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Old 23rd October 2011, 10:01   #1
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Default My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs

After a lot of trials and tribulations I finally settled down for a used Skoda Laura.

Cars that I considered
New Fluidic Verna
New Skoda Laura
New Yeti
XUV 5OO (Not launched in Orissa)
New Chevy Cruze
New Jetta

Threads which influenced my decision

Two threads penned by GTO did greatly influence my decision to go for a used car. Here are the links to the two threads:
1. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/owning...rade-swap.html (ARTICLE: YOUR 5 year old car : Keep, Upgrade or Swap?)

2. Lateral upgrades
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/buying...-car-less.html (ARTICLE: The Beauty of Lateral Upgrades (Getting MORE CAR for LESS $$$))

Skoda : A word of caution
The majority of the people on team BHP give a thumbs down to Skoda. However when I spoke to the Skoda owners, they were "satisfied" with Skoda. I have mentioned "satisfied" as one has to buy a Skoda with one's eyes open. Spare parts are expensive and Skoda after sales cannot be compared to that of a Toyota or a Maruti.

I met two Skoda owners personally and their inputs made me take this "calculated risk". I say "calculated risk" because if the great drivers car(Laura) works for me its a win-win situation. If it does not work for me I sell it at a loss; and since the car is a used car the loss will not be not much vis-a-vis a new car.

Details of the used car
Date of Manufacture-May 2008
Number of owners-1
Colour- Candy White
Variant- 1.9 PD Ambiente (Diesel)
Kms on the Odo- 58650 Kms
Price-7,60,000/- (From Mahindra First Choice)

Mahindra is offering a one year warranty on the car and according to me it may not mean much. However it does provide a kind of a peace of mind. If I would not opted for the First Choice Warranty I would have got the car at a price of around 7.45 lakhs.

Steps taken prior to buying
1. Checked the RTO website and found the name of the owner correct.

2. Checked the Service history. Went to the Skoda Service outlet and the guys were co-operative. Was pleasantly surprised after hearing horror stories about Skoda. The car was last serviced at 58000 Km.

3. Spoke to a few Laura owners (more importantly Ravveendrra from TBHP) and all of them said it was a great car to drive.A special thanks to Ravveendrra. Our Mod Ajmat was also very kind to respond to my queries.

The downsides (As I learnt from them) were- AC, high cost of spares and Skoda Service.

4. Checked the used car valuation from "Carwale" and found the car to be valued in a reasonable manner. The car would have been cheaper without the Mahindra First Choice Warranty.

5. Insurance was valid till Aug 2012 (IDV 8,40,000). One time tax paid as a pvt. car.

6. The Ex-showroom price of the car was 13,66,000/-.

7. The interiors of the car are in good condition. However in the exterior there are a few scratches.

8. The car has a loan and it will be squared off by the first owner before delivery and transfer.

9. Want the interiors polished before delivery.

10. Have shown the car to my regular mechanic who has given me a go ahead. The Skoda service centre guys also say that 59000 on the odo is not much for a Skoda.

IMHO it is a calculated risk that I am taking. The car is great to drive and hope and pray that it serves me well for at least 2 to 3 years if not more.

The driving experience
1. The car in question was reasonably well maintained and the car is a driver's delight. Prior to buying it I drove it on 4 different occasions for around 100Kms and the sheer driving pleasure made me buy the car. The gearshifts are very smooth and the car is stable and feels planted at 100 to 120 speeds.

2. The Steering wheel is extremely responsive and gives a assured feel at speeds of 100+. After driving the Laura my otherwise lovely swift kind of a feels like a "Plain Jane". But then that is the magic of "Lateral Upgrades"

3. The ingress/egress of the car is good and one does not have to "stoop low" like one has to do in the case of say an Esteem. It is an irony that an "Esteem" makes you "stoop low", really low.(Esteem Owners - Please take this in good humour)

4. The "hatch" and other additional gizmos like rear parking sensors, heated side mirrors, leather seats, were additional features which adds to the deal. The 4 way seat adjustment feature helps one in getting a very good seating position.

5. IMO the older Laura and the Octavia more or less look the same so far as the exterior is concerned. It is only that the Laura has some more bells and whistles. The gizmos on offer are:

a. Climate control
b. Cooled glovebox and Cooled armrest. Probably these make it a "cool" car.
c. Rear Parktronics (sensors) The higher models get front parktronics too!
d. ABS and ASR
e. MP3 player with 8 speakers.
f. Electronically adjustable side mirrors (pic of same attached). I must add that the mirrors are unusually small.
g. Rain sensing wipers.

6. The "dealer maker" in my case was the overall driving experience and it is a great drivers car. The car probably has one of the best gearshifts around. If this car serves me well, who knows, my next car would also be from the Skoda / VW group. I simply loved the New Jetta.

