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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 25th March 2011, 23:06   #46
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Talking Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

I voted for option C. In my case, my office is only 6.5 kms away from my home, so commuting is never an issue. I always envy those guys who clock in 50kms or more than 50kms a day! (yeah, don't laugh at me, but I would love to commute to a workplace more than 50kms daily!!)

Cars have come and gone but our family has never had a driver since we have been having cars so I don't think we will ever keep a driver.

O.T: Have you observed these days, youngsters as young as 19-20 are driving 4 wheelers and are employed as drivers? How many of them really have the maturity to drive on Indian roads? I don't think more than 6-7% even know the traffic rules, let alone driving.
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Old 27th March 2011, 12:58   #47
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Well, it is not a bad idea to have a driver if you can afford it. Here's why:

1. Car is always clean. Morning or evening. No more despairing with cleaners who are just useless.

2. You don't have to sit at the ASC all day. Just list the jobs and get the driver to sit there and get them done. You can utilise the slow afternoon to get the wheel alignment / balancing job done for which you'd waste your saturday afternoon.

3. No parking worries. The guy drops you at the front door / lobby of the building where you have a meeting, before the traffic cop starts whistling. He can figure out the parking detail later.

4. You don't have to worry about batteries running down when you're away for a long time.

5. Your father / mother / wife / girlfriend / visiting relative / friend / guest can use your car when you don't need it. You actually eliminate the need of a second / third car in the house purely on that count if this usage is occassional.

6. You can always take the wheel when you feel like. He'll only be thankful. You can take him along when you're planning that overnight dash. Two drivers reduce your chances of fatigue related errors.

7. It is always a good idea to provide honest employment to a person who needs it, in a country like ours.

Of course, all this is entirely dependent on the following qualities of a driver:

1. He is honest, well-mannered and discreet.
2. He knows how to drive very well and safe. He is willing to understand any instructions you give him. I can't have a driver who will rev my turbo-charged engine to damage every morning.

Regarding food and all, as ACM mentioned, they normally eat with you at adjacent tables at the regular roadside dhabas. If you go to swank places, you slip them a 100-rupee note to have food where they prefer. On regular workdays, they eat their lunch at office with their peers.

If you can afford it, a driver is a good idea to look after your car, keep it squeaking clean. You don't lose out on the driving part if you don't wish to, but you have an alternative on a tiring day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
I always envy those guys who clock in 50kms or more than 50kms a day! (yeah, don't laugh at me, but I would love to commute to a workplace more than 50kms daily!!)
I live merely 600 metres away from my work, a six-minute-walk to be precise. I have clocked 63,000 km in 3 years.

Last edited by bblost : 27th March 2011 at 13:06. Reason: back to back posts. Please use Edit if posting again within 20 mins. Thanks.
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Old 28th March 2011, 18:52   #48
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

We have two drivers, but I rarely ever use them. I leave for work early and the morning drive is sheer bliss. Empty roads, 1/2 the traffic lights haven't started and it only takes me 20ish minutes to complete 14 kms. The evening, though, is another story. Whatever time I leave, it's rush hour of late (too many cars, too little roads!).

The two situations when I use either of my drivers:

- After partying (if planned, my own drivers. If last minute, party hard drivers)

- Lots of errands in places with no parking spots.

But a driver for daily commuting? Over my dead body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
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.
The exact purpose of our Tata Indigo TDi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorworks View Post
And I dont think automatics are feasible in India as of now. There are just too less of these automatics in the sub 10 lakh category.
Why do you care whether there are a lot or less automatics? End of the day, you only have to buy one. And the Automatic i10 and Honda City are the best from their respective segments. Of course, you also have the AT i20, SX4 and Vento, but I wouldn't rate these three as highly as the i10 / ANHC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
I always envy those guys who clock in 50kms or more than 50kms a day!
Reminds me of the saying The grass is always greener on the other side.

Believe me, a lot of us are looking at options closer to home. In a quarter or two, my office will be within a 1 km radius (can hardly wait)
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Old 29th March 2011, 12:22   #49
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

HI GTO, You are overlooking the fact that there is no affordable DIESEL automatic except the verna and the I20, which are both expensive iin their respective segments! 5-8 lakh segment is largely dominated by Diesels now and I would like to see an automatic in the GEN 2 swift diesel at about 6.5 lakhs and also in the current ford fiesta at about 9 lakhs { which I think will not happen}.
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Old 29th March 2011, 13:55   #50
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
I always envy those guys who clock in 50kms or more than 50kms a day! (yeah, don't laugh at me, but I would love to commute to a workplace more than 50kms daily!!)

.
Voted for option A.
I always like to shift closer to office every time I change a job. This time it took me more than 6 months to find a good place close by (still 9 KM/ 20 min by road). Why waste time travelling when you can spend that time at home with family or at office doing work?
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Old 29th March 2011, 16:13   #51
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Quote:
Voted for option A.
I always like to shift closer to office every time I change a job. This time it took me more than 6 months to find a good place close by (still 9 KM/ 20 min by road). Why waste time travelling when you can spend that time at home with family or at office doing work?
Are you from Pune city itself or a part of 'floating population'? I suspect it could be the latter, ain't it? For people who live in their own houses, shifting house may not be an option. For e.g. I will think of such an option while I am at Bangy but when I was at Delhi, all I used to do was to try to get to the office the smartest (fastest) way.
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Old 30th March 2011, 16:42   #52
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorworks View Post
HI GTO, You are overlooking the fact that there is no affordable DIESEL automatic except the verna and the I20, which are both expensive iin their respective segments!
Diesel Automatics will always remain expensive in their respective segments. Here's why:

- Take a petrol as a "well priced" car

- Usual premium for diesel = Rs. 75,000 - 100,000

- Double whammy! Usual premium for Automatic = Rs, 75,000 - 100,000

On top of that, the twisted marketing departments of manufacturers generally provide AT only in the top-loaded variant. Thus, even if you don't want to, you are stuck with the bells & whistles.

