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Old 22nd February 2008, 17:17   #1
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Default Tell us about your Used car experience

Let’s share our experiences with buying used cars….will make for an interesting read!

The only car I have bought used so far is my 2003 OHC Vtec. Why did I go used? Well, the NHC was already launched and thus, the pre-owned market was the only way toward OHC ownership.

I looked around for over three months, and test-drove atleast 30 - 40 Vtecs over the search. High on the priority list was finding the newest possible example, since post-Sept ’02 cars had different ECMs. Somehow, the “perfect” one just hadn’t come by. That’s until I got a call from the sales rep at Ichibaan Honda, telling me of a < 12 month old Vtec that had just been put up for sale. The car was a mid-2003 model which had only 3,000 odd kms on the odo. I immediately headed toward Altamount Road for a test-drive…..5 minutes with her and I knew I just had to take her home. A Vtec that’s less than a year old, hasn’t even had its second service yet, and been primarily parked indoors was unheard of at that time. The owner was asking for 7.75 lacs, which was just as expensive as a brand new NHC! We eventually agreed on 7.25 lacs, a price still on the higher side, but a whole 2.5 lacs lesser than the original owner paid for the car just a couple of months back.

Unfortunately, the delivery experience with Ichibaan didn’t go as smoothly as expected. I paid a premium price to conduct the transaction through an authorised Honda dealership, expecting peace of the mind. What I ended up getting instead was them banging my car, and then trying to repair it on the sly! To make a long story short, they did repair the car eventually and paid up Rs. 25,000 as a sweetener.

Am I happy with the car? You bet. It’s going to be 5 years old this summer and is still a blast to high-revv. Reliability has been bullet-proof too. I don’t intend to sell her off for atleast another 3 years.
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Old 22nd February 2008, 17:40   #2
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I bought a 99 Zen Carb, for 110k and had to spend another 15k for Name transfer and pending taxes (there was some Rs 3200 pending for Audio system, this got me really angry as the car came with a kenwood tape deck, in which too only the radio worked). This is my first car, and I have learned a lot since buying the same.

I later realised that this car may have had a bang from the right hand side, as both the doors were done up, the left side is clean, now I don't know how deep the band was, as in Kolkata where I stay, it's impossible to have a car without a bang here and a bang there.

The car rattels a lot when driven over uneven surfaces, I don't know if it's my car only or all Maruti's are rattle prone. The AC on the carb zen is pathetic, and does not cool at all, and I have spent a lot of money trying to get the cooling to improve, but I now think, what cooling I'm getting now is about the best a carb zen can do. I have spend 28k on the car till now on getting stuff right, and a majority of it went trying to get the AC to perform, but the AC is a big put off on a zen, especially a carb zen, or may be just my zen.

The rare thing about my car is that it's a carb 99 zen with power steering, I have not seen any other 99 carb zen with power steering, I have no idea if my car came that way or the previous owner got one installed, as I bought my car from a dealer.

Carb zen's I believe are very sluggish when driven with AC, but without AC, it's fine, again I don't know if it's my car specific or all carb zen's are like this.

Have learnt a lot about buying a used car, like checking door's and body pannels for accidents, listening for noises, checking for AC, maybe if I buy another car now, I would walk away with a better car, as my car inspecting abilities have gone up.

Overall, I love the car becasue it's my first car, and I have never had a problem where I have been stranded becasue of the car, it just keeps going on and on, never complains.

I have to now pay road tax this November, and I'm pretty confused as to keep the car or sell it, as selling the same would fetch me close to nothing, if I keep the car then I would do it up, but I keep asking myself, is it worth doing up and spending another 30k bring her up to shape.

Last edited by musicmanaman : 22nd February 2008 at 17:43.
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Old 22nd February 2008, 21:09   #3
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Well good. another OHC story from my side. Always liked the car. Test drove the new city but didn't like it. Started searching for OHC vtec. Didn't find even single one in Hyd. The ones which i could get hands on were battered. Lost hope and left it. One saturdya's DH classifieds carried an ad of OHC non vtec with very less mileage on it. Went and test drove the car. Well maintained. Paid a premium price. But happy with it. Boosted it and daily driver. Wonderful engine. Keep speeds below 120 and will love it. Fat tyres are a necessity. Changed headlights for 3000. Bumper repair for 500 and routine maintenance. Runs fine and well 9touch wood).

will i buy a used car again. Will not defenitely IF I find a good model and make and easy on maintenance bills. I didn't like any new model so settled for OHC considering many facts.
Will i sell it? Will not unless i am bankrupt!! lol.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 15:35   #4
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@ musicmanaman : If the first car you buy is used, it is rarely a pleasant experience. Lack of experience makes one gullible to scrupulous used car dealers. However, with the right information + knowledge (time spent on TBHP ), buying a used car can be almost as satisfying as buying a new car. Someone else takes the nasty depreciation hit too! I have helped countless family + friends buy pre-owned cars (from entry hatch to super-luxury sedan) and not one of those cars has ended up as a lemon.

