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Old 3rd January 2009, 07:40   #1
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Default My experience with First Choice Trivandrum

Guys,

I had bought a used Hyundai Elantra from First Choice Motors Trivandrum. I had gone in there because they had a Mahindra tag attached and so thought they would be good. MY experience turned out worse...

I was on the look out for a used Honda City Vtec, and First Choice was my first choice of used car dealers. Went in there with my wife and kid and the welcoming was good enough. They had no Honda City's in stock. They asked me to have a look at few other cars they had in their yard. We went there and saw this seemingly beautiful Elantra there.. I was hooked the moment I saw it. Took a test drive and found a few problems. Was promised all this would be rectified before delivery.

Paid an advance and went away. Came to tbhp and asked for expert advise. All said that the car is a little over priced, but I loved the Elantra and so was prepared to pay the premium... also that gave me 6 months guarantee from First Choice...Also they would buy back my Palio D for a decent price.

This perhaps was the worst choice I have ever made in my life so far...

Got the delivery of the Elantra after all defects cleared as per First Choice.... The car was amazing... I changed tyres to Good Year Assurance and was having a good time. The car rocked and I was very happy for the choice...

But, few weeks back I had a small accident, apparently caused due to a worn out brake pad. The car did not stop at the distance that I expected it would. My bad luck.. Took it to Popular Hyundai for repair. In the mean while, I moved jobs and had to travel to Germany with family for a long time starting Jan 09. So had to sell the Elantra too...

Told this to Popular guys, that I am selling the car and so just get the basics right (may not be the right thing to do, but I guess everyone does this). My experince with Popular Hyundai is posted here

Popular had quoted 20K for the damages, I agreed and asked them to get it done asap. I agreed for this amount because I didn't want a prick of conscience when selling the car later.

Apparently the car had many major issues which were looked over by First Choice and I had to pay for it all. I walked into First Choice to get it done under the warranty, all they said is that this is wear and tear and is not covered under their warranty... I was shocked, had to shell out close to 80K to get the car out from Popular. I had sent a few mails to First Choice all to no avail.

I found a buyer for the car and have sold it now. He got the car checked out at a Hyundai dealer in Ernakulam and have bought the car for a very low price. Cant blame him for it, as the car was screwed up by popular and First choice. All of them walked away with something or the other, I stand here having lost close to 3lacks in 6 months.. So much for owning a premium D segment Car.

Guys, please stay away from them. You are better off buying a used car from an unauthorized person than First Choice.

Last edited by basilmabraham : 3rd January 2009 at 07:57.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 08:35   #2
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Basil, thats quite a saddening experience. You've taken a terrible loss thanks to these morons.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 09:56   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basilmabraham View Post
Guys,
Came to tbhp and asked for expert advise. All said that the car is a little over priced,
I think you are talking about this thread:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/sedans...9d-go-not.html (Urgent: Used Elantra CRDi swap with Palio 1.9D - To go or not?)

In you other thread I read that you have spent about Rs. 3 lakh in six months.
If my words are " Its a very bad experience ", its an understatement. What surprised me is that even Popular Hyundai are not great. And its not one off incidence as you have also posted the link to other thread that points out to bad experience from Popular.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 11:10   #4
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Basil, sad to hear about the bad experience you had....i think i had posted my thoughts when you were about to buy this car...

According to me a 80k run car that too buying from a dealer like FC one has to be extremly careful....these guys will make the car shine and work well for few months but after some good use thats when the all the problem crops out!

As per me First Choice is as bad as any other dealer....i will never trust these guys.
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Old 24th July 2010, 20:51   #5
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Mahindra is digging its own grave by attaching itself to First Choice. We bought a Baleno from them in September 2008, trusting the polished sales personnel. The car was brilliant to drive, and the deal looked like a bargain. Later, when we visited the Authorized Maruti showroom for the first service(under our ownership), we were told that the AC compressor was functioning continuously, irrespective of whether the AC was on or off. This was serious. The condenser was suffering unnecessary wear, and we had no idea how long the vehicle had been like this. When my father called the showroom, they said that they were aware about the problem, and would attend to it for a 'nominal' charge of Rs 4500, by changing the wires. We didn't allow them to touch the car, but the incident shows what principles these people have.
These people are worse than the usual dealers. They betray your trust, and charge at least 20000 more than the market value of the car. And speaking about their 'warranty': It applies only to the engine and the gearbox. Even if your AC fails, they have no responsibility. It's a smart way of duping people.
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Old 25th July 2010, 11:00   #6
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Automart and then first choice is nothing but cheating the buyers!

the guys will have a team of mechs who buy the car and make it look good and they are quiet good in hiding faults esp once caused by accidents.

infact all the used car dealer is risky!

