everything you need to know while buying a used car

Buying a Used Car: Everything You Need to Know

April 15, 2024 • 486 views

For a first-time car buyer, choosing the right car makes all the difference! Buying a used car is a perfect choice if you want to save a substantial amount, enjoy no waiting period, pay lower insurance cost, slower depreciation rate, etc. As a first time car buyer, you must know all the prerequisites and tips for buying a used car. Read on! 

Guidelines to Buy a Used Car

You must ask a few basic questions before choosing a used car:

1. Should I Buy a New or Used Car?

You can choose between a new or used car depending on the budget. However, if you choose a used car. You access to high-end features of a top-notch car at lower price. Also, you save on heavy initial payments while choosing a used car over a new car.

2. How Expensive Should My First Car Be?

To buy a good second-hand car with high-performance levels, you can expect to pay between Rs. 2 Lakh – Rs. 4 Lakh. On the contrary, you may have to spend over Rs. 6 lakh on a brand-new car.

It is a good idea to buy a car with your preferred features instead of spending lakhs on a new car with only limited features. You can only enjoy the true essence of driving in a vehicle of your preference and choosing a second-hand car improves your options.

3. What Kind of Car Should I Get - Hatchback, Saloon, or SUV?

You need to understand what each category of cars offers. Hatchbacks are smaller vehicles and are known to be much more fuel-efficient when compared to SUVs and sedans. They provide a smooth ride across city streets and are much easier to park.

On the other hand, sedans offer a balance between fuel efficiency, comfort and space. They are also lighter in weight and smaller in size. Sedans also prompt ease with handling and steering precision. All in all, they also provide an overall smooth driving experience.

SUVs have an increased seating capacity and more cargo room. They are bigger compared to regular cars. SUVs are ideal if you’re planning a year full of off-road driving expeditions. These cars sit higher and prompt improved ground clearance.

So, depending on the types of road journeys you more frequently undertake – you should make your choice among the different types of cars. Many people prefer hatchbacks as their first car because of their lower cost and uncompromised efficiency.   

4. What Cars Cost Less to Insure?

Used cars which cost the least to insure could be under Rs. 1 lakh in India. As the insurance premium is calculated based on the price of a car, lower-cost used cars carry the lowest premium costs. Insurance rates also depend on where you, the vehicle owner, live.

Cars which are smaller in size are more likely to come with the lowest applicable insurance rates. The second-hand, inexpensive models (yet equipped with dependable safety features) are going to cost much less to insure, compared to an extravagant supercar.  

However, make sure to ask the insurance companies for a specific quote on a car before you make the final purchase. This step is important because the insurance rates depend on several factors and a transparent idea about how much you may have to pay will keep you away from potential financial burden.

5. How Do I Know How Much a Car Will Cost to Run?

You need to take your car to the garage every 6 months or 1 year to keep its performance levels at a high and improve overall functionality. An interim car service may cost around Rs. 5000. Apart from insurance premiums, the service costs and fees for pollution checks also add up to the amount spent on car maintenance.

This is the cost of regular maintenance alone; in case of broken parts or repairs, you will have to much more to keep your car running. The cost of running a car also depends on factors like the amount of fuel burnt (which in turn depends on how much you drive the vehicle and how you drive it).

If you drive your car more than often, there is increased consumption of diesel or petrol. Depending on your car’s fuel economy, you can approximately calculate the total cost of operating your car.

6. Should I Get a Petrol, Diesel or Electric Car?

Cars running on petrol are much less expensive than cars consuming diesel or electricity. Petrol car engines are small and light when compared to diesel engines. With overall better acceleration power and polished safety features, petrol cars serve as the ideal family cars. These are a popular choice among first-time car buyers due to their compact size and fuel efficiency.

Diesel cars are known to offer better mileage across long distances and drive on highways. They are also more fuel efficient owing to a higher fuel density.

Finally, electric cars are on the more expensive side. They are easier to manoeuvre without a complicated control system. Plus, you can charge your vehicle if required by simply plugging it into a public/home charger.

One of our top tips for buying a car would be for you to pick the category of car based on your specific road-journey requirements.

7. How Do I Know if a Car is Safe?

You should take your selected used car out for a test drive before buying it to avoid problems in the future. As an additional measure, have a mechanic check out all the major car systems including the transmission, engine, wheels, cooling, etc. Post-inspection, you can be sure whether or not the used car in question is in as good condition as the seller claims it is.

Additionally, check the registration documents to make sure the seller is the legal owner of the car. It is an important measure to undertake to ensure your safety from legal cases in the future, as the new owner of said vehicle.

8. What is a Warranty?

A warranty is a written document guaranteeing certain services in relation to a car, entitling the purchaser to them. If a used car comes with a warranty, you must know of its perks to make the best out of your investment.

Second-hand car warranties usually assure free vehicle service up to a certain period. As part of the service package, repairs of crucial components like the exhaust system, braking system, steering wheel, suspension, engine, tyres, etc., are included - if any of them malfunction or prematurely fail. If the dealer cannot restore your car’s performance post-servicing, you can potentially request a refund.

Also Read - Important Features to Check Before Buying a Pre-owned Car

9. What is the Best Financing Option to Buy a New/Old Car?

To further simplify your used car-buying experience, Poonawalla Fincorp offers a Pre-Owned (Used) Car Loan which you can use to purchase the car of your dreams! You no longer have to worry about gathering enough funds at once to buy the vehicle. Instead, you can apply for a loan of up to Rs. 75 Lakh.

The loan application process is hassle-free and requires you to present minimal documentation. Plus, you can be assured of quick loan approvals, disbursal and even a flexible repayment tenure. Once you meet the basic eligibility criteria, proceed to apply for the used car loan online.  

Also Read - 5 Things to Know Before Borrowing a Pre-Owned Car Loan

To Conclude

Make sure you choose the type of car that aligns with your requirements, check whether it's in as good condition as the seller claims, and be aware of its warranty perks. Also, you can apply for Poonawalla Fincorp’s Used Car Loan to finance your car purchase.


We take utmost care to provide information based on internal data and reliable sources. However, this article and associated web pages provide generic information for reference purposes only. Readers must make an informed decision by reviewing the products offered and the terms and conditions. Pre-Owned Car Loan disbursal is at the sole discretion of Poonawalla Fincorp.
*Terms and Conditions apply

poonawalla fincorp team

Poonawalla Fincorp Team

Our team of expert writers and editors are passionate about providing authentic and valuable information on finance. Our aim is to simplify financial and finance-related concepts. We strive to help our readers become more aware and empowered to make informed financial decisions.

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