Things I like about the car
1. The car is a sheer delight to drive.
2. The overall build quality and fit and finish is good.
3. Has some of the modern gizmos.
4. The car is a fuel-efficient diesel car and gives an average of around 16 KMPL

Things I do not like about the car
1. Skoda's Image about service (though till now I have not faced any problems)
2. No steering mounted controls in the ambiente.
3. No Bluetooth.
4. Extremely high cost of spares.

The Experience of buying a used car
This is the first time that I am buying a used car and I must tell that Tbhp did really change my views. Only time will tell whether the decision / calculated risk of mine will pay dividends or not. However I must say that buying a used car is a lot of hard work.

One has to see the service history and analyse it. Loans on the car, whether it has met with an accident earlier, details of insurance; each of these aspects have to be gone into meticulously. I did face a lot of apprehensions and I must admit that buying a used car is not a very pleasant experience.

There were times when I thought I at about 7.5 lakhs I can go for a new car easily or may be buy the same car with a loan. On top of it Skoda was giving a loan at 9.99% on its cars. However finally I took the risk and I have a "worst case scenario" in place.

I hope it does not turn out to be a "White Elephant" for me!

Here are a few pics:

The Skoda Emblem.
Attached Thumbnails
My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs-img_0657.jpg  

My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs-img_0658.jpg  

My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs-img_0660.jpg  

My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs-img_0664.jpg  


Last edited by raichoudhury : 1st November 2011 at 05:01.
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Old 30th October 2011, 06:23   #2
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Default Interior Pics

Here are a few pics of the Interiors. I am not sure whether the "Ambiente" came with stock stanley seats. I feel that the interiors were reasonably well maintained by the first owner.
Attached Thumbnails
My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs-img_0673.jpg  

My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs-img_0676.jpg  

My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs-img_0683.jpg  


Last edited by raichoudhury : 30th October 2011 at 06:41.
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Old 30th October 2011, 06:25   #3
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Default Alloys

The Alloys were repainted by the Mahindra Guys. I hope they last.
Attached Thumbnails
My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs-img_0661.jpg  


Last edited by raichoudhury : 30th October 2011 at 06:27.
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Old 1st November 2011, 04:30   #4
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Default Projected Headlamps

The Ambiente variant comes only with projected headlamps. There is no headlamp washer in the Ambiente version (as in 2008). The car has excellent shut lines. In the present pic the bonnet was open (so do not be misguided).
Attached Thumbnails
My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs-img_0668.jpg  


Last edited by raichoudhury : 1st November 2011 at 04:32.
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Old 2nd November 2011, 14:12   #5
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Default Re: My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Forum. Thanks for sharing!

Great deal! I'm glad that you found my threads helpful, and performed due diligence before buying the car. Congratulations & drive safe.
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Old 2nd November 2011, 14:20   #6
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Default Re: My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs

Raichoudhury: Lemme be the first to congratulate you on the car! Its a great car to drive. Ask any Laura owner on the forum (self included!).

You seem to have gotten a lovely deal there. The car looks spectacular. Very well maintained by the prev owner. As far as leather seats are concerned, I think pre face lifted Laura's came with leather seats (I may be wrong though).

Do upload more pics of the car. Wish you many safe miles with the beast!
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Old 2nd November 2011, 15:39   #7
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Default Re: My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs

Congratulations raichoudhury, it truly is a wonderful car to drive coupled with good fuel efficiency and a good price makes it quite a deal. I managed to get 20+kmpl on the Chennai-Bangalore highway once, and you will find the humongous boot a real big boon especially on those airport runs.
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Old 2nd November 2011, 18:02   #8
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Default Re: My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs

Congrats for the Laura. The preface lift version still looks so elegant. With the Stanley interiors, you have got a real sweet deal.
Wishing you lots oh happy miles with the Skoda.

Last edited by Utopian : 2nd November 2011 at 18:06.
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Old 2nd November 2011, 19:15   #9
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Default Re: Interior Pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by raichoudhury View Post
I am not sure whether the "Ambiente" came with stock stanley seats.
"Ambiente" doesn't come with stock stanley seats, skoda doesn't provide leather seats in this trim.Congrats on purchase of white beast, 58k on odometer is not much for lauras. Wish you many many happy miles of driving ahead. German car engines are built to rev up, so enjoy sheer driving pleasure ahead.
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Old 2nd November 2011, 19:56   #10
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Default Re: My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs

Hey Congrats. I'd say you've got the car at a really nice price tag. I personally like this version's looks more than the current one's. They fit the image of a car exactly when the image appears in mind when thinking of a "CAR". Great to read that you had a pleasant experience with the Skoda service outlet. Wish you continue to have the same always.

