunfilm etc.). Remove all your personal belongings from the car and bring it up to "delivery condition".
• Asking Price Set a realistic price to complete the sale quickly. Research the market and gauge the price that similar cars (in model, location, age, trim and mileage) are selling for. Too low is obviously not to your benefit, while too high a price might deter others from even calling you. In the same breath, we might add, leave a little room for bargaining (something that we Indians love!). Tip : Applying the American retail pricing style of a Rs “3,49,000” instead of “3,50,000” or “4,99,000” instead of “5,00,000” has proven results.
• Armed with information Keep a link to your Team-BHP review ready (if uploaded) and email the link across, prior to the buyer seeing the car in person. Also communicate the following to the potential buyer before hand (will save the two of you a lot of time):
- Year & Month of manufacture / registration
- State / City of registration
- Individual / Commercial lifetime tax
- Number of owners
- Insurance type (comprehensive / third party) & validity
- Service history availability
- Colour (interior & exterior)
- Variant / Trim level
- Kms covered
- Accessories fitted
- Reason for selling
- If the price is negotiable (always is in India)
Step TWO : Interacting with potential buyers
• Be straight-forward in your interactions. Don’t get overly aggressive (or eager to sell), yet remain to-the-point.
• Inevitably, you will get a lot of time-wasters. Know how to manage your time and focus on serious inquiries only. Screen potential buyers over the phone / email at your discretion.
• It’s better (and safer) to have buyers come over to your office (rather than home). Alternatively, a public place (mid-way) may be chosen. Be punctual and insist on the same from the potential buyer.
• Do NOT let the potential buyer go for a test-drive alone. They should always be accompanied by yourself or your representative (friend, driver etc.).
• NEVER sell the car in a hurry, or feel pressurized to make a sale. Feel free to take some time to think. Note : If the deal is between two Team-BHPians, a win-win deal is top priority :)
• If the buyer wants to have the car evaluated by a mechanic / authorized service station, that’s a reasonable request and one that points toward serious intent. Ideally, the mechanic should come to your place, or the garage should be close to your home / office.
• If the buyer wishes to confirm the deal, but needs time to arrange for the finance, negotiate a reasonable deposit amount (Rs. 10,000 – 30,000 should do). Be clear on a timeframe by when the full payment must be made, else the deposit will entirely belong to you, and you can proceed with selling the car to somebody else. Generally, a deadline of 7 - 10 days is permissible.
Step THREE : Payments & Documentation
• You must sign the transfer papers & proceed with delivery ONLY after the payment has been received in full. Strictly no part payments or EMIs (they can go to a bank for that). If the car's buyer is paying via cheque, wait for clearance. Don’t blindly trust demand drafts either, fakes have been circulating in the market. Only when the cash is received, or your bank confirms the deposit, should you hand over the car. Remember that the cheque / demand draft must be in favour of the registered owner of the car.
• Have the RTO transfer forms and delivery note (all forms attached to this post) signed by both the parties (buyer and seller). Do NOT leave the buyer field blank, or sign on any other blank documents. If required, and time permitting, offer to visit the RTO together to complete the transfer.
• Retain a government issued photo id with address proof (e.g. driving licence or passport) of the buyer. Also take his landline phone number.
To hand over to the buyer:
1. Form No.28 - Application for N.O.C. and grant of certificate, if the buyer falls in another RTO’s jurisdiction (3 Originals). Format attached.
2. Form No.29 - Notice of transfer of ownership of vehicle (Original). Format attached.
3. Form No.30 - Report of transfer of ownership of vehicle (Original). Format attached.
4. Delivery note (Copy).
5. Registration certificate (Original).
6. RTO tax documents (Original).
7. Insurance policy (if included as part of the deal).
8. Owner's manual of the car.
9. Any warranty papers (battery etc.).
10. Service history.
11. Invoice of the car (if available, and in copy).
12. PUC certificate.
13. Duplicate keys.
Finance NOC, if applicable:
Form No.35 - NOC from the Finance Company (Format Attached). If your car’s outstanding loan is not yet entirely paid off, the general procedure dictates for you to foreclose the loan (pay your financing bank the outstanding principal amount, pending interest & related charges), procure an NOC from the finance company and hand the same over to the buyer.
To retain with yourself:
1. Form No.28 (Copy).
2. Form No.29 (Copy).
3. Form No.30 (Copy).
4. Delivery note (Original).
5. Govt. issued photo id of the buyer (Copy).
6. Registration, RTO tax papers & insurance policy of the car (Copy).
7. Invoice of the car (Original).
8. Finance company NOC (if applicable & only a copy).
If you are from KA, here's the post with a full consolidated set of documents - link.
FINAL Step : After the sale
This may sound like additional work, but it is only to ensure your security. Search the forum for horror stories where buyers (including dealers) drive the car around in your name. The law states that YOU are responsible for the car as long as it stays registered in your name, and the onus of informing the RTO lies on you.
