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Old 15th November 2012, 01:15   #1
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Default Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

Hey all,
This is my first post on the forums ( I just got accepted as a member of the community today), so do bear with any accidental breaches of protocol.

First and foremost, I was looking for an automatic sedan, for use in Mumbai, and for long distance trips ( occasionally) to Goa. The reasons for the automatic are that I find driving in the city to be rather unenjoyable during peak hours, and for the longer trips I was hoping for something with cruise control on the highways.
Initially I did not want to exceed a budget of 7-8 lakhs, but after looking at showroom models of cars, it seemed unrealistic to hope for something below 10 lakhs which would give me many years of service.

Another major stipulation was that it have a lot of legroom at the rear. My father has had an accident in the last year and as such he finds it difficult to keep his knee bent for longer periods of time.
This eliminated the showroom models of several cars like the Vento and the Ford Fiesta (though they were already stretching my 10 lakh budget, albeit just a bit) Neither of my parents are very fond of the A/c cold, so having my dad sit in the front was out of the question too.

I happened to come upon a used Renault Fluence Petrol AT 2011 model, going for 10.75 L or so with around 22,000 kms on the odometer. After reading the threads on this forum re: precautions with used cars, I contacted the owners and was informed that the car wasn't insured at the time, will be going to check it out in a few days and taking the T-BHP checklist along with me when I do so.

My monthly usage will be about 1000-1500 kms, and for the present I will be hiring a driver till I get acclimatized to the vehicle.
I do not plan to upgrade to another car for at least 8-9 years, if the car gives me good service.
As far as mileage goes, if it gives something like 10-14 to the litre I think that will be more than sufficient and I might look to CNG-fit it at some later point.

Does this seem like a viable sensible option for a car? Aesthetically I love the way the Fluence looks, but a new car is out of my budget by far.

Also, I was planning to take along a friend's brother who has dabbled with automobile mechanics in the past, for his opinion on the TD. Would it make more sense to take a mechanic along instead? Or someone from Renault? I am not sure of how to go about this, because the person would have to know the nitty gritties of the car during the drive. Any recommendations on this front too?

Thanks in advance for the assistance, any inputs would be very much appreciated, and suggestions for other cars in the same range too.

PS: The lack of insurance did bother me a little bit, but I presume if I could take an engineer/mechanic along they would be able to gauge if the car was dodgy or not. The service history is very detailed, I have been informed.

Thanks again.
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Old 15th November 2012, 08:34   #2
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Smile re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

A couple of things which need to be done:
1) Check out the service history - Has the car been serviced at one or more workshop. Try to get the stats for the workshop
2) Insurance lapse is a serious issue. Check out who the previous Insurer was, buying an Insurance will be now treated as a new. So you will have to negotiate the addtional premium amt to be deducted from the car price.
3) Firstly you should take a test drive and see if it suits you. If possible ask you father to get in/out of the car, if he's comfortable then you can show the car to a trusted mechanic/friend for further inspection.
4) Contact Renault Fluence owners on the forum for things to check in a pre-owned car.

If you are planning to keep the car for a very long time then make sense to buy a new car. Have you tried Honda City AT? If you are buying a preowned car then
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Old 15th November 2012, 10:57   #3
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Default re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

From the deal that you mentioned, the price seems to be on the higher side for a petrol AT. Also you cannot get more than 10-11 kmpl in the city from an automatic sedan. Also Fluence hasn't sold much in the market and it will be difficult to get detail feedback about the vehicle.

With rear space and comfort as your priority, why don't you look at Toyota Corolla AT? Its a tried and tested product, very reliable, comfortable, has decent fuel efficiency and will serve you well for years to come. You can get sparingly used models in the 7-10 lakhs bracket depending on age of vehicle. As suggested above, you can also look at the City AT.

PS: If you are going ahead with this Fluence, do check the insurance lapse issue and also take a person familiar with automatics for TD along with you.
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:13   #4
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Default re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

Honda City AT is an excellent all round sedan and it is difficult to find faults with it. SX4 is also a large spacious sedan with tall boy body.

Both options are good and should be purchased new instead of second hand (given the extended life you are looking at).

