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Old 7th June 2010, 19:53   #1
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Default Punto vs. Swift - Cost of ownership

Hello T-Bhpians,

I am in the process of short listing a hatchback. My daily usage is about 60kms and some short distance weekend runs. My first choice was the Swift VDI ABS, which based on all the reviews seemed like the ideal choice for me, except for the lack of Airbags.

I am now considering pushing my budget a little bit and getting the diesel Punto Emotion pack. The benefits of course are Airbags, good tires, alloys, steering mounted audio controls, blue and me, an integrated system and keyless entry. I am single and would be using the car myself, I will be getting married in about 2 years and the car will seat only 2 or 3 people at the max.

This will be my first car, and maintenance and running costs are a major concern. I have been through almost all the Swift vs. Punto threads on the forum and found a lot of information which has been a major help so far. I have fallen in love with the Punto to be very honest and will be more than glad to settle for one, except for a few fears.

Can any of you guide me as to what the difference in maintenance costs for the Punto and the Swift would be? The sheet posted which compared the prices of spares was certainly good news; however is it possible that the spares of the Punto might become more expensive later on? For example, say the Punto goes the way of the Palio, I donít want to end up spending huge amounts of money on maintenance 6 or 7 years down the line. Also what would the resale of a Punto be like in comparison to a Swift?

I have seen a couple of threads where some Swift owners have paid through their teeth for servicing their car, is there any ball park figure I should have in mind when it comes to servicing bills?

The Punto boasts of a service interval of 15k kms, is this practical or just a marketing gimmick? Iím sure I would have to visit the showroom for small creaks and other issues. Fiat has improved their *** no doubt, however is it a wise option for a newbie to opt for anything other than a Maruti?

My current salary is about 35k per month, would spending ~13k (Punto) on a carís e.m.i be a smart thing to do? Or should I settle for the swift which is ~10.5k? Would the added 2.5k liability per month justify the additional features? Fuel costs would be about 3k on an average based on my calculations. I have no other major expenses that I need to take care of as of today.

Thanks for taking the time out to read through my ramblings and queries, hope to hear from you guys soon.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 7th June 2010, 21:37   #2
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Hi David,
I will try and address a few of your problems. (I own a punto, you can check my thread if there's anything more you need)

Firstly, even if the punto goes the palio way,spares will not be a real problem, the linea and the punto share most parts and both the cars are localized to a great extent. A major problem with the palio was that a majority of the parts weren't made here in India.

Quite obviously, the resale of a punto will not be comparable to that of a swift, the latter is a product of Maruti, IMO, their products have the best resale value, I suppose honda and Toyota come close.
I wouldn't however worry too much about resale if I was purchasing a car that i'd be keeping for a good 7 years.

No,the service interval isn't a marketing gimmick, every 15k km's certain specified parts will be changed. That aside, you may have to make trips due to accidental damage, creaks/rattles and a few other problems. I believe these problems are rarities and a vehicle being run by a combination of different parts can develop a problem, this can happen to any car, be it an Audi or a 800. Apart from my normal services, I've only made 2 trips to the service station, both for small issues like rattles.

Go for the car that you prefer, your being a newbie has nothing to do with which car you choose. Ask around for the respective A.S.S of both fiat and maruti(in your area) and make a choice.

Best of luck.
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Old 7th June 2010, 21:44   #3
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Buddy just go in for the car you like the most. After all it you cash !
Personally drive the short listed cars by you, and go for the one you enjoyed the most !
Choose the car of your choice and give an chance to your family for Color or other accessories
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Old 7th June 2010, 21:57   #4
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Both cars are good and both have their own positives and negatives.

I think this thread should under "What car".

CLJ
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Old 7th June 2010, 21:58   #5
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Hi Dave,
I have a Swift ( VXI, not the pocket rocket) so i might not know the exact prices of spares and servicing intervals for the VDi) but i can provide some input about Maruti:
  • You can find a Maruti service station anywhere in this country
  • The service provided it really excellent, with some service centers proving free pickup and drop facility for vehicles free of charge or at a nominal fee
  • Maruti is quite serious about its clients and after every service i get a call from them asking for feedback
  • The car is just amazing
  • Costs like insurance and stuff are lesser for a cheaper car so the insurance premium is also most likely lesser (Since you are looking at it from a cost persective)
The reason i personally didnt go for a Fiat is because after the joint network of Tata and Fiat, i find that Fiat cars tend to get step motherly treatment (at a place where Tata car owners themselves dont always get the best service). This was my impression when i had to run from pillar to post just to get a test drive of the palio, i'm not sure if things have changed since.
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Old 7th June 2010, 23:24   #6
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If you have fallen in love with Punto, then there is no question! Just go for her. The second worst thing in the world to do is to regret for not buying the car you love. Money is secondary. If you buy swift now, and in a year or two when you make more money, would you be able to exchange to exchange it with a Punto? only after considerable financial loss!

