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Old 5th November 2019, 22:38   #31
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

A really relevant thread for me. Just the car change itch has come up and I am looking to upgrade from my SX4 Diesel which will complete 8 years of ownership this December. The car has been niggle free till date and has undergone regular routine maintenance. I have always bought my cars outright and never on loan (doesn't make sense to me as I am salaried). Will look for suitable lateral upgrades in the used car market or will buy a new higher segment car after saving enough.
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Old 6th November 2019, 00:20   #32
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

Of the 12 cars I have owned in 26 years, my current cars are the longest owned. My last car EMI cleared in 2014.

Suzuki Grand Vitara - Just completed 12 years last Sunday. Still a trouble free car, very low maintenance even at 135K kms.
Hyundai i10 Sportz AT - Will complete 9 years in 3 month. Another trouble free car, but has only done 35K kms.

I have no plans to replace either of them until I start running out of parts. In fact, I want my next car to be an electric car, when it becomes practical for long drives with charging stations everywhere.

Last edited by Samurai : 6th November 2019 at 00:24.
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Old 6th November 2019, 01:23   #33
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

Totally agree! My dad made 2 masterstroke decisions of this nature:
1. Toyota Innova 2.5 V (Top end) over Chevy Tavera in 2007. Except ACC and BS4 engine, there was no difference between the Innova from launch to facelift 4.
2. Hyundai Getz over Tata Indigo Marina in 2006. You'd have to be lucky to own a trouble free Tata car made in the mid-2000s.
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Old 6th November 2019, 04:40   #34
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

In a nutshell, buy the car which heart sticks to and use less brain in it. I'm seeing many buy a particular car just based on resale value. A car is a liability and shouldn't be considered as an asset. Obviously the retention period for a hearty choice is more as compared to any other choice. Also one shouldn't buy what others buy. Must verify pros and cons carefully and then spend money on what one likes and not what neighbour or friend or a relative likes.

Last edited by KPR : 6th November 2019 at 04:47. Reason: Typo error
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Old 6th November 2019, 06:42   #35
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

Great writeup GTO. You have just shown the world what Team bhp is really about. It is just for the common man to really take wise decisions in his life rather than marketing gimmicks which are being promoted by the media. Each and every article, I see in the newspaper is woven round promoting a particular brand or just misleading common man into spending more.
When I read your article, I see the honesty in which you have provided a good idea for common man to think and take well informed decisions and save money in the long run. Hats off to you and your team in maintaining the integrity of this forum to the benefit of people. I am sure with the viewership that you enjoy in team bhp there would be vultures luring you with lucrative offers to promote their products. But you have resisted that temptation and given only unbiased reviews for 10+ years. Keep up the good work.
I am one of the beneficiaries of your past posts and have been holding on to my 10 year old 2009 MJD Punto for city run and invested in a used 2011 Linea Tjet for highways. Having these two, I dont think I need to change my car for the next 5 years. They give me enough fun with the added advantage of Punto also being an able highway runner can always backup in case there was an issue with other car. I can see the savings very much right from insurance which I have to renew each year.

Last edited by gopikb : 6th November 2019 at 06:48.
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Old 6th November 2019, 08:45   #36
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

I could relate and sensible thing to do instead of upgrading for the heck of it.

2012: Plan was to buy a Maruti Alto, felt its not safe car and upped my budget to buy newly launched Honda Brio, no regrets after nearly 8 years/80k of ownership. I cringe for not buying Jazz!

2016: Plan was to buy i10, felt the need for solid, powerful car and lapped Figo1.5D Titanium plus. After 70k miles in 3 years, I wish to keep it as long as it runs like a hoot.
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Old 6th November 2019, 08:53   #37
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

This is a great thread, GTO. Thank you for the insights. How I wish I had the wisdom or could come across such thoughts a decade back, that could have saved me a LOT of money.
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Old 6th November 2019, 09:08   #38
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

I personally never felt the need for upgrades. It arises out of trying to keep up with others, and peer pressure. Define your requirement and buy what fits it, the wallet permitting. If the requirement is likely to change in a few years, either buy that other car now or wait for those few years.

