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Important Tips for Buying a Used Car

India has a massive market for used (second-hand) cars. Used car or not- the first-time experience is intimidating, both for the buyers and sellers.

The actual work begins only after you decide on the car, followed by a long trail of paperwork, starting from registration to car insurance woes. Oh, it’s a real struggle! This is where the below checklist can simplify the hectic task into a simple affair.

Checklist for the Buyers

Get the Car and Documents Inspected

Never miss getting your car fully inspected by a trustworthy mechanic. This helps to either fix the problem before you purchase it or negotiate with the owner over the price. There are some Dos to follow:

  • Check the existing car insurance documents, if any. This way you can identify if the car has any claim history or met with an accident that required a claim. This is a quick way to note the NCB bonus percentage applied previously. Cars with more NCB will benefit you later. In case you need new car insurance.
  • Check the engine number and chassis number of the used car, you want to buy. match with the registration number.
  • You need to check if the filters in the car have been regularly cleaned or not. If required, get them changed. As car filters must get a regular cleaning, failing may affect the performance of the car. On the other hand, it is a quick judge of whether the car has been maintained properly.
  • Car brakes are an essential part and one should always check if the brakes of the used car are working properly or not. You can do this by driving the car at 40-50 mph speed in an area with no traffic. If you notice any vibration or noise from the brake pedal, get that repaired or replaced right away before buying.
  • Never ignore the car tires. Get them checked well. They should be evenly worn and matched with each other. Check the surface for bad alignment (feathering).
  • Check if there is any dent, damage, or rust. These are signs of a badly maintained car or of one in poor condition. Try to avoid them.

Transfer the RC of the Used Car to Your Name

To do so, you’ll need to fill in and submit Forms 29 & 30, issued by the RTO in the jurisdiction you come under. The forms should be duly signed by both the buyer and the seller. In case the car doesn’t come under your jurisdiction, a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from that jurisdiction’s RTO will be needed to process the same.

After you submit the form, the local RTO processes the transfer. Within 15-18 days, a receipt will be received by the buyer intimating him/her about the change of name in the RC copy.

Other Things to Remember

  • The next step is to get the used car insurance transferred or buy a new one.
  • Check forms 32 & 35 to ensure that there is no pending loan on the car you have chosen to buy.
  • In case the previous owner bought the car on finance, ask for the invoice for the same. Also, obtain a No Objection Certificate from the company that financed the car earlier.
  • The service book is required to check the history of service records, road tax receipts, etc.
  • If CNG/LPG is fitted on the car, get the bi-fuel certificate.
  • Also, procure a Valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate

You May Like to Read: Facts and Myths About GAP Insurance

Transfer the Car Insurance to Your Name

Once the car RC has been transferred to your name, the next significant task is to transfer the existing car insurance to you. If the insurance policy is still under the previous car owner, the insurance plan stands invalid. In your course of driving, you can’t claim the same.

One can transfer the car insurance in his/her name via 3 simple steps

Change the Name in the Previous Car Owner’s Policy

The process of transferring the insurance policy is parallel to the transfer of ownership from the old owner to the new one. By applying with the photocopy of the receipts/form 29/30, one can change the name on the used car’s insurance policy. You just need to contact the insurer to initiate the same. A representative of the insurance provider or an insurance broker can guide you throughout the process.

If the Owner doesn’t Hold a Car Insurance

Many car owners don’t feel the urge to own car insurance or have a valid insurance plan. Once you transfer the RC in your name, it is mandatory to apply for car insurance. Even having third-party insurance is mandatory these days, without which you can’t drive the car on the roads. Fret not, you can easily apply for a new car insurance policy. If you decide on the plan, the insurance company will issue a new policy after a quick vehicle inspection.

In Case you Want to Buy a New Policy in Your Name

It, really, is the best option. This way you can buy the insurance policy from the company of your choice. You will get enough time to compare car insurance quotes online or browse over the various plans available. This helps you negotiate a better price from the insurance company as well.

Also, you can approach an online aggregator website to compare the policies or use a car insurance calculator before landing on any deal. The process can be a breeze if you pick car insurance through an aggregator website.

Transfer of No Claim Bonus (NCB)

No Claim Bonus is a discount offered by the insurance company for each claim-free year. NCB is given to the policyholder, not the insured vehicle. So, at the time of buying the vehicle, the insurance policy is transferable to the new owner, but not the NCB. The new owner on account of the NCB has to pay the difference for the balance policy tenure. However, the original owner can use the NCB on a new car bought by him.

This Indicates Two Scenarios:

At the time of transferring car insurance from the previous owner, the NCB discount earned wouldn’t be transferred to you. If you’ve had a car and earned an NCB discount, your existing insurance company should have issued an NCB reserving letter, valid for 3 years.

You can use this letter for future reference and apply the discount to the new car insurance policy you buy or adjust the amount while transferring the policy in your name. But, the only negative point is that if your NCB bonus is greater than your sellers’, you won’t get a refund.

So, even if we consider the NCB point of view, it is better to have a fresh car insurance policy!

Are You Ready for the First Drive? Clean and Fix the Car Priority-wise

Assuredly take care of these things:

Your car needs a thorough clean-up: Ignore it only if you don’t want to flaunt a shiny and dashing car. Try steam cleaning and sanitizing your newly owned car.

Change of Fluids: Car life always depends on how well it is maintained. Regular change of oil and fluids is a must to maintain a smooth car. It is imperative in the case of a used car, where you’re unsure about the prior condition of the car. Stay on the safer side, and keep a regular check on oils and fluids.

Quick fixes to be done instantly: Simple wear and tear, any sign of rust or dent, and water entry through cracks or holes should be checked and fixed right away.

All checked? Now, you’re actually ready to take the plunge! Enjoy the ecstasy of riding your hard-earned, dream car!

Wrapping Up!

Hope these pointers help you give insight into buying a used car. If buying a used (second-hand) car is on the cards, do consider these tips before buying one. Of course, do share your experience with us here!

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