Really well documented buying experience. Thanks for that as well. The steps you followed can be a good quick-reference for prospective pre-worshipped car buyers.

Wishing you unlimited safe & happy miles with the Laura. More pictures please

Last edited by Reinhard : 2nd November 2011 at 19:57.
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Old 2nd November 2011, 22:32   #11
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Default Re: My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Great deal! I'm glad that you found my threads helpful, and performed due diligence before buying the car. Congratulations & drive safe.
Thanks GTO. Your post made my day. In fact now I can safely say that Team BHP changes lives. Without the two threads and your posts where you have said that "you will never buy a new car" I would have never looked at an used car.

I have been working on this car for almost three weeks now, testing it, taking to the mechanic et al and I hope that my hard work pays off in the longer run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
Lemme be the first to congratulate you on the car! I think pre face lifted Laura's came with leather seats (I may be wrong though)
Thanks Swanand.
Well, the mods GTO and Vid were the first ones to congratulate as the thread was moved to assembly line section.

The Stanley leather seats were fitted by the owner.

Pics: Today I went to the Skoda service as they are offering a "free service" for all Skoda Cars till Nov.4th. Got the same done. The free service includes "Exterior and Interior" cleaning alongwith free complete checkup. Was happy with the same.

Well take fresh pics tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xtremeshock View Post
Congratulations raichoudhury, it truly is a wonderful car to drive coupled with good fuel efficiency and a good price makes it quite a deal. I managed to get 20+kmpl on the Chennai-Bangalore highway once, and you will find the humongous boot a real big boon especially on those airport runs.
The price of Rs.7.60 lakhs includes a lot of hard work by me also with the amount of running around I had to do.

It was basically to ensure that I don not end up with a "lemon"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
Hey Congrats. I'd say you've got the car at a really nice price tag. I personally like this version's looks more than the current one's. They fit the image of a car exactly when the image appears in mind when thinking of a "CAR". Great to read that you had a pleasant experience with the Skoda service outlet. Wish you continue to have the same always.

Really well documented buying experience. Thanks for that as well. The steps you followed can be a good quick-reference for prospective pre-worshipped car buyers.

Wishing you unlimited safe & happy miles with the Laura. More pictures please
IMHO Skoda is not as bad as it is made out to be. No doubt the spares are expensive (as they are not made in India) and the spares at times include courier charges as well.

I will definitely post more pics and thanks a ton all you guys.

A special thanks to GTO, Ravvendra, Ajmat and a host of other guys from Team BHP who were really prompt to respond to my never ending queries.
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Old 2nd November 2011, 22:42   #12
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Default Re: My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs

Congrats on your purchase raichoudhary. As long as you have a good ASC and have gotten yourself a nicely checked car, the Laura should keep you happy for a long time.

I have many friends who own Skodas, crib about the price of the spares and yet swear by them. That is the magic of this tank like car.

Can you post a few pictures of the engine bay, the underbody and the suspension please?
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Old 2nd November 2011, 23:00   #13
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Default Re: My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs

Congratulations raichoudhury
She looks so amazing in white . Pure class
Please do post more pics of the interiors , the dash etc .
Wishing you happy safe driving with the white beauty of yours
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Old 2nd November 2011, 23:11   #14
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Default Re: My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs

Looks to me like much more than a gamble. Some of your statements are so assertive to the statement "calculated risk". Am sure you have done a good deal of research to pick this up.

Just curious, can Skoda cars be repaired or serviced in some reasonably good service centres other than Skoda A$$? Have heard that these engines are complicated in their mechanism / layouts and hence only SA$$ can service these cars.

Congrats on this deal & wish you miles of happy & safe journey. Such threads will bring in more confidence in the followers to grab finger lickin pre-owned deals.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 05:01   #15
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Default Re: My "pre-worshipped" Skoda Laura 1.9 PD Ambiente for 7.6 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Just curious, can Skoda cars be repaired or serviced in some reasonably good service centres other than Skoda A$$? Have heard that these engines are complicated in their mechanism / layouts and hence only SA$$ can service these cars.
As I learn from some Laura owners in bigger cities, repairs can be done "outside" the Authorised Service Centre with original spares. That would bring the costs down.

However, so far as Bhubaneshwar is concerned and I am concerned, I would not take the risk of taking my car outside for repairs.

So far as dents/body work is concerned I must say that Mahindra First Choice has done a reasonably good job and such work can be done outside.

I must add one thing. From Oct 1 to 14 Skoda had a free check up camp.
Then now they have another free check up camp till Nov.4 (which was availed by me). I do get a feeling that Skoda is trying to improve. One thing is important- One must buy a Skoda with ones eyes and ears open- Spares would be expensive; so also the service charges. The other side is that you own a wonderful "driver's car" which has service intervals at 15000Km unlike other cars.
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