If we talk of the late 90s or the early 21st century then there was no organised second-hand car market in India. Going for a used or second-hand car meant buying from your circle of influence. Around 60% of the deals used to happen through C2C (customer to customer) mode. For the remaining 40% deals to happen, the only available route was the unorganised players dealing with such buy and sell transactions. There was no guarantee and everything worked on the basis of only faith and trust.
It was Maruti that was in the forefront of establishing the organised sector with its Maruti True Value in 2001 and since then many other players have come into play. The used car market in India is growing rapidly and some people find it value for money to go for the used car rather than paying exorbitantly for a new one. The Internet has made things much easier as now it is easy to search for your desired car at the desired place sitting in the comforts of your home. For instance, if you want a used rapid car in Mumbai, just Google it and you will get hundreds of results.
A used car is no doubt pre-owned, but it does not in any way mean that it will be certified. Here you are buying from a third person based on what he tells you and your expertise in the matter. Such deals are often tagged as “Buyer Beware” and before buying one needs to get the car inspected properly by a certified technician. The warranty here lasts for maximum one to two months and in some cases there is none.
Factory certified pre-owned cars, on the other hand, are offered by the dealer in agreement with the manufacturer. Here the car has to pass a checklist of usually 150-200 points and only then it is deemed fit for resale. If it fails in any of these tests, then the dealer does not put it for sale. Here the warranties extend up to 12-24months, which are a big relief to the buyers in case anything goes wrong.
Unless you know the person and the vehicle really well, it’s always better to go for factory certified pre-owned cars as they promise much more peace of mind.