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Old 24th October 2009, 16:45   #1
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Default 10,000 km on my used Accord 2.4

Here's a medium-term update on my Accord 2.4, which I bought in January 2009, after moving to Mumbai from Delhi.

Part 1: Why did I buy this car?
I'd originally planned to buy a Sonata Embera diesel. According to all the reviews in TBHP, this was the best big car to get. But when I went to the Hyundai showroom at Lower Parel, HMP. They showed me only one car that was available, but before I could buy it, it was sold. Later the lady told me that this car had actually done 3,000 km, and had its windshield changed.

Next stop was a basic Laura. Reached the stage of going to a public sector bank to tie up the finances.

Then my father and wife advised me not to buy a new car. Their point was that I should not take a loan to buy a car (even though I planned to pay off the Laura in one year), since jobs were risky. My dad's advice was to buy the best second-hand car that I could afford, since a second-hand car was as good as a new one.

I started looking at Hyundai Sonata Embera's again. Saw a 2005 that was advertised for Rs. 575,000 and had done 37,500 km. When I took it to the service station, the computer check showed that it had actually done 77,500 km. Swore not to buy a Sonata, although another dealer offered a October 2007 one that had done 18,000 km for Rs. 775,000.

If no Sonata, then the next step up was an Accord. Same size, same engine capacity, but Rs. 300,000 to Rs. 350,000 more expensive, and perhaps slightly more fuel efficient. Only problem was that the rear seat was low (as explained in my introduction, I don't drive myself--don't even have a license--so rear-seat comfort is paramount).

Started looking at ads and met dealers as well. Was getting prices in the range of Rs. 850,000 to Rs. 950,000 for 2005 and 2006 model Accords. Finally, saw an ad in Zigwheels for a January 2006 model Accord that was selling for Rs. 850,000.

Went to the dealer--actually a petrol-pump owner at Andheri--to see the car. It looked good, since it had tinted glasses, and had a golden color. Went for a test-drive and the car seemed stable and comfortable.

My haggling skills are poor, so I finally managed to get only Rs. 15,000 less, or an on-road price of Rs. 835,000. The car had done 28,000 km. I took it to Arya Honda's workshop at Chinchpokli and they gave it a thumbs up--their computerized check said it was fine, and they said that there was no way that the car's odometer could be changed--big relief after the Sonata fiasco. He agreed to add a layer of foam to the rear seat to increase its height by half an inch or so, and he also got the 30,000 km servicing done from a nearby workshop.

I gave the dealer an advance and then started accumulating the cash. I remember sitting on the bare floors of our new house on the day we moved in, and using my datacard, selling some of my shares to raise the cash.

One day after committing some money, another dealer called (same one who first showed us the tampered Sonata, which he too hadn't known of). He had a September 2005 model car in black, which he was willing to sell for Rs. 800,000 (later Rs. 790,000). The car had done 20,000 km. It looked menacing in black, and had fabulous music system added. It also had fancier alloy wheels. Only it had many scratches, which the dealer promised to partly remove by adding a coat of paint. What to do, should I take this or the ealier car?

My wife advised (who hadn't seen either car), advised me not to go for the black car. She said that that car, which was owned by the young son of a builder, would not be in a good shape as the first car. She also said that gold looked more "corporate" than black. Plus, the first car was a 2006 model; the second was a 2005 model. Since, it is always wise to defer to wife, I went back to the old, gold, glory.

So, finally on January 21, 2009, about fifteen days after I'd begun my search for a car, I bought home the biggest car that I'd ever owned. I must say it was rather competently driven by my old driver from Delhi, who'd arrived the previous evening, and it was his first time on the Mumbai roads.

An update on the car to date in the next post.
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Old 24th October 2009, 17:27   #2
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Default Running costs to date

The car has now done 9,800 km in the last ten months. Here's the costs that I've incurred on it so far.

Petrol: Rs. 52,151. All of it is on Indian Oil's Extra-Premium petrol.

On the day of buying it, I took out an insurance policy (the old one had expired, and the dealer hadn't bothered to change it, till he knew who'd bought it.). The insurance was from Bajaj-Allianz and it came to Rs. 21,614.

Ten days after buying it, the battery conked. New battery came to Rs. 5,600.

In March, I had to claim Rs. 4,500 worth of maintenance, so I got an exterior touch up and some minor squeaks and rattles repaired. Bill came to Rs. 4,757.

In May, I added a reverse parking sensor for Rs. 4,500.
Also in May, I got the car painted with an underside coating to withstand the monsoons.
Then in July, I did the 35,000 service, in which, again after reading in THBP, I spent Rs. 5,000 on synthetic engine oil.
In August, while parked outside one of my company's offices at Wadala, a bar from a building under construction next door fell on the windshield, shattering it. Insurance paid a good part of this, but I had to cough up some money too. On the advice of the workshop attendant, I also went in for some "paint protection", probably teflon coating.
In September, the malfunction light turned on. On checking, it seems that the oxygen sensor had failed and needed to be replaced, cost Rs. 13,000 or so.
Therefore, so far, I've spent Rs. 56,448 on maintenance.

Along the way, perfumes, a puncture, and two cleaning sprays (one for the dashboard, and one for the wheel) were bought, totaling about Rs. 1,850 or so.

Thus, in ten months, I've spent a total of Rs. 137,663 or so on the car

Driver's wages would be Rs. 81,000. My old Delhi hand couldn't stand the crowded living conditions in Mumbai, and went back--now found a local guy.

