How to Buy a Used Car – A Complete Guide!

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Buying a car can be a daunting task; a vehicle is, for most people, either the biggest or the second biggest purchase of their lives in terms of monetary value. So, it comes as no surprise then that caution is advisable, especially when it comes to a pre-owned/used car.

Since its advent, PakWheels has been committed to make life easier for consumers and assist them in making informed decisions. In line with this tradition, we bring you our step by step guide to buying a used car!

While buying a used car is certainly more of an art than it is a science—there are many factors at play, and there is no single correct formula—today we will be arming you with some information you should bear in mind while buying a used car, so without further ado let’s get started.

Also Read: Common Mistakes, Buyers Of Used Cars Make

Step 1: Decide Your Budget and Car Models

The first and foremost factor to consider would be your budget, more specifically, the cars that you can buy within your budget.

With PakWheels, knowing what vehicles you can buy within a particular price range is very simple, just a few clicks, and you will be able to make a list of vehicles you can buy in your present budget.

  • Download PakWheels App
  • Click on used car search, apply price filter, set your desired budget and see all the cars that are available in that price range or you can click on different price brackets on our home page to see the cars available in that bracket
  • Additionally, you can also visit our blog section and read many of our cars by budget articles

Our goal is to shortlist different vehicles that fall within your budget.

Read Here: Cars You Can Buy Under Rs10-lacs in Pakistan

Step 2: Do Your Research

Once you have made a preliminary list of vehicles that fall in your budget, it is important to do your research to finalize your choice. Do not make a decision based on want or emotion alone, ask yourself: What features do you want? Can you put up with high maintenance/refueling costs? What about resale and parts availability? Compare the same category of cars that you would choose? These questions and many others should be answered before you decide on a car. You can get an idea from our following platforms:

  • PakWheels Car Review section – You can read reviews left by users on different cars. Visit the review section here.
  • PakWheels Blog – You can read different car reviews to make a good decision
  • PakWheels Forum – You can engage and discuss with experienced auto lovers to know which cars suit you best. There are fan groups for a lot of different models and brands such as Baleno, Cultus, Honda, Toyota.
  • PakWheels YouTube Channel – We have countless reviews on all cars sold in Pakistan. These videos can make you aware of different features, pros, and cons of the cars you are interested in or falls into your budget.
  • PakWheels Facebook communities – We have very active FB groups where people from around Pakistan are discussing vehicles and their issues with each other. You can ask questions there as well.

Step 3: Make a List of Specific Vehicles You Want to Buy and Set up a Visit With the Seller

Now shortlist the cars and call the owners. Follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Go to website’s used car section.
  • Use filters to add information such as price, mileage, color, city, registered city, etc.
  • Hundreds of car ads will pop up. Summary of cars is given on this new page, and if you want a detailed summary, just click on the ad, and you will get the detailed information of the car.
  • Save the ads which seem reasonable to you so that you can contact the seller at a later time.
  • Contact your friend or any expert who knows about cars and their prices to get more insight into what you are going to buy
  • You can also use PakWheels Used Car Price Calculator as it will give a clear picture of how much money you should pay for the vehicle.
  • Call the seller or send him a message to inquire about his/her car.

Also Read: Things To Check Before Buy A Used Car

What Should You Do While Talking to The Owner/Seller?

  • Ask about the additional information regarding the car, i.e., exact mileage, availability of original documents/file, any known issue, accident history (if any), token tax to date, etc.
  • Try to get an idea if the seller is willing to give you any kind of discount on car prices or not. Remember that most of the owners will not give any kind of concession in the asking price of the car on the phone. However, there is still a margin for serious buyers. When you meet the seller, he/she can slash the asking price if they see you are willing and a serious buyer.

Once You Have Narrowed Down a Vehicle, Set up a Meeting Time and Location with the Seller!

  • Remember to meet at a neutral place, and if you are meeting at the seller’s house or his/her appointed place, take somebody with you.
  • Never go alone to meet the seller and never carry the cash – these are golden rules to follow.

Ideally bring along someone who can inspect the car so that you can make an informed decision.

Step 4: Get the Car Inspected Before Buying 

Once you have selected a vehicle, it is highly advisable to have it inspected either by a trusted mechanic or by the PakWheels inspection team, which is especially trained and properly equipped to carry out this task.

The inspection Service checks the mechanical and physical condition of the car on 200+ points and provides you with the actual picture of the car in real-time. It’s like getting the car X rayed.

Read Here: PakWheels Inspection Service

If you are knowledgeable about the car, then inspect it without any hesitation. Check for any noise coming from the car, especially the engine noise, also do check the car blow it will give you the idea in which condition the engine of the car is. Moreover, check for body rust/accidentals, body paint, suspension, tires, etc. of the car.

