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Old 4th February 2010, 21:19   #106
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@4nd3r50n I am also a novice first time car buyer and driver. I bought a 1999 april used ZEN from a relative for 1.25 L. Now it is about 40 days in the ZEN in which I have taken the car for 22 days and have driven a total of 970 Km. I am riding a two wheeler for the past 16 years. But this car driving is different kettle of fish. The judgment about distances and the gap it s something that really comes only with practice. If in a hatch itself the judgment is so difficult, I shudder to think of what would have happened in a larger, heavier vehicle. So, I agree with GTO and Deltawing's advice that the ropes be learnt in a smaller car and applied to the larger vehicle. And I have scratches on all four doors of my car to attest this judgment problem !
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Old 6th February 2010, 20:47   #107
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Hi All,

Thank you for the replies...sorry I couldn't reply sooner as I was real busy at work.

So from what I understand, the Safari is completely out of question currently as I will need a little more driving experience for that car. Cool, so now I have to start looking for a hatch back. I am setting my sights on a Swift or a Santro. Guess, it will be a Swift.

Thanks again...will keep everyone posted on how I am doing. Maybe share my experiences of taking driving classes...
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Old 25th March 2010, 10:15   #108
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All the tips and cautions mentioned when buying a used car from an individual apply to when you are buying from outlets such as TrueValue too. So before you go in for the purchase, you should ask them to produce the service history of the vehicle, so you can check the odo readings. Verifying the mileage from the tyres' date of manufacture does not always work well, as the car may have new tyres fitted.

Also when the car is relatively well kept and does not require any major refurbishment, the dealer would obviously be earning a bigger margin.

Let me recount my experience with Mahindra First Choice (Goregaon). I was scouting for an 8-seater vehicle two years back, and was even looking at 8-seater Omnis alongside Versa and other cars. I visited the MFC showroom many times to check out possible deals. I also visited the backside area where they had many vehicles stripped down and the suspension/other parts removed for inspection and refurbishment/replacement. So I would tend to put more trust in a car sold by them.

But yet again, when I went to check out an 8-seater Omni, this vehicle had just arrived from the seller to the MFC dealership. As me and the salesperson walked round the vehicle to inspect some scratches and marks on the body, the sales person casually mentioned they would be spending about 15-20K for refurbishments. I pondered on this for a moment and offered him a price that was 20K less than what he had quoted me, offering to take the vehicle as is and refurbishing it out of my own expenses. In the next few minutes the refurbishment costs had come to around 10K. Needless to say he didn't agree to a 20K reduction in the price.

The best part about MFC over any other pre-owned car dealers seems to be their warranty coverage. On their website, they have meticulously listed out which parts will be covered under their warranty. That is really transparent.

I think patience would be the greatest virtue in dealing with used car dealers. Even if you spot a vehicle that seems like the best deal you can get, you shouldn't hurry it. The worst that can happen is you may not get the vehicle. But if you fall for it, you lose any advantage in bargaining for the best deal and also may not check things out properly. Pay repeated visits to the dealer's showroom, making it clear to them you will strike a deal on your terms and not on theirs. Sometimes the dealer may give in, sometimes the car may be lying at the dealer for a few weeks unsold, and you may get a better bargain on it.

I bought my first M800 from a TrueValue dealer. I was happy with the car in general, but after a few months some of the mechanics who looked at my car told me the bonnet looked a different shade, and while trying to align the headlights I saw that the left hand headlight housing was a little out of shape. Both the observations indicated a frontal collision which the dealer had hidden from me. The car otherwise was great. After the Mumbai floods, I got the suspension replaced (not related to the floods), and a few months later had to replace the radiator. Other than that it was a great car. One of the limited 2002/5-speed gearbox models. The FE went as high as 24 kmpl on highway runs. City usage was around 18kmpl.

So dealer or private buyer, always check the car and its history.

Last edited by honeybee : 25th March 2010 at 10:17.
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Old 25th March 2010, 11:38   #109
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And here I am, vouching for True Value really being a 'true value' . Thank god, I chanced upon this just in time. I was considering a used Swift diesel from true value. The plan goes bust. Would rather buy a lower end new one than a higher end used. You just saved a few lakhs for me. I can't thank you enough.
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Old 25th March 2010, 18:18   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
I think patience would be the greatest virtue in dealing with used car dealers.
Best tip for second hand deal. You concluded a book of tips in one sentence. otherwise () is the only situation.
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Old 26th March 2010, 14:52   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sachinj12 View Post
And here I am, vouching for True Value really being a 'true value' . Thank god, I chanced upon this just in time. I was considering a used Swift diesel from true value. The plan goes bust. Would rather buy a lower end new one than a higher end used. You just saved a few lakhs for me. I can't thank you enough.
Other than the suspected collision, the car was wonderful to own. So don't be hasty in ruling out TrueValue. Just remember not to get carried away by their name or warranty.

Back when I was visiting the Mahindra First Choice for a 7/8 seater, the sales person there showed me the special markings on the floor of a couple of Omni and other cars. He told me these markings indicate the parts are factory fitted. You should be able to find such parts on the bonnet or hatch door or on the side panels too. Bent headlight housings and other similar signs of damage are easy to spot visually. My advice would be visit the TrueValue dealership armed with all this knowledge, find out if the car shows any obvious signs of damage and if the car sounds good, drive a very hard bargain. But walk away if the car doesn't seem to be in shape.
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Old 26th March 2010, 15:00   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4nd3r50n View Post
Hi All,

Thank you for the replies...sorry I couldn't reply sooner as I was real busy at work.

