Comprehensive Guide for buying Used Car in India

Automotive Gyaan
10 Min Read

A Comprehensive Guide to Purchasing a Pre-Owned Car in India

Introduction: India is a nation known for its vibrant celebrations and enthusiasm. Buying a car and doing  used car valuation is no exception to the excitement. However, when it comes to purchasing a used car in India, it’s crucial to avoid impulsive decisions driven solely by enthusiasm. Buying a used car can feel like navigating a maze blindfolded, but fear not! Together, we will uncover the perfect approach to buying a pre-owned car.

Comprehensive Guide for buying Used Car in India

Important Considerations:

  1. Establish a Realistic Budget: Before diving into the world of used cars, it’s essential to set a practical budget and adhere to it. Avoid getting swayed by cars beyond your financial means. While a few thousand rupees may seem insignificant in the moment, it could lead to future financial hardships. Once your budget is determined, brace yourself for the research phase.
  2. Thorough Research: Harness the power of online resources to conduct comprehensive research effortlessly. This will provide valuable insights into the available options and their corresponding price points in your area. Utilize online reviews and videos to make informed decisions.
  3. Test Drive: Whether it’s a new or used car, a test drive is paramount. This critical step allows you to gauge the car’s handling and identify any potential issues. It’s advisable to bring along an experienced car enthusiast or a trusted mechanic who can provide an in-depth analysis of the car’s condition.
  4. Negotiation: After you have done your favorite car test drive, it’s time to get the good price. Remember, the listed price is not necessarily the final price, and there is often room for negotiation. It’s also important to examine the car’s history, including any accidents or repairs, as they can impact its value.

Selecting the Ideal Car: Choosing the right car entails considering your living situation and lifestyle. If you reside in a bustling metropolitan city and frequently navigate congested streets, a sturdy and compact car would be suitable. Conversely, if you live on the outskirts and enjoy long drives, a larger vehicle with ample horsepower and a comfortable cabin might be preferable.

Budget is another crucial factor. Similar to new cars, used cars come in various shapes, sizes, and price ranges. It’s vital to have a clear understanding of how much you can afford without jeopardizing your financial stability. Additionally, factor in ongoing expenses such as fuel, repairs, maintenance, renovations, and insurance.

Once you’ve shortlisted cars based on your lifestyle and budget, it’s time to embark on test drives and find the perfect fit for you.

Tips and Tricks for Buying Good Used Cars:

The used car market in India has witnessed steady growth over the past decade, with increasing numbers of people recognizing the financial advantages of purchasing pre-owned vehicles. Changing perceptions regarding the reliability of used cars have contributed to this trend, and it is projected that the used car market will be twice the size of the new car market by 2025. To assist you in making the right choice, here are some key points to consider when buying a used car.

Comprehensive Guide for buying Used Car in India

  1. Choosing the Right Car: Begin by assessing your needs and lifestyle to determine the type of car that best suits you. For instance, if you frequently encounter poorly maintained roads, a car with high ground clearance would be suitable. On the other hand, if you desire a comfortable highway cruiser with ample luggage space, an MPV or sedan might be ideal. For city driving, a hatchback is often a favorable choice.
  2. Create a list of requirements for your used car and search for models that fit within your budget. You can utilize our car price calculator to estimate the resale value of any vehicle.
  3. Inspect During Daylight: Inspecting a used car under natural light is crucial for identifying imperfections such as scratches, minor dents, or paint issues. Showrooms often employ bright lights that can mask exterior damage, especially minor scratches.
  4. A car that is two years old or younger and has driven less than 20,000 km is generally a reliable option. However, depending on your budget, you can consider older cars that are still in production and have readily available spare parts.
  5. Evaluating the Age and Service Records: It is important to examine the service records to ensure the car received regular maintenance at authorized service centers. This not only validates the car’s upkeep but also helps ascertain whether the odometer has been tampered with.
  6. Mechanic Inspection: Even if you possess extensive automotive knowledge, having a skilled mechanic inspect any used car you intend to purchase is highly recommended. A mechanic can identify even the smallest issues and provide estimates for any necessary repairs.
  7. Verify VIN and Obtain Service Records: Each car sold is assigned a unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This number allows you to determine the manufacturing date and obtain the service records from authorized service centers.
  8. Check Insurance Records: Gather information on past insurance claims filed at service centers. This provides insight into the car’s history and any incidents it may have been involved in. Typically, car owners opt for repairs at authorized dealerships using insurance coverage.
  9. Extensive Test Drives: Take the car on multiple long test drives to thoroughly evaluate its performance. You can even invite your mechanic or a friend to drive the car and gather their feedback.
  10. Beware of Rust: It is advisable to steer clear of vehicles with even minor rust spots. Rust compromises the structural integrity of the car and can be challenging to eradicate. In addition to inspecting the body panels, check the underbelly, running boards, and engine mounts for signs of rust.
  11. Dealer Precautions: If purchasing from a dealer, be cautious of sales representatives who may attempt to deceive you into purchasing a faulty vehicle. To safeguard against such unscrupulous dealers, CARS24 offers a wide range of pre-owned vehicles and assists in selecting the perfect used car.

MRL Certified Vs. Non-MRL Certified Used Cars:

When contemplating a used car purchase, consider it an investment made at the right time. Both MRL certified and non-MRL certified options can offer savings, but it is essential to understand the distinction between the two.

MRL stands for Mega Refurbishment Labs, which subject cars to rigorous inspection processes to ensure high standards of quality and safety. This certification guarantees that any underlying issues or defects have been identified, repaired, and the car has undergone thorough cleaning and detailing.

Non-MRL certified used cars, in contrast, have not undergone the same rigorous inspection. Consequently, several issues or defects that typically accompany older cars may remain unaddressed.

It is highly recommended to prioritize MRL certified cars when considering a used car purchase. Not only do they offer higher quality and safety, but they also come with a warranty. However, if you are on a tight budget and willing to accept a slightly higher risk, a non-MRL certified car may still be a viable option.

Essential Documents to Check Before Buying a Used Car in India:

Thorough documentation alleviates post-purchase concerns. The same principle applies to used cars. Although specific document requirements may vary by state, here are some crucial documents to verify before purchasing a used car in India:

  1. Registration Certificate (RC)
  2. Car Purchase Invoice
  3. Insurance Documents
  4. Service Records Book
  5. RTO Forms: 28, 29, 30, 32, and 35
  6. No Objection Certificate (NOC) or Clearance Certificate (used car loan)
  7. Road Tax Receipt
  8. Certification for Bi-fuel Kits
  9. Emission Certificate
  10. Owner’s Manual


Purchasing a used car in India requires careful consideration and attention to detail. By setting a realistic budget, conducting thorough research, test driving the car, and evaluating its history, you can make an informed decision. Additionally, verifying essential documents and prioritizing MRL certified cars enhances the reliability and safety of your purchase.

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