My suggestion, buy the car diectly from the seller. once you see the car make sure you take it to the best mech who deals with that brand! he should know that make in and out. this way your risk will be much lesser!
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Old 25th July 2010, 13:02   #7
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Most of the Pre-owned car dealers in trivandrum especially First Choice gives you PATHETIC value when you want to sell your car. My 2002 Palio(with Pioneer HU and leather seats) was offered 75,000/- while someone else gave me 1,15,000 for the same car. Since the deal was signed through a Chevrolet dealer, I also got 10,000 as exchange bonus for my new Sparky.
One thing which First Choice do really well is POLISHING& CLEANING the car which they take

Last edited by shineshine : 25th July 2010 at 13:04.
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Old 25th July 2010, 13:12   #8
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Most of the pre-owned car dealers make good amount of money from the seller as well as the buyers. But they should atleast attend the repairs instead just make the car shine and sell to another guy which is ridiculous.
Hope members reading this thread should alteast spread the word amongst all known people so that some one can be saved from these morons!?
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Old 26th July 2010, 10:00   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basilmabraham View Post
Apparently the car had many major issues which were looked over by First Choice and I had to pay for it all. I walked into First Choice to get it done under the warranty, all they said is that this is wear and tear and is not covered under their warranty
I'm a little unclear here. You bought a used car from First Choice, then crashed it, and got the brake pads / suspension changed from popular Hyundai.

Can you explain why you are not happy with First Choice? Brake pads & suspension components are, indeed, wear and tear items. Most manufacturers don't even cover them on brand new cars...why would First choice warranty them on an 80,000 kms used car?

What are these "major issues" that you are talking about? You don't expect an 80,000 kms car to run like a brand new example, do you? I'm sorry, but I treat this review as terribly biased....atleast based on the information you have provided so far.

Last edited by GTO : 26th July 2010 at 10:02.
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Old 26th July 2010, 16:12   #10
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GTO and others,

I think my explanation is not good enough to show why first choice is not good. Also, there are 3 others in this same thread talking bad about first choice. Everyone cannot go wrong in judging the quality provided by First Choice, can they?

When I TDed the car I had found issues with the suspension and brakes. First choice had agreed to clear all this before delivering to me. All they did was a service at Hilton Hyundai, no parts were changed, even after this was promised. Even the steering was not centered when I took delivery. I had agreed to the high price only because First Choice agreed to repair all the defect noticed during the TD. All they had done was to wash and polish the car. I strongly believe that it was the fault in the brake pads that caused the car to crash. The car did not stop at the distance I would have expected it to.

I feel I would have been much better off if I had chosen a local second hand dealer than First Choice, as he would have a reputation to keep and would have worked hard towards it.

I am surprised that some one like GTO feels that the review is biased. If you find the thread to be not suitable, please feel free to delete it. I was only expressing my experience and thought it would benefit many who are part of this forum.

This is a very old thread, I am over it now and would never go to first choice or recommend them to any one I know.

Last edited by basilmabraham : 26th July 2010 at 16:14.
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Old 26th July 2010, 17:03   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basilmabraham View Post
I think my explanation is not good enough to show why first choice is not good
What exactly are your reasons? Why exactly do you feel that First choice is a bad used car dealer? This matter is still isn't clear.

Quote:
When I TDed the car I had found issues with the suspension and brakes. First choice had agreed to clear all this before delivering to me.
What issues with the suspension and brakes? See, we are being way too general here.