So from what I understand, the Safari is completely out of question currently as I will need a little more driving experience for that car. Cool, so now I have to start looking for a hatch back. I am setting my sights on a Swift or a Santro. Guess, it will be a Swift.

Thanks again...will keep everyone posted on how I am doing. Maybe share my experiences of taking driving classes...
Wow, scratches on all doors! I have yet to manage that. Not to brag myself, but it's a good point. I have seen two-wheelers literally cutting corners while on the road. The same habit in a four wheeler is bound to be dangerous. I never properly learnt riding a bike and directly switched to driving a Fiat. I guess that's one of the reasons I have managed to avoid scratches on the body while driving. And I can also tell that that's not an impossible task.

If you are worried about changing your orientation from a bike to a car, I suggest go for a Santro. I have been in a Swift, i10 and A-star, and without a doubt all these cars will have a much lower seating position where you can barely peek over the dashboard onto the street ahead. If you want to go for all-round good visibility in a small car, Santro would be your best bet. You could also try a used Omni or the new Eeco. They should give you a much better visibility than the other hatchbacks.
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Old 6th April 2010, 15:18   #113
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Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by GTO : 7th April 2010 at 10:25.
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Old 12th April 2010, 13:46   #114
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hey Bhpians,
I am on the lookout for a second-hand zen. I saw this 2002 make - ruby red zen LX( single owner) @ chennai yesterday.Body looks neat( no problems in terms of rusting,dents accident history etc ).tyres will last another 10000 kms i think. Took her for a drive and handling etc is all good like any other zen.no problems whatsoever.but the tone of the engine alone is kinda weird( unlike most other zens i've driven).My only concern is..the car has clocked just 24000 kms.While on one side its a good deal cos of the low mileage, I am worried that the car having been driven so less in 8 years.(the dealer says it had been parked in the garage for quite some time) Will this long period of inactivity and low usage over such a long period of time have impacted the vehicle's performance ?? The price being quoted is 1.75 lakhs and think it can be gotten for 1.5..am not able to take a call on this :( Feedback and opinions of all forms will be appreciated
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Old 12th April 2010, 15:23   #115
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There is a separate thread that outlines the precautions to be taken while purchasing used vehicles. Please go through it.

Having said that, show the car to a good mechanic that you can trust. Paying 1.5 L for a used Zen that's 8 years old is IMO very high.
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Old 12th April 2010, 15:50   #116
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A 2002 chennai registered car selling at coimbatore? And saying only 24,000 km? Highly suspicious claims. Might be 1,24,000. Also chennai registered means city driven so more wear and tear. Dont believe what is before your eyes. Most used car dealers at coimbatore are crooks and what not and it is better to pay a premium from a owner directly.
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Old 12th April 2010, 23:56   #117
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@ honeybee : thanx!! took the car for another test drive today..a longer one..realised the vehicle has some issues with the clutch..was able to feel it slipping one or two times.. and on further probing of the vehicle's service records found out that the car had been parked w/o any usage for almost 2 years and had gotten its ECU replaced once.. Took it to a maruti service engineer i know kinda well and he too was not too optimistic about the car once we saw the underbody.this car apparently had run more in the coastal area and there were signs of salt deposition in a lot of places beneath. so chucked the idea.Am back into the zen hunt

@ ramzsys : MY native is CBE but am @ chennai right now..saw the car @ a dealer here...the mileage is genuine that much i am sure.but anyways am not gonna get it and yeah you are totally right bout the dealers @ cbe

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2010 at 15:28. Reason: Strictly no more than 2 smilies per post please. READ our rules
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Old 3rd May 2010, 10:50   #118
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Another reason of caution from one of our acquaintances: He purchased his first car from a then popular used car dealer at Andheri / Chakala. After a few months of owning it, he found to his horror the vehicle was a stolen one. The thief had supposedly lifted about 25 vehicles, out of which five were purchased by this dealer and sold off after making "suitable" changes to the documentation.

This acquaintance eventually got his money back from the dealer and came out of the whole experience relatively unscathed, at least financially. He has thereafter vowed to either purchase a new car, or only purchase a used car if he knows the owner and the ownership history of the car.

This is not to discourage people from buying used cars, but only to warn them of possible pitfalls. These cases aren't quite as rare as I had initially thought. Heck when I purchased my first car, I didn't even bother to ask about service history or any other records.
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Old 12th May 2010, 13:16   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33 View Post
Lightly used cars: A car that is ten years old with only 30,000 km on the odometer is probably not a good buy. Cars are built to run and long periods of inactivity cause problems.
Just curious, what kinds of problems can inactivity cause?

Something like the fuel injectors clogging up (in MPFI/diesel engine-equipped cars, of course)? Any other problems? And is there a certain class of engine/car that is more prone to such problems?

Another thing that I've noticed of late in the case of salaried professionals (read: fixed commute) is that usage tends to be very low even if it's daily. For example, 10 km one way to work and 5 days a week mean around 5000-7000 kms a year tops (including trips to the grocery, mall, friends/family, occasional highway jaunts etc.). Could there be any problems with such "sparingly used" cars? I haven't seen any problems in my old 800 (which followed such a routine and ended up with 89k kms in a little under 12 years) that could point to low usage.

Regards,
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Old 13th May 2010, 11:43   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spadix View Post
Just curious, what kinds of problems can inactivity cause?
Cars are built to run. Garage queens (those that have been stationary for a long period frequently) could have clogged fuel systems, corroded rubber parts, messed up electronics (specially with European cars) and more. Also, a car that has only been driven 1 - 3 kms each time she stepped out is a bad idea (mostly driven without the engine reaching optimal temp). Multiple short trips are harder on a car than a single long trip.
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