When you start your hunt to buy a used car, the most common catchphrase you’ll come across in newspaper ads, online classifieds and most commonly used by car dealers/ brokers and the sellers themselves is the overly emphasized ‘original condition.’
Related: 8 Ways to Make Your Old Car Feel New
What might come to your mind is a picture of used car in an exquisite condition; however the reality can be totally opposite. That’s because in our market the term original condition has been badly misused for a long time. Let us try to understand the true meaning of original condition, what you should expect and when exactly this term should be appropriately used.
The whole idea is to keep your old car look & feel as good as new despite being used for a long period of time. Obviously if you are looking to buy a couple of years old car you will naturally get one in really good knick. But if you are getting your hands on a car that’s more than 5 years old, a lot depends on how the car has been used by the owner since during all these years a lot can go wrong with the car and it primarily matters how the previous owner has taken care of it.
And if someone has taken good care of their older vehicles, they surely deserve some praise and may as well demand more compared to other ordinarily maintained vehicles available for sale in the market. In its rightfulness, the original condition should define a used car that is as good as the new one standing in the showrooms without undergoing any repair work.
For example, the exterior of the car remains shiny and spotless as good as new, despite being old. The interior gives the same feeling of new with seats in their originality without any scratches or being ragged. The dashboard remains in its true form without any cracks or signs of misuse, thus the overall condition of the car inside & out remains true to its original condition, the way it came out from the showroom on day one.
Ironically however, what we come across in used car market is the original condition with paint completely faded having lost its shine long ago but the owner never considered it getting repainted since it will lose its originality. I personally came across a used Suzuki Margalla which was advertised as ‘red’ but upon reaching there I found a now ‘white’ Margalla which once used to be red and the owner was an original condition fanatic.
Similarly we see cars with broken interior bits, abused seats, adulterated door panels and torn dashboards in the name of original. Headlamps become pale and lost all their ability to illuminate but since that was what came fitted with the car, the owners think installing new headlamps will be a compromise on genuineness and will bring down the value of the car.
Sometimes cars that even involve in minor accidents aren’t repaired since the owners’ claim if repaired will bring down the value of car so they prefer keeping it ‘original’. The affected areas tend to develop rust marks and at times may even convert into holes but unfortunately all that is counted among the blessings of the originality of used cars in our market.
Redefining the so-called ‘original’
Most of this is to be blamed to the dealers & brokers who tend to bring down the prices of repainted cars no matter how well maintained they are. Interestingly in this day & age with information on the fingertips and automotive knowledgeable content is available on the internet in the form of blogs, videos and images, it is quite easy for anyone to identify a well maintained car even if it’s repainted.
Plus ultimately we as buyers will have to come forward to act responsibly if we have to stop the misuse of the term original condition. We should be able to understand the true meaning of original and should stop paying ridiculous amount of money for old abused cars in the name of being original.
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