5 Tips to buying second-hand cars in Malaysia


We all know the hassle and fear when buying second-hand cars, not only in Malaysia but anywhere else in the world, especially from someone or from a site who we are unfamiliar with. However, here are some tips and advice you could use if you plan to buy a second-hand car in Malaysia!

Where are you buying your car from?

Let’s face the truth, not all car dealers and salesman are honest when it comes to selling off a second-hand car. To be on the safer side, buy from a reputable dealer. The least you could do, is to do some research on the site or the person you are buying from, be it reviews or recommendations. Example of reputable sites would be Mudah.my or Carlist, however, it is also important to shortlist a few and research on individual listings.

Are you bringing an expert with you?

If you are bringing someone who is familiar with the ins and outs of cars, that would be a plus point! Doesn’t necessarily have to be a full car expert per-se, so long the person can identify faults and inspect on a vehicle is more than helpful. Aside from that, he or she would also be able to ask important questions prior to buying the car in which some of us might miss out. If you do not have any such contacts, it is advised that you arrange with the seller to send the car over to a workshop for inspection.

What are things to look for and questions to ask?

This part can be a little tricky as there are numerous things to look out for when purchasing a second-hand car. No one likes to be caught up in a fraud game! First and foremost, is to check the service record to verify the history and mileage of the car. Best if you can purchase a car with a clean history, example; accident free. This is just to make sure you do not need to spend a fortune in maintaining the car later on.
If you are planning to buy a relatively new car, do research if there is a second-hand value or trade-in value as it may be helpful for you in the future, especially when you are planning to change cars. To avoid getting scammed, check all documents meticulously and thoroughly to verify that the vehicle is actually owned by the seller, which can be done in JPJ (Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan).

Is test-drive important?

The answer is an absolute, YES! If you do not have an expert to follow you around, the need to pay attention to small details like the sound, engine noise, especially when going over bumps is important. This is also to determine if the car fits you, in terms of comfort and in meeting your expectations. According to carsome.my, a car’s gearbox on speed change and jerks can be easily noticed, but certain parts require a trained eye and ear to identify faults in parts like the steering rack and radiator. Not forgetting to miss out the essential functions of a car; brakes, clutch, gearbox, doors, windows, central door lock, air-conditioning system and so forth.

What are the main car choices for Malaysia market?

For second-hand cars, the most common ones are; Proton, Toyota, Honda, BMW and Mercedes. Getting a common car brand is important if you pick second hand cars in Malaysia because car replacement parts are easier to obtain in workshops. To top it off, if you are on a tight budget, parts are also less expensive compared to uncommon brands.

Buying a second-hand car for starters can be tricky especially when it comes to payment, so getting enough information and advice from experts could save you the trouble. On a side note, students at TOC Malaysia have the extra advantage when it comes to purchasing a second-hand car!