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View Poll Results: Purchase an "Easy to Use" Car or Employ a Driver?
I'd purchase an easy to drive car. No one but me drives my car. 35 26.72%
I'd employ a driver in the city. No more hassles. 17 12.98%
I'd do neither. I m ok driving my car in everyday traffic. 79 60.31%
Voters: 131. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22nd March 2011, 09:48   #16
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Good topic, Dev. An interesting dilemma that a lot of us go through, IMO.

I've not had a driver / chauffeur for any lengthy period of time, ever since I've owned my own cars. People call me a little cerebrally affected because I do a 140-km home-work-home commute everyday, doing my own driving. And there have been times when I've debated about this issue myself.

Well, there was a time when I was extremely uncomfortable driving myself because of a back ailment, but needed to travel the distance. I hired a driver - and came back with the back pain migrating to the chest and head, I was so stressed out . 2 days later, I borrowed my neighbour's driver (a middle-aged fellow who, the neighbour swore, was an absolutely safe and stable driver). 2 days of travelling with him, and I figured that the back pain was not going to kill me, but the stress would. He was just fine inside the city, but went berserk as soon as we got on to NH-58.

For those who have not driven on NH-58, it is a virtual Russian roulette of a road, and there is no telling when a bike, cow, tractor or truck comes shooting at you from all sides. Professional drivers enjoy the thrill of speeding up here, I suppose, but the resultant state of perpetual panic for me was not my idea of relaxation.

I ultimately figured that a low-slung sedan (the Accent Viva CRDi) was not doing my back any good, and opted for a SUV (the H-4). Others may argue that it's not all that easy a car to drive, but the seating position for me is comfortable, and a big car has a definite psychological edge on that road. Hence my vote goes to I'd purchase an easy to drive car. No one but me drives my car.

Edit: GTO's thread (Do you get car-sick?) carries some significance for me for a different reason! Over the years, I've figured I'm more concerned about my own car than someone else's, so a driver driving a rental car has me less stressed out, and I would look the other way if the driver is driving a little riskily - though out-and-out dangerous driving means the fellow gets a (very angry) piece of my mind.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 22nd March 2011 at 09:55.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 09:54   #17
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Everytime i see someone else driving my car (even my friends), my heart starts pounding at the sight of a pothole, a passer- by or a rash driver. Hence, to avoid the stress, i always have the steering in my hands.

Also, for people who travel 100 + in a day, it might be practical, but the road between my home and office is a wide curvy road in the end-aravallis.... perfect way to start the day..
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Old 22nd March 2011, 10:49   #18
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Easy to drive car - no second thoughts about this one. Reasons that come to my mind are a passion for driving and privacy.
I do not even let my dad drive my car when I am in India! Also - this may be a family thing - me, dad and uncle all drive ourselves to wherever we go. So no chauffeurs for us (uncle had one for many years, and that person was super trusty, but got into fights and played hookey too many days later - at the end - he simply didn't turn up any more!)

Last edited by blackasta : 22nd March 2011 at 10:51.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 10:56   #19
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

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Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Easy to drive car - no second thoughts about this one. Reasons that come to my mind are a passion for driving and privacy.
I would not keep a driver in the US Roads are too good to drive minus the snow/ice/sleet.
If someone less passionate about driving and travelling more than 15 kms one way and doesn't want to be exhausted in BLR like traffic then a driver is a good option.

For shor distances, for someone who is passionate about driving, less dense traffic, self driven is the best.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 11:20   #20
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
Everytime i see someone else driving my car (even my friends), my heart starts pounding at the sight of a pothole, a passer- by or a rash driver. Hence, to avoid the stress, i always have the steering in my hands.

Also, for people who travel 100 + in a day, it might be practical, but the road between my home and office is a wide curvy road in the end-aravallis.... perfect way to start the day..

Well said. Exactly the same thoughts except for the Aravalli part, so nothing more to add. However if road situation continues to get worse, maybe will think of employing a person.

Last edited by dot : 22nd March 2011 at 11:28.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 11:29   #21
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Very interesting topic indeed.
I like others love to be behind the wheels of my car at any given point in time.

