March 25, 2010

Tips on buying used cars in Nepal

A used car salesman, by his very trade, cannot be completely honest. If he were, he’d be a poor businessman. Its his job to sell you a car, and its your job to figure out what’s the best deal for you. So here a few tips on how to make best use of your budget and get the best used car deal.

What are you looking for in a car?
It’s a simple question, but the answer may be complicated. Are you sure you know what you really want? Be honest with yourself - are you looking for an ego booster? Is it just for basic commuting? Do you plan long road trips? Do you just plan to use it for only a few years and sell it off soon? Figuring out the real reason for buying a car will make your purchase a better one.

Secret to the best deal
The best used car to buy is one which has hardly been run. It is possible to get cars run only 5,000 – 10,000 kilometers, 1-2 years old, which look and feel quite new. The advantage is you’re getting an almost new car at a very reasonable price, a couple of lakhs lower than the showroom price. However, if those are beyond your budget, you’ll have to settle for something older.

Search car sites for available options
Before we begin, let’s get one thing clear. No one ever buys cars online. A website selling cars is just providing information related to cars, helping you, hopefully, to make a better, more informed decision. Car related information like technical specifications of the car model in question, options and features of the car, prices, reviews, and of course, information on where to find that particular car should give you a good idea on which model is a better deal for you. Once you’ve narrowed your list to a few cars, you should go for a test drive, preferably with a knowledgeable friend or trusted mechanic who can give you feedback on the mechanical condition of the car. provides a good range of used cars for sale in Nepal. You just might find your perfect car without much hassle through this site. EasyCars has a nice collection from both used car dealers in Kathmandu as well as individuals selling on their own. The advantage of EasyCars is you can browse for the latest version of that car (the current version in the showroom), and another site you can try is, which lists cars in Kathmandu as well.

Browsing Indian car sites are a good way of comparing specs between different cars, but remember that conditions will be different for India and Nepal, so that should not be your final measuring tool.

Shop around different car dealers for the right price
Smaller dealers (5-6 cars in their showroom) will generally give you a better price than larger dealers with big showrooms (20-30 cars in their showrooms). Large dealers can afford to wait for some time to get a better price, but small dealers would rather sell with lower margins and move on to the next sale.

If you’ve already been searching for used cars for sometime in Nepal, you probably already realize that prices can vary by a substantial amount from dealer to dealer. Yes, its complicated. If you’re getting a Maruti Alto 2001 model for Rs.750,000 in one place, a different seller may be quoting Rs.810,000. So, if you’ve visited at least 4-5 places in town, you know what the average going rate is.

Price depends on many factors
The price of a used car in Nepal will depend on many factors:
  • The mileage on the car – basically, the lesser kilometers on the odometer, the better value on the car. It is logical, since the more the car has run, it goes to reason that it has suffered more wear and tear on its mechanical part.
  • Age of the car – again, very logical. The newer the car is, the more expensive it is bound to be. Cars are not like wine. Older cars mean more depreciation, so they’ll be cheaper with age.
  • Ever been in an accident – if the car in question has been in a major accident, then its value decreases drastically. Look for broken seals beneath the car bonnet to determine if there has been any major structural damage.
  • General condition of the car – logically, the better maintained a car is, the higher you’ll have to pay for it. However, take care to run it through a mechanic first. It is easy to like a nice looking shiny car, but there may be hidden mechanical faults not readily visible.
How does it look?
Even if you’re buying a used car, you’d still want it to look nice, wouldn’t you? A general rule of thumb is that if the previous owner has taken care to maintain the looks of the car, he has probably been a careful driver and taken good care of the mechanical parts of the car as well.

Definitely take it for a test drive
When you’re buying a used car, what you see is not necessarily what you get. I’ve said it already, but I’ll say it again. You must take it on a test drive to ensure you’ve really gotten a good deal. Is the previous owner selling it for earnest reasons, or because the car was giving too many problems? If you haven’t bought it yet, you have all the right to find out before you do.

Should you buy a car that has been in an accident?
Even though a car has been in an accident, it does not mean that it is a poor purchase. But there are dozens of used cars for sale in Kathmandu. If you search well enough or are willing to wait, you should be able to come across one eventually. So with all the choices, why buy one that has been in a major accident? Unless, of course, you are on a tight budget and that is all you can afford.

Are you selling it soon? – check resale value
If you do not plan to use the car for too long, look for a car which has a high resale value. The best selling used cars in Nepal at the moment are tried and tested models – Toyota Corolla, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Sunny and Nissan Super Saloon, Maruti Alto, Hyundai Santro, and Daihatsu Terios. These cars can be sold off easily, and you will probably not lose too much money when you’re reselling it. On the other hand, it is tougher to sell cars like Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Matrix, Maruti Zen Estilo, Opel Corsa, or Kia Rio, and you need to be prepared to lose some money in the exchange.

Grab it when you find it
It is tempting to keep on searching for a better deal, but if you’ve done your research well enough, you should know when to recognize a good bargain. Grab it immediately if you see it. Good cars don’t last long in the market, there are too many people looking for a good deal for that car to wait for you to make up your mind.

So here you go, some tips to help you find the right car for you. Hope it was helpful, and share your own tips / experiences on buying used cars in Nepal.

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