With cars now more expensive than ever, buying second-hand is not only an economical move, but a smart one too. However, the process of buying a used car can be daunting for some. By keeping the following pointers in mind, though, the process can be a lot simpler than you might think. There are certain key indicators which can help you determine whether the car being sold is a good buy or not. To help you out, we’ve compiled an ultimate guide for everything you need to know before buying a second-hand car.

1. How Much Should You Pay for the Car and Where Can You Find One?

man with wallet

You can get a used car from any seller, including private owners and dealerships. You can also search for a car on the internet. Before going to a dealership, think about your budget, features, Car type, Transmission, Fuel Type. Getting a used car loan can also help you with your financial burden since it allows you to pay off your borrowed amount in monthly instalments. It is important not to be swayed by salespeople after buying a car at a dealership. Do not let them talk you into something else just because it seems more expensive than what you thought it would cost. Also, consider insurance costs when doing this research.  

2. How to choose the Right Car?

Second-Hand Car

The first step in buying a used car is to decide what you are going to be looking for. Do you want an older model, or something more modern and up-to-date? If you want something that is less likely to break down, then perhaps a more recent model would be better. You should avoid purchasing a discontinued car, as it will be difficult to maintain and the spare parts might cost you more.

You will also need to consider whether you are able to afford the car. If you have a budget set, then this should help you decide what sort of car you want. However, if your budget is not set yet, then it may be worth shopping around before making a final decision.

3. Is the Overall Condition of the Car Good?

This is probably the most important thing to know when buying a second-hand car. If the Car is in good condition, you can save money. But, If it’s not in good condition, you will be spending a lot more money on maintenance and repairs in the future. There is no point in buying a car which isn’t usable, so it is important to ensure that the brakes, engine cooling, steering and suspension are working perfectly. 

It’s also important to check out how many miles are left for Service before you buy it since this will help determine its value and whether or not it needs major repairs done on it now or in the future. If anything seems off, don’t be afraid to look out for other options and visit more dealers. 

4. Check for Damages in the Body, Underbody & Wheel Wells

The next thing you should do when buying a used car is to check the body, underbody and wheel wells for any signs of damage. The undercarriage can be more expensive to repair than the exterior.

Check the condition of all four corners, especially those that may be hidden from view. Look for rust, dents and scratches, as well as evidence of prior accidents or vandalism.

If you’re buying a second-hand vehicle with manual steering or drum brakes, take it for a test drive to see if they still work properly. Make sure that all lights and indicators are working properly too.

5. Does the Interior Look Good?

The interior of a second-hand car is the place where you spend most of your time. It is one of the first things that you would look at. The interior of a car can either be cosy or spacious, depending on its design and features. The seats should be comfortable, and not too firm or too soft. There should be enough space to fit your legs in. The seats must also be adjustable so that they can suit you well as you grow older.

The dashboard should also be clean and free from any dirt or dust that might cause problems later on in terms of visibility while driving. The steering wheel must also be in good condition, and not cracked or broken down, which may make it difficult for you to steer the car properly during drive-time. The Cooling System should work well in all seasons. You should also ask for warranty from your Car Dealer or Owner.

6. Take a Complete Test Drive

If you’re buying a used car, it’s probably because you’re looking for something that’s cheaper than a new one, but still reliable and comfortable enough to drive around town. Therefore, you must take it out for a complete test drive for atleast 20-30 minutes to ensure that the car is in good shape.

7. Transfer of Ownership

You need to transfer the ownership when you buy a Second-Hand Car. This means that the original owner will not have any rights over the car. Ensuring this process goes well is important, so make sure the original owner has all the documents you need for a smooth ownership transfer. 


  • Shiv Nanda

    Shiv Nanda is a financial analyst who currently lives in Bangalore (refusing to acknowledge the name change) and works with MoneyTap, India's first app-based credit-line. Shiv is a true finance geek, and his friends love that. They always rely on him for advice on their investment choices, budgeting skills, personal financial matters and when they want to get a loan. He has made it his life's mission to help and educate people on various financial topics, so email him your questions at shiv@freo.money.


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