Documents to Check when Buying a Used Car

Documents to Check when Buying a Used Car

Documents to Check when Buying a Used Car

Used car market has been growing faster than the new car market for the last few years now. There are many reasons for it, ranging from affordability to not having to face any sort of waiting period. In fact, buying a used car makes better financial sense most of the time. So,going for a used car is not at all a bad idea.

However, among the things to check before buying a used car in India are not just limited to the condition of the car but even the paperwork. Today, in this post, we tell you about the car document list you need to inspect while purchasing a second-hand car. 

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Why is it important to Check documents when Buying a Used Car?

It’s only after a lot of research and hard work that one finally finds a used car worth buying. Once you have found the car that you find worth buying, an important task is to do a car documents check. Through a legalised way of paperwork, you can transfer the ownership of the vehicle to your name. 

While this process might look complex, it’s unavoidable as it’s the most important task while buying a pre-owned car. To help you easily take care of all the documentation, we have come up with a step by step guide which will answer the most significant question: “What are the documents required for second hand car purchase?”

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What all Documents to Check when Buying a Used Car?

1. Registration Certificate (RC)

Of course, among the most important car documents check you need to do is to have a closer look at the registration certificate. The information on the RC, such as the chassis number and the engine number, should match the information on the plate you can find in the engine bay.

In case you find any discrepancy, simply walk away. Also keep an eye on details such as total number of owners and the date of registration. 

Registration Certificate (RC)

2. Invoice of Car Purchase

The invoice is provided to the original buyer of the car by the dealership from where it has been bought. This invoice provides important information such as the date of purchase and the ex-showroom price at which the vehicle has been purchased. 

 Invoice of Car Purchase

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3. Insurance Documents

All vehicles are mandated by the law to have a valid insurance policy. Another reason to ask the seller for the insurance policy is to get knowledge about all the claims that have been made by the previous owner(s).

This also tells you if the car was involved in a major accident or not. In case the new owner has continued with the existing insurance policy, he/she will have to get it transferred into his/her name.

Also, you should check the expiry date of the insurance policy as renewal would incur extra cost.The buyer should also examine the inclusions and the exclusions in the policy. It’s important to conduct a proper inspection of the insurance papers before paying for the vehicle. 

 Insurance Documents

4. Service Records book

The service record book is also known as the blue book. It shows all the services the owner has availed at the authorised dealerships.

It also provides info about the various service intervals. Finally, it also gives you a fair idea of the odometer reading about the kms that the car has run. 

Service Records book

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5. RTO Forms: 28,29 and 30 32, and 35

These four forms are the most important forms for the ownership transfer. 

  1. Form 28: It’s compulsory to have a signed copy of this form for the ownership transfer. It’s also called the No Objection Certificate. It is issued by seller RTO.
  2. Form 29: This is the official car ownership transfer notice.
  3. Form 30: This the official intimation application for the ownership transfer. 
  4. Form 32 and 35: This is required when there’s a pending loan on the car. 
Forms: 28

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6. No Objection Certificate(NOC)/Clearance Certificate

Most buyers prefer car loans these days. However, most car sellers generally settle the loan before deciding to sell the vehicle. In such a case, the bank issues a no objection certificate with a clearance certificate stating that there’s no pending loan amount on the vehicle.

In case you see that the used car that you’re buying is hypothecated to a bank (mentioned on RC), you need to ask for the NOC from the current owner. 

No Objection Certificate(NOC)/Clearance Certificate

7. Road Tax Receipt

This receipt is provided by the RTO when the car is registered under its original owner for the very first time.

Ensure checking this receipt as it’s the only proof of the road tax been paid. 

road tax receipt

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8. Certification for bi-fuel kits

In case the used car that you’re buying runs on two fuels (example – Petrol and CNG), then do not forget to check the certificate for bi-fuel kits.

The seller should even provide a NOC from the RTO endorsing the aftermarket fitting of CNG or LPG kit.

CNG or LPG kit.

9. Emission Certificate

Also known as the PUC or Pollution Under Control certificate, this is an official document stating that the emissions of the car are under the legal limit.

It’s also a proof that the car’s engine as well as exhaust system are in good condition. 

PUC or Pollution Under Control certificate

10. Owner’s Manual

Make sure you also receive the owner’s manual from the seller. This has important information about the vehicle like the servicing schedule, feature details, location of the fuse box and simple maintenance tips. 

Owner’s Manual


Q. Does retro fitting a CNG kit on a car require a new Registration Certificate?

Yes, retro-fitting a CNG kit on a car requires official endorsement by the RTO in the form of a new Registration Certificate mentioning the bi-fuel status. 

Q. When is an NOC required?

An NOC is required in two cases – 1) By the seller RTO in case the ownership transfer is interstate 2) By the bank if the vehicle was purchased on loan but it was settled before selling. 

Q. How do I know if the car has been properly cared for?

The service book of the car gives a clear record of all the maintenance work carried out at the authorised dealership. 

Q. Can insurance also be transferred?

Yes, the existing car insurance can be transferred in the new owner’s name. 

Q. Should I buy a used car without an invoice?

We would always recommend asking for an invoice as it’s the proof that the seller is the genuine owner of the vehicle. It also shows the exact price the owner paid to the dealership. The following details can be found on the invoice- 

  • VIN No. 
  • Production Date
  • Engine No. 
  • Details of the financier
  • Details of the dealership
  • Details of extra accessories, if any