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View Poll Results: Should I go after my heart and try to buy the Disco?
Should I buy it? 2 4.00%
If yes, between 7-9 lacs? 16 32.00%
If yes, between 10-12 lacs? 6 12.00%
No, I should not buy it. 26 52.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 4th October 2010, 10:32   #1
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Default Completely Smitten by a Landrover Discovery: But am I doing right?

Falling in love is simply the best feeling in the world. But I sometimes wish we could fall in love only once, especially when it comes to automobiles.
It happened last week when I was on an official tour, and after a gruelling day of client meetings, conferences and brain storming sessions, I decided to meet a friend who is as much a gearhead as I am.

The news he gave me was a bolt from the blue.

He told me that he can try to arrange for me a LR Discovery (Mar-03) 2.5 Ltr turbodiesel vehicle which would be auctioned off by a CD in the coming months and we could have a look at the vehicle right then if I wished to do so.

Would I say no??

A drive to the CD had me in front of the vehicle.One look at it and I was floored. All 4 discs, immaculately maintained, new tires, superbly packed engine, no dents and scratches, 2.5ltr TD engine, 4WD(lever shift). It had done around a 100,000kms and all logs were maintained like a swiss clock.

It had been maintained by BMW till JLR came to India and thereafter by JLR. There was only one driver who had been driving it all these years.

I sat in the driver's seat for around 5 minutes and all the controls seemed to fall into place so naturally. There were so many other buttons that I could not check due to the scarcity of time and security issues, but one thing was certain.

I was in love, all over again. I wished I could drive her home right then..Sigh.

I thought over it all of last week but couldn't really come to a conclusion. Is it worthwhile to buy it? If so, at what cost? Will I be able to use it as my only vehicle reliably? What will be the upkeep costs? How easy/tough are the spares to procure?

My heart completely says yes, but my head, I feel, is not mature enough to decide.

Please let me know your views.
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:58   #2
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Dev, It looks tempting. But Since i know you personally and your needs i gave a NO.
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Old 4th October 2010, 14:36   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbeast View Post
Dev, It looks tempting. But Since i know you personally and your needs i gave a NO.
And why is that Sir?
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Old 4th October 2010, 15:14   #4
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Not sure if I should be hammering your head with a spanner, but, why the question?

If the vehicle is well maintained (in all aspects) and going for the prices you mentioned in the poll, to hell, I would just pick it.

They don't make them as they used to, anymore!
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Old 4th October 2010, 15:20   #5
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Dev

This is just to put things in perspective. As a normal regular wage earning person who has big/medium/small dreams and who also has got to respect the other realities and pull-push of life, I would try and think as outlined below.

From the heart I would say YEA! 10-12 lacs range. I would do it provided I had easy
access to this kind of cash. VITAMIN M is the key to much we desire in this life.

However, I would place a few riders here (from the Head);

1. Whet the current and future servicing scenario by meeting the service centre personally and evaluating the same with a knowledgeable friend.
2. Do a comparo/ study on spares, costs, availability/ ease of access of spares and likelihood of what can go wrong with an LR Disco.
3. See whether I have enough sustainable cash resources with me to buy, maintain, look after and enjoy this as my only car/ daily drive without going through too much stress.
4. Would I be able to fund the purchase outright or do I need a loan. If I do need a loan then how much? And would this be an Auto Loan or a Personal Loan. (because even Auto Loans for used cars, while more expensive than Auto Loans for new cars, are still cheaper than taking any kind of Personal Loans.)
5. Where would I park this car when I go to work and when I am at home? - if indoors fine- if outdoors - danger.
6. How much would I really use it based on my current vehicle usage? Else is the purchase sufficient to motivate me to use it a lot more by going on long trips and so on? Given my current work and family responsibilities and other hobbies/ interests, do I have/ Will I have enough luxury of time to really make the most of such a purchase?
7. Typically how much would it cost me to own this car over a 5 -7 year period and do I think I will be able to afford the same without impinging on my current / future buildup lifestyle/aspirations?
8. Will there be many sacrifices I will have to make in other spheres of life in order to own this car or not? If so, what are these sacrifices and am I willing to make them?
9. Do I have any other foreseeable/ potential upcoming expenses and costs in other spheres of life (education, medical, savings, parental/ family responsibilities, travel aspirations, other lifestyle needs and requirements etc) and can I afford all these if I burn big bucks on this dream?
10. On a scale of 10, having answered all the above queries truthfully to myself - How much do I really believe this car is for me?

After you have truthfully answered all the other queries and weighed things in the balance - if your answer to Q 10 as above is STILL between 7 to 10, then if I were you, I would put my money down and follow my dream.

If not, quite simply, I wouldn't.

