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Old 4th March 2005, 12:25   #1
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Default Only in India !? Testdriving customer cars

This may only expose my naivete, but here goes ...

A well-known Maruti dealer in Bangalore came to our
office offering free check-ups and test drives.

I went on a test drive in a brand new car (with ribbons
and all), and noticed that the speedo/odo didn't work.
I was told quite frankly that it had been disconnected
so the car (pre-regn.) can be used for test drives, and
it would later be sold off as a new car! I was quite
astounded, -- someone would pay good money expecting
to drive away with a brand new car, without having a clue
that the "new" car had actually been test driven by any number
of people (even novices) for who-knows-how-many kms.!

Later I was a laughing stock in the office for being so
ignorant of such simple facts of life (apparently all
dealers anywhere in India did this all the time) !!!
"It is so expensive to keep a car just for test drives,
the dealers could hardly afford that. So it has to be this
way" ! Well, if it really were so, I'd rather be informed
about it upfront, and it should be my choice to accept it!

The question is, is it really a fact of life in India ?
And if I've to live with this, is there a way of making
sure that MY new car would really be new when I get it ?
How do experienced BHPians deal with this (short of getting
to know the dealer at a personal level) ? How could the
dealers/ service-stations ever be trusted to do their job
in a conscientious manner ? --- Comments please !
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Old 4th March 2005, 12:34   #2
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A very good Topic, and on the same lines as my earlier thread http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3672 (Maintenance Scene for Modern Vehicles !!)

But honestly, i think that any tampering and tinkering with the Vehicle odometer is a fraud and you should complain to the consumers board on the above matter. Also get in touch with the vehicle manufacturer and complain about the dealer. My understanding is that vehicle dealers do get upto 2 cars as test vehicles from the manufacturers depending on the sale of vehicles in their showrooms..

I think the new vehicle dealers are cheating honest car buyers with a test vehicle if that is the case and necessary action must be taken.. What say BHPiians ??
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Old 4th March 2005, 12:42   #3
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If I were you - I would have posted the Dealer's name on this site . If team-bhp would not let it post the name of the dealer - i would use mouthshut.com .
I stongly suggest that you do this . The very people who laughed at you are the reson for us , the end users to suffer always. If I knew that the Test car was a new one - I would not buy.

I really dont know as to how we could find out if the Car that we bought was really new . However , When I bought my baleno - I insisted that they take me to the stock yard - I wanted to check to see if they had Baleno in their yard.
But Please , put the Dealers name and if possible send them a link . By putting up his name , the competition will be watching all the sites - that way it is a warning for the other delaers too.

regards.


Mod Note: Please refrain from quoting complete or large sections of posts as it only serves to clutter the board. Tnx

Last edited by Rtech : 4th March 2005 at 12:50.
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Old 4th March 2005, 13:10   #4
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NOTE: Topic shifted to T-BHP Reviews-Car Dealerships

Quote:
The question is, is it really a fact of life in India ?
Unfortunately yes. Most dealers in India do this.

Quote:
And if I've to live with this, is there a way of making
sure that MY new car would really be new when I get it ?
Well usually dealers keep one car as a demo. What you should do is note its engine/chassis no. just incase you ordered the same model in the same colour.

Also, STRESS on the point when booking your car that if there are ANY signs of the car having been used as a demo piece, you will simple take your money back and walk away.

However, there are some honest dealers (oxymoron?) out there still For example, Autobahn Skoda do not give out customer or new cars for test drives. Infact they use the owners 65,000 km used Octavia as their demo. It's a great demo IMO as you get to see how well it holds up with 65,000km's run. Also recently a few of us went for a test drive of the RS, and although they had one sitting there, they refused to let us drive it saying they only us a demo vehicle for test drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by puthari
If I were you - I would have posted the Dealer's name on this site . If team-bhp would not let it post the name of the dealer
We welcome members to give names of fraudulent dealers here. Please post all your expeirience here.

Last edited by Rtech : 4th March 2005 at 13:11.
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Old 4th March 2005, 13:18   #5
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Some simple points I found to help you.

There are a few ways you could prevent your bike/car to become a testing vehicle OR a test vehicle being sold to you:
  • Check the test-bikes/test-cars chassis number.
  • Ask the dealer when your bike/car will reach him.
  • The day the bike/car reaches the showroom, ask the dealer for the delivery (easier for bike than car, car is almost impossible). The registration will not be there and you won't have any papers. If you could anyhow get the bike home, it'll be safe with you. This is to ensure that your bike/car will not be used as a test-bike/car till the actual delivery day. (Difficult and Inconvinient if caught by the traffic police, but completely fool-proof).
  • If this is not possible, you will have to wait till the regn is complete to take the bike/car home.
  • Check the bike/car quality thouroughly before taking delivery. Check the paint, and any dents on the bike/car.
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Old 4th March 2005, 13:19   #6
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oh sorry Rtech, didn't see your post
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Old 4th March 2005, 13:52   #7
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which dealer was that?
Atleast i have seen that bimal and mandovi motors using specially marked out cars(with "demo car" stickers) using for this purpose. The Wagon-R, from mandovi, which i tried last was week was in fact in very bad condition. Even the A/C was not working.
I have also once seen the garuda bringing a unregistered brand new opel corsa for demo purpose. Negotiation with garuda was on edge. And to pelease us, he did this i guess, since they also have sperate cars for this purpose.
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Old 4th March 2005, 15:11   #8
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But most dealers have their own test drive cars like Ichibaan Honda has a City Exi for test drive and one Skoda dealer has his Octy given for test drive which has done 85K.. The best toyota in the world is DSK at Pune, the owner gives his own camry for testdrive..
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Old 4th March 2005, 17:48   #9
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Smile Naming names ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkrishn
which dealer was that?
Atleast i have seen that bimal and mandovi motors using specially marked out cars(with "demo car" stickers) using for this purpose.
Well, I can't comment on how honest are either bimal or mandovi (or rns, or
sagar) in this regard, because my experience didn't involve any of them ;-).

