Buying A Used Car, What To Do In Malaysia, Our Experience – Drive Safe and Fast

Used Cars

Published on June 24th, 2015 | by Subhash Nair


Buying A Used Car, What To Do In Malaysia, Our Experience

If you’re about to purchase a used car for cash, or want to carry out any other form of car ownership transfer that doesn’t involve bank loans, this step-by-step guide is just for you.

Prerequisite: Finding a used car that you want.

Find yourself a car and of course, its owner. Remember, this guide is for the process of transferring your documents, NOT one for choosing the right car, but here are a few tips that might help.

  1. a) Be sure that you are satisfied with the condition of the car. There is not going to be a warranty so, buyer beware.
  2. b) Carry out a visual inspection for leaks, rust or cracks and insist on a test drive.
  3. c) Cars built after the late-90s may be equipped with an OBD-2 interface. You can find an OBD-2 Sensor that’s Bluetooth enabled for between RM40-RM100 online which will help with diagnosing hidden problems.
  4. d) Try and get a professional mechanic or someone with experience to have a look at it. Pay him for this service.
  5. e) Make sure the owner has the registration card for the car and that its road tax and insurance is still valid.

Step 1: Booking an Appointment

1.1 Select a day

Decide on a morning that works for both you and the current owner of the car and then call Puspakom to schedule an inspection at least a week ahead to be safe. In addition to office hours during weekdays, some centres open on Saturdays.

1.2 Select a place

There are 55 Puspakom Inspection Centres throughout Malaysia, so head over to and select the most conveniently located centre.

1.3 Give them a call

There ought to be a number listed for each of the Inspection Centres that you can call to set up an appointment. In our example, we’re using the Padang Jawa Inspection Centre, and the number to call is 03-51017000.

Step 2: Attend Appointment

2.1 Checklist

  1. a) a pen to write with
  2. b) at least RM600 with at least RM30 in smaller denominations
  3. c) the vehicle registration card
  4. d) the car in question of course
  5. e) Copy of IC (both yours and the current owner’s)

2.2 Arrival

Plan ahead so you reach a little earlier. In the Padang Jawa centre, there’s a small structure near the entrance. Ask for a transfer of ownership (B5) form. Find yourself a nice spot to fill up the forms. You will need a pen, because there’s a chance no one will have one to spare. Then drive on through the first checkpoint.

2.3 Queue

This might also be your last chance to make sure the car passes its inspection. The person ahead of me in the que got his knife out at the last minute to peel the tint off his windows. Try and avoid this. Go to this link and consult our pictograph for the acceptable limits and proper procedure on tint installation.

Head down the lane designated for privately owned cars. In Padang Jawa it was on the far right. Park yourself in line and wait it out.

2.4 Payment & Inspection

Once you’re at the payment counter, pass the attendant your documents and explain that it’s a transfer of ownership inspection/B5 form. Payment should be about RM31.80 all inclusive, so bring small change.

After that, you should get the documents back and a receipt. Stop your car in the appropriate lane, turn the engine off and pop the hood. Get out and pass the officer the necessary documents and car keys.

2.5: Waiting Game

It’s just a question of waiting for between 10-30 minutes depending on how crowded it is. The general rule of ‘the earlier the better’ applies.

2.6: Collection

After the inspection you may see your car being driven past you to a parking bay. This is a clear indication that the inspection is over and you should keep your ears open for your car plate number. They will announce just the digits on the number plate. If you don’t hear anything, don’t be afraid to go up and ask if your form is ready. Collect it and head to the nearest JPJ office. Don’t forget your car keys!

Step 3: Ownership Transfer

3.1 Road Tax Decision

Park your car as close as you can to the JPJ building. If the road tax on the vehicle is still valid for a few months, you may opt to keep the sticker on. Bear in mind that you will need your own insurance, so if you prefer to renew both the road tax and insurance on the same day every year we would suggest applying for a fresh one, even if it means a few wasted months on the unexpired road tax.

If this is the case, remove Road Tax sticker carefully. You’ll need to present it at the counter later on.

3.2 More Forms

Get a transfer form from the main counter, explain that it’s a B5 transfer of ownership and let them know if the owner is with you or not.

3.3 Buying Insurance

At the JPJ in Padang Jawa, there are plenty of insurance agents seated around the Northern end of the building, where it’s most crowded.

Buy insurance from one of the salespeople there. You can get full coverage or some of the lesser insurance packages that are around RM300-400 ringgit, sometimes more.

Most insurance agents have tablets and can show you what the calculation is off of their insurance company’s website. Even then, you can knock the price down a little, maybe by RM20-40, but be nice about it.

3.4 Over-the-Counter Application

Get yourself a number from the queue management system for the ownership transfer, wait for it to be called up. When it’s crowded, this usually takes 10-20 minutes. You could take a number before buying insurance to save a little time but this might be slightly unethical. Consult your moral compass.

Here’s where you submit the photocopies of the ICs of both you and the current owner. If you’ve opted to renew your road tax, let them know and you can have a new one bought here as well. Here are the rates according to displacement.

Engine Displacement (cc) Price for Petrol Engines (RM) Price for Diesel Engines (RM)
<1000                               20                                  20
1001-1200                               55                                 130
1201-1400                               70                                 140
1401-1600                               90                                 180
1601-1800                      200.40 – 280                        480.80 – 560
1801-2000                      280.50 – 380                         561.10 – 780
2001-2500                         381 – 880                       782.20 – 1880
2501-3000                    882.50 – 2130                        1886 – 4880
3001-5000                   2149.50 – 11130                    4890.80 – 26480


Once everything’s paid up and the documents are signed and submitted, shake the hand of the previous owner and you’re officially done! Feel free to leave questions in the comments below and we’ll answer them as best we can.


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One Response to Buying A Used Car, What To Do In Malaysia, Our Experience

  1. Desiree says:

    This is the best description on second hand car paperwork ever! Thanks for the awesome guide. Could you write one for how things work if it’s done on a loan too? That would be extremely helpful. Thanks.

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