Why Not to Buy a Used Car

Used CarProblems

Sir, I am going to sell my car only when it faults or I have better options available” , quoted by someone when asked about the used car market and his interest towards it.

Startups, established automobile companies, finance corps and local sellers: when you enter exploring a second hand car market, there are easy chances of you noticing at least one from all these in the used car market.

Overcrowded and overhyped, used car market, even though filled with cars from all segments, has not evolved itself to be a totally safe option to buy a car. Inconsistent service, lack of pricing, previous ownership mysteries, safety issues, legal issues etc. are just a few things out of many that bother with the service and standard of the used car market. In this article, we look at the top reasons that make us vary of exploring the used cars.

  1. Previous Owner History/Trust/Car Condition: The previous condition and the drive of the car remains unknown. The speedometers and computers can be reprogrammed and reset to show a lesser kilometre run.These cars are sold after a standard repair and service, which eradicates the flaws created due to previous handling. What if the car goes bad in 2-3 months? Would you be replaced with the same model of the car? Or you would be provided with some other car? In any of these cases, the replacement would still bring in a lot of uncertainty.
  2. Service and Maintenance: From the time it is acquired to the time it being sold, a used car is usually not subjected to the genuine service and maintenance that a new car enjoys from its manufacturer. This means that from the first day itself, you are dependant on the local garages for the repairing and servicing of your vehicle. The used car dealer would initially provide his services but cannot match that of a dealer and as soon as sub standard servicing hits your car, you can expect problems gradually mounting up.
  3. Brokerage: The commission on the used car market is variable and is the prime factor of what drives this market too. The used car dealer would get sufficient margin of 10-15% per deal, and you cannot guess that as no commission caps are there and neither there is any method present. You don’t get know the price (or at times, the method) via which the car was bought.
  4. Post Warranty Scenario: A lot of used car chains are providing an year or two of warranty on the vehicles purchased from them. When the warranty ends, you are again in the midst of owning an old car, whose parts might have become outdated and servicing is going to escalate your expenses.
  5. Devoid of Latest Features: When buying an old car, you automatically trade off the latest features that a new vehicle would have. Further, getting your customised to chip in those is again going to cost you shells of money and confusion. Why investing in something that has already entered its depletion phase and is going to be tougher to maintain?
  6. Pricing: Used cars do not have a fixed price, neither there is any universal criteria/formula to decide on their pricing. You might feel getting a good deal at a lower price and the other dealer can still offer you similar car at a lower price. A labyrinth structure in the pricing exists and it gets even more complicated when you seek a finance for a used car.

Used cars were earlier a lucrative option when they would cost significantly low than the new cars and were convenient option for anyone who has just learnt to drive and wants to hit the road. But now times have changes, even new cars have become easier to afford; their drive experience is solid and maintenance costs have come significantly down. Further, insurance, off road support and several other exclusive first hand services make a new car always a better option than a used one.

Used cars, though low in prices, would cost more in the long run, after the maintenance and regular services pitch in.

The Lacuna with the used car market is slowly coming out and a few big banks have already started shutting down their used car finance market. Thanks to the increasing demand, new finance companies have popped up, but once the consumer gets aware about the ill-effects and long term displeasures, he would instantly avoid investing in a second hand car.

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