Recently, many of my friends are looking to buy a car. Now they are looking for 2nd hand cars in the sub 4L range. More or less all of them are looking for hatchbacks. Now on this premise I had 2 points to ponder on.
First was – Why second hand? For the sub 4L range. We have a host of new cars. Good ones that too. There is the Alto, there is the Chevy Beat, so on and so forth. So why second hand when you can go for a new car. The problems I foresee of buying a second hand car is. It is used, don’t know by how many drivers. Even if I am the only owner, my dad, my driver, my sister, my brother could drive it around. And trust me the FE is of absolutely of no use. The guy would think it would give 10kmpl in the city and 14kmpl in the highway(well this is one bad city driver I tell you, otherwise a 4kmpl difference between city and highway is like crazy)but how did he calculate that and even better how do you check that. Also when the style of driving changes, the mileage will drop significantly, so after running about 100kms yourself are going to go back to the guy who sold it and say – “You scumbag, you cheated me”.
Another thing is most of these cars being sold is sold at 50k kms or more. When a car has already done that much, the wear and tear is going to be considerable. The tires might have to be changed. The car may need to be subject to oil change very soon. The suspension might have become hard, thanks to the brilliant roads. With all these foreseeable problems and more hidden ones, the repair is going to make your wallet lighter by close to a lakh, what’s the scene with the second hand car. The only acceptable reason I would possible accept is that you don’t know how to drive and expect to run your car into every moving and stationary object in front of you, then I would totally agree to the second hand concept. Also I don’t know why I am writing this, cos if there is no second hand market, I wouldn’t be able to sell my car and buy a new one every 5 yrs. 😛
The other side of the story is the seller side. I have been tracking a few cars in the market that have excellent second hand value. Trust me when I say that as when I bought my bike, the first thing that I checked and compared was the resale value. Coming to the point, Maruti seems to have the best followed by Tata vehicles and Hyundai, Skoda, Chevy bring up the rear. In that case I see posts which say – 45k kms run, 10-14kmpl mileage, 2005 model Hyundai for 2.5L. Dude, have you gone nuts. A new Hyundai Santro costs 4.5-4.8L. Why would I buy one which is more than 5 yrs old for more than half the price? Trust me, bargaining with someone in the same office is not my cup of tea. It’s embarrassing. And what do I see happening in the BB (or its equivalent in your company) – One guys make the above post, one guy comes back and says, I am ready to buy for 1L, another says, what variant is it, I am ok to buy for 1.1L. For heaven sakes who said that he is auctioning his car?
So thought of making a list for second hand buyers and sellers, especially who buy and sell from colleagues in the company –
1. Quote the right price – Negotiable, Non-Negotiable comes later. Quote the price you think is the right price for your car. Quote the price at which you would buy it.
2. Talk about what you have recently done for the car. Serviced at the authorized dealer and subject to oil change, wheel alignment, etc etc.
3. Talk about how your mileage was done. Highway driving, city driving, mixed, etc.
4. If possible, get the car valued by your mechanic
1. First and foremost, stop the unreasonable bargain, you aren’t buying tomatoes at koyambedu market.
2. Ask for accident history of the vehicle.
3. Ask for insurance claims if any, police cases if any, etc.
4. If you feel an accessory is in the car and you won’t use it, but the seller is adding that to your bill, ask them if they can sell it without the accessory if possible.
5. Take a mechanic with you to check the car.
6. Take a test drive with the mechanic and the owner, preferably in the city.
7. Don’t listen to the know-it-all friend who will always say, finish that car at some arbit price.
Not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start at least.