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Old 21-01-2017, 04:07 PM
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Default How To Buy Second Hand Car In Pakistan? (Buy Used Car)

The day has come and you have saved enough capital that you are opting to buy a car for yourself. Keeping the realities in mind, now your cash is in the hands of car dealers and chances are you are going to end up buying a car that is actually a dealer’s rental car.

Buying a used car is more problematic and complex than buying a new one. If you are planning to buy a used car, you must consider to check and verify multiple things before making a deal. You may face notorious tactics of car dealers while some individuals also try to hide many facts about the car they are going to sell. You as a buyer should know many things about cars, their parts, maintenance problems and their documents and records.

First of all you should decide the brand and model of the car based upon your budget, size of your family and other requirements. Then you should make a list of important things, you have to check of the car.

Finalize the type, model and make of the car before starting your search

It is better to stick to one single model/type of the car while doing the research, do not try to put multiple types of cars that fall into your budget because that will cause more confusion and you may end up buying a newer model of scrap metal. Think rationally and stick to one model that not only pleases you but also serves the purpose the purchase of the car was intended for.
Do not go for models that are obsolete, unique or have a history of parts unavailability. Our local workshop culture is that the “ustaad” will use your car as a lab rat for their “chhoota” to learn and experiment on. And you do not want a Frankenstein’s monster (Peugeot with Khyber headlamps or Charade with Vitz engine) as your first car. You need something trouble free and reliable.

Disregard the new(est) model disease

A general consensus of market is that a perfect car of a particular year can not be more expensive than the bar set by the dealers. But it is the other way round if the dealer has parked himself a mint condition car. Anyway, you have option to buy a 2004 mint car and a 2006 same shape car that has been abused from the day one. Be rational while taking a decision, look for signs of wear and tear, do not trust the odometer if its around 80,000 km because every used car in Pakistan is at 80,000 km. A good condition car will always be a little expensive than its counterparts and it will give you double the service in the long run, save your time and effort , avoid getting a car cheaper and re affirming yourself that you will get factory standard repairs on it from footpath mechanics. That will waste a lot of money and not add to the value of car. A highway driven car can be more in mileage but will be less abused comparatively as cars that are only driven within cities.

Parking area of car

Some cars are neglected and some are taken care of, take notice of small things like where the car is parked, is it sun baked enough to have its paint flaked off in a few years after your purchase. Look for signs of oil stains on the floor, a coolant leakage or a gearbox leakage. If you see any, keep calm and continue checking the car out, look around and see for good quality car shampoos lying around, believe the car is pampered enough if you see any. If you are at a dealer, then every other car has gone through a desi style paint cutting job and it will be shinny and new to the eyes. Be careful, do not buy car having its lacquer thinned out to almost nothing, permanently.

Maintenance records

Ask for maintenance records of car. Some people are particular about it and it’s a good thing if someone shares this information with you. If it is maintained by 3S dealership than get the record checked from the dealers directly.

Usage checks (the most important part of this guide)
  • Body Panels
See the car from a little distance and try to compare it with a same type of new car. Any irregularities and misalignment of body panels require further inspection and anybody with an eye for detail can check it. It is not something which is reserved for your body shop experts only. You can do it too. It’s just that we do not try hard enough. Also check all the foot-boards of the car from top to bottom and front to back, the wear and tear of paint will tell you a lot about the environment the car was used in. Avoid a car having a misaligned front and rear because it will be hard to get rid of afterwards. If you get a slight hint of repair done than take your friendly neighborhood panel beater along for further assessment or leave the car.
  • Gear knobs
You can tell a lot about a car by having a closer look at its gear knob. Is it scratched and scruffy, or polished? If its polished than the chances are that the car is driven, a lot. Although it is different for automatic cars cause the wear and tear is less in automatic cars.
  • Foot pedals
If the foot pedals show worn out rubber on clutch pedal and brake, or if you can feel the play in the levers of the pedal while depressing, than this also can hints the millage car has covered in its time.
  • Steering stalks and switches
If the white lettering on them is almost washed out and polished to perfection than the car has done at least 300,000 km.
  • Roof liner
A hanging roof liner can be expensive to repair, and a common cause for cars being rolled over or parked in the heat of sun for too long.
  • Door panels
Decaying door panels or having accessories worn out or damaged can be a sure sign of bad repair jobs done behind them; be very careful. Service station washes can also cause severe damage to door panels.
  • Window channels
A perfectly aligned window will move up and down smoothly no matter how dusty it is. If it doesn’t, look for the internal damage to the door frame.
  • Dark headlights
Cars used on rentals usually have smoked headlights as a default because of their continuous usage at night. Its your decision to further decide. Sometimes long driven cars also have blacked out headlights due to continuous usage at night but are perfect in other ways.
  • Weather shields
Check the fender liners, weather shield and trim on doors. Minor cracks are common and not a problem but major chunks wearing out specially around the main screens are signs of a poorly kept car.
  • Engine noises
While starting the car, observe the CEL (check engine light) lighting up at ACC ON position and going out after the engine is started. If not, then something is fishy and CEL lamp is removed. Some sharp sellers also combine the CEL with OIL light in parallel, observe the timings of them going off.
Check engine by listening to any abnormal sounds. Sounds of belts slipping are usually common and a cheap repair. Noises like thudding, clanking and fine knocks are expensive on the pocket. Fine clicks are fine and can be repaired easily. Open the radiator cap if the car is cold and see if the coolant is there, if not keep in mind cost of coolant and radiator flush. Avoid cars having loose wiring in engine bay. A car is not reliable if its wiring is messed up. Also do not buy cars having alterations that are not designed for them. Or crazy engine swaps like Charade having a Vitz engine.

