Time in Karachi

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tips on Buying a Used Car

It’s seen a lot of times that when someone is looking to buy a used car, they face a lot of difficulties, confusions and doubts regarding the condition of the car. As if there are any accidents, how’s the over all condition of the car and if the car is legitimate or not.

One should check 4 things before buying a used car, 2 of them being major decision maker & remaining 2 being minor things.

Major Decision Makers

1. Body Condition:

Often there’s confusion whether the car has faced any accidents or repaired etc, this can be checked very easily.

First off all try to inspect the car when it’s properly cleaned & under sunlight so all the body parts are clearly visible. A lot of times you feel a slight difference in shade of colour if it’s painted. Once you’re doubtful then go for a close inspection of that particular body part. There are small droplets of paint on the edges or here n there which came due to the paint spray when repainting. Also you can look if there’s some moulding, light, or any other part next to that part which is of different colour, often a very small amount of paint can be found on the edges of that other part. It is only visible if you look closely. If it’s a fender, boot or hood then you can also check from the inside & you may find signs of welding (if it was repainted due to accident).

If the car has only one or two parts painted i.e. either a door or a fender then it’s not a big deal but if it has three or more than three parts painted or either hood or boot is painted then the car might went through a major accident and in that case one should avoid buying that car unless you’re getting a great bargain. Also 90% of cars have their bumpers repainted due to small scratches etc. thus if its just bumpers repainted then the car can be considered as original.

2. Car’s History

Another major thing is to check if the car has some criminal record i.e. has been stolen, snatched or used in any criminal activity. That can easily be checked by calling CPLC helpline. When you give them registration, chassis & engine number they provide you with all the history of car & one should buy a car only after getting clearance from CPLC, if they object then one should avoid buying that car under any circumstances.

Minor things to be checked when buying a car:
I am calling these as minor issues because they can be easily fixed but one should check them before buying a car as they are also some good expenses.

3. Engine

The condition of engine is also something which should be checked before one decides to buy a car. This can be easily checked by opening the hood… hehe, just kidding. One can check it by opening the oil lid in engine, and after opening it accelerate the car in idle mode. If you see smoke coming out of oil chamber then it’s a sign that engine will need overhauling in near future.

4. Suspension

To check the suspension of a car one should always take a test drive, try to drive on a bumpy road & see if there are any unusual sounds. Try to drive a little fast (Approx 30-40km/hr) on a bumpy road. If there’s any unusual sound then get it checked by a mechanic.

Other than these, there are a few other things which one needs to check when buying a used car such as:

• If there are any original number plates missing.
• If the car is re-registered.
• If there’s any duplicate file.
• In-case of SUVs one should check if the body was changed after an accident or something & if the body is changed then make sure the new body on the chassis is of the same year as that of the car in-order for the car to qualify as completely legal.

These are a few things which can help a person make decision when buying a used car. One thing that I mostly see in buyers is that they ask for the mileage of car as how many kilometres (or miles) it has been driven. I would say that doesn’t matter at all because if the car has been used with care then it doesn’t matter how many miles it has been driven. Here’s a funny thing about this, these days there are a lot of used cars being imported from abroad. In those cars a 90,000kms driven car is better than 50,000kms driven. Do you know why? Unlike Pakistan there they have road fitness rules. It is mandatory by the law that once a vehicle reaches 65,000-70,000/kms it is sent back to the dealership & completely overhauled with everything getting changed & comes out as a brand new car. So if there’re two cars one is having 50,000/kms & other 90,000/kms on dial then in reality one is 50,000/kms used while other is only 25,000-30,000/kms used.

In the end I would like to conclude by saying that if you’re buying a used car then don’t expect it to be in 100% condition, it’s a used car. USED there will be some bits n chunks which you will need to fix eventually to get it in a condition as per your requirement.