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Looking to buy a used car? Auto Bild helps you make a smart purchase

Looking to buy a used car? Auto Bild helps you make a smart purchase

For some, buying a used car makes more sense than splurging on a new vehicle. But buying in the second-hand market is far trickier than choosing a new vehicle.  Make sure that you know how to make a smart purchase.

In today's age of having to get things done easy and fast, a car is a necessity. Apart from manufacturer's, the used car market has also grown in the past decade. But buying in the second-hand market is far trickier than choosing a new vehicle. There are a number of variables to consider and getting the right valuation is tricky. Here are a few things to keep in mind while buying a used car.

Start with the obvious. Checking the car's engine is first and foremost. Take a mechanic along when you look at the available options. The number on the odometer, by itself, might not indicate the extend of wear and tear to an engine.

Take the cars you like for a test drive. If you're an experienced driver, this will help detect any obvious problems. Pay attention to suspension, ease of driving, noises from the engine, apart from the obvious such as steering, brakes and gears.

Also, some drivers feel at ease with certain cars for reasons that might not be apparent. A test drive will help in making sure that a car meets your requirements. Again, it's advisable to let your mechanic tag along on the test drive as it never hurts to get a second opinion.

With a bit of luck, you can find a car that has been well maintained. Even if you have to spend a little effort and time, hunt around for a vehicle that has been treated well.

It is a safer bet to go for a car from a manufacturer with established service networks and dealers. In the long run, it will be easier, and cheaper, to get the car serviced and buy spare parts.

Moreover, authorised dealerships often offer a warranty on certified used cars. Avoid models that have gone out of production to avoid problems with getting spare parts. Also, older cars are more likely have maintenance issues.

Do go through the car's service log. This will tell you whether the car has been serviced at regular intervals and, more importantly, if it has been involved in accidents or has had a major mechanical fault. A thorough service log indicates how well the car has been maintained.

After you have done your research, it's time to check the documents. These include the original registration papers (RC book), a valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate, insurance papers and tax tokens. You should not buy a car unless all of the above can be provided by the previous owner.

Once you've established that everything is to your satisfaction, negotiate a deal. Be confident of the price of the car when bargaining with the dealership. Negotiate hard for a discount in the used car market. Of course, do have an idea about a fair price that you are willing to pay.

On the flip side, if the dealer volunteers a discount that is too good to be true, then double check the car and the documents. If you do suspect that something is wrong, do not hesitate to withdraw from the deal, irrespective of the dealer's sales pitch. This is a long-term buy, so choose carefully and complete the transaction only after you are completely satisfied.

>> Identify the models with the best resale history
>> Get the engine checked by your mechanic
>> Test drive the car, do not buy unless you've driven it
>> Scrutinise the car's service log
>> Ensure that the car has all original documentation
>> Buy from authorised dealer

1. Check the engine and ensure that it has not been rebuilt
2. Check for abnormal noises from the engine during the test drive
3. Look out for abnormal wear and tear of the wheels, including the spare
4. Ensure all electricals, including headlights, indicators, telltale lamps are working
5. Also look for dents, variation in body paint or damage to the car's body

Courtesy: Auto Bild India