It’s almost been two years since I started working and it was time to live some of my dreams, the first one being driving my own car. With little savings and annual bonus in hand, I was all excited and made up my mind to go for a used car as it would fit my budget. With all delight, I buckled up and started doing my homework, only to be soon perplexed by the myriad options in front of me. With the plethora of websites selling used cars, dealers trying to coax me easily, every friend and family member giving their piece of advice, I just realized that breaking it down was not that simple.
While I was just worrying about the experience already filled with bumps and detours, I became finicky and almost lost hope until I accidentally bumped into my friend Abhay Bohra(PGPM 2012), who also happens to be the proprietor of Heeracars.com, a used car dealer company. With no Agenda in mind, I sat with him for a coffee. However, I could not hold my bitter experiences for long. I poured out my concerns to him and asked my friend, “Why must car buying be such an ordeal?”
Abhay knew how bothered I was and he came forward to help me in making the right choice. I knew I could count on his advice as he was not just another dealer but also a friend. And I began listening to the tips and tricks of the trade from the horse’s mouth, my car dealer friend!
Having been involved in gathering information for quite some time now, I had little knowledge on buying a used car. For instance, I knew that one has to check the car make, number of owners, kilometers run, year of manufacture, service history. What I did not know and learnt from Abhay is that this basic checklist includes few more parameters to be verified.
To all the people out there as bewildered as I was once, this list could be of a great help. To keep it simple, I have categorized Abhay’s check list into Non-technical and Technical aspects of buying a used car.
• Year of Manufacture of the Car is mentioned on each of the glasses including the windshield– Any mismatch means that the door or window glass has been replaced (possibly because of an accident)
• Tyre Condition should co-relate to the kilometer reading shown in the car (KM reading is tampered for as low as Rs 50/- in most parts of the country)
• NCB% – No Claim Bonus percentage which is mentioned on the insurance policy can be used as an indicator to understand if there has been any insurance claim (possibly for an accident)
• Check service history for genuineness of mileage and accidental repairs if any (How: Make/Find a friend working in any of the below companies. For Hyundai – Just give Vehicle Number; Maruti – Vehicle, Engine and Chassis Number; Fiat – Vehicle Number; Tata – Vehicle Number) and also understand how periodically the vehicle has been serviced.
With the extensive research which one would make before buying a used car, it is quite possible for some of you to come up with this non-technical checklist even without much help from a professional. But, if you think this little knowledge can make you look cool, well… you are mistaken. Most people are easily cheated by fraudulent dealers and car owners in the technical aspects. According to Abhay, this technical check list is all that it takes to single out a genuine dealer or a seller. The list is slightly technical, however no rocket science.
• Open the bonnet and see the box (both on left and right side-as is known in the automobile circles) for the originality – this is one part of the car which can never be replaced/reworked to the same finishing if the car has met with damage/accident head on
• Check for original pasting on all doors and bonnet
• Check for original punching on the box near the engine and all doors
• Check for oil leakage
• Check for R134A sticker on crossbar (front panel where the bonnet hinge rests) of all Maruti Cars
• After starting the car turn the steering to extreme left and right in stationary position and in motion to observe any abnormal sounds
• Go for a good long test drive and feel the engine sound and vehicle vibration
• Find a rugged road to check out the suspension of the vehicle
At the end of this long discussion, I was completely clear of all my inhibitions about buying a used car. I knew the experience is going to be as eventful as I thought at the beginning of my decision to buy a car. What Abhay did not include in the list and I realized from my personal experience is that you should always buy a used car from someone you can trust – they will take care of the above. And I knew Abhay Bohra’s Heera cars is surely the place I am heading to after this coffee.
PGPM – 2012