Buying a Used Car? Check these 5 things Before Making A Purchase

Whether it’s the arrival of summer, monsoon or winter, a long drive in your car always stirs up a longing for adventure. After hours of cooped up inside the office, blue skies and pleasant weather are enough reasons to load up your beloved car and hit the road.

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If you too have decided to join this bandwagon, then buying a second-hand car can be a great way to get on the road, especially if you want to stay away from the hefty price tag of a new vehicle.

Nowadays, buying a used car is a good option for many reasons the price is indeed the most significant pull. But, how would you know a used car is everything that it was promised to be?

Worry not! The checklist below outlines things to look for so that you can purchase a pre-owned car with peace of mind.

Engine Condition:

2019 Ford Figo Blu Engine

The heart of the car is its engine and, therefore, it should be in excellent condition. Anything that includes engine fixes could be very costly. Along these lines, ensuring that everything is legitimate with the engine is of foremost significance.

You can start by checking the exhaust colour. Diesel vehicles generally emit dark smoke, which is considered ok, however, it should not be profoundly dark – which points to potential problems.

And as far as petrol cars are considered, if the vehicle is in good condition, the exhaust smoke should have no colour. Any other colour like deep black, blue, or white, again points to different problems. Similarly, check if the belts and hoses are free from cracks and have enough life ahead of them.


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Car’s underbody may be a bit more challenging to assess, but to ensure that the car is in good condition, you will need to have it raised and inspected for underbody rust.

The vehicle’s underbody is continuously exposed to dust and water, and a rusted underbody could affect the vehicle’s load-bearing capacity. Therefore, it’s smart to avoid such cars. Also, look for noticeable differences in the condition of the exhaust system. Black spots on the exhaust parts could indicate a leak.

Exterior Body:

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Look at each body panel, including the roof. Make notes of any dents, scratches, and rust spots. Although minor scratches and dents are nothing to stress over, its best to avoid vehicles that have been in any significant mishap.

Examine the gaps between the fenders and the doors carefully. Irregular gaps or doors not closing or opening normally are signs of the car being in an accident.

Interiors & Other equipments:

Tata Harrier Interior Dashboard 2019

The next step is to have a closer look at the dashboard, door handles, and steering. Likewise check if the music system, AC, wipers, power window switches, etc. are in working order.

Test Drive:

Tata Harrier Speed 2018

To make sure that the mechanics of the vehicle are in flawless condition, spend some time behind the wheel by taking a test drive. This will allow you to have an idea of how the car performs and responds. For this purpose, test drive on local roads, highways, and areas with turns.


The three documents of prime importance are:
– Registration papers
– 4-wheeler insurance papers
– No Objection Certificate (NOC).

The chassis number of the vehicle is present in the registration papers, so check these papers thoroughly. The 4-wheeler insurance papers are an unquestionable requirement when you go to the RTO to transfer the vehicle in your name. For the second-hand car, if you are looking to purchase a new 4 wheeler insurance policy, then the process should be ideally completed before the sale, ensuring that there is no break in insurance.

Along these lines ensure that you buy a comprehensive 4 wheeler insurance policy which can provide coverage against third-party liability, damages due to fire, theft, natural and manmade calamities, etc. Insurers like Tata AIG General Insurance also offer added protection through unique add-on covers like daily allowance, key replacement cover, consumable expenses, etc. So, buy the cover that best suits your car.

Lastly, before making the purchase check the No Objection Certificate stating that the car loan has been repaid and the seller has no claim on the car.
Following this checklist will help in streamlining your experience of buying a used car.
Happy driving!