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 cars 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.