Learn Here: How To Inspect A Used Car Before Buying?

If the said vehicle is a JDM, it is essential that you check and verify the Auction Sheet, which comes with every car that is imported from Japan. Do not buy the car if the seller does not provide the sheet; no car comes without one. As for verification, PakWheels’ Auction Sheet Verification Service may be of help.

The auction sheet is a snapshot of the condition of the car before it goes to the Japanese port, then comes to the Pakistani port and finally lands at a dealership in Pakistan.

Read Here: Details about PakWheels Auction Service

Step 5: Take a Test Drive

Once you have selected a car, it is essential that you test drive it. This is the best way to ensure that there is no mismatch between what you were expecting and what you got. While a thorough inspection will make you aware of most flaws in the car, you can only make an informed decision once you drive the car for 3-5 kilometers and ask yourself if that is what you were expecting. A lot of people change their minds after test drives since the car was not what they wanted in the first place!

Step 6: Check the Documents

This is perhaps the most critical step. Double-check the chassis number with the one on the documents, and if there is any discrepancy, immediately stop pursuing the car. Moreover, also, check whether the book or the file of the car is duplicate or not because it affects the price of the vehicle, and many times it leads to fraud as well. Additionally, check the GD (goods declaration), BL (bill of lading), and Export Certificate as well.

Read Here: Documents You Should Check Before Buying a Car

Step 7: Payment Method

If all went as planned, then you should land at this step. However, again, you need to be careful here as well: you must avoid cash at all costs. Pay the owner by getting a Pay Order made in his name. You must have evidence and money trail of the transaction. It is advised that you carry out this transaction through your bank. Make sure to sign the Sale Receipt and Delivery Letter. Keep these in a safe place.

Step 8: Transfer the Vehicle Under Your Name

Even if the car is in your garage, the process is not complete. You must transfer the vehicle under your name, as driving on an open letter is illegal.

Step 9: Change Engine Oil, Air Filter, and Tyre 

After purchasing the car, change its engine oil, air filter, and tires, if needed. For high-quality auto products, visit PakWheels Auto Store. 

Also Read: Things To Do After Buying A Used Car!

We hope that you have a great experience in buying a used car and this guide will be helpful for you. Happy Purchasing.

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No Comments
  1. Hamza says

    Omer Arshad Bahi thanks alot…I want to buy Santro exec but ufortunatly i don’t find any good condition car in lahore….
    I want to ask 3 questions
    Q1. I m in lahore if i bought a car from Islamabad or Peshawer registration their is any problum for me from resale and diffrent city registration problum?
    Q2. Which color whould be good from touching and resale point of view?
    Q3. you have any Information about when santro starts production again in Pakistan?
    if you ans my question on my email i would be very thank id is [email protected]


    This is really interesting, recently i bought a used Suzuki carry truck from Japan,i got attracted to the mileage which was reading 6,000km thinking the vehicle has not been over used as compared to the others of 120,000km. Mean while, the truck is a 1990 model.
    Thanks for this educative information.
    Hope you still have some other related materials on what to look out for when you are purchasing a used vehicle?

  3. Adeel Abbas says

    Agreed with You the only thing make me confuse about your logic of Used car of 90000km driven car, i think 50000km is better….

  4. Adeel Abbas says

    well if you buying car from any lahori dealer or any lahori person, always confirm the mileage first and consult any mechanic first, then u will get idea whats the actual value of vehcile…..

  5. Taqi Shah says

    very useful information for satisfaction of those who have no experience.

  6. Dr-Asim Naeem says

    useful tips thanks.

  7. Junaid Ali says

    Still cant be sure 100% about paint while the mechanics do it from a half mile away.

  8. Zeeshan Haider says


  9. Faizan Abid says

    Much Appreciable.

  10. Kashif Jawad says

    very helpful info. thanks a lot.

  11. Saad Hassan Saeed Qureshi says

    nice can your clear about engine i didnt get it

  12. Muhammad Ahsan Warraich says

    need to add more detailed tips.

  13. Muhammad Ahsan Warraich says

    need to add some more detailed tips.

  14. Khuaja Asif Hassan Sahaf says

    very useful information.

  15. Mushtaq Awan says

    very useful information but i think floor should also be inspected from downside to see any cracks, corrosion, welding points and leakages

  16. Malik Pak says

    Nice post thanks for sharing.

  17. Vijay Kumar says

    nice post,very useful

  18. Ali Atta Ur Rehman says

    Wao great… can you tell me all details about KIA classic.. about its engine, speed, body, A/C and market. Acessories

  19. Muhammad Maiz Chaudhary says


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