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Planning to buy a used car post lockdown? You need to check these

The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has made people stay away from using public transport and shared mobility like taxis. Recent studies reveal that people are looking to switch to personal mobility like private cars for commuting. Given the uncertainty over jobs, many car buyers are taking calculated risks by investing in used cars or second-hand cars rather than buying a new one. Certified used car dealerships like Maruti True Value, H-Promise by Hyundai, Mahindra First Choice, Honda Auto Terrace, Toyota U-Trust and others are already seeing a surge in demand for entry-level cars which are affordable and fuel-efficient. Now if you are planning to buy a pre-owned car, do check the below

From Whom Should I Buy?

You can buy a used car in four ways:

From an individual

If the seller is well known to you, then this is the easiest way to buy a second-hand car. It eliminates the middleman and helps you to save the commission. The problem here is that you might not find the model you are looking for.

From a used car broker

A used car broker has a wide range of cars. But such brokers usually try to close the deal as quickly as possible at a lucrative price. They hardly care about customer satisfaction. You need to check on the car condition, its papers and bargain a lot on the pricing to arrive at a fair deal.

From a certified used car dealer

If you are looking for a trouble-free used car buying experience, look no further. All certified used car players are transparent in paperwork and pricing. Many of them also offer service packages and warranties based on the condition of the car. Mind you, they charge a premium but give you peace of mind.

From a used car website

Nowadays you can find a bunch of websites that sell used cars. But don’t get carried away by their face value. Do check on all the documents and inspect the car with a trusted mechanic. Buy a car based on its value and not on the freebies offered.

How Old a Car Can Be?

The depreciation of new cars is high in the first three years. This period is a sweet spot to buy a used car. A two or three-year-old car will be in a better condition with manufacturer’s warranty than a four or five-year-old car with no warranty. It will also help you in saving your repair bills as they would have clocked lesser kilometers. It is recommended to stay away from cars that are more than five years old.

Checking the Car’s Condition:

This is the most important part of the buying process. You need to thoroughly inspect the car inside out to check its condition and drivability. If needed, take the help of a trusted mechanic. Check the following:

  • Car’s Body - Look for scratches, dents, rusts, underbody corrosion, paint damage.
  • Interiors - Air conditioning, car upholstery, tear/stains in the front/back seats, instrument cluster and infotainment.
  • Odometer - If it’s a four to five-year-old car with more than 60,000 kilometers, stay away!
  • Glass Panels  -  Check for cracks on windshield and windows
  • Engine - Start the engine and check for unusual sounds/vibrations. More noise leads to more maintenance costs.
  • Acceleration - Drive at 80 kmph on a highway and check if there is any wobbling in the engine.
  • Gears - Check if the gears are engaging smoothly, if it doesn’t you might need to change the clutch plate.
  • Suspension - Test the car’s suspension where there are a few potholes. If you hear any noise from the suspension, it is an indication that it needs to be replaced.
  • Electricals - Check the cabin lights, headlamps, fog lamps, tail lamps, indicators, wipers and horn.
  • Battery -  Check the acid levels and see how old the battery is.
  • Leakage - Start the engine and run it for some time to see for leakages under the hood.
  • Brakes - Check them in two conditions - i) Drive at 60 kmph on a highway and apply the brake. The car should stop in a straight line. ii) Drive on a slope and apply the brake to check its effectiveness.

Service History:

If you are satisfied with the car’s condition, the next step is to check the service history of the vehicle. Ask for the service record and check the number of visits and the type of service performed. 

Documentation:

Make sure to verify the car’s chassis number with the Registration Certificate. Insurance papers are a must for name transfer and a No-Objection Certificate from the finance company which states the car loan has been paid off in full.

We hope this helps you in selecting the right car in the right way. If you want to buy or strengthen your car’s insurance policy please feel free to reach out to Cholamandalam car insurance for support.

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