The Tata Indica, Chevy Beat & Ford Figo are currently the only three hatchbacks which have the potential for a VFM priced AT diesel. Primarily because their regular variants are so well priced. None of them, however, have announced any plans for a diesel AT yet.
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Old 1st April 2011, 01:09   #53
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

I really loathe driving in the city. The way they've dug up Bombay, you would think they are looking for oil. Every few minutes you hit some construction or the other - Metro Line, Monorail Line, Road Widening, Skywalk, Flyover etc. I especially hate it when they open half a fly over. A couple guys die on that because of some really silly reason like they did on the sea-link and then they open the other half. I'd prefer a driver. As it is in the crawl of city traffic in Bombay, even if the driver wants it will be extremely difficult for him to kill you.

If I were driving, I'd prefer an A-star or i10 Automatic. If I was being driven - I'd give my driver a Logan or an Indigo Manza - so I'd be comfortable in the back. It's not as if I am going to buy a car for a my driver's driving pleasure.
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Old 1st April 2011, 11:41   #54
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorworks View Post
HI GTO, You are overlooking the fact that there is no affordable DIESEL automatic except the verna and the I20, which are both expensive iin their respective segments! 5-8 lakh segment is largely dominated by Diesels now and I would like to see an automatic in the GEN 2 swift diesel at about 6.5 lakhs and also in the current ford fiesta at about 9 lakhs { which I think will not happen}.
Motorworks, I think we are mixing topics. It is definitely easier to drive the car if it is an automatic and then you will not have to employ a driver. Is it affordable in petrol / diesel, do you get a kick out of driving it etc is not the topic of discussion here.
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Old 1st April 2011, 13:47   #55
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

I feel there should be a fourth option as well - Driver on weekdays & self-drive on weekends OR Mixed cab & self drive option.

I have been using drivers for the last 3 years though I love to drive.
1. On weekdays when there are multiple meetings; nothing beats having a driver; you just need to plan for the commute, not the parking in / out time.
2. When its mostly in-office work, give the driver an off,my driver wouldn't crib if I asked him to stay with me the next day for 12 hrs.
3. Weekends - out of city, self drive.

My experience with drivers - 4-5 of them over the last 3 yrs.
1. The average time a driver will stick to one job is 3-6 months. By the time you expect them to take away all the directional / timing hassles, they decide to move on.
2. Its almost as economical to use a cab (if you tie up with one of the regular cab operators for a minimum monthly mileage say around 2k). 6-8k for the driver, car wear & tear, resale hit due to hits etc, low mileage of the driver run car as they dont care (mostly).
3. Privacy is always a concern and you need to be a lil more conscious over cellphone conversations too.
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Old 1st April 2011, 14:54   #56
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Default Re: Easier car to drive or Employ a Driver?

I have voted for option 1. In fact, I had faced similar dilemma in 2009:

I had a fracture and ligament injury in my left ankle that prevented me from driving. So, initially I was managing with drivers from EziDrive on a daily hiring basis and was hoping that I will be able to drive in a month or two.
That did not happen, so hired a driver. He was with me for little more than a year. Comfort wise, no one beat the services of a driver. But unfortunately, that comes with lot of baggage:
a) each month he would ask for advance, that too hefty one at times (> one month's salary);
b) did not care much about my car, then the Palio (it is still with me). Twice, he bumped on the road median at speed thus forcing me to change the wheels and later on, front suspension lower arms. Costly repairs.
c) driving skills were at best on average.

At that time I started thinking about a new car, a sedan this time around (to carry extra luggages for out-station trips). We, myself and my wife discussed and argued endlessly on two options we had:
a) buy a car in 8-9 lacs range (on road price) and hire a driver for running
b) what about an automatic? I started thinking about this seriously, though the car would be way costly and I have to bump up my budget.
c) My daily office drive being about 47 KM two-way, need a reliable and powerful car.

Finally, we settled for option (b) after a six month long what-if-how-why etc and now looking back I can say that I have made a good decision:

a) got a nice automatic ANHC to drive; engine is decently powerful for my needs
b) budget wise, EMI ( I took company lease) of the ANHC was around 7k higher compared to Linea MJD (the ONLY OTHER car I liked and would have purchased otherwise) that anyway would have gone for the driver's salary.
c) The bonus I get is the relatively trouble-free ownership of ANHC compared to Linea, given the kind of finicky person I am! (this is speculative at best, since I dont own a Linea)
d) I lose the savings from diesel running had I purchased Linea, but, that's about Rs.1000 per month or so. The results of rash and negligent driving of a driver and the resultant pain it generated would cover this cost as well.
e) No hassles and headaches to tolerate the antics of an average driver. Getting a good driver (safe hands, with good driving skills and gentle manners) is extremely difficult.

cheers
Pratim
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