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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 18 Mar 2010
Buying a vehicle is no easy matter, no less if it’s a used car. Although buying a new car offers the benefits of a warranty and better condition overall, used cars or second hand cars also have their benefits. Besides the discounted price on used cars, a few years into their production enables you to separate the good models from the also-rans and it’s easier to decide which car you want to purchase from the smaller pool of options.
To begin with, you must understand your planned usage needs and corresponding settle on a segment of cars. The next stage is to choose the successful models in the segment and shortlist 2 to 3 cars that would suit your requirements.
Besides checking out the available options in your local daily’s classified section and the options at a nearby used car dealer, we suggest using used car websites to widen your net since the internet enables you to take a peek at several options among the same model and it gives you a feel of the general pricing trend as well. The following three are our favourites.
A relatively clean interface and simple navigation make this used car site the best place to begin.
Offering one click-search, this rather cluttered site actually offers very quick searching once you figure out it’s basic layout. Just click on the search title of your choice, for instance, clicking on ‘Maruti Used Cars’, leads you to the next page where you can further refine to ‘Maruti Used Cars in Mumbai’ and you’re served relevant results.
Another very easy to navigate site, Carwale automatically estimates your location based on your IP address and serves you a icon list of available brands. You simply click on the brand you’re interested in or alternatively, click on the car-type icon and you reach the result page.
Besides these pure play automobile sites, you can also check out classified sites like craigslist.org, quickr.com and sulekha.com but our experience indicates that the listings tend to be old or illegitimate.
Screening and checking
After you have short-listed about 8 to 12cars that you are interested in purchasing, contact the seller, preferably by SMS if his number is listed and indicate your interest in the car, model and the place you found the listing along with a time at which you would like to see it. After arriving at a mutually acceptable time and location, you need to put the vehicle through the regular checks and it is advisable to take a trusted mechanic along with you to ‘look into’ the vehicle and spot problems that might go unseen by you.
Of course, the down side of buying a used car is the higher likelihood of break-downs, maintenance costs and relatively lower safety levels compared to a new and technologically advanced car. However, a good used car insurance policy will help negate most of your worries.
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