Dont worry about A-S-S. You only need to find one good dealer in Mumbai, and the rest of the dealers dont matter.
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Old 7th June 2010, 23:38   #7
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David, let me attempt to spoil your party a li'l bit

- Do you really think its wise to spend 50% of your income on commuting ? (13k EMI, 4k Fuel, 1K Maintenance). I certainly would not have done so. Trust me, and I am talking from experience, save / invest.

My suggestion: Buy a cheaper car - a petrol. Remember, for a diesel you pay more upfront and recover your costs as you drive more and more till you reach a break-even point. In your case, it should be happening the other way round. Pay less upfront (when you can least afford it), and pay up more in terms of usage (more expense on petrol) as you go along. After all, the salary is gonna increase with time.

Suggested reading: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shift...gs-future.html

Please do not take anything otherwise, its just what I would have (or should have) done

Other than that, here is what I have spent in maintaining my swift diesel for 77,000 kms till date. Please note that I have changed oil & filter at 5k instead of the recommended 10k and have had a minor accident where I had to shell out about 8k from my pocket.

Best of luck !!!
Attached Files
File Type: xls Service Cost.xls (19.5 KB, 4254 views)

Last edited by Eddy : 6th June 2011 at 19:14.
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Old 8th June 2010, 09:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy View Post
Do you really think its wise to spend 50% of your income on commuting ? (13k EMI, 4k Fuel, 1K Maintenance). I certainly would not have done so. Trust me, and I am talking from experience, save / invest.
Thanks for the replies guys

Eddy, you certainly have a point, which car would you suggest?
A lil info on my financial state:
Salary: 35k pm (4.5L pa)
Bills (mobile, internet): 2k pm (24k pa)
Expenditure on knick knacks: 3k pm (36k pa)
The rest can be divided between savings and the car's emi and fuel expenses.

Will be getting married in Dec 2011, joint income will be about 60k pm (~7L pa). Already have a house, so no expenses on homeloans/rent. Cost of running the home is currently not borne by me, but will be once i get married, monthly household expenditure will be to the tune of 20k pm (2.4L pa).

My only parameter when it comes to a car is comfort (im about 6 feet tall, with a nice big santa clause tummy) and safety on the highway (bi-weekly round trips of about 350kms with mom and the to be missus)

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 8th June 2010, 10:28   #9
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I agree with Eddy that you should go for a petrol car. This would reduce your EMI's and you can control your spending on commuting as required. You can always upgrade to a bigger car later.

Also look at the Figo which is well priced.
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Old 8th June 2010, 10:55   #10
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Yes, Petrol it has to be. But then there are not too many excellent options in comparison to a K series Swift. Look seriously for it.
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Old 8th June 2010, 12:01   #11
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Thank God I am not the only one who feels this way.

Like Eddy already mentioned, it is not a wise thing to be spending such a large portion of your salary towards EMI, fuel and maintenance for the car.

You mentioned that you will be getting married in a few years. Don't you think it would be better to save some more money before getting married. Marriage celebration is an expensive affair.

You mentioned that your combined salary would get increased after getting married, but at the same time your expenses would also be increased. Please take this into account.

Also, you should always have surplus funds in case of any unforeseen emergencies.

I am not trying to discourage you from buying your dream car. But before you take the plunge, do the math properly.

IMHO a diesel car would be better suited for your kind or usage. You could target a car which is slightly easy on the pocket. Or you could wait a few years and then go ahead and buy your dream car.

A pre-owned car can also be considered.

Rohan
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Old 8th June 2010, 13:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david.mcgreggor View Post
Thanks for the replies guys

Eddy, you certainly have a point, which car would you suggest?
A lil info on my financial state:
Salary: 35k pm (4.5L pa)
Bills (mobile, internet): 2k pm (24k pa)
Expenditure on knick knacks: 3k pm (36k pa)
The rest can be divided between savings and the car's emi and fuel expenses.

Will be getting married in Dec 2011, joint income will be about 60k pm (~7L pa). Already have a house, so no expenses on homeloans/rent. Cost of running the home is currently not borne by me, but will be once i get married, monthly household expenditure will be to the tune of 20k pm (2.4L pa).
Hi David,

Do you absolutely require the car for your daily commute? You have given the revenue details and the monthly expenditure. How much of the remaining money goes for income tax? What is your investment plan? How would you provide for the marriage expenses?

