Buying a used car, SUV: what to watch out for
Accidental repairs, tyre tread, functioning electronics are among several things to check when buying used.
Published On Dec 03, 2023 09:30:00 AM
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I am looking to buy a used hatchback under Rs 4 lakh. I'm a new driver and have limited knowledge in this field, so which car should I buy and what should I look out for? I prefer buying it through reputed dealers, where the car is likely to be thoroughly checked and in good condition.
Autocar India says: The cars you must shortlist are the Hyundai Grand i10, Maruti Wagon R, Tata Tiago and Honda Jazz, the Honda being the largest and most premium of the bunch. All these are easy to drive with light controls and smooth petrol engines.
Getting a car from a reputed dealer will be relatively more expensive (than from a direct seller) but will give you some peace of mind compared to doing all the scouting and researching yourself, however you will need to tread carefully and inspect the car thoroughly before signing the dotted line. Here are some things you should keep in mind when buying a used car. Try and get the newest car with the least kilometers on the odometer. It is advisable to find a car with a detailed service history; not only do you get to see whether the car has been serviced on time but you can also see if it has any mechanical or electrical issues in the past.
When you inspect the vehicle personally, keep a keen eye on the body work of the car to look for any uneven panel gaps or paint mismatch, which are signs for accident damage. Also, tyres give away the vehicle's age as well, so look for tyre condition as well as tyre wear. Inspect all electronics such as lights, mirrors and audio systems. Lift the mats and check the carpet for dampness or signs of flood damage.
During your drive, ensure that the controls are smooth and keep your ears open for unusual sounds from the engine, steering, brakes and suspension. Check whether the car has valid insurance, if not factor the additional cost to renew it while bargaining. Take a mechanic or a friend with you before finalising - an additional pair of eyes will be very helpful and on closer inspection to identify some potential issues which you might have missed.
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