Document checklist before buying a used car

Feb 13, 2022 2 min read
Document checklist before buying a used car

Vehicle's documentation is critical while selling or buying a used car. You get them when purchasing a new car, but it may not be the case when purchasing a used car. The seller may forget or avoid giving them to you. It's important to know what documents to get and check before buying a used car. Let's take a closer look at the documents that your need to check before buying a pre-owned car.

Registration certificate

If you're buying a used car, make sure you check its registration certificate (RC) first. As an identity document for the car and owner, this RC proves that its information corresponds to that given on the car. If you can't get an original RC, always ask for one and walk away. Check for ownership details like the first or second owner, and an authentic RC will have all of this information.


Check car insurance if you wish to have the remaining insurance policy transferred to your name. Before transferring insurance, be sure to check the policy's expiration date, whether the premium is paid on time, and the seller's claim history. Understand the insurance documents' terms and conditions, including exclusions.

If the buyer wishes to obtain a new insurance policy for the car, do this before sale to prevent the discontinuation of the insurance. It's worth noting that getting insurance for a vehicle over 15 years old is quite challenging.

Vehicle purchase invoice

When purchasing a used car from a company or dealership, the buyer has received an invoice, but it is difficult for an individual seller to do so. The seller must provide receipt in this case.

When transferring ownership, you'll also need copies of the buyer's and seller's identity and address documents, as well as the buyer's PAN card and a Clearance Certificate (CC) from the RTO.

Service book

A service book, also known as the "blue book," is a record of the services a vehicle has received. The meter readings at each service also reveal if tampered the vehicle's odometer, so you can tell if it was properly maintained or not. Before coming to conclusions about a car, read the blue book thoroughly.

Form 28, 29, 30 and 35

Make sure the buyer has no outstanding loans before having the deal. Check if the seller has taken out a loan from a financer or company. The financer must provide no objection certificate stating they paid the entire loan.

Road tax receipt

Because it is a one-time payment, the first buyer pays the road tax. Non-payment of road tax can result in a huge penalty, costing lakhs of rupees in some cases. If the new owner does not have a road tax receipt from the seller, they will pay the penalty costs. Also, keep in mind that the road tax varies from 2 percent to 18 percent state-by-state.

Additional Documents

Pollution certificate

Pollution under control certificate (PUCC) is a mandatory document. It measures your car's emissions. Emission levels provide an understanding of the health of a vehicle's engine. It is also available from a PUC center separately.

Dual fuel certificate

The registration certificate should mention that the vehicle is dual-fuel capable, i.e., it runs on both fuel and compressed natural gas (CNG). The seller should also provide an RTO-issued NOC. Get a retrofitted kit receipt from seller.

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