Another option is to buy a Brio or i20 AT and remove the front passenger seat. Your father will be comfortable at the back and in a way makes sense since he will be chauffered around anyways. Even if you are driving it doesnt matter if your father sits at the back.
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:18   #5
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Default re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anghammarad View Post
I happened to come upon a used Renault Fluence Petrol AT 2011 model, going for 10.75 L or so with around 22,000 kms on the odometer. After reading the threads on this forum re: precautions with used cars, I contacted the owners and was informed that the car wasn't insured at the time, will be going to check it out in a few days and taking the T-BHP checklist along with me when I do so.
PS: The lack of insurance did bother me a little bit, but I presume if I could take an engineer/mechanic along they would be able to gauge if the car was dodgy or not. The service history is very detailed, I have been informed.
Lack of Insurance, which I presume as comprehensive insurance, is not a major deterrent because in any way the NCB is not transferable to you and when the name is changed after ownership change only the premium for the remaining period of that year would be accounted. That too if the present owner do not take the NCB to his new car or if he wishes to keep the NCB for the safe period to be utilized later within the allowable period.
In this case either of the following may also be a reason .
  1. The owner would have already utilized the NCB change and would have taken a fresh Third party only policy as he intend to sell the car
  2. Or, he had claimed any accident benefit and when the policy expired did not renew and taken only a TP cover as he has lost the NCB on account of the claim.
Therefore check thoroughly the car after assessing the back history for any tell tale signs of a probable shunt.
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:21   #6
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Default re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

For keeping a car for 8-10 years, i would stay away from Renault (especially pre-owned). Not that there are problems in the car, only because they have not been in India long enough to get real world feedback and incorporate that in their next few iterations.

For that kind of long usage i would stick to Toyota/Honda or other Japs or Koreans. In all possibility you would run about 100K in the car in 10 years of ownership, in such a scenario i would prefer new car.
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Old 15th November 2012, 11:26   #7
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Default re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

Other things remaining favorable, a petrol AT car for your usage pattern will burn a deep hole in your pocket month over month.

If you do a meticulous calculation, you will be surprised to find out that you'll be spending much more than the cost of the car, Only on your fuel bills over the 9/10 year period.
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Old 15th November 2012, 12:05   #8
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Default re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

I guess of all your requirements that you can compromise, one that you can't, is rear seat space to accomodate your father's need.
Contrary to what someone said, SX4 back seat though is good it is definitely not spacious.

I guess with a budget of around 10Lac that you have on mind, your best bet is New Sunny Diesel of the variant that you can afford. It is CAAR. Also is quite driveable hence would be less strenuous to drive in traffic.

In today's condition, petrol D class Automatics make sense to someone who has very little running or someone who is looking for a car for his status.

My Sx4 has run less than 4k ina year and hence I was thinking of upgrading to ALtis 1.8VL if I come across decent piece. but if you would drive 1500km per year best stick to new diesel. You can even think of Manza which has another excellent legroom for rear seat. But IMO, Sunny is ideal for you.
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Old 15th November 2012, 13:55   #9
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Default re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

Thanks for all your replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
A couple of things which need to be done:
1) Check out the service history - Has the car been serviced at one or more workshop. Try to get the stats for the workshop
2) Insurance lapse is a serious issue. Check out who the previous Insurer was, buying an Insurance will be now treated as a new. So you will have to negotiate the addtional premium amt to be deducted from the car price.
3) Firstly you should take a test drive and see if it suits you. If possible ask you father to get in/out of the car, if he's comfortable then you can show the car to a trusted mechanic/friend for further inspection.
4) Contact Renault Fluence owners on the forum for things to check in a pre-owned car.

If you are planning to keep the car for a very long time then make sense to buy a new car. Have you tried Honda City AT? If you are buying a preowned car then
The Honda City AT comes at 12 ish on road without cruise control I believe, and it is not as spacious in the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
With rear space and comfort as your priority, why don't you look at Toyota Corolla AT? Its a tried and tested product, very reliable, comfortable, has decent fuel efficiency and will serve you well for years to come. You can get sparingly used models in the 7-10 lakhs bracket depending on age of vehicle. As suggested above, you can also look at the City AT.

PS: If you are going ahead with this Fluence, do check the insurance lapse issue and also take a person familiar with automatics for TD along with you.
That was actually my first choice, the Toyota Corolla Altis At, but I cannot for the life of me seem to find a decent 2010+ model in that price range with less mileage. When you say sparingly used, how many kms are you implying? Just so I have an idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warwithwheels View Post
Other things remaining favorable, a petrol AT car for your usage pattern will burn a deep hole in your pocket month over month.

If you do a meticulous calculation, you will be surprised to find out that you'll be spending much more than the cost of the car, Only on your fuel bills over the 9/10 year period.
I was thus wondering if it made sense to CNG-fit the car, I have always preferred petrol to diesel for some reason, and that would considerably reduce overheads no? But yes, the petrol pricing problem seems to be an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sindabad.sailor View Post
I guess of all your requirements that you can compromise, one that you can't, is rear seat space to accomodate your father's need.

I guess with a budget of around 10Lac that you have on mind, your best bet is New Sunny Diesel of the variant that you can afford. It is CAAR. Also is quite driveable hence would be less strenuous to drive in traffic.

In today's condition, petrol D class Automatics make sense to someone who has very little running or someone who is looking for a car for his status.

