You would take a car for a test drive, check all its features, mileage and price before deciding on buying a new car. You would do the same when buying a used car as well. However, you would need to give attention to a few other significant details when purchasing a used car. We have created a list of things that anyone wanting to buy a used car must do, before paying for the vehicle.
Used car dealers in Kerala allow prospective buyers to test drive the vehicles. It will enable you to gauge the vehicle’s condition, but you would do well to bring along a trusted mechanic, to carry out a technical-check of the machinery under the bonnet. After all, it is a used car, and you would not want to buy one with issues. This is just a precautionary measure that you need to take, just in case, because reputed used car dealers generally service used cars before putting them up for sale. Which means that the engine, the brake lining, gearbox, suspension and crankshaft etc., are overhauled and in ship shape and the car(s) ready to hit the road.
However, look for irregularities in the paint on the body panel. Does it look tinkered? It could be a sign that the car has been in an accident. You don’t have to worry about minor dents and scratches, as those are acceptable but do not ignore anything significant.
Apart from that check the condition of the rubber fittings in the car, such as the beading along with the windows and the state of the windscreen wipers. They will need to be replaced if they are old and brittle. Look for signs of rusting on the underbelly of the car and the treads on the tyres. Worn out tyres would mean the car would need a new set of wheels.
A mandatory test drive would give you an idea of how smooth the car is. Keep an eye on the dashboard ‘engine temperature warning’ gauge. An engine that heats up too rapidly too soon could be an indicator that something is not right. While the car could just be low on coolant, there is also a chance that there is a bigger problem.
While shifting gear, make sure that the gear shift and slot appropriately, and that the brakes hold, and the steering wheel is smooth etc. Is the seat comfortable? It may seem inconsequential but could be a major irritant at a later stage.
Choose a car with a service record that indicates that it was serviced periodically, preferably at an authorised service centre. Check the kind of service and repair jobs that were carried out on the vehicle. Such details will help you determine how well the car was maintained.
Ask for the car’s registration certificate (RC) to establish the year of registration of the vehicle. The RC will also indicate whether the vehicle was financed by a financial company or paid for in full. In case of a loan, ask for the copy of the NOC from the financial institution stating that there is no lien against the car.
Check the insurance document, and when it was last renewed. Also, check the road tax certificate.
Do not ignore the electrical fixtures in the car. Check the AC to see that it cools fast enough. Check the vent control slider and the fan speed regulator to see if they are functioning correctly. Check all the light fittings, starting with the headlights, brake lights, taillights, cabin lights, boot light, reversing light, parking lights, fog lights, indicator lights.
Single-owner or multiple owners
A single-owner driven car is usually in better shape than one that is owned or operated by multiple owners. It is also believed that vehicles owned by salaried-class are better maintained than other cars. You may want to check this out when considering to buy used cars in Kerala.
Running a background check on the previous owner of a vehicle is a good idea. You do not want unnecessary trouble following you because you bought a car that was used for illegal activities. Make sure that the owner has a clean record and the vehicle was not involved in an accident or embroiled in a court case.