SBT Car News

Tips on Buying Used Cars

For the car lovers having limited budget, buying a used car is the last resort. Used cars are available in different prices according to their condition. A person buying a car for the very first time needs to have all the required information regarding the car that he/ she wishes to buy. One has to be very cautious selecting a suitable car for them.

Online Research

Check online database for car sale and also look for customers’ feedback on the specific model you are interested in buying. This is the most reliable way to gauge the pros and cons of buying a used car for the very first time or for an individual buyer who is not well acquainted from the car industry. You should also look for the online database of car importing and exporting companies, their profile and their customers’ (individual customers, car dealers) views. Also look for customer satisfaction and inquiries about car or the mentioned issues regarding the car if there are any. This will help you decide whether it’s worth investing your money in a specific model or not.

online research of the car
Selecting a Car

Once you have decided about the company that you are going to start your business with. The second step is to decide about the specific brand and model after judging if the model that you are looking for is the one that is recommended by most of the customers and has very few or no problems.

selecting  a car

Familiarize with the Car’s Condition, Equipments and General History

You need to do a bit of research on the car’s general history along with inside knowledge of the car’s features, accessories and equipments it is loaded with.

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Check sheet

A well known auction house always displays a check sheet for verification of the car condition. So always look for one as check sheet is the only authentic document that gives you the clear picture of what you are buying. All the details regarding transmission, mileage, cc, interior and exterior features of the car, damages and repairs, car grade and condition are given in the check sheet.



check sheet



The very first important aspect of buying a used car is checking the mileage of the car.
As Japan is very concerned about environment, roads and the overall experience of driving, even the used cars keep a very low mileage.

low mileage 2

If the check sheet shows that the engine is working properly. You should arrange an independent mechanic to get your car engine inspected. If you have a friend in the same country that you are buying the car from, it is going to be very helpful, you can even ask your friend for the test drive.



Auction Grade

Auction grade also known as the car grade is an evaluation of the condition of the car based on the numbers and alphabets denoting the condition. Numbers denote the exterior and mechanical condition of the car and the alphabet usually denotes the interior condition of the car. The higher the car grade is the less problematic and more mechanically fit it is for example: a car with 4.5 grades means excellent exterior and mechanical condition and grade ‘A’ means excellent interior.

auction grade - Copy



If you are fun loving, want to get CD player installed or any other accessory, request your agent or dealer to get all these gadgets installed. If these gadgets are already installed, make sure that they are working properly.

car accessories


Overall Condition of the Car

Checking the overall condition of the car is the most vital step when buying a used car.
Look for the interior and exterior condition of the car, maintenance records if any. Also get it verified if the car is accidental or repaired. All these information can easily be gathered from the check sheet of the car.

overall condition of the car


Used Car Service Records

The service records are usually not available but it is suggested to get your hands on the service records. If you find any proof from the owner of the car who kept it maintained regularly, you can analyze the condition of the engine too.

used car service records
Car Documents

If anyone is buying a used car from Japan directly than it is advisable to gather the following documents: original registration book, inspection certificate, export certificate, Bill of sale, Vehicle history report, Bill of lading. If you are buying a used car from an auction house, make sure that they have sent you an auction sheet of the car.

car documents


Actual Cost of Vehicle

Actual cost of vehicle is based on the CIF price (cost of the car, insurance charges and freight charges) that is mentioned on the Performa invoice of the car. Import duty charges are also added to the total cost of the car at the time of getting the car cleared from the port. Import duty charges depend on the car model and type, cc of the car and most importantly if the car’s registration month is a good month or a bad month. It also requires the year of registration of the car. In the end there is the fee of local clearing agent who helps you get your car cleared from the port.

local agent


Local Agent

Consulting a local agent is most recommended when it comes to clearing your car from the port. A local agent has deep knowledge of the process of car clearing from the port. He is responsible for advising you on the import duty charges, sometimes helps you get discounts too. You can also ask him/ her to calculate import duty charges for you. This helps you decide on the car that you are planning to buy without altering your limited budget. A local agent also helps in selecting a consignee for you as well.

local agent


Mode of Payment

You should know all modes of making payment of the car. Ask the dealer or your sales agent if you are required to make 50% or 100% payment or if the payment is based on installment. In case of an individual buyer you should opt for the installments but if you are going to run a used car business you should go for the 100% payment. It gives a very good impression on your car supplier company.

payment mode