000 rpm, 000 to 6, add-ons, body work, braking system, charging system, chassis numbers, comfortable seats, CPLC website, engine response times, engine vibration, forged, gearbox, gleaming alloy rims, Guide to buying a car, inspect tyres, insurance taxation documents, Jaffer Khan, new cars, odometer readings, registration, reliable mechanic, rev engine at 5, shiny paint job, test drive, The Citizens-Police Liaison Committee, tread depth, used cars, verify documents
Buying a car in Pakistan is not an easy task; car registration numbers are often forged, chassis numbers changed and engines tampered with to modify the condition of the car, its make and specifications. Therefore, factor in the following when you go car shopping.
A. For new and used cars:
- Verify all documents. This includes registration, insurance and taxation documents. This can be done by entering the registration or chassis numbers on The Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC)’s website to ensure that the vehicle is not stolen. Before settling payment, obtain written clearance from the CPLC to certify the car’s authenticity.
- Take a test drive. Although this may seem obvious, you will be surprised by the number of people who buy a car (especially a new one) before test driving it. Therefore, no matter how attractive a car may seem, make sure you test drive it. This will allow you to use the gearbox, check the braking system and engine response times and gauge how comfortable the seats are.
B. Used Cars:
- Look beyond the surface. Do not let appearances deceive you; a shiny paint job and add-ons such as gleaming alloy rims are often used to cover up serious issues pertaining to the engine and bodywork. Take a reliable mechanic with you to inspect the car.
- Check the engine. Rev the engine at 5,000 to 6,000 rpm; if you hear ‘clunks’, or if the engine vibrates after you have switched it off, it means that the engine, battery and charging system are old and may require repair or replacement.
- Inspect the tyres. The extent of wear and tear and tread depth (exceeding three millimetres) are good indicators of the car’s actual mileage (odometer readings can be modified to fetch a higher resale price), and how roughly it has been driven.
– Jaffer Khan
First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on December 7, 2014.