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Documents to verify before buying and selling a car

Documents to verify before buying and selling a car

Documents of the car are the prime and mandatory endorsement legally representing its authenticity on all facets. Buying or selling a car, post the preliminary inspection, the documents do the talking for the vehicle and they determine the credibility and have a final say on the deal. From the buyer’s perspective it is always and definitely safe to buy a car only if the documents are clear, thwarting any jeopardy to the investment made in the automobile. The doctrine also holds equally good vice versa while selling a car. There has been a paradigm shift in the process of buying and selling a car down the lane with things going the professional way and the procedure becoming more streamlined with the arrival of corporates and car manufacturers into the 2nd hand cars market. The following documents are binding for any transaction with regards to a vehicle.

Registration Certificate

The RC is the most indispensable document offering the fundamental details regarding the car which also specifies the engine number and chassis number. Start with identifying the state of registration of the car and if you decide to drive it to a different state, the registration has to be done there. In the case of the car being involved in a mishap, the engine might have been changed, so ensure the RC bears the new number. Scrutinize the document, for it to exclude DRC specified as it stands for Duplicate Registration certificate. In such an eventuality clearly ascertain the reason from the seller. For a car seller, the RC should not contain errors as it makes the transfer of the car ownership a cumbersome affair. When you have lost the RC, a FIR needs to be immediately filed and you can apply a duplicate RC by filling the RTO Form 26.


Have the insurance transferred to your name on concluding the deal as in the absence of the document it is a laborious process for claim in circumstances like accident. During policy transfer, take time to check whether the premium has been regularly paid, the policy’s expiry date and if at all the insurance has ever been claimed. This also serves as an inference to indicate the involvement of the car in an accident, if any. Do verify the existence of provision of third-party or comprehensive insurance for the car. You can favourably bargain on price if the vehicle’s policy is due for renewal soon or if it has already expired. It then becomes a buyer’s responsibility to avail third-party insurance without any further delay. Except if the car is 15 years old, there are a plethora of options to get a cover from the car insurance companies.


It is simply known as the pollution under control certificate and is a bonafide document certifying the emission of toxic chemicals from the car is under check. The battery operated vehicles are exempted from the test whereas smoke and emission tests form the basis for petrol, diesel and CNG-reliant cars. The PUC testing can be done at any authorized petrol pumps or testing centres.

Service book

The exact condition of the car can be established by glancing through the vehicle’s service history. Periodic servicing of the vehicle at the right frequencies has the vehicle in good running condition and enhances the longevity of the vehicle.

Buying from an individual or pre-owned car dealer?

Dealing with individuals takes a toll on time though the deal may be good. Prior to the purchase, thoroughly testing the car by an experienced and trusted mechanic will derive the satisfaction and safety in buying used cars. Buying it from car dealers in second hand cars removes most of the apprehensions in purchasing due to their elaborate examination and good maintenance of the vehicle. You are also saved from the relevant documentation tasks involved in the transfer of RC and insurance which is duly completely handled by the dealer. Also do not forget to elicit a warranty for the used car as some of them, except a few, offer a warranty from six months to 1 year. Finally ensure whether the seller reports the regional transport vehicle (RTO) where the vehicle was registered within 14 days of the sale about the change in ownership.

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