• Notify the RTO (from where your car was registered) within 14 days of sale. Send a copy of all the 8 categories of documents that you were asked to retain (in the previous post). Include a covering letter and send the package via Regd. Post. Remember, the law states, until the car is in your name, you are responsible for it (even if the car is used for criminal activities or involved in a hit & run accident). Maintain the postal confirmation in your records. Once you receive delivery acknowledgement, you are indemnified of any liability related to the sold car. NOTE : In case, the buyer's address falls in the jurisdiction of another RTO, you will send an identical document set to them as well.
• Notify your insurance company of the transfer (in case insurance was part of the deal) or cancellation (in case you are retaining your insurance premium) via registered post. If you visit the insurance company in person, take an “acknowledgement” stamp on a copy of your application. Note that No Claim Bonus benefits (Link to full article) are not transferrable. Be sure to use your No Claim Bonus toward your next car.
• Request the buyer to send a copy of the updated RC book (transferred to his name) to you. This will, in all probability, require a certain amount of followup. Once received, include it in the same file as the other sale-related documents.
• Bid a sweet farewell to the car that's served you well for so many years :). Happy selling & here's hoping you find a good home for her.
Other Points of consideration:
• Are you sure you want to sell? Do read this article first.
• In case your current state of residence varies from the one that the car is registered in, it is always better to sell the car in the state of its registration. Better price, lesser hassles.
• Your car may have some after-market accessories that you want to retain, for use in your next car (e.g. audio system, air-intake kit and more). Be absolutely clear with potential customers of which accessories are part of the deal and which aren't. We would recommend you to remove the accessories that you wish to retain, before showing the car to potential customers.
• Very few RTOs require the older TCA and TCR forms, they have been discontinued nationwide. However, in the rare event that the buyer's RTO requires these forms, you may find them attached to this post.
• If you are upgrading to a new car, check with the new car dealership what their best price will be for a trade-in. Tell them you'll buy a new car from their showroom only if they give you a good price for your existing car.
• To know more about the buyer's perspective, click here.
• A unique methodology shared by a BHPian who sold his car to a dealer :
I have a question w.r.t to final step in safe selling of a car.
1. A vehicle is sold in the same state e.g Maharashtra. The Ahmednagar RTO issues the NOC to the seller and forwards a copy to e.g Pune RTO in respect of new buyer. Does this legally mean that the seller is no longer responsible for any deeds/misdeeds of the car ? The insurance company is also notified that NOC is issued to the new owner.
2. What if the buyer, doesnt register the car in his name despite being issue NOC from the sellers city.
What are the sellers liabilities in the above situation.
Great article GTO :-)
IIRC, the seller has to submit Form 30 in original to his RTO where the car is registered. Copy of other forms are not mandatory though maybe good to provide ?
Quite an explicit article. Just 'COMPLETE'. Very well put GTO!!
A brilliant article GTO. Something that my collegue would love to read as we are planning on selling his car as he's moving to the land down under - Australia.:thumbs up
is there any way to check (preferably online in Bangalore) if the buyer has really registered the vehicle I sold to him or not?
looking at your list, seems I've made many mistakes while selling my bike.
didn't fill the buyers name while filling up the forms,
didn't send the sellers copy of the forms to RTO (buyer said he will do it), etc,
accepted the cheque payment, and gave the bike, but held back the RC book until the cheque cleared.
did not take a copy of buyer's DL or any other photo-identity etc.
fortunately, things worked out well, the cheque got cleared, buyer came back for RC book and also brought all the forms to be signed, etc.
nothing from RTO so far.
I am trying to sell my Indica Vista TDI aqua that I purchased about 7 months back. When I bought the car I was thinking of keeping the car for atleast 5 years, but then 6 months down the line after driving it for about 8500 kms, I find myself in Singapore for an onsite opportunity that is too good to miss.
I am planning to stay here for 2 years.(Again not sure. I have learnt that it is impossible to forecast our career path for even 6 months, leave alone 2 years!!!). Now the biggest dilemma is whether I should sell the car or keep it. My parents are in Bangalore and we already have a 2002 mpfi Zen that gets taken out once in like a month and now the Indica Vista too will be face the same fate.
I could sell the zen and ask my parents to take care of the Vista. If I sell the zen I could get 1.5 to 1.8 L and if I sell the Vista I could get 3.5 to 3.8L I guess.
Not sure which car to sell but 1 car I must sell. The zen has already depreciated completely and not much left to depreciate as it is already 7 years old but it has done only 45K kms and can be used for another 3 years atleast.
The vista has seen its biggest depreciation so may be not worth selling it, but then I could sell it now and put the money in a bank FD and 2 years down the line I could buy a new car with the interest+principle. So confusing!!
Please help me guys!!!
Awesome article GTO. Every possible doubt has be clarified! Just what I would be needing soon. Thanks for taking the time and effort! :thumbs up
Excellent article! Covered just about everything. And just when I'm planning to do some sales myself. Thanks GTO.
Rush methinks you gotto add as to what accessories goes with the car during the sale. Am sure everyone would have gotten some ICE , FFE, alloys, aftermarket filters et all and this clearly needs to be mentioned as to what goes with car and what doesn't.
I speak from a friends experience wherein he never wanted to sell the Typhoon Intake kit and the buyer thought he was getting that too. The whole deal ended on a bad note and was called off.
Just my 2 cents :) .
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