Used Car Valuation
In today’s times, people are always on the move and need to get things done in a simple and quick fashion for which, a car is essential. The auto market for used cars is growing as rapidly as the new car market. Although the purchase of a pre-owned car isn’t as clear-cut as buying a new vehicle, its market is becoming increasingly popular. The second-hand car market is slowly growing its portfolio and a variety of cars are finding its way here.
But even though there are established dealerships like Mahindra First Choice, and also reliable auto portals like Indian Blue Book, among others, still the used car market is semi-organized and there are brokers and unscrupulous sellers looking to make a quick buck. And therefore, there are many factors to be aware of and consider. The valuing process is delicate and there is no set concrete consent on the car value after its first sale whether it’s one or even five years after. Some variables which come into play include markets for the car, high or low economy, the cost of fuel etc. Although, there are variables which can be accounted for and some of them are the manufacturer’s history, the car model’s performance in the past and thus valuing it.
All these complications sometimes result in you being fleeced and tricked and you will be in a state of constant unrest and you won’t have peace of mind.
Here are some factors which will help you know about used car valuation, some tips and tricks so you are not swindled:
- Sellers of pre-owned vehicles should not be trusted at face value. Sometimes, they have an inclination to build up the performance of the car, its efficiency, comfort and other factors. At times, just to make a quick and fast buck, the information provided might be outright lies and misinformation. Therefore, the car’s exterior and interiors should be carefully examined and analyzed by you personally. A good-looking car doesn’t mean perfect, because looks can be misleading too.
NOTE: Always examine the car under daylight.
- Making a checklist of things you need to watch out for, is a good idea so that nothing is overlooked. Additionally, taking someone along, preferably someone with knowledge of cars like a trusted mechanic or even relying on tools and products rendered by the auto portal, Indian Blue Book, where you can avail of their Autoinspekt, IBB Trade and IBB Vincheck Based on this, the car is thoroughly inspected feedback is given accordingly. Because it is understandable, this may not really be up your alley. Lack of proper inspection can lead to buying a vehicle whose parts have been changed, undergone many repairs and even damages and accidents cover-ups are done, which are not visible to the naked eye and also the inexperienced eye.
- Checking for original paperwork is a must. As in RC book, insurance papers, owner’s manual, tax receipts, pollution certificates, service history etc. before purchase.
- One time tax - RTO tax needs to be paid by the original owner
- Check where the car has been registered - Do not purchase a vehicle which is not registered in the State you reside in because there are chances that the car may be stolen or might have forged paperwork
- Check when the insurance expires and other details like third-party insurance
- The original car invoice will have details like chassis and engine numbers
- Make sure there is no outstanding loan on the car
- The lifecycle of the car too plays an important role. E.g.: the ninth generation Honda Accord will be a 2013 model in its first year. If you were offered a good deal on the 2012 model, then that will have lesser value as compared to a first or second generation car. This isn’t mandatory but if you’re going with widely accepted cars, then keeping this point in mind is good.
- Some cars didn’t cut it in the firsthand market and hence they become a great piece to bargain on in the used car market. Keeping away from them is advisable.
- Although good-looking, modified cars come with baggage, the chances of a modified car being driven enthusiastically by the previous owner are high and also at times, spare parts and some other trimmings will either be expensive or hard to get your hands on.
- Certain models are discontinued and avoiding them is the right choice. They come with a low supply of spares, high maintenance and not good resale value. Keep an arm’s length from cars whose manufacturers’ don’t exist anymore.
- Even lightly used cars wherein for the time spent with the car, very few kilometres have been clocked on the odometer is a dicey option. Cars are built to be on the move and idleness can cause problems.
- Methods like tampering with the odometer are common abuses in the used car market. Most sellers might have clocked the odometers back and therefore, it’s better to rely on IBB’s Autoinspekt or a good dealership, workshop/service centre etc. to find the exact distance the car has travelled.
- Don’t forget to transfer papers to your name including insurance. At the time of delivery, record date, time and the reading on the odometer. This will safeguard you and also ensure that any prior outstanding liabilities or other doings were the past owners’ responsibility and not yours.
A point to note - once the car has been transferred to your name and all formalities are completed and once the cars can officially be termed as yours, it’s a must that you get the car entirely serviced and change all fluids, filters and belts (if need be).
A Take Home Message
At the end of the day, you are the buyer and as the saying goes – Customer is king. You have the upper hand and the luxury to decline to buy a vehicle if it does not meet and match your needs, standards and expectations. Don’t feel pressurized into agreeing to something which you don’t like. The purchase of a car is long-term buy and hence be choosy, careful and go ahead with the deal only after you are completely convinced and satisfied.
The Indian Blue Book website has ample information on topics like used car valuation, used car buying tips, about good resale value cars etc. So for more information check out the blog section and enhance your knowledge!