In July of 2020, I decided to buy a used car, within 1 week or less, amidst lockdown. The cherry on top, I already sold my Suzuki Cultus to CarFirst.
I had been driving a 2011 Suzuki Cultus for 4 years and I was way over-due for an upgrade.
This is a technical guide on how I bought a used car, what steps I followed while buying a used car and what I did afterwards.
- Deciding which I want to buy
- Searching for a used car
- Steps to follow while buying a used car including what information to get on the call, visiting the seller, and conveying an offer.
- Payment and paperwork
- What to do afterward
Before anything, decide what you want.
This step is a pre-requisite, you have to decide which car you want before mindlessly searching for used cars on Pakwheels or OLX.
This step is easy, just list down the things you want from your car along with your budget.
I listed following things for myself:
- I wanted a 2014-17 model
- I wanted power steering and power windows
- I wanted good trunk space
- I wanted to stay within Rs. 2M budget
- I wanted a locally manufactured car with accessible service centers
I shortlisted following cars after listing down the features and budget:
- Suzuki Ciaz
- Toyota Corolla (GLI)
- Honda City
Suzuki Ciaz was my first choice as it had airbags with a 1.4L engine. I crossed Suzuki Ciaz off my list because there weren’t many people in Rawalpindi/Islamabad selling this car and as it was available as a CBU in Pakistan, parts availability seems to be a big issue even though having a wide networks of dealerships and service centers.
I crossed Toyota Corolla (GLI) off from my list right away. I had driven GLI and I didn’t like the driving posture, the interior of the car and it felt under-powered. The only thing good about Corolla (GLI) is its exterior.
I was not a fan of Honda City but it was well under my budget, it has all the features that I wanted and the dealership/service center was on 15 minutes drive from my home. After some consideration, I decided to go with Honda City 1.5 Aspire in manual transmission as I wanted that extra Umph.
Searching for a used car
I checked cars on Pakwheels, OLX and Facebook groups and figured that Pakwheels has the right sellers and a UI built specifically for buying or selling a used car.
It was finally time to search for a Honda City 1.5 Aspire in MT. The only problem; I was under a heavy workload and I was sleeping throughout the day and working throughout the night and I didn’t have time to search for it.
I created a Google Sheet and created a set of SOPs that needs to be followed for buying a used car in Pakistan and shared that sheet with my wife.
Here’s the screenshot of the sheet:
I delegated shortlisting sellers of Honda City 1.5 in Rawalpindi/Islamabad and scheduling a time visit them to my wife.
Steps to follow while buying a used car in Pakistan
I created this Google Sheet for SOPs that needs to be followed for buying a used car in Pakistan.
I delegated Step 1-6 to my wife as I was sleeping throughout the day and working throughout the night.
Day 1: My wife shortlisted 21 potential cars that we could buy and added them on Google Sheet. She then called them one-by-one and followed the steps listed in the Google Sheet.
Out of 21 potential cars, she scheduled visiting time with 7 potential sellers the very next day, which was Sunday, all back-to-back, from 1:00PM to 7:00PM.
Here’s a screenshot of how she shortlisted the potential sellers.
I took melatonin so I can sleep early and wakeup before 1:00 PM and meet all the potential sellers.
Day 2: I woke up excited knowing that I will be possibly buying a car for myself that I will be using for the years to come.
I took my brother-in-law’s car and met all 7 potential sellers and followed Step-7 and 8 as I listed in this Google Sheet.
By 7:00 PM I had visited all 7 potential sellers and I got a call from the very first seller that I had met who accepted my offer of 19,70,000/- for his 2015 Honda City 1.5 Aspire MT in white color.
I hired a trusted mechanic who inspected the car for me and ensured that there were no underlying issues, i.e, I will not regret buying this car. I originally wanted to use Pakwheel’s inspection service but I didn’t had the patience nor the time.
By 8:00PM on Sunday, I had finalized the deal and we were all set to go with the transition of handing over the car the very next day, which was Monday.
Payments and paperwork
I had decided from the start that I will only send funds to the owner via IBFT, Pay order or Cross Cheque.
My original plan was that I will send Rs. 1M to the seller via IBFT and hand over him a cheque of full amount. He will hand over the car along with all documents and I will transfer the car on my name the very next day and send him the remaining funds via IBFT and he will return the cheque. This is a standard procedure that most car dealers follow.
But, my seller needed cash urgently for his family emergency. So we negotiated that we will meet outside his bank, he will hand me over the keys and document of the car and he will deposit the Pay Order of the full amount in his bank. His bank manager assured him that the funds will be deposited into his bank account within 48 hours or less. It was a win-win for both of us.
After payment was negotiated, it was time for the paperwork. My seller was the second owner of his car and he never transferred the car on his name. He had biometric that is needed for the transfer from the first owner.
The deal was almost going south-ways as I was hesitant from buying the car from him. Luckily, the first owner was his friend and we negotiated that the first owner, the car’s original owner on the paper will meet me in the bank and we will sign a deed stating that I have bought the car from the first owner but had transferred funds to his friend’s bank account.
I hope you are still following the whole thing 😬
Day 3: I got up early and went to my bank for Pay Order. I then met the seller and his friend outside of the seller’s bank. He handed over the keys and documents and deposited the Pay Order in his bank.
We then went and signed a deed agreement.
So by Day 3, I got myself a used car that I was happy with. I parked the car in my garage and had a good night sleep.
What to do afterward buying a used car in Pakistan
These are some of the things I did after I bought the car, some of the things are optional and some are mandatory:
- I transferred the car in my name the very next day while the Pay Order was still under clearance. Call me crazy but I wanted the whole transition to go smoothly.
- I changed all keyholes and locking system from Honda service center. Again, call me crazy.
- I changed all fluids and filters from the Honda service center.
- I changed tires to brand new tires.
- I thought of buying insurance but it was not worth it for a 5 years old used car.
All-in-all, I had bought a used car in Pakistan within 7 days including the after-purchase services.
I literally don’t have a standalone photo of my car in my phone so here’s a photo of my brother posing in front of the car.
I do hope you like the guide and you can take something from my experience when you get around on buying a used car in Pakistan.