@ kutlee : Yup, I remember your thread on the OHC. The regular 1.5 delivers 99% of the Vtec and is an equally fantastic buy.

Will not defenitely IF I find a good model and make and easy on maintenance bills.
What do you mean by this? Didn't understand.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd February 2008 at 15:36.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 15:59   #5
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My first secondhand car was a Peugout 309SRI. Rather than buy a boring new Escort, there was more value in the UK secondhand market. Bought it for 5300 pounds 24000 miles(40000km) - two owners. bought it from a local village Peugeot dealer (the times when people had relationships with the dealer before dealerships became a cold metal shifters) It had had an accident but panel fit was fine. It drove really well. Needless to say, it served me during good times and bad till 80000 miles (130000km) without missing a beat.

After coming to India, nearly bought second hand a couple of times but the good cars were held by dealers (or dealers pretending not to be dealers) at inflated prices. Took the plunge and bought a used Octy RS from JMD. 2005 and 16000 on the clock. All in all, I saved 5 lakhs compared to new (a little more if I get the MH LTT returned). Apart from some superficial dings, a dicky cup holder and the heater not working - i have done well. Maybe I paid slightly 50000 more than from an individual but JMD went over the car and had full service history. I bought this car blind. NC was my eyes and ears, since he is the RS expert, I could n't go too wrong! I am happy - just be patient and be prepared to walk away if you see something fishy.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 16:51   #6
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. I bought this car blind. NC was my eyes and ears, since he is the RS expert, I could n't go too wrong!
ONLY on Team-BHP will a petrolhead buy a car without even seeing it once!
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Old 23rd February 2008, 17:41   #7
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My first car was a new Indica.. MY second one was a used NHC. It was a 2005 model, owned by an office colleague and run just 15k kms in 2.5 years. It was immaculately maintained, and ran pretty well.
I checked on Team-BHP and came across some articles on the NHC's low cost of spares v/s the others in its segment, about the FE. I took a look at the car, took it for a short spin, and immediately gave my word that im taking her..
Its been close to 6 months. Till date, i had the problem of the starter motor conking off. This was repaired. I spent some money to remove the scratches on the bumpers and body. Thats it. Overall, although its a bit early to tell, im satisfied with the buy. The FE is good and it gives a truly luxurious feel from the inside.
Will I buy another used car? Not sure., really. Since this car was known to me and was clean, i went for it. Next time I think to go for a used car, Ill take GTO's help..

Last edited by hrman : 23rd February 2008 at 17:42.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 17:46   #8
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More than a year ago, I was on the look out for a used car. So I went Baleno hunting in Chennai along with my cousin (and fellow TBHPian).. Found a couple at the used car dealers, but they were quoting absurd prices and getting away with it. Those Balenos vanished within days..

However, My heart was set on a Baleno and I came back to Pune disappointed. A few days later, my cousin sends me a pic of a Baleno that obviously had an accident - a right side frontal impact. it was for sale for Rs 1.5 lakhs and I needed to decide fast on whether I wanted it or not !! .. The odo reading was around 13k. Since I knew I wouldnt be keeping the car for long ( max 2 years -since I was planning to go out of India), I decided I might as well take the plunge..

Six months and a couple of lakhs later (including repairs + alloys + tyres + paint job + ICE), just after my wedding, the Baleno was driven all the way from Chennai to Mangalore to be delivered to me as a just in time wedding gift . Then I drove it all the way from Mangalore to Pune.. Now, 25,000 kilometers later (38k in total), it is still going strong with hardly any repairs except a few man made dents!!

Last edited by spadival : 23rd February 2008 at 18:06.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 17:49   #9
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One of my relative wanted me to look around for a clean and reasonably run OMNI in 3-4 months. Info was well in advance to look for a decent used car.

I have enough experience with used car dealers, when I was in market for purchasing an OHC. Infact I know many of these used car dealers name/showroom by their phone number . I never purchased one is an altogether different story as none of them came inline with my expectations. Hence wanted to do this OMNI purchase from a direct seller.

A well maintained OMNI came up for sale in my office. Everthing is fine expect the price and as always sky is the limit for the seller . Hence never bothered to check, but closely followed the status. Atlast the deal got finalized with the dealer.

Went to the seller and offered him Rs.2000/- extra and drove the car home.

I was not able to do the name transfer and within 6 months car is up for sale and another employee bought it from me at my cost price (I have upgraded the tyres upon my purchase and thats my only expense).

I like driving OMNI very much

Last edited by Surprise : 23rd February 2008 at 17:53.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 20:46   #10
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My first used car was a 1999 Esteem LX that was Henna Green in colour. I bought it in mid 2000 for 3.6L with the odo reading at 25K. Not a problem at all even for a single day and I did many long distances in that with family to places like Jodhpur, Varanasi, Mussoorie, Naintaal, Kausani, Ranikhet, Almora etc. Got good FE too.

Sold it off in 2005 after clocking 110K on the odo for 50K. It indeed was a very good car.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 21:20   #11
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My first used car was the M800 - flat nose -84 model suzuki engine . bought 40K spent 40K had a great car for 80K..used for 2 years sold for 50K.

