Mistakes To Avoid While Buying/Purchasing Second Hand Car

  • Updated on: 23 Oct 2023
  • Published on: 18 Oct 2021
Mistakes To Avoid While Buying/Purchasing Second Hand Car

Highlight: Buying your first car is a big step, especially if you’re looking for a second-hand car. Here are the documents to check and the car-buying mistakes to avoid.

Used or second-hand car sales have grown manifolds recently. There are many reasons why buying a used car has more financial advantages than picking up a new model from the showroom. If you have budget constraints and require transport, you can easily fit a second-hand car into your budget. 

Not only are they more affordable, but the secondary expenses, such as insurance coverage, are also lower. But lower cost does not mean that you have to compromise on quality. There are many high-quality, well-performing second-hand models available in the market. 

With that said, buying a second-hand car can be a risky and research-intensive task, especially if you do not know what to be careful about. Even with many online platforms offering secure channels for buying and selling cars, it depends on the buyer to thoroughly inspect the car before finalising the purchase.

If you miss any dent or document on your car purchase, it can cause a slew of issues while you own the vehicle. In the long run, you may have to invest a lot of money in repairs and maintenance. So, if you are not careful, you will end up with unnecessary hassles. To avoid a bad ownership experience in general, you must avoid the common car-buying mistakes that used-car buyers make when purchasing a vehicle. 

Also Check: Apply personal loan for used car

5 Most Common Mistakes That Buyers Make When Purchasing Used Cars

Not Taking into Account the Fuel Efficiency

Pre-owned car buyers frequently make the mistake of overlooking the vehicle’s fuel consumption. Some buyers start their search for a good used car that provides good fuel efficiency but then forget about it. Finally, they end up with a fuel-guzzling vehicle, like a tough but low-mileage SUV.

With fuel prices skyrocketing by the day, vehicle mileage should be a priority. After all, you are buying a used car, which will need more maintenance with increased use over time. The smart plan of action is to check the mileage to avoid an unnecessary burden on your pocket.

Ignoring the Vehicle Inspection Report

Another very common mistake that people make is to skip the inspection report for the pre-owned vehicle. A trustworthy car dealer will only offer a second-hand car for sale once it clears all the checks and tests. If the car has cleared the inspection, you can simply look at the report, which should be available at any car dealer. So, if your dealer cannot provide an inspection report, something is wrong. In such a case, moving on to a new dealer would be better. 

On the other hand, when purchasing a used car from a private seller, you should take it to your mechanic. You can also have it checked out at a professional workshop while taking it for a test drive, which is also on the must-do list. While this will take some of your time and money, it will save you a lot of trouble once you have purchased the car.

Choosing Someone Known Instead of a Certified Seller

When you are planning to buy a second-hand car, friends, family and acquaintances will try to pitch their used cars. While it may seem safer, certified cars are the best option. This is because getting an unbiased opinion is easier with a certified dealer and you can get full disclosure of the vehicle’s condition. Moreover, sellers will provide you with a vehicle history report and make any required repairs before selling the vehicle.

Pay attention to the extended manufacturer warranty that certified sellers offer too. Yes, certified used cars are more expensive than private sellers or dealers. But you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the car you’re buying is worth the money you’re paying and that there are no hidden issues.

Not Comparing

Why would you buy something without comparing it in this day and age when the internet makes it easy? You can find the same model for different prices with variable kilometres driven with proper research. Comparing the prices of different cars based on their age and make will give you a good idea of how much a used car should cost you. 

Based on this, you can determine whether a seller is asking a reasonable price for a specific used car. To make things easier, you can utilise free online comparison tools to avoid common car-buying mistakes.

Not Asking for Car History Report

The car history report includes a complete record of the car for the review of the prospective buyers. However, there may be some who have no idea what a vehicle history report is. This is a must-check because you want to know everything the car has been through, such as accidents, floodwater damage and massive repairs. 

The report also states whether it was operated by a single driver or used as a rental car by multiple drivers and the exact kilometres it has driven. As a result, the vehicle history report is critical for accurate information about your potential purchase.

What are the Documents to Check Before Buying a Second-Hand Car?

Buying a second-hand car is only completed after legally transferring all the documents from the previous owner to the buyer. In that case, you should have a checklist of the following documents when making the purchase.   

  • Registration certificate or RC
  • Car purchase invoice 
  • Car insurance documents
  • Service records book
  • RTO forms: 28,29, 30, 32, and 35
  • NOC or clearance certificate
  • Road tax receipt
  • PUC or Pollution Under Control certificate

Buying Second-Hand Cars: What to Keep in Mind

Note that certified second-hand cars are the most expensive. Compared to this, other dealer prices are slightly lower and private sellers have the lowest asking price. However, when purchasing a used car, the price tag is not the most important factor. Having knowledge about the vehicle and having clarity in communication is important. 

A certified second-hand car dealer will always provide more value with the safest and best-cared-for vehicles. This reduces the risks of purchasing a used car to the absolute minimum. So, if you’re thinking about buying a two-wheeler, these tips will be helpful. To get easy access to funds to buy a used car, rely on our online instant loan. Get up to ₹5,00,000 in just 10 minutes on our Personal Loan app or by registering on our website! 

FAQs on Purchasing a Second-Hand Car

What precautions should be taken when buying a second-hand car?

Here are some precautions you should take when buying a second-hand car:

  • Ask for the car history report
  • Do your research and compare cars and dealers
  • Choose a certified seller
  • Inspect the car thoroughly
  • Take a test drive
  • Collect and verify all the documents

Is it wise to buy a second-hand car or a new car?

Buying a second-hand car or a new car is a very subjective decision. However, seeing the rising cost of living, a second-hand or used car can offer more financial benefits.

Why is buying a second-hand car better?

Buying a second-hand car has many advantages if you are on a budget. Also, second-hand cars depreciate at a slower rate than new cars. However, you should avoid common car-buying mistakes to get a good deal and avoid an increase in expenditure later on.


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