Hope this helps you.
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Old 4th October 2010, 16:02   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
They don't make them as they used to, anymore!
The precise reason why I m so smitten by it. But the question to get some more info about the approximate costs involved to keep it running on a daily basis and to keep it ship shape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
This is just to put things in perspective. As a normal regular wage earning person who has big/medium/small dreams and who also has got to respect the other realities and pull-push of life, I would try and think as outlined below.

From the heart I would say YEA! 10-12 lacs range. I would do it provided I had easy
access to this kind of cash.

After you have truthfully answered all the other queries and weighed things in the balance - if your answer to Q 10 as above is STILL between 7 to 10, then if I were you, I would put my money down and follow my dream.
Thank you very much Shankar, that was a detailed questionnaire. And given the kind of person that I m, it is still a resounding "yes" from my heart as far as the vehicle's initial cost goes.
But, as you mentioned, I do not know what would the upkeep costs be, on a regular basis.
How much longer would the engine last without a rebuild? What would a rebuild cost me?
These are the answers that I m looking forward to, now.

Looking forward to more replies.
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Old 4th October 2010, 16:10   #7
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What you need when buying a 100,000 kms import:

- Spare $$$
- Spare time

You are a 30 year old consultant, occupied full-time professionally, and will presumably buy this LR from your own money (not Daddy's account). No, I don't recommend this LR Discovery to you. Acquisition price is one thing, maintaining it entirely another. Let's say, the Discovery has a turbo failure. Where will you source a replacement? How many days will the vehicle be off the road? Would you spend 2.5 lakhs on parts + labour? Even simple stuff like headlamps, tyres, clutch plates, bumpers, mirrors etc. will cost you multiple times of what you're used to. In terms of reliability, the LR Discovery ain't no Toyota.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for owning that "special" vehicle (would love to get a Classic Merc one day). However, the project vehicle we indulge in is usually a 3rd or a 4th car of our garage, and can stay off the roads for multiple weeks at stretch. Keeping one as your sole and primary vehicle is a big no no.

By "CD" (in your opening post), did you mean "Corps Diplomatique"? In that case, the import duties and registration are your headache too.

My suggestion : Give this a skip. Revisit an import when you have the time & $$$ to indulge .
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Old 4th October 2010, 16:23   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You are a 30 year old consultant, occupied full-time professionally, and will presumably buy this LR from your own money (not Daddy's account).
Yes, you are right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
No, I don't recommend this LR Discovery to you. Acquisition price is one thing, maintaining it entirely another. Let's say, the Discovery has a turbo failure. Where will you source a replacement? How many days will the vehicle be off the road? Would you spend 2.5 lakhs on parts + labour? Even simple stuff like headlamps, tyres, clutch plates, bumpers, mirrors etc. will cost you multiple times of what you're used to. In terms of reliability, the LR Discovery ain't no Toyota.
So, are you saying that LRs are not as famed for being bullet proof like Toyotas' are?
Also, are you saying that the vehicle has run more than or close to its usable life and is close to its End of Life where it will become prohibitively expensive to maintain? I thought that when our locally made Scorpios can run around 2.5lkms without an engine overhaul, this should be able to at least do that much. No?

I was just calculating the fact that it has all the features that, for example, a new Fortuner offers at at least 2.5 times the price. Also, with JLR in India, I might have access to the required spares. Of course I do not know about costs and the frequency of replacement.
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Old 4th October 2010, 16:34   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
So, are you saying that LRs are not as famed for being bullet proof like Toyotas' are?
What I'm saying is:

a) I don't have a problem with a 100,000 kms car, as long as its me who has run those 100,000 kms (thus, I know the full history). However, buying someone else's 100K car poses its own risks. In the event that a major repair should come up, do you have the spare resources (time and $$$)?

b) I would much rather buy a Toyota body-on-frame diesel Landcruiser / Prado than an LR Discovery.

c) There is a clear line of distinction between your daily "pt a -> pt b" car and your "weekend indulgence" car. You are somehow trying to bridge the two with this discovery, which I think is a bad idea.

d) As a rule of thumb, I'd buy an ol' import only when I can afford to completely write it off (in losses). Can you with this LR?

Quote:
Also, with JLR in India, I might have access to the required spares
Mercedes Benz has been in India for 15 years and I still don't buy spares from them. An air-con compressor for 90K from Mercedes or 40K on the internet. You take your pick.

Again, my suggestion to you is to buy your dream import only once you have disposable time and money.

Last edited by GTO : 4th October 2010 at 16:35.
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Old 4th October 2010, 16:47   #10
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Dev.

GTO speaks absolute sense.

Heart says I want - like with most new toys in most of our cases.