My Sx4 has run less than 4k ina year and hence I was thinking of upgrading to ALtis 1.8VL if I come across decent piece. but if you would drive 1500km per year best stick to new diesel. You can even think of Manza which has another excellent legroom for rear seat. But IMO, Sunny is ideal for you.
You're quite right regarding the Sx4's place at the back, it is rather uncomfortable for someone who needs to keep their leg outstretched. I wasn't aware that Nissan or Manza were available in Automatic variants with Cruise control, but I will check them out to make sure.

Thanks once again for all your replies. I will update the main post as soon as I have checked out the car.
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Old 15th November 2012, 14:42   #10
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Default Re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anghammarad View Post
Thanks for all your replies.


That was actually my first choice, the Toyota Corolla Altis At, but I cannot for the life of me seem to find a decent 2010+ model in that price range with less mileage. When you say sparingly used, how many kms are you implying? Just so I have an idea?


I was thus wondering if it made sense to CNG-fit the car, I have always preferred petrol to diesel for some reason, and that would considerably
By sparingly used I implied cars that have run<30k kms, mostly post 2009 models. I have seen ads in our classifieds for such cars ranging between 7-9 lakhs.

Also for CNG-fitting an automatic, you can refer the below thread for reference. It has a detailed conversion and ownership of a CNGfied Civic.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...matic-cng.html
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Old 15th November 2012, 14:52   #11
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Default Re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
By sparingly used I implied cars that have run<30k kms, mostly post 2009 models. I have seen ads in our classifieds for such cars ranging between 7-9 lakhs.

Also for CNG-fitting an automatic, you can refer the below thread for reference. It has a detailed conversion and ownership of a CNGfied Civic.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...matic-cng.html
Ah ok, thanks, I will look at the classifieds for an AT in that range on the classifieds then.
And yes I have perused his threads at length before I registered on the site, they are very detailed regarding a CNG Fitting for the car and so on.
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Old 15th November 2012, 15:11   #12
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Default Re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
For keeping a car for 8-10 years, i would stay away from Renault (especially pre-owned).
For that kind of long usage i would stick to Toyota/Honda or other Japs or Koreans. .
+1, I would do exactly the same.

You could get a Cololla Altis for much less, which is a better and more established car.. and I'm not even talking of reliability and longevity.

For 10.75 you could even get an Accord with similiar milage.
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Old 15th November 2012, 15:18   #13
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Default Re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anghammarad View Post
I happened to come upon a used Renault Fluence Petrol AT 2011 model, going for 10.75 L or so with around 22,000 kms on the odometer.
A new Fluence AT costs 17 lakhs in Mumbai. Keeping that in mind, the price is fair. Of course, with current fuel prices, no one wants to touch a petrol AT with a barge pole. Use that to your advantage and bring him down to 9.75 lakhs, if not 9.25. Shaving a lakh off should be easy.

Quote:
if it gives something like 10-14 to the litre
You shouldn't expect anything over 7.xx kpl with the Fluence AT.

Quote:
The lack of insurance did bother me a little bit
First, find out the reason behind it : Maybe they have transferred the insurance to a replacement car already purchased? Nevertheless, you should thoroughly carry out all steps listed in this Advice Article (ARTICLE: How to buy a *USED* Car in India)

I would also highly recommend a Civic AT with CNG to you : Related Thread. You could easily get a good Civic for 5 - 6 lakhs. Reliable, fun, fast and very spacious.

Good luck shopping!

Last edited by GTO : 15th November 2012 at 15:19.
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Old 15th November 2012, 15:39   #14
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Default Re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

The Civic with CNG would be a great option. If you're looking for anything between 10-14 kmpl, forget it. The Civic AT or Fluence AT will never give you as much, they'll be in single digits in the city. If you're concerned by that, I'd recommend you get the car CNG'd.

I'd personally plump for the Civic because it's beautiful (subjective opinion, of course), and the fact that it suits all your requirements. With some patience, you can get a great car at a great price. And it'll come with Honda's legendary reliability!

I too will be in the market for a new car by next car and am mulling over whether to go for a new car or a pre-owned one. If I go pre-owned, I would ONLY consider the Civic because it's spacious, reliable, relatively inexpensive to own and beautiful inside and out. You never know how the Fluence will age, and service costs can be quite notorious with European cars.

If you plan to keep the car really long-term (which you seem to), go Japanese. You (and your wallet) won't regret it.
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Old 15th November 2012, 16:03   #15
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Default Re: Buying a pre-owned Renault Fluence?

Maybe OT. But seriously, Civic looking better than a Fluence? Although looks are subjective, but I think, in that segment the Fluence looks the best.

However, Civic is proven, reliable and available at throwaway prices nowadays, so a much better buy than a Fluence AT overall.

The one major ball I have against the Civic though - It's rear seat ride comfort and it's ultra low GC.
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