Car Documents – Checks For Buying A Used Car
Used car trade is a highly unorganised business in India and with the advent of scores of online portals to enable used car trade, the onus is on the buyer to make sure that the transaction is genuine. Stolen vehicles or scrap cars are routinely sold to unsuspecting buyers by unscrupulous dealers. So, is there a way to ensure that you are not being conned? Checking the Car documentsÂ can give a lot of clarity about the origin and condition of the car. Here are some simple tips:
Check the Registration Certificate (RC)
The RC book is the most important car document that accompanies a vehicle. It certifies the owner that the car indeed belongs to him and also lists various details of the car. It is very important to have the RC in your car.Â Driving a car without an RC book illegal in India. Here is a sample RC:
The above picture is a sample of the latest smart RC issued by the TN RTO. Older forms were in paper format but had the same details essentially.Â The RC carries the vehicle’s engine number and chassis number. Make sure that this tallies with the number on the engine and chassis.
Loan Lien – If a car has a loan against it, the RC will have an endorsement that hypothecates the car to the lender. Even if the loan has been paid off, unless proper documents of loan closure are submitted to the RTO, this endorsement will stay on the RC. If you buy a used-car with the loan lien endorsement, legally your car belongs to the lender. So make sure that there is no loan lien endorsement on the RC.
Duplicate Registration Certificate (DRC) – In the event of a loss of the original RC, the RTO issues a DRC to the owner of the car. If you notice that the used car that you are buying is a DRC, request to see the original invoice of the car. The invoice will serve as a counter verification for the DRC. It would certify that the DRC was not obtained by any fraudulent means.
Ask for the Original Manual
Most car owners keep the original manual that came with the car at the time of purchase. Even if the car has had more than one previous owner, the original manual should have changed hands along with the car. A well kept manual is indicative of careful maintenance of the car.
Ask for the Service History
If a car has had regular service done at the service station, then it is likely that a service history is available with the owner. But in many cases, this history is either unavailable or incompletely maintained. In such cases, look for a service station’s sticker on the car. Calling up that service station with the car registration number might yield you the car’s service history. This would also act as a counter check to the odometer reading on the car.
Check the Insurance Documents
See the car’s insurance papers to make sure that there is no gap in the car’s insurance. The insurance premium is at a considerable discount if there had been no previous claims on the car indicating a clean record.
Insist on a Duplicate Key
An original owner of the car would certainly posses a duplicate key that came with the car at the time of purchase. Most of the smart keys that accompany cars these days cannot be duplicated by ordinary locksmiths and only the car dealership can make one for you.
At TSM, we diligently check for all these to make sure that we transact only with genuine buyers and sellers and the client walks away with a complete guarantee from us. We also ensure that the car has not been involved in major accidents or floods and the interior and exterior are in very good condition.