But it is safer to be ruled by "head" and "business sense".

Of course if you have surplus Vitamin M which you dont mind bunging into a dream + some amount of heartache and plenty of passion, then go ahead.

Think before you leap.

Better buy a lower mileage used Endy/ Pajero for now and indulge your 4x4 hi jinx - save the LR/ LC etc for a bit later.

Else if you can bung in 20-25 then consider that X Trail that you were toying with.
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Old 4th October 2010, 16:53   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
What I'm saying is:

a) I don't have a problem with a 100,000 kms car, as long as its me who has run those 100,000 kms (thus, I know the full history). However, buying someone else's 100K car poses its own risks.
Even if it has a immaculate history and logs of service at,say, BMW and JLR outlets? Let me add a few points here which may help. Sorry if you feel that I m pushing it too hard. Its just that I m equally floored by the vehicle.
1. The vehicle has had only one driver for the past 8 years.
2. Being a Foreign Govt owned vehicle, it has all the logs maintained not only by its driver but also by its service stations at BMW and JLR.
3. It recently underwent a thorough overhaul since it had to ferry some VIP guest.
4. Its 4wd system has been used only once in all these years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
b) I would much rather buy a Toyota body-on-frame diesel Landcruiser / Prado than an LR Discovery.
Oh, I was not aware of that. Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
c) There is a clear line of distinction between your daily "pt a -> pt b" car and your "weekend indulgence" car. You are somehow trying to bridge the two with this discovery, which I think is a bad idea.
Yes, I m. Since I can afford only one car at this point of time. :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
d) As a rule of thumb, I'd buy an ol' import only when I can afford to completely write it off (in losses). Can you with this LR?
No, I cannot afford it to go as a write off.

And thank you very much for your insights into the matter.
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Old 4th October 2010, 17:12   #12
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O boy. This is such a classic case . The present brings a stunning vehicle at a great price whereas the future has uncertainity galore regarding cost of upkeep.

GTO has absolutely nailed it by enumerating the only two highly relevant things to help you decide - spare money and spare time (in terms of not owning a set of wheels for x days).

Even an absolutely reliable vehicle NEEDS parts and hence money for upkeep after a certain number of miles/years. The more expensive the ORIGINAL price of the car - the more expensive the spares. The less dense the service network of the brand - the more the turnaround time if things break down. Unfortunately in your case both things are in the negative list. Even the secondary market has less support for niche vehicles. You can get even an Accord serviced/source spares at 10 different reliable places in a city (outside authorised service centres) but for vehicles like LR you will have trouble locating even one.

So the only things that will help you decide are clearly in front of you - are you willing to spend another few lakhs (at the bare minimum) to keep the vehicle in top shape and are you willing to go a couple of weeks without your vehicle? If your love for the car outweighs the potential inconvenience and potential extra cost - go buy it.

Last edited by Cesc : 4th October 2010 at 17:18.
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Old 4th October 2010, 17:38   #13
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Devnath,

Reliability
I did some research on South African 4X4 forums before buying the Fortuner. Seems that people are passionate about the LRs, but apparently they require a lot more maintenance than the Toyota SUVs.

Maintenance
Discovery is priced atrociously high in India. Just for comparison, a Disc 4 is priced 50% higher than a Fortuner in SA, but in India, the Disc 4 is almost 3.5X the price of a Fortuner. Do check whether maintenance will be proportionately costly in India.
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Old 4th October 2010, 17:45   #14
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Continuing with what GTO said, I would also mention:
1. Complicated & unreliable. LRs are not the epitome of reliability (read this link - Land Rover - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), and 2003 models came with a lot of electronic bells and whistles incorporated. Unlike the Series I/II/III LRs & Defenders which were not too difficult to maintain as DIY given the right tools, Discoverys were more complicated.
2. Sourcing parts and service/repairs. Sure, LR is owned by Tata, but parts still won't come cheap, esp. at a JLR service centre. If you know someone who can source parts for you at a lower cost (like a lot of folks do for the Skoda vRS), and also have a friend who can do LRD work (you might need to procure a garage manual too), it's a proposal that's maybe worth considering.
3. Versus your Scorpio, the maintenance cost will easily quadruple, even if you have easy and cheaper access to spares and labour.
4. This is a 100,000-km car (double check if it isn't miles), and love at first sight might just leave your car singing this a year or two down the line...

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Old 4th October 2010, 17:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

By "CD" (in your opening post), did you mean "Corps Diplomatique"? In that case, the import duties and registration are your headache too.
If this is what you meant by CD, You will end up paying a good 6-8 lakhs (imports and registration).

I have recently bought an Isuzu Trooper and hence i know what i am talking.
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