The ‘Original Condition’ Obsession

The ‘Original Condition’ Obsession 1

When you start your hunt to buy a used car, the most common catchphrase you’ll come across in newspaper ads, online classifieds and most commonly used by car dealers/ brokers and the sellers themselves is the overly emphasized ‘original condition.’

Related: 8 Ways to Make Your Old Car Feel New

What might come to your mind is a picture of used car in an exquisite condition; however the reality can be totally opposite. That’s because in our market the term original condition has been badly misused for a long time. Let us try to understand the true meaning of original condition, what you should expect and when exactly this term should be appropriately used.

Original Condition

The ‘Original Condition’ Obsession 2

The whole idea is to keep your old car look & feel as good as new despite being used for a long period of time. Obviously if you are looking to buy a couple of years old car you will naturally get one in really good knick. But if you are getting your hands on a car that’s more than 5 years old, a lot depends on how the car has been used by the owner since during all these years a lot can go wrong with the car and it primarily matters how the previous owner has taken care of it.

Related: Guide: Protecting Your Car’s Exterior by Proper Washing and Waxing

And if someone has taken good care of their older vehicles, they surely deserve some praise and may as well demand more compared to other ordinarily maintained vehicles available for sale in the market. In its rightfulness, the original condition should define a used car that is as good as the new one standing in the showrooms without undergoing any repair work.

The ‘Original Condition’ Obsession 3

For example, the exterior of the car remains shiny and spotless as good as new, despite being old. The interior gives the same feeling of new with seats in their originality without any scratches or being ragged. The dashboard remains it its true form without any cracks or signs of misuse, thus the overall condition of the car inside & out remains true to its condition when it came out from the showroom on day one.

The Irony…

Ironically however, what we come across in used car market is the original condition with paint completely faded having lost its shine long ago but the owner never considered it getting repainted since it will lose its originality. I personally came across a used Suzuki Margalla which was advertised as ‘red’ but upon reaching there I found a now ‘white’ Margalla which once used to be red and the owner was an original condition fanatic.

The ‘Original Condition’ Obsession 4
They never get it repainted since it will no longer be ‘original’

Similarly we see cars with broken interior bits, abused seats, adulterated door panels and torn dashboards in the name of original. Headlamps become pale and lost all their ability to illuminate but since that was what came fitted with the car, the owners think installing new headlamps will be a compromise on genuineness and will bring down the value of the car.

Related: Local Assembled vs JDM- Which One You’ll Buy?

Sometimes cars that even involve in minor accidents aren’t repaired since the owners’ claim if repaired will bring down the value of car so they prefer keeping it ‘original’. The affected areas tend to develop rust marks and at times may even convert into holes but unfortunately all that is counted among the blessings of the originality of used cars in our market.

The ‘Original Condition’ Obsession 5
Redefining the so-called original

Most of this is to be blamed to the dealers & brokers who tend to bring down the prices of repainted cars no matter how well maintained they are. Interestingly in this day & age with information on the fingertips and automotive knowledgeable content is available on the internet in the form of blogs, videos and images, it is quite easy for anyone to identify a well maintained car even if it’s repainted.

The ‘Original Condition’ Obsession 6
An immaculate Lancer 1988- the truly original

Plus ultimately we as buyers will have to come forward to act responsibly if we have to stop the misuse of the term original condition. We should be able to understand the true meaning of original and should stop paying ridiculous amount of money for old abused cars in the name of being original.

Related: Are Local Assembled Cars Only Expensive?

What is your opinion about our people’s obsession with original condition
Will you prefer buying a well maintained used car that’s repainted overall a faded busted ‘original’?x
 and will you prefer buying a well maintained used car that’s repainted overall a faded busted ‘original’, let us know with your comments.

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About UsmanAnsari

A 3d animation professional with over 19 years of industry experience, an avid car enthusiast, petrolhead and social media influencer. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of

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5 months ago

Aap ne tou dil ki baat ker di! Our auto markets are weird and controlled by the dealer mafias.

Noman Shakil
Noman Shakil
5 months ago

Agree. This os because of dealerss and showroom owners they always degrade repainted cars

5 months ago

Very logical explanation!

4 months ago
What is your opinion about our people’ obsession with original condition" Read more »

Zabardast article Dear Usman Ansari. Yes original condition has become an obsession. For me, if I am planning to buy a used car, I would go for a well maintained car which had not met with any major accident having intact chasis/frame with all it’s dimension/angles in original factory settings.