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Cracking a great used car deal

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A great used car deal comes with a whole lot of benefits, But cracking a great deal depends on identifying a good car, and making sure that you get maximum value for the money spent.

Clinching a great used car not only saves hell lot money but possibly gives you a better than a new car experience.

Wondering how?  Let’s help you out to identify a good used car deal.


Market Research

Rate of used car varies from place to place and model to model. Following factors (3M) affect the resale value of a car.

-    MANUFACTURER: Cars of some manufacturer depreciates less and some more. This depends on the popularity of the company, general acceptance of the company among car buying public,  after sales service, global presence of the manufacturer etc to name a few.

-    MARKET: Depreciation considerably varies from city to city and state to state. This depends on the socioeconomic factors. The Same model fetches different prices in different markets of the country.

-    MODEL: A car’s value depreciates faster when the model is discontinued.  This doesn’t mean you never should buy a car not in production. A car can be stopped by the company for various reasons. But ensure to haggle more taking this as leverage. Also, check up the service part and availability of spares.  Favorite models in the market continue to retain their value and you may have to put in more money to get those deals.  However, this comes with benefits like assurance of spares and service. Another option is to identify slow sellers. These are those cars which are moving slowly in the market but still continue to be produced. You not only get great price deals but also continue to get spares and service as the car is still in production.

These things should be analyzed before you start physically start searching for the car. Information can be obtained from auto portals, forums, car magazines and interaction with experts in this field.

Car History is a must : Get it Inspected

A lot depend on how, who and where the car was used.  Stay away from cars that are put into heavy usage. An older well maintained and used car is a by day better than a comparatively new abused one.  These days service centers can provide you history on service, major accident repairs etc. Walk away from cars having incomplete service history or survived a major accident.

After the initial scrutiny by you once you are considering to buy the car get it checked by a reputed mechanic or authorized service center. Check the following.

-    Engine and gearbox condition. Engine repairs and transmission repairs can prove costly.

-    Signs of accident repairs

-    Underbody check for rust

-    Signs of fluid leaks

-    AC cooling

-    Electricals and associated wirings

-    Performance of the car

-    Look for abnormal vibrations and sounds

Avoid Impulse Buying

Take time before finalizing the deal. A car may appear tempting on the first look. But don’t get carried away and finalize the deal. Take time, do a longer test drive and take ample time before saying that YES. If required prepare to walk away. Don’t get ruled by your emotions.

General Appearance

Don’t strike out cars having that big dent on the door or striped bumper. You may be able to repair it for cheap but can haggle much more while closing the deal. Also don’t get carried away by cars having that shiny gloss. It may not be skin deep.  On inspection, an expert can find whether the car has involved in any major accident.


Make sure all papers are in place. Don’t ever consider any cars which have incomplete documents.  Ensure to obtain the NOC when buying cars from other states.


An urgent seller (one who is leaving for abroad/ getting a new car/ already bought a new one/ urgent need of money) may sell the car at a lesser price than the normal considering his shortage of time.


Cars are made to run for a certain limited number of kilometers before a major haul. Hence lesser the odometer reading the better. But be aware of odometer tampering. These days’ even digital meters can be tampered.  If the odometer reading and the service histories don’t match, don’t proceed with the deal unless the owner has a convincing story for you. Don’t shy away from asking for a discount from the quoted price for a car whose Tyre or clutch plate are due for replacement. Also, the date on the Tyres is a good indication on the number of kilometers run by the car. A car having 20k kms on the odometer and not on original set of Tyres don’t match. These are indications of odometer tampering.


Buy a car that you can keep running

Don’t get carried away by ultra premium cars with an affordable price tag. You may get a BMW 320i for a price of a new Maruti Ciaz or Hyundai Verna. But always keep in mind, only car depreciate but the parts don’t. Even routine service can cost you a bomb and some parts may run into lakhs. So always buy a car which you can maintain in the long run.

Certified Used Cars

Car manufacturers like Mahindra, Maruti, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai run used car dealership which sells cars with warranty. They are known as certified cars. Though the price may be on the higher side, these cars undergo rigorous checks and minor repairs before putting up for sale. 

Ready to clinch the deal

Keep the finance ready. Once the car passes all the criteria and you are convinced that you are getting a great deal, pay the money and close the deal before the car goes out of your hand.





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