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Old 13th May 2016, 10:30   #31
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

I think it may be a question of availability as well. With the rush for low end models, some drivers may have opted for the top end versions for immediate discounts and ready availability. For example, by paying 1 lakh more if you get your car 3 months early, it may make economic sense..
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:45   #32
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Very interesting, the most number of WangorR Stingrays I have ever seen, were Taxis in Sikkim all with alloy wheels and projector headlamps. The total numbers of Stingrays I saw in Sikkim in a week was more than I have seen since it's launch elsewhere across India.
Resale value analogy, I am not sure would hold through here. Since these cars are driven in first & second due to hilly region and steep slopes, which should be largely ruining the engine and resale would happen where the loaded version may not be fancied to pay more buck.
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Old 13th May 2016, 18:48   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
The other day, I saw a yellow board Celerio AMT.
Even I've been spotting Celerio AMT + CNG Taxis....since AMT+CNG option is nowhere available, they must be retrofitting the kits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nishantbhatia84 View Post
I drive with Uber - Mumbai on a full time basis and chose the Ford Ecosport AT
Have you installed CNG kit? If so, which one, what cost and hows the experience been? You rock man, drive safe!

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 14th May 2016 at 19:22. Reason: merged back to back posts
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Old 13th May 2016, 19:05   #34
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Instead of 'why' it should be 'why not?'. Drivers (who spend the whole day in the car) and of course passengers, deserve all the safety and creature comforts that the higher variants provide. Stuff like ABS and Bluetooth are safety measures not just for the driver and passengers but people around them on the road.

Only in India do we have this mentality of 'who cares if the car is rudimentary, has poor ergonomics and is a pain to maneuver and drive, after all I have a driver', thankfully this is slowly changing.
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Old 13th May 2016, 19:27   #35
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by windiesel View Post
Have you installed CNG kit? If so, which one, what cost and hows the experience been? You rock man, drive safe!
Yes, I got a CNG kit fitted - Lovato EASY FAST C-OBD II Sequential Kit for ₹51,000.
The experience with CNG has been great with absolutely negligible loss of power - the car runs great on cng and under normal running it's impossible to make out if the car is on petrol or cng.

Note: This question and reply are OT so requesting mods to move it to the relevant thread if any.
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Old 13th May 2016, 19:27   #36
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

During one of rides I was chatting with the driver and he said that he used to work as a driver prior to starting out on his own with Ola. Maybe some of the drivers are from similar backgrounds and have been in private service wherein they may have been exposed to the top end variants and the benefits so when they start out on their own they prefer the top end variant because a) it gives them comfort and safety on the road (where they spend most of their time) and b) it provides for a better ride for the customer as well.

Now that the taxi services are offering Prime/Premium services as well, the top end variants could see a slight rise in demand therein too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram31 View Post
I think it may be a question of availability as well. With the rush for low end models, some drivers may have opted for the top end versions for immediate discounts and ready availability. For example, by paying 1 lakh more if you get your car 3 months early, it may make economic sense..
Yes, that would make a lot of sense since the business during 3 month waiting period could offset the premium partially (or maybe fully). Not to forget that one ends up with a better product as well foever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chncar View Post
Instead of 'why' it should be 'why not?'. Drivers (who spend the whole day in the car) and of course passengers, deserve all the safety and creature comforts that the higher variants provide. Stuff like ABS and Bluetooth are safety measures not just for the driver and passengers but people around them on the road.
Yes, this shift is a welcome move and should happen.

Cheers,
S
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Old 14th May 2016, 09:14   #37
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

I've a different take. In karnataka there's lot of tax savings and depreciation benefits if a car is registered as a taxi-yellow board. Though I don't stay in bangalore but small town chitradurga most of my clients buy yellow board registrations for their cars even though It's for personnel use. The cars range from usual tata indigo s to higher end ones like cruz,merc, volvo,laura, superb etc. I don't have the exact figures but a client said that even insurance costs were lower for a yellow board car (strange-I thought it would be higher) .the bottom line is a lot of these higher end yellow board cars are just personal vehicles saving up some cash!
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Old 14th May 2016, 09:57   #38
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

I've seen numerous cabbies (mostly Olas and Ubers) who work within the City Limits on Weekdays and do the highways like Bangalore-Mysore, BLR-Hassan, and other nearby places around BLR (not linked to aggregators) during the weekends when their ride count would dip. I believe a similar scenario exists around all other major cities.

Although most of them are driven rashly, I guess the premium cars with their safety features are something the cabbies look forward to, specially during their weekend highway runs. On my highway trips, I've been overtaken by quite a few Ritzs and Micras with a green bumper which tells me they are Ola Cabbies. Plus, yellow board means lesser road tax and the cash saved in the process would tempt them to go for the higher variant.

