Cars are one of the top selling products in the pre-owned market. The sector has been largely unorganised, but lately, most automobile manufacturers have set up their own used car outlets which provide certified cars with free services and warranty.
Here’s why it’s a good idea and why you should give it a thought.
1.Why Should I Buy A Used Car? Is There Any Environmental Benefit?
The major advantage of buying a used car is saving money. Cars and automobiles are highly depreciating assets. If you buy a car today and sell it tomorrow, you will lose money on it. A four year old moderately driven 10 lakh rupee car can be yours for a little less than half the cost, depending on other conditions. Modern cars are reliable enough for more than a decade. The other benefit is that you do good for the environment. Cars are made of steel, aluminium, plastic, leather, foam and many other materials. An average car requires around 1,00,000 litres of water to manufacture, apart from huge amounts of energy and materials.
2.What Are The Things To Look Out For?
First, visually inspect the car for dents and damages. Repainted body can mean a previous accident, though not necessarily. Drive the car and check for sounds and smoothness. A badly maintained car will show signs such as rough engine tune, squeaks and other abnormal sounds. It is better to take a mechanic or car expert along to review the car. Age and kilometres driven are important. 5 years and 50,000 km are good numbers. Most modern engines do not require an engine work for 2 lakh km. Check all the electricals such as the AC, music system, power windows and others. Drive the car on a relatively rough patch of road and check if the suspension develops any sound. Check the tires for depth of the grooves. Tires last around 20,000 to 50,000 km depending on the type. A set of four tires for a small car can cost around INR 15000 to 25000. Similarly, a battery costs INR 5000 to 8000. Things like tires, batteries, brake pads are part of regular maintenance and so it is not a problem if they are at the end of their life in a car. Negotiate the value accordingly. But stay away from the cars that seem to have problems in the engine or the gear box. Repairing them can cause a colossal amount, especially for expensive brands. Consult an authorised service centre in such a case. Do not forget to match the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), engine chassis number to the RTO registration documents carefully. Insist on original bills and service invoices. Check insurance validity.
3.I Don’t Know Any Mechanic Or Expert, Nor Do I Trust Any Used Car Dealer In The Unorganised Sector. Is There A Place Where I Can Buy Without Second Thoughts?
Most car manufacturers have set up their own used car outlets where they sell cars after detailed inspection and repairs. They also give warranty and free services. Maruti True Value, Mahindra First Choice, Toyota UTrust, Tata Assured, Hyundai, Chevrolet Pre-Owned are a few names by the respective companies. Luxury brands such as Mercedes, Audi and BMW also have their own used car stores. They often have separate showrooms for used cars and the whole process is similar to buying a new car. As they offer complete peace of mind, these are the best places to buy used cars. The only downside is that they charge a slightly premium price than the unorganised sector, which in my opinion is worth it. Apart from the manufacturers themselves, there are organisations that offer certifications to used cars. Cartrade, Quickr, and a few others offer certified pre-owned cars.
4.How Do I Know How Much The Car Is Worth?
Search for an online car valuation tool and enter details such as city, age, make, model and kilometres driven to know an approximate market value.
It is safer to stick to popular brands that are reliable and have a good service backup network. Do not fall for low prices. Cars from brands with reputation of expensive services are often available for ultra low prices. Ask about the maintenance costs before you buy them.