Don’t Make These Mistakes When Buying a Pre-owned Car!

May 9, 2024 3 min read
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Buying a Pre-owned Car!

Buying a pre-owned car can be a great way to save money while still enjoying the benefits of vehicle ownership. However, navigating the market to buy and sell cars can be tricky, and certain mistakes could end up costing you in the long run. In this guide, we’ll highlight critical missteps to avoid and ensure you make a well-informed decision that suits your needs.

1. Skipping the Research Phase

One of the biggest mistakes in the process to buy and sell cars is not doing adequate research. Before visiting a dealership or meeting a seller, you should know the market value of the car you are interested in, understand its common issues, and have a list of desired features. Resources like Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and Consumer Reports are invaluable in this stage. Additionally, the CarInfo platform can provide comprehensive vehicle information, making it a crucial tool for anyone looking to make an informed car buying decision. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to negotiations.

Check: Cheapest Cars in India 2024

2. Ignoring Vehicle History and Service History

Never skip on checking the vehicle’s history, including service history and RC details (Registration Certificate details). A comprehensive look at the car’s past, through services like CarInfo app, can reveal previous accidents, service records, and more. RTO (Regional Transport Office) checks are also vital to verify the legitimacy of the car’s documentation and any pending e-challan (traffic fine) issues.

3. Not Taking a Test Drive

You wouldn’t buy a house without a thorough walkthrough, so apply the same principle when buying a car. A test drive can help you assess the car's condition, ensuring it meets your expectations and driving requirements. Pay attention to how the car handles, brakes, and sounds during the drive to avoid future regrets.

4. Overlooking an Independent Mechanic Inspection

Even if the car looks great externally, internal issues may not be visible to the naked eye. Getting an independent mechanic to inspect the car before you buy it can help uncover potential problems that could cost you significant money later. They can provide a detailed review of the engine, transmission, and other critical areas.

5. Falling for Superficial Aesthetics

It’s easy to be swayed by a car that looks good aesthetically, but deeper mechanical issues may lurk beneath a shiny exterior. While the car’s appearance is important, prioritize checking its mechanical reliability and ensure that performance and safety are not compromised.

6. Not Considering Total Costs Including Car Insurance

The purchase price is just part of what you pay. Ownership costs including car insurance, maintenance, fuel, and taxes can add up, influencing your budget significantly. Calculating the total cost of ownership, including the price of comprehensive car insurance, will give you a clearer idea of the long-term financial commitment.

Also Check: How to Transfer Car Insurance to New Owner

7. Not Being Prepared to Walk Away

Having the ability to walk away is a powerful tool during the negotiation phase. If the terms aren’t favorable or the deal starts to feel wrong, be prepared to leave. Emotional attachment can cloud judgment and lead to an unfavourable deal.

8. Rushing the Buying Process

Finally, take your time during the car buying process. Rushing into a decision can lead to buyer’s remorse. Continue searching until you find a car that meets all your criteria, from performance and reliability to affordability and legal documentation.


Buying a pre-owned car requires careful consideration and attention to detail. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure you make a well-informed purchase. Remember, the more you know going into the deal, the better equipped you'll be to make a decision that’s right for you.


What should I check before buying a used car?
- Check the vehicle's history, take a test drive, and get a mechanic's inspection.

How do I determine the fair market value of a used car?
- Use resources like Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, Consumer Reports, and CarInfo.

What are common pitfalls in buying a used car?
- Skipping vehicle history checks, not taking a test drive, and overlooking total ownership costs.

Is it necessary to have a mechanic inspect a used car before purchase?
- Yes, a mechanic’s inspection is highly recommended.

Can I negotiate the price of a used car?
- Yes, armed with thorough research and vehicle information, you can negotiate the price.

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