ET BureauBuying or selling used cars through advertisements in newspapers or websites is catching on. This helps individuals eliminate intermediaries and save costs for both buyers and sellers by as much as 10%. However, it could also be very risky, because you are dealing with an unknown person.
For example, there have been cases where sellers havent disclosed that the car has been hit by a major accident or the engine has been damaged in rains. Some may tamper with the odometer reading and show far lower number of kilometres the car has run.
Some buyers may promise to make part-payment at a later date, but the cheque may not be honoured. That is why you should do your due diligence before getting into a transaction , say experts. If you are a buyer, you should physically examine the car in broad daylight , check the original documents, including insurance, meet the owner in person, check the no-claim bonus and odometer reading, says Rajesh Sood, MD and CEO of ecardlr.com. As a seller, transfer the car only after you receive the entire funds, says Roshun Povaiah, of cartoq.com, an automobile website.
Buying a Car
Walk away from the deal if the seller asks you to transfer a token amount before you can see the car, says Banwari Lal Sharma, AVP (marketing), carwale .com. Inspect the car in daylight. Check for signs of any kind of accident or damage due to flooding.
Take a test drive to ensure that the engine is in good shape. Look for welding signs on the doors. If there are signs, it indicates , prior damage to the car, something you need to question the seller about, says Uday Prabhu of Car Choice, who deals in used cars. Open the doors, bonnet and check the hinges.
If there is a crackling sign, it indicates that the car has been poorly maintained, says Rajesh Sood. Finally, go through the documents carefully. Look for the car registration copy (RC book/card). Check how many owners the car has passed through and the year of manufacturing. These details should match with what is advertised or communicated to you, says Sharma.
All previous maintenance papers indicate how well the car has been maintained. Maintenance records also help you verify how many kilometres the car has been driven.
Check insurance history of any car. Check for no-claim bonus on the car. If the car does not have a NCB, it means the user has claimed insurance benefit, and the car has met with an accident . If there has been an accident, ask how much money was spent on repairs. If the bill is high, it indicates the car has been badly damaged.
If the car has been damaged from the front, just avoid buying the car, says Sood. Depending on the extent of damage, you can decide whether you wish to buy the car or not.
Is the Odometer Faulty?
Many sellers tamper the odometer reading to get a higher resale value for the car. So, if the car has already run 70,000 km, the dealer may try to tamper with the odometer and can bring it down to 45,000 km; as by doing so, he can make anywhere between Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000 more on a resale. As a buyer, you need to be cautious about such tricks.
For example, tyres are changed once the car is driven around about 40,000-50 ,000 km. So, if the odometer reading is only 30,000 km and the tyres are new, it could indicate a tampered odometer. Similarly, check the paint for an accident . If there is a difference in the paint colour, or drops of paint spilled on it, it is possible the car has gone through an accident and has been repainted.
Focus on Full Payment
Even the seller needs to be careful while dealing with strangers met via advertisements . You may enter the deal by taking some token money. Dont hand over the original car documents until you have all your money. The transfer documents should be signed only after the entire payment has been realised, says Sharma. At the time of delivery, have a delivery note signed by the buyer that clearly states that the buyer has taken the possession of the car and he is responsible for the liabilities arising from that date.
Indulge in digital reading experience of ET newspaper exactly as it is.Read Now
Read More News oninsurancecarefulRoshun PovaiahcaroldbuyersUsed CarBroker
(Your legal guide on estate planning, inheritance, will and more.)
Download The Economic Times News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News....moreless
ETPrime stories of the day
Decoding RBIs peek-a-boo rate hike, liquidity-sapping move to arrest inflation and its wider impact15 mins read
LTI Mindtree dreams of being a TCS. The outcome of the merger will realize or wreck the dream.11 mins read
After a staggered entry, payment failures at banks, can cashbacks get blue ticks for WhatsApp Pay?10 mins readSubscribe to ETPrime