Selling used cars in India, until very recently used to be a big hassle for car owners. An unorganized landscape peppered with greedy brokers, unscientific valuation procedures and above all a genuine lack of safe transactions made the process really bothersome for those who wished to sell their used cars. Of late, however, the massive used car market of India seems to be transforming. Increasing penetration of internet along with an advent of tech-powered services has done a great job for organizing this segment and bringing some order to the chaos.
Of all such new companies, CARS24 has emerged as a distinctive player, and in a very short time has established itself as a go-to place for those who wish to sell their cars. So far, they have 50+ branches across 10+ cities in India.
The USPs, as mentioned by the company on its website include the best price guarantee, instant money transfer and free vehicle ownership transfer. These guys take care of almost all the legalities like loan closures and acquiring an inter RTO NOC if need be.
In all honesty, all those promises sounded too good to be true to us, so we decided to find out by ourselves if there really was any real advantage to explore CARS24 for selling a car, or it was all just a marketing gimmick. We decided to use a six-year-old Chevrolet Beat petrol LT(O) variant as a test vehicle for this experiment. The age of the vehicle, the fact that it was a top variant with goodies such as dual airbags and ABS and the special situation with GM announcing the shutdown of its India operations made it an ideal machine for finding out the truth.
To start off, we decided to take the car for inspection in a dirty state, just to see if CARS24 would use the fact to arm-twist us and bring down the estimated resale value of the car, as is often done by used car dealers. We also used some decoys such as replacing the alloy wheel with a spare and got the car serviced and oiled to see if the inspectors could figure all of that out.
So how was our experience with CARS24? Well, this is what happened.
To start off, you have the option of visiting their website – cars24.com or calling a helpline number provided on the website’s homepage to provide the basic details like the registration number, year of make, model, variant and fuel type to get the process started.
Once done, you would be provided an appointment time and date when you could visit the nearest CARS24 branch and have your car inspected. Alternatively, you could also visit a nearby CARS24 branch directly to get the process started. However, it’s always advisable to take prior appointment to ensure that you get attended to instantly and don’t have to wait.
The branches are pretty well laid out and are designed to provide the potential customers a comfortable, friendly environment. These branches are neatly laid out office-like areas with couches, reading material, TVs, packaged mineral water and refreshments for the customers. There are a few glass cubicles too, where CARS24 representatives discuss specifics with the customers.
A highlight here is hundreds of handwritten certificate-like testimonials pasted on the glass walls.
We read a few of these notes and they sounded pretty encouraging. All of them were positive, showering praise primarily on the good price, quick transaction and convenient nature of the setup.
In our case, as soon as we landed unannounced inside the branch, the branch head, Nachiket Rajput greeted us and introduced us to one of the retail associates namely Sheetal Agarwal, who would take over thereon. Sheetal filled in all the details of the car for us and created an instant appointment for us as a customer. It didn’t take more than 5 minutes to go through the process. During this time we were told a few things about the documents and other items which we would require to make a successful sale, as well as the requirements for instant cash transfer post inspection. We were also told about a few things which would help us fetch a better value for our car if available. The list of all these things is provided below through these images.
We were then introduced to Sadiq Sheikh, one of the two car inspectors at the CARS24 Mulund branch. These inspectors are highly qualified individuals with a degree in mechanical engineering and sufficient relevant experience with a renowned car dealership or service station to ensure that the assessment is as detailed and technically correct as possible.
Next up, the car goes for a professional inspection where the inspector checks it for a lot of parameters. The car is also photographed from inside and out at this point and is also taken out for a short spin to ensure that the inspection is thorough. There is a very detailed checklist which the inspector has to follow, and based on this checklist he files his assessment report of the car onto an online platform.
While one may comfortably sit inside the air conditioned waiting area as the car is being inspected, we decided to accompany Sadiq and see him at work. The car inspectors are equipped with various gadgets like Tyre Tread Gauge, Paint Coating Meter,OBD Scanner, BCM Scanner etc.
Sadiq used the Paint Coating Meter to measure the consistency of the paint’s thickness to find out if the car had gone through any repainting. This is a very professional way of assessment, unlike other such setups which leave a large part of the assessment to guesswork.
We were glad to note that Sadiq duly figured that the alloy wheel was in the boot, while the spare was doing duty. Also, we were happy to see that he didn’t make any negative comments about the car’s value just because it was a little dusty on the outside. He also made a fair assessment of the engine oil by figuring out that it didn’t need a replacement.
Once the inspection was over, our retail associate Sheetal asked us other specific details about the car like the state of its finance, the documents available, and other such pertinent things. A great thing that CARS24 does for you is that it takes care of your inter RTO transfers in case you happen to own an outstation car. So if you have all the legitimate documents of your car, it doesn’t matter if you are selling a Delhi registered car in Mumbai, or a Karnataka registered car in Rajasthan. And this is such a relief for someone who wants to sell a car interstate, as used car owners are often harassed by car dealers on this point.
During this time, the CARS24 inspector files his report online, detailing every aspect of the car. Once this report is filed, it is shared with the customer who can ask for clarification if a certain aspect of the car was not reported fairly in his opinion.
Once the customer is happy with the report, the car in question goes live for online auction. Now, unlike any other player, CARS24 doesn’t sell these used cars to individual owners. They have a huge database of buyers who are looking to buy good quality used cars, and are ready to pay a very good price for it, as it saves them the hassle of finding such cars through the traditional, inefficient ways.
Once the car goes live for auction many buyers are simultaneously bidding for the car. It’s all very interesting for the customer, as he can see the entire process in real time. The bidders are provided a time window during which they put the highest bid on a car based on their requirements. Once the time window ends, the system shows you the highest bid for your cars. This bid value is valid for only 24 hours after the car is inspected. If you wish to take your time deciding, you will have to have your car re-inspected.
In our assessment the price of the car revealed by the system at the end of the bidding process was pretty good. Just to be doubly sure, though, we asked our retail associate to show us the prices offered to other customers for their respective cars as well. We saw the reports of a few other cars including models from a variety of carmakers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Mahindra and Tata. Typically, cars from makers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Toyota and Honda fetch the best value, while the prices for cars from other makers is relatively low.
An important point to note here is that during the examining process, the images taken by the car inspector are taken while hiding the registration plate of the car with a CARS 24 plate to protect the car and owner’s privacy. As an example, this Maruti Suzuki Dzire sold at nearly the same time as our car fetched a price of 4.49 lakh which is pretty good value, considering the age of the car.
Finally, once the final price for the car is displayed, the logic and reasoning behind the price is displayed too. Factors such as brand, model demand, changing market dynamics etc are all considered and duly mentioned to clear the air for the current owner.
We were offered a price of INR 1,50,000 for our car. This may sound a little less for the model, but we had done our homework before we visited the CARS 24 branch and had figured the best price offered by the local dealers in advance. Owing to the shutdown of General Motors in India, and relatively lesser demand for cars from the maker, we were not getting a good price for the car outside either. In fact, the price offered by CARS 24 was about INR 15,000 more than the next best offer we got from the unorganized dealers.
While we didn’t actually conclude the deal as we didn’t actually wish to sell the car, our experience with CARS24 was very nice. We got a good price & the whole process was very professional. It is indeed a fantastic new way to sell your car if you are looking for a combination of best price and a hassle free experience.
Based on our experience, we would recommend our readers to consider CARS24 as one of the options while selling their cars. There’s a very high chance that you’ll get the best deal, and the fast, hassle-free processing of the deal would come as an added bonus.
Based on our experience, we would rate CARS24 at 4.5 on a scale of 5 . Check out an image gallery of our experience at the Cars24 branch below