My second used car was a 97 carb zen.bought @ 1.5L spent another 50K - plonked the esteem engine - ran the car for two years - removed esteem engine - plonked old zen engine sold @ 1L

My third used car was the Gypsy King 5Sp with 4WD - bought 1.5L spent another 50K used for 6 months sold for 1.85L

My fourth used car was a CJ3B - 70 model - bought @ 1.2L spent another 1L trying to make it reliable - sold at 80K as that was not possible.

My fifth used car was the Maruti Gypsy King [i bought back my gypsy] @ 1.35L spent another oops still spending money on it to make it great.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 21:32   #12
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my first used car - 2000 model ESTEEM LX bought on april 2004 from maruti true value...
experience - buying experiece was pretty good and car was in good condition. i learnt driving in this car ! when i took delivery a friend of mine drove it from the showroom. i then took out the car every morning for a week and i was ready to battle it out in cochin traffic !!
sold the car in march 2005. lost 55k on a single year bcos
1) the TV dealer over charged me in the first place
2) the new look esteem got launched after i bought this
3) when i was in the market to sell, one of the dealers pointed that my car had originally a LPG kit which was removed by the TV dealer before selling to me. and he said a LPGed car always sells for less than a normal one !!
so selling experience was not at all good

second used car - OHC 1.5 EXI - 2001 model - 42k on odo - bought in march 2005 immediately after i sold the Esteem
buying experience was good - this time around, i hunted for cars offered by direct owners and not through brokers bcos i saw 2 other CITYs through brokers and the cars were not really good but quoting high price

finally i met this chap who stays like 5/6 houses from me in cochin and checked out his OHC. car was in good condition. i paid 4.65 lakhs back in 2005 for a 2001 model car...( many said its expensive - but then it was a good car )
its now 3 years and going great guns with enhancements in footwear and a FFE
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Old 23rd February 2008, 21:35   #13
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I owned a 5 years old Omni in 2001, It was a nightmare period, I lost around 50K during that period with so much of issues I faced and with the resale.
I can't forget two days:
1. Around 2AM in the night, I lost the Battery power, and the car stopped in the mid of the highway with my wife and 6 months old son. :-(, Fortunatly I had a driver for that day, and I he took care of the car, and found a tata 407 driver who was kind enough to carry us to the nearest Busstand.
2. I gave the car for service, and changed the tyres. The next day, the back wheel dropped out at a highway again, fortunatly I was very slow that time, and was saved.


My recommedation is, when you buy a vechicle there is more chance that you could be buying the worst car. Be wise while buying...OR NEVER buy a used car.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 22:04   #14
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my first second hand car is conteesa classic model-1994 purchased in 2001,i learn driving on this car. bought 70K spent 4K on LPG kit..used for 1 year sold for 64K.

my second used car is padmini premier model-1994 purchased in 2002.bought 16k spent 6k for engine rebuild,tyres and battery.In 2003 i giveaway to my masi .

My third used car was a 2001 mpfi zen purchased in 2003.bought @ 2.6L spent another 15K for ice setup.sold it after accident in late 2003.

My fourth used car was m800 model 1989 purchased in 2004- bought 35k spent another 10K used for 3 months sold for 40k.sour experience.

My fifth used car is ikon 1.6zxi model 2001 purchased in jan2005.Bought 2.8L bcos car is accidental from rear.sold it for 3L to get rid of and nice offer for accidental car.
After that my family warned me not to by used car in future.cos i m wasting my effort and their money.But over all my used car experience is good.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 22:50   #15
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Default M800 - totally issue free. Bought from a personally known seller

Great thread GTO. I may be going away from the intended message of the thread. So let me get the message out first. Because I had bought the car from a personally known source, it was a hassle free experience for me.

He is me going romantic. My first car was a used M800 (White, '92 Model, 6 years old when i bought it). Had done 35k miles (it was driven my boss' wife). Very well maintained and they came with slightly wide track MRF Zigmas. Drove all over the place around Delhi. The first weekend drive was to the less known Alwar - a place full of Havelis and forts. I was a beginner driver then but that car was so forgiving. My parents never let me drive long distances so much and could never forget the taste of freedom....my car, my highway, my terms, 3 good friends....It briiliant. Then, I drove it to Wagah border and Shimla some other time. Such a fantastic experience for someone who had loved the petrol fumes to the office coffee. Did 70k km in it - all went well right though the runs.

I had two painful experiences in that car. The first one during a bad (untimely) monsoon in Gurgaon, I collided with a scooter guy. He had driven with his head down (probably to avoid the rain drops hitting his eyes) and he drove straight into me. He was up in the air for a split second and flew over the car and landed behind the car. Nothing serious.

Then once on the way back from Jaipur on the highway we were following a line of trucks. In the middle of the night, we all ran over a corpse and that was quite a difficult moment. Felt bad. There were a few specks of blood on the body and rims in the morning.

Anyways, in the times of joy and sorrow, it was always a great companion. Here's to you.cheers:
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