Adding the two together, my car's cost me a Rs. 218,760 to date, or a staggering Rs. 22 for every kilometer it's traveled. So, on cost grounds, I'd classify it as a bit of a white (or gold) elephant!

And, as I've just totaled this up, to include in the review, I'm not going to share this data with my wife--she'd say it was cheaper to have always used a Meru taxi, not to mention the capital savings!

Next review will be about its performance, ride, and handling.
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Old 24th October 2009, 19:21   #3
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Thats a very very honest review, more and more 'non drivers' on team-bhp now. This a trend that will surely broadbase the kind of info available here.
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Old 24th October 2009, 19:49   #4
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A good review!

I would say it was a good thing that you did not go for the other vehicle; owned by a youngster I am sure he would have pushed the vehicle to its limits.

Originally Posted by HarshS View Post
...And, as I've just totaled this up, to include in the review, I'm not going to share this data with my wife--she'd say it was cheaper to have always used a Meru taxi, not to mention the capital savings! ...
Hope your wife does not log into T-BHP!
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Old 24th October 2009, 21:52   #5
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Nice review HarshS. Post some pics
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Old 24th October 2009, 22:04   #6
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A very impressive review. Mate, do post some pics of your Gold Accord.
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Old 24th October 2009, 22:27   #7
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Very nice and frank review, Harsh! I especially like the way you have calculated how much the car has costed you per km.
Some pix of the car would surely be appreciated! Keep the reviews coming!
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Old 24th October 2009, 22:41   #8
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Hehe the young son of a builder thing had me laughing. Yes I push my car through hell, but the other day I saw a 650i being driven by an elderly gentleman (In his 60s) and he overtook me in a flash, look down at the speedo. I'm at 140-150 KM/h, the Bimmer was at an easy 200+

Anyhoo, the Accord is considered a luxury car here in India, and it's not very fuel efficient, returning an average of 7-7.5 in city traffic when driven with restraint.

Along with a car in this segment, service and general costs are bound to be higher.

I like the way you've handled the cost analysis.
I just did a rough estimate on what my car has cost me in the last year I've had it, and it figures around the same, depending on my lonavala/pune/goa trips...

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Old 24th October 2009, 22:54   #9
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very nice review. good to see reviews of big sedans purchased from used market. loved your calculations, puncture, perfume etc.
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Old 25th October 2009, 10:00   #10
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HarshS - fantastic review on ownership costs, down to the last rupee. Appreciate that.

Will the review on performance, ride and handling be from the rear seat experience?

Look forward to the review.
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Old 25th October 2009, 21:32   #11
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Excellent write-up. Good that you haven't gone for the 2005 model, sure would have been abused. It's amazing that you could keep track of the money you are spending, it gave us an overview of how much it would cost to own a second hand Honda Accord.
I was wondering if the computerized tests would show the actual mileage on other vehicles too. Could you please throw some light on this?
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Old 25th October 2009, 23:14   #12
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Harsh - lovely writeup!

However, I would beg to disagree. You've got the TCO bang on - but the summary is massively misleading (seems to confuse old age as being somewhat responsible for the costs). Allow me a bit of spin doctoring:
The ONLY elements related to old age are the battery and the O2 sensor. 18600 bucks or Rs 1.8/km due to old age.

ALL of the others would have to be incurred with a new car as well.

If you must calculate per km costs - why not factor in the resale loss accumulated till date and then work out the actual impact on your pocket/km
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Old 26th October 2009, 00:06   #13
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Default Some photos of the Gold elephant

Here are two photos of our Accord, taken at Fredrick Hotel, Mahabaleshwar. Our daughter and our dog are seen in them.

I realized that these are the ONLY two photos we have of our car. I will take more photos over the next two weeks and post them.
Attached Thumbnails
10,000 km on my used Accord 2.4-img_3771.jpg  

10,000 km on my used Accord 2.4-img_3773.jpg  

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Old 26th October 2009, 00:25   #14
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Default Phamilyman's even-more depressing numbers

James, I've a spreadsheet that I use to track my car costs. Mostly because my company gave me a monthly allowance on this. Sadly, the latest budget by reworking FBT has changed this, but I'll stay with my spreadsheet.

Phamilyman, you're right about the old age factor being the battery and the Oxygen sensor. I didn't mean to imply these costs were only due to old age.

To add to your estimate of depreciation is the opportunity cost of Rs. 835,000. Just to make things worse, let me do some estimates on these two.

On depreciation, I think the car will lose Rs. 126,000 a year in value, or Rs. 10,500 a month.

On the Rs. 835,000 that I invested, factoring in a 9.25 percent return--the prevailling rate in January--comes to Rs. 78,000 or Rs. 6,500 a month as opportunity cost of the capital.

Taken the two together adds up to Rs. 17,000 a month, or Rs. 170,000 to date. Phamilyman, you're really scaring me--I hadn't thought of this.

Even the Rs. 218,760 didn't include overtime to the driver, which I'd say since April when my new driver moved to a new rate, comes to Rs. 350 a month, or Rs. 2,800 more, or Rs. 221,500.

Now combining these two, I get Rs. 391,500 for 9,800 km or Rs. 40 a km! . Phew!

If it wasn't for the love of cars--that TBHP has strengthened--this analysis would put me, and maybe most sane people, off buying any car!!
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Old 26th October 2009, 11:33   #15
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Harsh:That's a very good review, straight from the heart(Dilse).

I feel, you seems to spending a lot on this elephant. Apart form the fuel & maintenance bills
Its time to tell your wife.

Last edited by Ramsagar : 26th October 2009 at 11:36.
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