Believe it or not, car sale & purchase is a weird activity in our market. It can give you an opportunity to own an extremely reliable [used] car via a clean deal or can be a painful experience buying an overpriced machine which later eats a lot from your pocket.
It can give you the opportunity to meet some truly honest people or show you how badly people can betray. While online car selling websites & portals have created a lot of ease in publishing an ad, misuse of the medium has also been observed to quite an alarming extent.
Related: Things That We Miss About Old Cars
I would like to share some interesting experiences which I went through while buying/ selling a car, or happened with some close connections in my social circle. Have a read & enjoy,
First Owner Car
In 2011 when I was willing to switch my Baleno, while browsing used car section on an automotive classified website, I came across an exceptionally well maintained Civic 1995. It was a first owner car as mentioned in the ad and the pictures showed a car that speaks for itself. It was no doubt one of the cleanest & gorgeous Civic 95 I ever came across. I called the seller and asked him a few questions, during which he assured that the car is a 1st owner car.
So I planned to visit the place the next day. On getting there, to my surprise I found a Civic 95 which was nowhere close to the pictures that were posted with the advertisement. It was obvious that the pictures were taken back when the guy took custody of this vehicle.
On test driving there were some suspension issues found, some power window connection problems & little work here and there. While I was already disappointed, it was found that the guy had this car for 1 year or so & didn’t even had it transferred to his name. On asking why, he stated that it will bring down the value of the car.
To further amplify the misery, he revealed that the first owner had sold this car in year 2001, and since then during all those 10 years none of the purchasers got it transferred to their name and kept running on poor owner’s name. And there was absolutely no record of how many people have used that car from 2001-2011.
Urgent Sale: Owner going abroad
It happened during Ramadan 2015 when I was looking to replace my car. Ad of an exceptionally well maintained White colored 2002 model City EXi-S appeared on internet. The car & its pictures were so tempting that it looked like the best City in town. The price mentioned was almost 100,000 lower than the market price and was tagged with an “Urgent Sale- Owner going abroad” phrase.
I immediately called the owner since in that money it was a steal deal. The guy on the other side of phone mentioned that the car is on their name and he is selling the car only because he had to leave abroad for his studies and that the car must be sold within 2 days.
On the same day on my way back from the office, I visited his place in Gulistan-e-Jauhar only to find a busted City 2002 with pale white color, rust all around the body, a dent on one side which was so deep that it actually created a hole in the body. Engine had oil spills & suspension was visually dead. I got furious and asked why didn’t he post recent pictures of his ride? And his answer was “yehi gari hay bus dhulwa k pictures lee theen mein nay…”
What an Eye!
It happened in year 2006 when an uncle of ours was selling their less than 2 year used 2004 City iDSI in Cyprus Blue color. The uncle had bought this car from his nephew and since day one was in use of their family. It was wonderfully maintained car and they were selling just because the facelift 2006 City was in the market and they wished to go for it, hence they published the ad in newspaper. After Maghrib prayers when it was already quite dark, a guy on a motorbike came to inspect the car.
Related: Guide: Buying a Used Car in Pakistan
The vehicle was standing in car-porch lit by one tube-light only. That guy walked around the car once, and immediately claimed that front left fender is repainted. The uncle got furious since the car was with them since the beginning but the guy was ever so confident with his claim. That uncle then called his nephew who got the delivery of that City from showroom, and was surprised to know that the car was actually involved in a mishap during transportation & Honda dealership had replaced the fender before delivery. Only Mr. Nephew knew about it and nobody else. The uncle was so impressed with the guy and upon asking he revealed that he works for an insurance company and it was his every day task to inspect cars. Must say, what an eye!
A faithful mechanic…
For majority of people, a mechanic is like a priest when it comes to buy, sell or maintain a car. People blindly trust him; buy whatever he recommends & refrain from a certain car he ditches. He wants people to buy a car which he can understand and fix, thus the likes of Mehran, Alto, Khyber zindabad!
Related: Is Suzuki Really That Easy to Sell?
It happened when I was selling my Baleno in 2011. Upon posting the ad several people visited, among those were these fellows. It was an old 1991 Mehran in a tragic condition that came with a young boy around 20 years old, a fat uncle, who was his father off course & their faithful mechanic in his late 20s, who looked terrified from the looks of a Baleno staring at him.
After getting out of the car, the uncle shook my hand and just like a Sheriff, ordered his canine to go sniff the car. The mechanic asked me to open the bonnet, I had already spotted that the mechanic was terribly confused. For a few minutes he was looking at the engine bay as if he was seeing an EFI engine for the first time in his life, then he asked me to start the engine.
Now when the engine is running the first thing mechanics do is to access the accelerator cable underneath the air filter housing to race up the rpm but to his surprise there was no such thing in a Baleno. He kept looking here and there and asked me “petrol pe start hay?” I revealed upon him that its an EFI car that starts on petrol and switch to CNG by itself, and he was like “… ohh!”
Then he took the uncle away at some distance and they whispered for a couple of minutes, then the uncle came to me and said “humaray matlab ki gaari nahi hai..”
Lancer and resale…
Long ago I used to own a metallic brown Lancer model 1991 & when I bought one, many people said “Lancer kioo khareed le??” some said “Lancer is like Cancer”, some said “bikti nahi, phass jaati hai” but I bought it just because I loved it. And during tenure of approximately one year with me, I was stopped thrice and asked by people whether I am willing to sell the car or not?
I know Lancers can be expensive to maintain & people generally criticize it but my experience of keeping a Lancer was fantastic. Even the experience of selling one was great. The car was trouble-free for a year with me and during some unfortunate financial troubles when I posted the ad of that car, it was sold within 2 days and went for some 20 thousand rupees more than the price I bought it for.
I am not a dealer
Our neighbors sold their Nissan Sunny FE 1997 and few days later the car was found for sale on a website with an asking price almost Rs 100,000 more than what they sold it for. I called the seller and asked him a few questions. Upon asking if the car is on their name, he said “cousin ke naam pe hay”, on asking since when do they own it, he said “4 saal se humaray paas hai”. And when I asked are you a car dealer, he said “nahi janab mein ye kaam nahi karta, bas zaroorat ki waja se baich raha hoo..”
Once my friend was looking for a Margalla so we sorted a few from Sunday’s newspaper. We had a telephonic conversation with a person who said possibly everything to praise his car. The location he mentioned wasn’t too far from my home, and as he said we will find the red Margalla standing in the street alongside his apartment. However on reaching the place there was a White Margalla instead of red as mentioned. The car was once red as there were signs of its color alongside the edges of bonnet & roof otherwise the color of this car was now White. The owner was happy with that ‘Red’ color which apparently wasn’t anymore, but he sure was an “original condition” fanatic!
If you go out to buy a car or wish to sell one, you are sure to come across several such instances. Do reply in your comments below if you have any such experience worth sharing.
This article written by Usman Ansari was originally published on Pakwheels Blog
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com