My advice would be to invest the savings (Ulips, term insurance, MFs or even FDs would do) for short to long term (read 3-10 years, 30 years in case of term insurance). Make your money earn for you. Instead of spending half the salary on owning and running a car, invest that 15K amount so it earns you money. Get a new car after you get married. This way you can gift yourself a new car on marriage, your missus will be happy to be riding in a brand new set of wheels and you will have enough earnings to offset some of the expenditure on the car. Remember a car is not an asset or an investment, but an expenditure.

If you do insist on getting a car for the sake of convenience, go for a used car (preferably from your friend circle or relatives where you know the history of the car) for around 1 L or nearabout. Try and arrange a staggered payment, and try to pay out of your own pocket. Keep the car for the time till you get married. This way you are saving a monthly outgo on EMIs, enjoy the convenience of a car and keep the car around for your missus to learn, or trade it in for a new car (and get some benefit then). Preferred brands would be a Maruti or Hyundai.

Remember, owning a car won't be as easy as adding up the EMIs and fuel bills. There's the down payment to consider, and then there are insurance premiums, occasional repairs and whatnot. Going for a used car cheap would get you used to the idea of owning a car.

Edit: A comment on u_chill's post below: If you are going for an LPG version, specially something as small as Spark, you would be losing precious luggage space, which may have an impact on your week-end drives. So while it can keep your daily costs under check, you may want to provide for extra luggage space through a roof carrier or go for a bigger LPG car like the Santro/WagonR.

Last edited by honeybee : 8th June 2010 at 13:17.
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Old 8th June 2010, 13:12   #13
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Very impressed with all the sincere recommendations above...and I concur.

To add to the mix- why are we not considering a Figo here? Ford has made some sincere efforts in reducing TCO, and if you are planning for mostly city driving the EXi TDCi should serve well.

A completely different tangential- you could consider an LPG petrol hatch. Only the Chevy Spark is a real option in my analysis, but for 4 lacs change you get low running cost and 3 years free maintenance. A petrol/lpg hatch would be more comfortable for Mumbai city traffic as well.

Last edited by u_chill : 8th June 2010 at 13:13.
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Old 8th June 2010, 13:45   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Hi David,

My advice would be to invest the savings (Ulips, term insurance, MFs or even FDs would do) for short to long term (read 3-10 years, 30 years in case of term insurance). Make your money earn for you. Instead of spending half the salary on owning and running a car, invest that 15K amount so it earns you money. Get a new car after you get married. This way you can gift yourself a new car on marriage, your missus will be happy to be riding in a brand new set of wheels and you will have enough earnings to offset some of the expenditure on the car. Remember a car is not an asset or an investment, but an expenditure.
Couldn't agree more on this. Really good suggestions on this thread.

IMO if you can live without a car at present, it would be best for you to exercise your will-power over your urge and postpone the plans till January 2012. Till then, do a FD of the current liquid cash that you have ready for the down payment and also a RD with monthly deposits equal to what you would have paid per month for the car.

If you purchase the car soon after marriage, the thrill of the purchase experience would increase manifold. You and your wifey will feel happier to own a brand new car at that time. And perhaps by that time you could be in a position to get a better car as well.

Since, petrol is not suited to your requirements, LPG will not give you that thrill if you are an enthusiast, and diesels would cut a big hole into your savings-so-far, it would be best to wait for just another year and few months. Times fly, and the wait will be over soon if can teach your heart that patience pays.

From my personal experience, i have noticed that suggestions that go against our aspirations or strong-urges always seem incorrect and our heart tells us that everything will fall into place. But there is a considerable amount of risks, one should always be prepared for. And, trust me, if you are patient today, it will pay tomorrow and someday you will be thanking your stars (and TeamBHP) for the decision.

Last edited by SilkDrive : 8th June 2010 at 13:49.
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Old 8th June 2010, 14:31   #15
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Ten years down the line, either cars would be sold. But you'd not have any other asset to show for it. Yes, there may have been great times with them.

But at your income/commuting, a bike makes eminent sense. You get to save atleast 10k per month (1/3rd of your income). First plan on your future. A car is just a vehicle. It is not the center of your life that it should consume half your salary.

The $28,000 question: Why are we all hypocrites about weddings? | I Will Teach You To Be Rich should give you some thoughts. More thoughts there.

Like I suggested another gent - a brand new bike should do just fine.
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