1. You aren't specifying precisely what was wrong with the suspension or the brakes

2. No one covers these components under warranty, even for brand new cars. They are wear & tear items (just like the clutch, for instance)

3. How long between your taking delivery of the Elantra, and finally getting the work done at Popular.

Quote:
I strongly believe that it was the fault in the brake pads that caused the car to crash. The car did not stop at the distance I would have expected it to.
It's the front brake pads that do a majority of the stopping work. Hadn't you stated that the rear pads had worn out? Also, worn out brake pads are in no ways "defective". They are, well, worn out!

Quote:
I am surprised that some one like GTO feels that the review is biased.
I don't mean to offend at all, basilmabraham. Only trying to understand exactly why you aren't happy with First Choice. From the information provided so far, I don't see them cheating you. Its not like they sold you a shoddily repaired accident car, or one with a clocked odometer, or fake paperwork.
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Old 26th July 2010, 23:43   #12
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basilmabraham, First of all, I'm sorry that you lost so much money. I've read through your thread, and it seems that First Choice didn't really do what they said they would.

As for the high bill, that is probably because everything on the Elantra is imported, now that production has stopped. I backed out from buying a gleaming used Elantra because the 80K service was upcoming, and that would cost me close to 25K in parts alone (timing chain, filters). And the clutch assembly is about 15K. Buying a higher segment car is always a costly option in terms of service. Maybe that's why the previous owner switched to a Santro in your case!

I feel that you were a bit too eager to buy this car. You have not mentioned any bill from Popular Hyundai for the service that First Choice did, nor did you insist on their giving you new tyres as promised. These guys are pros at making a customer feel relaxed and in a good mood. They never put any undue pressure on you to purchase, giving you the illusion of control. What they do is to subtly let you fall in love with a car, to the point that you have to have it. Then they subtly imply that good cars like these are easily snapped up, and hint that someone else has already booked it, or is looking at it seriously, but they might have trouble with finance or something.

I have been looking at various cars at First choice TVM. I found their prices to be about 20% higher than the market price. They also let you take as many TDs, having the keys ready as soon as you glance at a car. I've had about six TDs there, over four months. I was there looking for a 2006+ Bolero and I ended up drooling over a '95 Merc, which was priced in the same region!

Overall, I think that First Choice should be treated like any other car dealer. The only thing I think we can trust them for is to not give you an obvious lemon, due to their habit of checking service histories, and the quality checks. In basilmabraham's case, he was not given an accident car or a car with engine trouble, but a car that was expensive to maintain. It was compounded by the accident and his need to sell it off. If basilmabraham had kept the car for a few more years as he'd originally intended to do, he probably wouldn't have lost that much money. The next big service is at 100K. First Choice didn't do a proper service, sure, but keep in mind that they were going to sell the car, and thus, would want to keep the expenses down, replacing only the essential parts. As basilmabraham himself admitted, everyone does it, including himself, though it isn't the right thing to do.

I'm not saying that First Choice is blameless. Of course they didn't do the right thing. I'm simply pointing out that they didn't do anything that the average car seller wouldn't do, which is to minimise service costs, and that the car had no trouble except for normal wear and tear.
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Old 27th July 2010, 08:34   #13
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Guys if you see the dates of this thread, its simply given life again after an year ... Basil was told by many here to avoid this car which has done 80k and he had still brought it and by now i guess he has realized his mistake, its actually not from where you buy the car, we sometime need the talent to check what we are buying and at what condition, buying a diesel car which had clocked 80k was not a fair decision. Its a lesson we all need to learn
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Old 27th July 2010, 10:14   #14
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Guys if you see the dates of this thread, its simply given life again after an year ... Basil was told by many here to avoid this car which has done 80k and he had still brought it and by now i guess he has realized his mistake, its actually not from where you buy the car, we sometime need the talent to check what we are buying and at what condition, buying a diesel car which had clocked 80k was not a fair decision. Its a lesson we all need to learn
Of course I noted the dates. The thing is, a lot of guys use the forum as reference material when trying to make a purchase decision, like I did. It would be useful for them to see all sides of an issue. Simply saying that 'First Choice are crooks' isn't much use to anyone. You can never have too much information when it comes to buying a car. That would prevent some expensive mistakes.
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