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Comprehensive Step By Step Guide: How to Buy Your Next Car On Carousell

Looking to buy your next car from a direct owner? We’ve developed a simple yet all-encompassing guide on the car-buying process.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
11 Jan 2024

1. Arrange for a test drive

You’ve got to try the car and experience it on the roads to decide if you like the drive. Use Carousell’s indemnity form before the test drive begins, as the person driving would need to bear all responsibilities during the drive. Once it’s a go, we recommend that you check if what’s advertised is what you’re really getting.

As a caveat, not all owners would allow you to test drive their vehicle – so if this is an important criteria to you, ask the seller early and decide on how comfortable you are, if the owner doesn’t allow for a test drive before you commit to the purchase.

2. Check car condition

New to this? Here are some general key pointers for you:

  • Arrange for the inspection preferably in the day, or at a place with good lighting especially if the viewing is conducted at night.
  • When starting the car, do any of the error lights/codes show up? If yes, do inform the seller and request for those faults to be fixed before handover.
  • Take a visual inspection of the seats and steering wheel wear and tear. Look at the mileage of the car and decide if the wear and tear vs mileage is reasonable. If not, there could be some mileage tampering or very heavy usage of the vehicle. Decide if that is the condition that you are comfortable with.
  • Do a slow walk around the exterior of the vehicle, check if there are any gaps that are narrower or wider – that may be a sign that the vehicle may have gone through an accident.
  • Pop open the engine bay, check for signs of oil leak in the bay and also under the car.
  • During the test drive, it may be good to turn off the music at some point and listen closely if you hear any abnormal sounds from the engine or suspension, or feel sudden jerks from the transmission.

3. Price negotiations

Once the car has been test driven, condition has been inspected and you like what you see, it’s time to talk about the price. As a buyer, inform the seller what price you are comfortable to transact at. Let us know if you need us to step in and handle price negotiations on your behalf, we’d be happy to help.

If the price is right and agreed between both parties, a deposit will be placed by the buyer to secure this deal.

If you feel like paperwork is a real hassle, let us take this on for you. We can provide help from start to end – agreements and paperwork, car loans, motor insurance and even transferring of ownership. Drop us your details here today and let’s get started!

4. Seal the deal

Good to go? Lock it in! Both the buyer and seller would need to document the Vehicle Sale and Purchase Agreement with this form. Double check that all the details provided on the form are correct as this is a legally binding agreement.

You would be required to place a deposit as a ‘reservation fee’. The seller will issue an official payment receipt after the payment is made.

5. Apply for car loan

You can apply for a car loan with the major Banks in Singapore. Find out the interest rate that the financial institution charges at the point of application, decide on your loan tenure as well as the amount that you are looking to loan.

Not sure how to do this? Reach out to Revo Financial, one of Carousell’s subsidiaries – and they’ll be happy to give you a competitive quote and a seamless experience.

6. Apply for car insurance

Let us help you source for the best insurance deal for your car here. Or if you’re looking for one that has a premium $300 lower than others on average, plus with a first in Singapore 12-month engine and gearbox warranty, Bubblegum might be your best bet.

7. Place your downpayment

At this point, you would be required to place a downpayment for the purchase. If you are taking a loan, the downpayment would be calculated as the transaction price less the loan amount. This would need to be paid to the seller before the car handover.

8.Settle the balance payment

If you are not taking a car loan but paying for the vehicle in full cash, you would need to prepare the funds and transfer the full amount to the seller. You can use this receipt to document the fund transfer. Similarly, this would need to be paid to the seller before the car handover.

9. Transfer of ownership

If you are looking to bid for a new and auspicious number plate, find out what you’ve got to do to secure that new number here.

Once all is good to go, the seller would be activating the transfer of ownership and will coordinate this process with you. You would need to accept the transfer request via OneMotoring within 5 days. There would be a transfer fee levied by LTA.

If you have a special vehicle registration plate that you want to also use on the vehicle you’re purchasing, you would need to indicate on the respective checkbox for vehicle number retention before making the transfer.

10. Schedule your handover

Yay, It’s time for you to collect your car! You would be required to fill and sign this form before the car is handed over to you. And once that’s done – all you have to do is to enjoy the drive, and turn heads in your swanky new ride!


Selling your car? Whatever the reason, caryousell@carousell, sell your car at the highest price today.

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William Teng
2 weeks ago
The quote for my car was fast, responsive and the highest. The transaction was fast and explanation was clear. The person who inspected my car was friendly and professional. It was a good experience with OneShift.
William Chan
3 weeks ago
The transaction was very smooth from the minute I get on to their website trying to sell my car till the car ownership transferred and have the money paid by Pay Now into my account. It only takes less than 3 days. The person attending to me are very professional, Jon at the phone in their office and Sean Tan who came down to view and test the car. I am very happy to have decided to sell my car through "One Shift By Carousell"