For many of us, owning our own car brings joy and happiness. It’s an event when you bring your first car, new or used, to your house and show it to your friends and family. When we pay our hard earned money, we expect the best bang for our buck; no one likes a lemon. We expect sellers to be honest and truthful, but we share the responsibility to be as cautious as possible when buying our first car. It is not just about the money you are spending, but also about the safety of you and your family. A weak or faulty automobile can be a threat and can cause an irreversible harm to you or your family. Be cautious and always buy smart.

Below are some very important tips which may be helpful to make the inspection list.

Individual Sellers are Better than Dealers

Prefer to buy from an individual seller instead of a dealer. A dealer is expert in selling cars and is usually more interested in his commission on top of the price so it is hard to bargain with a dealer than the owner of the car. Moreover, first of all try to find a used car for sale from your family, friends, colleagues or at least a person whom you already know. It can save you from many obstacles as a person from your social circle will usually not cheat you.
If you do not personally know the seller, even then get his detail introduction and know about him as much as possible. Ask him about his profession, home address, when he bought this car and why he is selling it etc.
You may explore online at or

Verify Car Documents and Owner CNIC
  • Check registration copy of vehicle physically and make sure that it has not been tampered or changed in any way.
  • Ask for return file, either it is with the owner or in the excise office. If owner have it, check it carefully. Check if it is duplicate.
  • Match registration number, engine number and chassis number on documents and on parts of vehicle.
  • Ask for original computerized number plates, which comes with vehicles registered within past few years.
  • Check original CNIC of the owner and match it with the owner name written on the registration book.
  • You can instantly check CNIC details of anybody from NADRA by sending its 13 digits number to 7000.
  • Rescue 15 has maintained information regarding stolen vehicles. You may contact Police or Rescue 15 to ask about the vehicle.
  • You can also call CLPC (Citizen Police Liaison Committee) on phone number 021-35662222 for verification of cars registered in Sindh and give number plate, chassis number and engine number to get information about any car status. You may also SMS chassis number of the vehicle to 8521 to get details.

Check Engine and Other Machinery

This is the point where you may require a motor mechanic. Don't rely on your own expertise and also do not solely trust on seller or dealer. An experienced mechanic can give better idea about the engine and other machinery's condition.

1. Engine and other parts under the bonnet should be clean and there should not be any sign of leakage or other wear and tear.

2. Engine can be checked by opening the engine oil lid, and after opening it accelerate the car in neutral mode. If you see smoke coming out of oil chamber then it’s a sign that engine is not in good condition.

3. Check engine oil to know how well the vehicle is maintained.

4. Check suspension and gears system.

5. Check AC and Heating system.

6. Test drive the vehicle on both petrol and CNG.

7. Check shock absorbers by putting your weight hard at the corners and letting it go back.

8. Check treads and side walls of all the tyres.

9. Do not hesitate to check all lights, signals, horns and wind screen vipers too.

10.Never rely on the mileage of odometer as meter can be altered very easily.

Condition of Vehicle Body

Look for corrosion, rust, cracks and welds on the car body or any type of filling with other material. Look closely for any variation of color on the body or any sign of repaint. Also find scratches and dents on the body. Look the floor of the vehicle under mats and carpets.

Interior Condition of the Vehicle

Inspect vehicle from inside; Dashboard, Seat Covers, Sound System and other equipments in the car. If the mirror or windows are automatic, check all of these to operate.

Some More Tips

1. Confirm what accessories will be along the vehicle otherwise once deal is done, seller may start removing accessories.

2. Take receipts of payment, transfer letter, registration book, return file, photocopies of seller CNIC and all other documents at the time of finalization of deal.

3. Try to pay via crossed bank cheque to leave the proof of payment transactions.

4. If a smaller car can fulfill your requirements, don't go for a bigger one. As a big car not only cost you more but its running costs - fuel, maintenance, tyres, engine oil and spares will also be higher.

5. Do some research before buying a used car because if you get a problematic car, it will not easy for you to get rid of it.

6. Take a test drive of the car on highway as well as on a rough countryside road. Turn the car full right and full left. And try to listen body noise.

7. Go for the inspection of a car in day time and check under the sun light. Use flash light if necessary.

8. Don't buy a model whose spare parts are not readily available.
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