But then there are days, when everything just seems like it is un-managable, utterly chaotic and one wishes, that maybe, just maybe, a driver would do you good.

In my case, my father is going to get a driver for his daily commute of 30 + Kms/Day. His growing age and his hectic work make it impossible for him to drive. So, on days when I dont feel like driving, I would rather take him to drop me to work!

However, on weekends it is a different ballgame alltogether. It is me Vs. wifey fighting for the wheel!
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Old 22nd March 2011, 11:47   #22
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Good topic,

I have employed a driver as evening traffic was a pain to drive, instead in that 45 to 60 min drive i get a well deserved power nap in morning as well as evening.

Just to pull on doesn't make sense, i used to get dull & exhausted while going & coming back. Just a patch of 10km highway used to budge my decision. But as that also became crowded i opted for a driver.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 11:48   #23
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
I am going to recommend a Motorcycle to those who can afford to wear jeans to their work place with boots and or have a cup-board where you can store away your gear and get them back on once the office hours end.
I too am a big fan of motorcycles and most of my cross country journeys have been on motorcycles. But for our daily grind in the city, a motorcycle, due to our dusty roads, weather conditions and most of all, the utter lack of respect for other road users, in my opinion, are not as comfortable as sitting in a car.

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
One is still contributing to the urban mayhem.
Or take the bus. Its not THAT bad in Bengaluru
The contribution still exists like you said, but motorcycles have lost their charm in our cities due to the current weather, road and traffic conditions. Ask any pharma exec for example, who ride daily(I have many friends in that field) and they will tell you the real woes.
Yup, which is exactly what I do at Bangalore. Take the bus.

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Good topic, Dev. I hired a driver - and came back with the back pain migrating to the chest and head, I was so stressed out . 2 days later, I borrowed my neighbour's driver (a middle-aged fellow who, the neighbour swore, was an absolutely safe and stable driver). 2 days of travelling with him, and I figured that the back pain was not going to kill me, but the stress would. He was just fine inside the city, but went berserk as soon as we got on to NH-58.
Thank you Doc, I get your point, but luckily the cab service that I ve been using (Euro Cars) hasn't given me "ONE" reckless or for that matter even a fast driver till date. As a reference, I ve changed over 20 drivers due to a new one coming in everyday. They drive very smoothly, sanely and never exceed 80kmph, even on the DND for example. When I m in a hurry, I tell them to slightly speed up, and they do so in a controlled manner.
I love the way they drive. Defensive and safe.

What if you were able lay your hands on such a driver?
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Old 22nd March 2011, 11:51   #24
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

I voted for the third option. I drive my cars myself. Am happy doing so since the past 6 years.

For me:

1. It as a form of mental exercise

2. It acts as a stress buster

3. If I have music for company, can indulge in listening to fresh songs (radio!)

4. Have two popular cars which are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Alto for sprints and sitting close to wifey, Indica for the roomy feeling (travelling with family) and the planted ride

5. Sometimes, I like to try out new roads and routes. Being at the wheel offers endless opportunities like these.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 11:54   #25
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

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Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
What if you were able lay your hands on such a driver?
I wish! I'd buy an Amby or Indica and let him do the heavy work!

Unfortunately, I'm yet to come across such a specimen. The last time I was in a Meru cab on my way to the airport, the guy crashed into a fellow running to cross the road. But the NH58 has something that tempts all drivers to drive crazy!
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Old 22nd March 2011, 11:57   #26
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Voted for C. I love driving anywhere and everywhere.

For me driving is not at all stressful. But what really stresses me out is trying to find a parking space. So actually I wanted to vote for an imaginary option 'D', where I drive the car to the desired locaiton and hand it over to the driver who can do all the hardwork. And yes, needless to say, he has to care for my beauty as much as I do.

Bhpians from Bombay will connect to this immediately.