Even if my wallet permits a segment or two higher, I will buy a lower segment if it fits my needs. And keep it for the same ten years. Any car will last the duration if it is well maintained and one does not run the hell out of it. If I can outright pay cash and need not take a loan, why not? And I feel one need not feel apologetic about his ride. I don't, mine is an Alto and it is ten years old now!
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Old 6th November 2019, 09:13   #39
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

I don't think it is so black and white as I have taken decisions both ways - stretched my budget for a better car and also opted for a lower segment car when I could have stretched. Let me explain -

For my previous car, I had the budget of a Swift or Micra but stretched to buy a Jazz (please note that the previous gen Jazz was really expensive for it's segment). One of the main reasons for buying the Jazz was the generous space on offer (both passenger and cargo) and I felt that I will not be required to buy another car for the lack of space. 9 years and 90K kms later, that argument has worked out great for me and I intend to keep it for at least 3-4 years more. What has also helped is the bullet proof reliability of the Honda Jazz and there have been no unexpected part failures other than normal wear and tear (I am still running on the original clutch).

But, this decision is not so easy to make if you are moving up to higher segments as the price difference becomes high and the law of diminishing returns starts to catch up. I recently bought the Vento TSI top variant though I could have stretched for the Octavia. The reasoning is as follows -
  • The price difference is significant - 10L OTR approx between Vento highline plus and Octavia style (automatic), 13L for L&K. If you invest the additional 10L for 5-6 years, you could potentially double the money. So at the end of 5-6 years, you can sell the Vento for say 6-7 Lakhs, add the invested money and buy a next segment car. May be we need to pay some additional amount but you get the point.
  • I was not sure that the Octavia will offer the same bullet proof reliability like the Honda Jazz. Not sure about the maintenance cost in the long term. Also, Most cars offers extended warranty for 5-7 years. After that, you are on you own. This is super critical for cars which do not have a great reliability or A.S.S track record (like Skoda or VW).This was a very important consideration for me and probably the deciding factor to go for a lower segment car. I would probably sell the Vento after 5-7 years (when extended warranty gets over) depending on the car condition. If there was an Octavia equivalent from Toytota/Honda, I would have stretched for the same but the Civic comes with a decade old engine and crappy CVT.
  • Vento offers enough leg space and cargo space for my needs. The Octavia is more spacious which is welcome but it is really not needed. Vento Highline plus has most of the features I need. The only additional features in Octavia Style variant which I miss are the electric seats,the additional curtain airbags (4 vs 6 airbags) and the paddle shifters
  • The performance of Vento is great and though it cant match up to the Octavia, the TSI-DSG combo is a breeze to drive in the city where I spend most of my time. Also, build quality of the Vento is as solid as the Octavia
  • Being a smaller car means easier to park and manuever. Also, less tension of scratches and dings in traffic
So, as I said in the beginning of my post, it really depends on the specific case but it is a good rule of thumb to apply. I agree that within a particular segment, it is always wise to go for the best car and the top variant rather than saving a miniscule 10-15% of the total cost of the car. For example, when you are spending 15L on your car, don't make a compromise or change your decision for 1-2 lakhs.

Last edited by adimicra : 6th November 2019 at 09:36.
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Old 6th November 2019, 09:25   #40
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

Great topic.

I have been guilty of doing such upgrades. But, back then, it was more of upgrading to a better car. Alongwith my financial growth, I opted for better wheels.

Now that phase is over, my recent upgrades or purchases have been need or safety based.

We needed a second car, strictly for in city use, so in came the Nano.

My dad's frequent highway travels and the fact that our Storme didnt have any safety equipment, such as ABS or airbags, had us upgrade to Harrier with all the safety equipment they could offer. GTO is right, had we taken the top end Storme back then, the need to upgrade wouldn't have been there.

Our 2015 Chevy Sail had come with ABS and two airbags. Also it hasnt run much and resale value is pretty poor. Its good build quality means there are still no rattles. We intend to keep it for another 3-4 years.
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Old 6th November 2019, 09:29   #41
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Disclaimer: This thought-process is entirely based on you retaining the better / more expensive car for a longer period than a “regular” car. But if you still want to change your car every 5 years, this thread isn’t for you.

There is another angle to this. Which we have covered in the "What Percentage of annual income do you spend on cars thread".

I have changed cars very often however, I have stuck to the Used Car route. Thus capping my expenses on cars as a percentage of Annual income below 10 percent.

After a few purchases, I figured how the used car market works and have been able to get a few good deals. The thing with used market is like placing a GTT (Good Till Trigerred) order on a stock. Decide a price for which you want to buy a particular car (with the criteria kms, age, etc.) and wait till you get that car for approx the same price. Same goes for selling.

