If you have a resident permit and an International Driver’s Permit, buying a car in India is relatively simple. Popular car brands include those made by Tata, Maruti-Suzuki, Hyundai, Toyota, and Hyundai. It is possible to buy Indian-built cars at a very good price; however, imported ones are expensive due to tax liabilities (which are well over 100% of the car’s value). For example, you can buy a small-sized car from Maruti-Suzuki (an Indian-Japanese joint venture) starting from INR 250,000 while a Mercedes starts from about INR 3,500,000.To buy a car you will need to visit an agency for that sells that particular make. For contact details of car showrooms in Delhi, visit http://www.automobileindia.com/cars/showrooms/carshowrooms-in-delhi.html.

New cars also often come complete with insurance and servicing. Road tax is payable as a one-off fee and toll tax or state entry taxes are paid wherever applicable. Most dealers will help you with the paperwork after you choose the kind of car you like. For new cars that are to be registered at an address within Delhi, the dealer will submit the relevant papers to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in your jurisdiction. The following link has details on registration http://www.delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/doit_transport/Transport/Home/Vehicle+Registration/

Buying a Second-hand Car

If you are planning to be in India for a short time, you might want to try buying a second-hand car from Maruti TrueValue http://www.marutitruevalue.com/buy.aspx. They have many good and inexpensive options and upon departure you can sell the car back to them, too.

Most expat clubs, as well as embassies and the American Embassy School, have bulletain boards on which departing expats often advertise their cars for sale. The Yuni-net listserve (see Websites) is also a good place to browse car ads or even post your own. You can also search the classifieds at http://www.carsalesindia.com/ and http://classifieds.sulekha.com/delhi/alllocalities/automobiles/cars/adlistings.aspx for used cars for sale by the owner.

Registering a Car

If you buy from an individual, the person who sells you the car must inform the RTO at which the car was registered about the deed transfer within a period of 14 days. Once the seller receives an acknowledgment of receipt from the RTO, the seller is indemnified of all legal, tax, traffic, criminal and other liabilities pertaining to the car. The seller must also take a delivery note signed by the buyer.

The following documents have to be collected from and submitted to the RTO to effect the transfer of ownership of the car:

  • Form “TCA” – Intimation of transfer by Transferee (buyer)
  • Form “TCR” – Intimation of transfer by Transferor (seller)
  • Form No.29 – Notice of transfer of ownership of vehicle.
  • Form No.30 – Report of transfer of ownership of vehicle.
  • Valid Insurance policy
  • PUC Certficate
  • Address proof of the Transferee (the buyer)
  • Evidence of payment of all taxes up-to-date.
  • Form No.28 – Application for N.O.C. and grant of certificate
  • (If the buyer falls in the RTO jurisdiction of another state, then form no.28 – the N.O.C. from local RTO is required)

TIP: Please request help with this process from the person you are buying from, or ask them to put you in touch with an agent who handlessuch requests. The RTO has a reputation for being a corrupt government agency. This is why most car dealers either offer to do the registration for you for a small fee or will put you in touch with an agent who will do the same for you, again for a fee. An expat who attempts to do the registration himself might end up feeling harassed and exploited.

Although your dealer can put you in touch with a reliable RTO agent, you may want to seek one out yourself. The besst thing is to ask other expats for recommendations. Althoughh RTO agents often work independently, there are some agencies, such as Automate http://www.automateindia.com, which can help you handle the process.

RTO offices in Delhi

Regional Transport Office – Central Delhi Zone
Sarai Kale Khan, Hazrat Nizamuddin. Delhi -110013
Phone: 2435-1100

Regional Transport Office – East Delhi Zone
ISBT, U.P. Border, Anand Vihar
Laxmi Nagar, Delhi -110092
Phone: 2214-1121

Regional Transport Office – North Delhi Zone<br/ >#5/9, Rajpur Road, Under Hill Road
Civil Lines, Delhi -110054
Phone: 2392-1924

Regional Transport Office – North East Delhi Zone
Loni Road, Gokulpuri, Delhi -110094
Phone: 2281-3457

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