Buy Lao Pok Chia Tips

Hey Nix,

Do you mind writing a short article on buying a car from a private seller.
Like what do you look out for?
What paperwork is required etc?
General advice?

Many thanks.



Hallo J*****,

I can't think of anything really useful to you other than some general stuff. Hope it will still be of any use to you.


It is good to get hold of one of these forms. [link]. It is easily available in any vehicle licensing centre near you. Sometimes the seller does not hold one of these, that makes the buy/sell process more tedious and annoying. When I want to buy a car, I want minimal delay. Save time, save travelling expenses. The GREEN portion should be filled up by the SELLER, the RED portion should be filled up by the BUYER. Both should submit their respective forms to any vehicle licensing centre within 7 days.


I cannot spell out the obvious here. You have to figure out what I am trying to say. There is something call Dutiable Value when you buy a used car. The buyer will be paying this duty. The tax will be based on the SELL PRICE of the car. Follow this [link] and look for the simple calculator to play around with. It isn't much but it can save you dollars enough for a carton of beer, or two. Or three.


Tips on used car purchase negotiation process [link]. Warning: Very Amateur Level.


A good maintenance record is always encouraging. You will never be 100% sure what the previous owners did. In fact, even proper licensed car dealers can be as dodgy as anything. Having records, receipts of parts replacement or regular servicing - better than nothing lah. Timing belt - if it is changed not too long ago, means you will dodge an expensive servicing for a while. Look out for 

Worn belts - touch them and listen for squeak/screech sounds when you test drive. If bad, give the seller a face and tell him your Taekwondo Black Belt runs those cranks better.

Leaky hoses - must be dry at joints. As dry as university lectures.

Any oil leaks - it should be clean and dry at the engine and transmission area, especially near gaskets. Unlike a bachelor's room.

Worn tyres, the more defined the threads, the newer and better. Tyres are not cheap to replace. Tyres shouldn't be wobbly and smooth like spare tyres on married men.

Suspension - if there is a grinding/clicking sound when you turn the car, at least one CV joint is screwed. Go pass humps and make sure it doesn't feel or sound unusual somewhere. Go fast past them and if the seller is in the car with you, look out for his expression. Song ah.

Waterproofing - normally if the car isn't well taken care of, it is obvious enough at first glance. But no harm checking out gaskets around the door areas. I know rain is romantic but sometimes you don't like it coming into car.

Brakes - Sharp irritating sound during braking, pads are worn. Wobbly braking, the discs are worn. No braking, good luck bro.


Test drive. Don't be casual about this. After all you will be the one driving it next time, if you buy it. Pay attention to every detail on car handling. I am surprised some folks didn't even bother to test the reverse gear. Test every damn thing, including the seat belts clips. Look for spare tyres, tyre changing kit etc and ask him if there are any freebies that comes with it, such as unfinished engine oil, coolant or his curvy blond girlfriend in wet t-shirt waiting impatiently nearby.

Good luck bro, and tell me how it goes.

1 comment:

  1. 'Leaky hoses - must be dry at joints. As dry as university lectures.' hehe cute one.. well, your blog is anything but. I am getting addicted reading your blog. Thanks for sharing, Nix.