The market for used cars in India is massive, so much so that it is almost 50% bigger than that of new cars. Considering the average ticket size, road and traffic conditions, hatchback rules the roost for second hand cars in India.

Millions of Indians prefer to buy second hand cars, especially hatchbacks. If you too are looking to buy used cars, here are a few tips to keep in mind when you go in for an inspection.

Two heads are better than one

Take a trusted mechanic or friend who understands cars along with you. This helps you get an extra pair of eyes and an expert opinion about whether the car is in good condition. You also get some help in terms of negotiating on the price as well.

Play detective

How the hatchback will perform largely depends on how it was used. Ask questions about who drove it, what was the car used for, average run time per day, accidents and repairs. Talk about service history, maintenance and performance as well. While the owner may not be completely truthful, it gives you a rough idea of what to expect.

Make a thorough external inspection

Sellers will put up the best of photos, and swear that the car is in excellent condition. However, wear and tear will always be there. Check the body for dents, scratches and the quality of the paint job. Check the tires and inspect for rust and cracks on the frame, especially the undercarriage.

Pop the hood

The engine is the heart of the car and a primary indicator of functioning health. Look for fraying or discoloration of pipes and hoses. Check the timing belt and oil stains on the engine. Inspect fluid levels and enquire when they were last changed. It will tell you a lot about how the car was maintained.

Check the interiors

Spend some time inside the car. Legroom can be a major issue with hatchbacks of different sizes. Check the upholstery, switch on the AC and tinker around with the settings. Also, check the power windows, seatbelts and locking mechanisms. Inspect all documentation and insurance, and verify with the owner’s details.

Take it for a spin

The best way to understand the condition of the hatchback is to take it for a test drive. Drive both in traffic and on empty roads to understand how the car responds. Check for acceleration, brakes and maneuverability.

Negotiate tactfully

If possible, spread your negotiations over a couple of sessions. This gives you time to soften the seller and get your finances in place. You may want to opt for used car finance and figure your real cost of investment.

You can make an application in minutes with Tata Capital’s used car loan and get up to 95% loan for a hatchback across any price point. With over 200+ branches across 140 cities, Tata Capital is the preferred choice for a used car loan in India.