Buying a reconditioned car, do and don’ts.

The current market in Bangladesh is dominated by recondition/refurbished cars, mainly of Japanese origin. These car’s conditions range from barely used pristine examples to something that actually better off being used as an oversized paperweight.  So if you are buying a car, make sure to consider these few steps:

Pick a brand: Much like everything else, each carmaker builds their car differently. If you want a car that is boring but cheap to maintain, will go on for decades without any kind of care and still retain a decent resale value, buy a Toyota. If you like your car to be a little nippy at the cost of lower resale value and expensive parts, get a Honda. And if you are that narcissist that has more money than common sense, go pick up a Mazda. Overall, look up the pros and cons of all the brand and have a general plan of how you plan to use the car for the next five and what are you going to do with it after that.

Pick a type: Each type of car serves a specific purpose. A sedan is a perfect all-rounder that can do most thing a person wants from a car. However, if your life revolves around moving a lot of stuff together at once, you might want to consider a wagon. If you have a large family, like to take your car through rough terrain or just simply enjoy being the biggest source of irritation on any city road, get an SUV. That said, if your wallet or ego is not big enough to warrant that, you can be very happy with a crossover or MPV.

Color is a factor: A surprising amount of people don’t realize this, but maintaining the color of a car can quickly become a very expensive and tedious process. This is doubly true if your car is painted in an unusual color. Colors like Toyota-040 (Glacier White) are cheap and can be fixed on a budget but your bank account will chafe if your car is painted with something like Toyota-6W5 (Luminous Green Mica Met0029! This means you have a choice to make, either pick a bland color and be happy with the low maintained cost and higher resale value or pick a color that represents you and deal with the consequences.  Alternatively, you can vinyl wrap your, but that has its own host of problems and is better discussed in another article.

Check the car for damage: The problem with the recondition car is they are not fresh out of the factory. That means someone before you used the car as their own. And most of them do take care of their car, some are more careless or unfortunate than others. So when buying a car, check it for uneven paint, unusual bulge/indentation, or weld marks. If you find any, ask the seller. They might admit the issue, and leave you with a decent bargaining tool.  However, if they try to dismiss it or outright refuse its existence, you better take your business elsewhere.

Double check the auction papers: This is pretty much self-explanatory, but checking the auction papers to ensure that you are actually getting the car you are paying for is a really good idea. Sometimes some dealers will charge for options/extra features in a car that isn’t actually. In extreme cases, they might even swap the engine!  So do cross-check the engine and chassis number and if you can, the options list. The latter is often difficult as it is usually only written in Japanese.

Look up the seller: As exemplified in the two previous statements, the company selling you the car may not have the most honest of intents.  So it is in your best interest to look up the seller before of agree to buy anything from them. You can do a little digging through social sites and the internet in general and might end up with some interesting information. Word of mouth is also a great source, so if anyone you know about a car from them, do ask them how they deal turned out for them.

Inspect the car through a professional garage: A car can have a myriad of problems that cannot be detected through a cursory glance. The wheel alignment may be off, the gasket may be is blown, the brakes lines may be corroded, etc. So before agreeing on a deal, it is best to take the car to a professional mechanic and thoroughly inspect it for any damage.  Navana, Rahimafrooz, and a few other facilities provide such service in Dhaka. I

Get worthwhile insurance: A lot of people insure their car because it is a legal requirement. However, since it is a requirement, most people see it as more of an obstacle than an actual good idea. Thus they go for the cheapest option they can find. This is a terrible idea as it means you are effectively throwing away all the money you have invested in your car. You are better of getting good full coverage insurance, at least for the first two years. This way, not only your car is better off during an accident, but you also get most of your money back if the car is totaled for some reason. In short, expensive insurance is an extra expense until the day it isn’t.