I saw a Swift VXi as a cab in BLR and I was like Petrol-Swift-Cab?!?! I guess the cabbies are just experimenting and the ride makes a big part of their experience; hence the variety!

Last edited by vsathyap : 14th May 2016 at 09:59. Reason: Context editing
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Old 14th May 2016, 10:14   #39
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

In the olden days a Taxi operator used to own a fleet of cars and hired drivers used to drive them. The situation today is very different, the Taxi companies only own the contact, booking and other infrastructure, while the driver who owns his own car uses this infrastructure, gaining a lot of business but loosing a small bit of commission in the process. In this situation why should a driver who own's his own car not spend a bit more for luxuries.

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Old 14th May 2016, 11:08   #40
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mh09ad5578 View Post
I don't have the exact figures but a client said that even insurance costs were lower for a yellow board car (strange-I thought it would be higher) .the bottom line is a lot of these higher end yellow board cars are just personal vehicles saving up some cash!
It's actually not economical to run a tpermit vehicle solely for personal use, here's why:
1. Annual Registration Renewal
2. Tpermit renewal every 3 years
3. Insurance for commercial vehicles is substantially higher
The only saving is of the excise refund which is not a very high amount at all.
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Old 14th May 2016, 14:22   #41
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mh09ad5578 View Post
I've a different take. In karnataka there's lot of tax savings and depreciation benefits if a car is registered as a taxi-yellow board. Though I don't stay in bangalore but small town chitradurga most of my clients buy yellow board registrations for their cars even though It's for personnel use. The cars range from usual tata indigo s to higher end ones like cruz,merc, volvo,laura, superb etc. I don't have the exact figures but a client said that even insurance costs were lower for a yellow board car (strange-I thought it would be higher) .the bottom line is a lot of these higher end yellow board cars are just personal vehicles saving up some cash!
I know of 2 people who bought top end cars for their personal use and run as taxis during free time. One of those car drops the owners wife at office at 10 AM and runs as taxi till 7PM and last trip is to pick the owners wife back from office. This way the owner gets a return from his car investment, and driver also gets additional income.
The other car takes mostly outstation trip taxi.
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Old 14th May 2016, 23:15   #42
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Over here in Kerala, most of the taxis are the top end variants, especially the tourist taxis. A friend of mine was about to buy an Etios and Innova to run as taxis, and the tour operator specifically told him that he could guarantee more repeat hirings if the vehicles, Innovas especially, were the top variants. Apparently, whe people hire an expensive cab like the Innova, they like to be seen arriving in style. Bonus points for chrome accessories and plush upholstery as well. My friend ended up ordering the top of the line Innova instead of the Etios and Innova, and spent close to a lakh doing it up with accessories and LCD screens etc. But he says it's worth it, as the vehicle has never seen an idle day, and he's already going to book the new Crysta next. Top end white Innovas are favoured for wedding runs as well. They also ask him to put on a white number plate for the weddings!!!
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Old 15th May 2016, 07:50   #43
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekgk View Post
They also ask him to put on a white number plate for the weddings!!!
So they asked them specifically to have a white set of number plates for weddings and yellow for regular taxi rides? That's something, especially in Kerala Normally all the wedding ones I've seen are private vehicles which are given on rentals.
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Old 15th May 2016, 09:51   #44
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nishantbhatia84 View Post
It's actually not economical to run a tpermit vehicle solely for personal use,
Using a taxi registered car for private purpose has another advantage, which we experienced in the past. There was a time when we travelled interstate a lot, to save harrasment when across the border we had registered two of our cars as Taxis.
Taxi registered cars pay short term tax on the border, it is currently as high as minimum 1 Years for Karnataka & Goa, 3 Months for Maharashtra, and as less as 7 days for Gujarat and 1 day for MP.
Whenever we were out of state the cars used to be stopped for inspection of papers, but just waving the tax payed receipt was enough and the RTO or Police usually just waved us to go ahead.

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Old 16th May 2016, 16:55   #45
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

I got picked up in a Tata Aria Uber once (hadn't even ordered the UberSUV) and it was really a delight. The cab driver said he had opted for it because he loved the car and his passengers did too. In fact he told me that several of his regular customers called him directly for outstation trips after riding with him on Uber. We think customers are getting more sophisticated over time (and they are) but so are our cabbie brethren!

Another time after a night on the town my Uber guy was a Skoda Rapid (am not familiar with the variants but it must have been the equivalent of the Comfortline in the Vento). Since the Trendline variant is pretty bare bones (zero safety features, no MID etc.) that came as a pleasant surprise.

As a customer I would rather travel in a vehicle fully equipped with safety features and even pay a small premium for that. Perhaps this new trend (if it is one) is a reflection of that mindset. I hope it sticks!
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