Last edited by benzinblut : 22nd March 2011 at 11:58.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 12:00   #27
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Love driving self. However, if the traffic becomes unbearable and if Ihave to employ a driver, then I would buy a used beat-up Mad Max Indica diesel with just AC and power steering and would let my driver take me around in it without caring or worrying a hoot about scratches or dents.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 12:06   #28
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Have driven over 3L kms over the last 18 years in multiple different vehicles. The last few years have been almost 3 years of daily drive. Got a decent driver recently (after changing a couple in short periods). Now am happy relaxing, taking a nap, looking at the scene and reading the paper while he drives. Reduces stress levels and probably keeps BP in better state. Driving is stated to be one of the most likely and worst triggers for a heart attack as per surveys.

Besides having a driver still means that one can make him sit aside and drive ourselves when one feels like it. One does not have to worry about parking in the town side, and he can be left at the service centre to pick up the car after the work is done (like today in my case), plus the driver if good will keep the car clean and it is as clean while returning from work as while going to work (which was not the case earlier).

So if one can pump an effective of about 10K a month for a good driver then it is worth it.

Good Drivers maybe drive the car better than us owners (just in terms of the care they take of the car.) I would possibly just go at full speed over a lot of the obstructions on the road (to xyz with the suspension), while the driver would slow down and crawl over.

-ves - Drivers too have their life and their tensions in life. If one gets personally attached then their worries become ours.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 12:16   #29
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

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Driving is stated to be one of the most likely and worst triggers for a heart attack as per surveys.
OMG, I didn't know that figure ACM. Seems to be very valid point going by the general demeanor of people on the roads these days.

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-ves - Drivers too have their life and their tensions in life. If one gets personally attached then their worries become ours.
Which is one of my apprehensions as well. For example, I find it hard to tell the driver wait outside a restaurant at say, 2200HRS when I go in for my dinner knowing the fact that he too would have had his lunch sometime around 1330HRS. Also, I find it hard to eat alone in the car or buy myself a glass of lassi to have it on my own knowing that there is another human ahead of me in the same vehicle.
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Old 22nd March 2011, 12:48   #30
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

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Which is one of my apprehensions as well. For example, I find it hard to tell the driver wait outside a restaurant at say, 2200HRS when I go in for my dinner knowing the fact that he too would have had his lunch sometime around 1330HRS. Also, I find it hard to eat alone in the car or buy myself a glass of lassi to have it on my own knowing that there is another human ahead of me in the same vehicle.
The way this works is that the driver gets his "dabba" every day and he has his lunch while I am at office at his lunch hour, if I go outside then too he has his dabba to eat. When we go outstation, he eats alongside me / my family on the adjacent table and orders what he wants and I pay for it. If I am alone he eats on my table itself. If I am outstation and am going to have lunch or dinner at say a restaurant with guests etc, then I give him Rs. 100 to eat whatever he wants.

He gets tea at my office along with the rest of the people and at home too he gets tea when we get ours (though he may have his outside or near the car).

If I buy some packed junk food stuff for home on the way home then on 1 in 3 occations I buy something for him as well (for example if I am getting some vada pav or pavbahji) (but ask him to take it home or have it later when the car is parked). It really depends on what is ordered and who is with me etc. If on a long drive then of course all have tea / snacks together. A good driver will not eat while driving and will refuse even if you offer something to him, but then we must offer him something when we reach the destination.

Besides the negotiated pay drivers get a months salary as bonus so we can add 8.33% to the overall cost of a driver and in this part of town they go on a 10-14 day leave once a year (paid leave) in the summer. (But then the house help too does this.)

My current driver has kids in 9th and 10th std. so currently one of the kids has her board exams going on and this like it is to us is a cause of tension for them as well. He took a leave for dropping the kid at the exam on the first day. He also is concerned about the kids admission etc and will talk about it. This is how we end up getting involved.

I would still recommend a mature and happy family man as a driver as they tend to drive more safely as they have certain responsibilities in life. The family of the driver should be small and not to messy. One of my earlier drivers who lasted just 15 days has 5 kids and 2 Wives? (sisters) (learnt about this later), he was obviously always short of money and would even in that short period keep asking for his pay in advance. Thankfully he left on this own.

Last edited by ACM : 22nd March 2011 at 12:49.
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