However, I still regret selling my two cars (out of 7 owned - Zen Jelly Bean, Palio 1.2 Sport, Civic SMT, Zen Tiger, Swift VXI, City CVT, Polo 1.6). The Civic and the Modded Swift (Picture Below). Sold the Civic because I was moving to Bangalore during the crack down on out of state vehicles, sold the Swift when I was moving back to Mumbai. Wanted a safer car and didnt want to get into the inter-state transfer.

Apart from the Palio, which I got tired of the breakdowns and sold for scrap value, I have managed to get a decent resale for all my cars. For example, I bought the Modded Swift for 2.65 and sold it for 1.85 after 3 years of usage!

The Zens practically sold for the price I bought them for. Took a relatively higher hit for the City since it was almost new and less driven, but I just wasnt happy with the car.

The ideal scenario is, if you can get a pre-owned car of a higher segment and retain THAT ONE for 10 years. Your ROI will be handsome.
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How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)-img_20180519_121654.jpg  

Last edited by 2000rpm : 6th November 2019 at 09:32.
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Old 6th November 2019, 09:42   #42
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

We purchased an i20 CRDi is mid 2010. It was a stretch back then when we had budgeted 7L OTR and ended up spending 8.5L OTR for the top end ASTA variant. Now, 9.5 years and 1.3 Lakh kms later, i can say that it was the best budget stretch we did. I have a lot of fond memories with the car and the car has been very reliable.The 1.4L CRDi is a gem from Hyundai and delivers very good performance especially on the highways. The 4 disc brakes ,which is a rarity now, provides surefooted braking. The steering feel is bad but have got used to it.The suspension is a major let down. Although there have been some niggles and issues, there has not been any breakdown. It has taken a lot of abuse over bad road stretches but also has been maintained obsessively by me. It is not a great car by any means it does serve our purpose very well. We intent to keep it as long as we can until something goes wrong majorly with the car which cannot be repaired in a reasonable cost. The new car prices are too high to digest!

We purchased a Tiago AMT an year ago just for the ease of driving inside the city. Even this car will be kept as long as possible.

Our next car, when we buy, would definitely be an Electric

Last edited by sagarpadaki : 6th November 2019 at 09:47.
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Old 6th November 2019, 10:38   #43
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

I feel, financially, the moot operative point here is, whatever car you buy, keep it as long as is possible. Since we are car enthusiasts, we might as well buy the car we like to drive as we are going to live with it for a long time. But that doesn't mean that one should stretch his budget beyond his financial capacity. The person also needs to consider the costs of maintenance and spare parts before stretching his budget.
GTO does provide an option for that, the preowned route, which I think is best way to get a better car with a tighter budget. But, for us small towners, the search for that is little more tedious.
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Old 6th November 2019, 10:38   #44
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

Wonderful thoughts expressed by GTO and many others.

I too hold on to my cars longer >10-yrs. In fact most things I own is typically bought with long-term ownership in mind. I can wait out very long periods if I don't come across a product that I think will be to my liking - among the reason my wife thinks I'm a fussy shopper!

I tend to prefer buying only international models (corolla/camry/accord/...) that I have the confidence will keep my peace of my mind intact and allow me to concentrate on my work and leisure without having to hunt for good service centers/FNGs etc.

One exception to that purchase model has been the Liva. I wanted a smaller car but nothing seemed available to my liking for almost 2-yrs and hence made a compromise to settle for that! No regrets though. Has been serving very well.

I've not been much into the used-car market, mainly for the hassle it involves in ensuring one finds a well cared for car. I don't mind exploring those as I get confidence in the developing infrastructure (lesser pot holes, lesser number of damaging speed humps), road-manners I see around (driving with deliberate concern and care), and possibly some proud over-all ownership.
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Old 6th November 2019, 10:47   #45
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
P.S. Want to have your cake & eat it too? That is, a superior model but at the same price? Buy a sweet pre-worshipped car instead - be sure to read our lateral upgrades thread (ARTICLE: The Beauty of Lateral Upgrades (Getting MORE CAR for LESS $$$))! I'm addicted to picking up 1 - 2 year old "like new" cars for 30 - 40% off their original price (examples 1 & 2).
I was about to become a keyboard warrior on how can you miss the brilliant option of lateral upgrade until I saw the postscript.

This has worked out very well for me. I have a 2013 pre-worshipped Fiat Linea Emotion Diesel (Top of the line) which I sourced in 2015 at a dirt-cheap price. Now for the last 4 years, I am driving a dual airbag, ABS-equipped, top of the line car with the kind of money with which I couldn't even afford a WagonR ZXi petrol. And here I have not even mentioned the money saved on diesel compared to a petrol car.
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