The Indonesian market is filled with a vast range of car brands. The models of these car brands are limited to van vehicles and 4 door sedans. Since a majority of car owners use drivers, 2 door sports cars are not in high demand and are uncommon.
Since cars are viewed as a luxury item, a certain amount of tax is added to the price of the manufacturer. This results in inflation in the price of cars in Indonesia. Importing a car from another country is rarely done since the customs office in Indonesia charges 300% duty on the value of the car.
According to the regulations in Indonesia, the engine size of a vehicle may not surpass 3000 CCs. If a car exceeds this engine size it is normally imported through certain special terms and conditions i.e. for special functions of the government. The documents of these cars may not be completely processed due to their unique uses for importation. Luxury vehicles are also imported and smuggled but the legal documents of these vehicles are not complete. So you should know that it will be difficult to resell a 3000 CCs car and might also be confiscated by the relevant authorities.
It is illegal to import used cars according to Indonesian law. Some crooks still import used cars and claim they are new cars with the odometer reset to zero. So, you should be very careful when importing used cars. It is common in Indonesia that when buying a used car the registration of the car is left under the name of the original owner to avert paying Ongkos Balik Nama (change of ownership fee). This makes paperwork for used cars complicated. The invoice (kwitansi pembayaran) is very important since it proves the current ownership of the car.
The following tips will help you when buying a second-hand car in Indonesia
When buying a second-hand car you should present the following documents:
a. Identity card/ Kartu Tanda Penduduk
The selling party might not accept any other form of identification i.e. Limited Stay Permit Card or passport.
b. Ways of financing the vehicle or cash.
When the transaction is complete you should receive the following documents:
- Registration/Surat Tanda Nomor Kendaraan
- Book of proof of ownership/Buku Pemilik Kendaraan Bermotor
- Original invoice of the car from the manufacturer/ Faktor
- Three receipt copies/Kwitansi Blangko – 3 lembar
The first copy of the receipts should contain the information below:
- Type of car/Jenis Mobil
- Color of the car/Warna
- License plate number/Nomor Polisi
- Chassis number/Nomor chasis
- Frame Number/ Nomor Rangka
c. Transaction receipt/Kwitansi that includes the amount of money paid for the car.
d. A photocopy of the identity card of the person whose name appears on the proof of ownership book. His will be needed when renewing the yearly registration of the car.
2. Check the engine
Ensure that the engine is well maintained. The engine is the heart of the car and can put up with a huge amount of wear and tear.
Leaks are easy to spot. Different types of fluids run in, under, and around the engine. A well-kept car should not leak. Check underneath the car for any signs of an oil leak. If there is oil or any other kind of fluid under the car it means that it has been leaking.
Open the bonnet and check the engine for any leaks. Oil is usually brown when new and black when old. Other fluids are the antifreeze or coolant which is yellow, green, or pink while the power steering and gearbox fluid are reddish-brown.
3. Gearbox and clutch
Automatic and manual gearboxes are available. Some automatic gearboxes can behave differently. Ensure that all gears are engaged quietly and smoothly. There is a problem when neither of these is achieved.
The clutch biting point in a manual car should be in the middle of the pedal’s travel. If you are needed to push your foot to the floor the clutch might need attention. It could mean a pricy replacement or a simple adjustment.
4. Bodywork checks
This involves an easy visual inspection. You should look for any signs of replacement or repainting that might mean the car had been in an accident. Dings and car park dents are common on doors. Check for door seals and panel gaps for any leaks.
5. Check the wheels and tires
Check all the tires for splits, cuts, bulges, and gouges. They will need replacement and you can negotiate the money off the price since a new rubber can be costly. Also, check the spare wheel if it has one. The tread is supposed to be 1.6mm deep around the tire. Poor suspension or wheel alignment causes one side of the tire to be worn out than the other. This is usually caused by a crash or hitting a pothole at high speed.
If a tire is worn out in the middle or on both edges it means that they are over or under-inflated and would need replacement.
6. Interior checks
The interior of a car can be used to check whether the mileage is genuine. A car with a 20000 mileage should have an almost new interior. The seller could be hiding something if the seat bases, steering wheel, and side bolsters are worn out.
Ensure that all the equipment works from the ventilation system to the lights and other areas like the windows, radios, sunroof, and central locking. If you spot anything you can budget for the repairs.
7. Take a test drive.
A test drive should be next after the visual inspection. Any genuine car dealer would be happy to go with you for a test drive. Check out for any rattles and strange noises and ensure that the clutch and brake are working perfectly. Most people overlook this option leading to unexpected expenses upon purchasing the car.
In conclusion, we have seen some of the facts to be familiar with while purchasing a second-hand car in Indonesia. The things to look out for have also been discussed. It is advisable to do your research first before going to a second-hand dealer to purchase a vehicle. This will save you a lot of money and time and will help you make an informed decision.