Thanks guys for all the helpful tips. --- Do we have a special section for
such useful tips for easy access ?
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Old 4th March 2005, 23:04   #10
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It is unfortunate that these things happen. But i am sure its not only India where these malpractices occur. However, the difference is that in most other countries consumer protection laws do exist. I am very surprised to read that Skoda have ethics such as Rtech has mentioned.
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Old 5th March 2005, 00:14   #11
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Since no dealer name is provided, this topic is moved to the Indian car scene. Its not a review at all.

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Old 5th March 2005, 01:13   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meerkat
This may only expose my naivete, but here goes ...

A well-known Maruti dealer in Bangalore came to our
office offering free check-ups and test drives.

I went on a test drive in a brand new car (with ribbons
and all), and noticed that the speedo/odo didn't work.
I was told quite frankly that it had been disconnected
so the car (pre-regn.) can be used for test drives, and
it would later be sold off as a new car! I was quite
astounded, -- someone would pay good money expecting
to drive away with a brand new car, without having a clue
that the "new" car had actually been test driven by any number
of people (even novices) for who-knows-how-many kms.!


Well , this is exactly what happened with me , when i bought the octavia from one of delhi dealers , rather there was only one Skoda dealer when i purchased the car i.e. (nearly) two and a half years ago , and i dont think i need to name the dealer , atleast for the people who are putting up in delhi ,they must be knowing ,whom i am talking about , seriously , ONE OF THE WORST DEALERSHIP I VE EVER COME ACROSS and i dont recommend it to anyone!!!

However ,what happened was , after 5 minutes of taking delivery , i saw that the speedometer is not working , i immediatly took a u turn and straight went inside and had a word with the manager, i was told that one of their workers might ve done it ,by mistake while cleaning !!!!

However the wire was getting connected , meanwhile the security guard came to me and asked me whats wrong and bla bla .... i told him , he took me in the corner and told that all these cars are test driven , either by the customers or by staff members or sometimes by the owner himself and thats why in most of the cars we dont find speedo/odometer working !

I was too but what could i ve done ,as by then , the car was already registered by the firm's name !!!
I dont think theres any solution to this , except that when we(as a customer) go for the test drives of any car , we should simply say BIG NO to any brand new car !!!

Last edited by Beemer : 5th March 2005 at 01:22.
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Old 5th March 2005, 01:27   #13
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i've only seen this with trident hyundai. i went to test drive the getz the very day that it was launched, and the odo (not speedo) was disconnected. i asked why, and the lady told me upfront and honestly that the car was new and unregistered, and the RTO does not allow cars to be driven for more than a 100k before regn. but i think the car did have demo written on it.

sagar automobiles (from where i got my baleno) has clearly painted sagar demo cars, so no problem there.

advaith, cauvery ford, and garuda autocraft all have cars numbered only 5985. these are their own, and anything else is probably a customer car. advaith gave me the director's crdi to test drive because their demo car was out.


cheers


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Old 5th March 2005, 01:39   #14
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When I was negotiating for my Palio, they showed me a car in the showroom and said it's going to be mine. I read the odo reading. It was 2KM. When I took the delivery after couple of days, the odo was 56KM. When I checked with the manager, he told me all the Palios they receive have more than 50KM as they are driven from the factory near Mumbai to somewhere in the heart of Mumbai from where they are shipped.

But because of the rarely available color(formula red for Palio D) and my eagerness to drive my car asap, i went with that car.

During the same time, i went for a test drive of Baleno. They gave me a brand new Baleno Vxi and i ripped it making the sales man sit on the edge of the seat. But I feel sorry for the guy who bought that car.
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Old 5th March 2005, 07:46   #15
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Yeah dealers do have a tendency of having customer cars as test drive cars...

when i went for the test drive of the tata marina at fortune motors, nerul, they got a car out from the showroom with the speedo disconnected...there are many showrooms who are into this practice.

But to make sure it doesnt happen to you (as in getting a car which hasnt been testdriven)

When i bought the accent from jayabharat hyundai, prabhadevi, i didnt take from the cars which were already in the showroom...but asked them so that i could choose one from the stockyard. So i went to choose from the stockyard at taloja to look for my car...out of the 3 CRDi's available i took the one which i found fit. I made sure the speedo was working it had some 16kms on the clock and took down the chassis no. so i knew the car delivered to me was the same one i chose in the stockyard.

You can follow the same. Sure your delivery period might be a little longer but atleast you'll know that your car is absolutely brand new.

Drifter

Last edited by drifter : 5th March 2005 at 07:47.
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