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Old 3rd November 2018, 09:20   #61
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Default Re: Change in car ownership trends in India - Paradigm shift among the urban youth

I am just surprised at how Uber, Ola and Zoomcar are being thought of as alternatives to car ownership by so many. Based on my experiences, I have stopped using cabs except for a limited set of use cases. As an example, I found the cab drivers so sleepy in the late night / early morning hours, that I reverted to driving to and parking at the airport than risk my life.

Also, no way I am going to risk taking a Zoomcar vehicle out on holiday, when I am not sure about its maintenance. Plus, the vehicles are limited to 80 kph.

So yes, to me all these other options make *Financial* sense (on a spreadsheet, that is), nothing more. Maybe those who have never owned a car can be made to think that reliance on cabs and rentals makes actual sense, but not me.

'Financial sense' makes sense only to the extent that it helps you enrich your life. There is no intrinsic value of financial sense. For me, dependence on cabs and rentals would be massive step down in terms of quality of life. Again, not trying to implore people into believing that they need to buy a car, just surprised at how many think that they can manage well without self-owned cars.

Last edited by vipul_singh : 3rd November 2018 at 09:42.
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Old 5th November 2018, 15:47   #62
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Default Re: Change in car ownership trends in India - Paradigm shift among the urban youth

Very interesting thread!

I am not sure which line I should take. I think I will put my mouth where I have put my money! I have two cars - one Jazz VCVT and one Scorpio S10 AT.

However, considering that I lost one family member and a daughter is getting married, soon we will be down to 4 adults in the family. Then that Scorpio is going to seem redundant! OR - will it? Difficult to say immediately. The same dilemma will appear when I think of the two homes that I have.

So, without taking sides, I feel none of us can really 'predict' what the mass population is going to do! Every area, every city, every community, every income group, every age group, every everything else is varying drastically! As a vehicle enthusiast, I hope I continue to buy new cars and others stop buying new cars - so that I can enjoy the infrastructure! What wishful thinking na?

By the way, I know a few people who had big cars and have shifted to small cars, from big diesel engines to small petrol ones, etc. So, based on the people I see in cities like Pune/Mumbai, I feel the car sales will go down.

The way that I see the younger people in the office - most are not even interested in getting driving licenses - not even as ID! They are not interested in any type of vehicles - two/four manual/auto petrol/diesel!! They are not even interested in self drive rentals! I am a VP in the company and land up driving very junior people around. Not that I mind - in fact I enjoy it. However, when I was their age, I would drive my boss's cars and bikes!

Have I been rambling? I think so! Sorry! Let me stop.

Thank you for reading through,

Girish Mahajan
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Old 5th November 2018, 16:39   #63
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Default Re: Change in car ownership trends in India - Paradigm shift among the urban youth

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Originally Posted by vipul_singh View Post
I am just surprised at how Uber, Ola and Zoomcar are being thought of as alternatives to car ownership by so many.

Also, no way I am going to risk taking a Zoomcar vehicle out on holiday, when I am not sure about its maintenance. Plus, the vehicles are limited to 80 kph.

So yes, to me all these other options make *Financial* sense (on a spreadsheet, that is), nothing more.
I absolutely agree to this. I too had nightmares after I sold my car assuming Uber, Ola and Zoom would do all the job.(at least in my use case)

Below are the incidents that made me think it is better to own a car than rely on alternatives.
  1. Cab - I sold my car at Cars 24X7; tried booking cab very next minute from both Ola and Uber at Indiranagar, Bangalore. Waited 1 hour on streets for a booking. A guy fortunately accepts and I had to wait 40 mins till he reached me. Instant regret for selling my car!
  2. Cab/Auto - My wife is sick, cannot take her to hospital on bike so I book cab; they accept and cancel after 20 mins. I tried another cab; this repeats.I ask an Auto guy nearby; asks 300 for hardly 3kms ; on top of that their rude behavior turns off. Finally a cabbie guy accepts and 'surge' charged me for 200. Well health is wealth isn't it?
  3. Cab - I had to give my car to my uncle who needed it at Koramangala. I did the same at 1030. I see the cab rates were 280+ INR. Well, that was too much for the distance. So, I tried pool since I was alone; the charge was 90RS. Happy me books the cab and calls the guy for confirmation. He says yes and waits at some place (shown in the app that he is not moving) and 10 mins later cancels the cab. I tried another pool; this time he was hardly 200 meters from me. I again called and confirmed if he is coming; he asked me which area was I willing to go; I said Indiranagar. He says yes; 20 mins later he cancels. By the time all this happened I see it is already 1245. I booked a normal cab for approx 300; voila they accept! I agree it is their bread and butter to earn money but the main objective of 'public transport' is gone. I asked him and he agreed that they usually do not accept pools post 10pm since they do not get good $$..
  4. Zoom Cars -Atrociousness of the speed limit to 80 KMPH. I thought it is a safety concern and gave try and took it to Pondi; I cried to catch up with the Civic and City! Terrible for long drives. Phew, next time a whooping 12k for a to and fro Bangalore-Sringeri. I do not see justification for the price like it used to be earlier. Saving money with Zoom or other alternatives for regular trips is a myth! It could work only on a share basis like College students or colleagues etc but not with family.
These all made me think it is better to have a car; when reliability is of most concern and not $$.

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Old 6th November 2018, 10:48   #64
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Default Re: Change in car ownership trends in India - Paradigm shift among the urban youth

I can imagine such a trend happening with TV ownership; a dining table ownership etc, but to see that happening with car ownership is a bit surprising. I guess many of them will come to regret the decision and will feel badly handicapped when a desperate need for mobility arises and all other avenues seem mostly shut.

In times when the community feeling is fast vanishing and we don't even know our neighbors, consider some thoughts:

1) Imagine having to take your one-year old infant to an emergency and no cabs/autos are willing to ply.

2) When my in-laws were visiting, we had to make an emergency hospital visit at 3am - good luck getting reliable cabs then.

Apart from such emergencies, the aspects of driving itself makes one more self-aware and thoughtful. Some in my family have taken to complete reliance on drivers and cabs since a very long time. Now that it's become harder to find reliable and competent drivers, they are at times just tied down and vehicles lay parked in the garage for months together.

I don't this trend gaining more traction as long as our infrastructure and mobility options are as unreliable as they are today. Something's gotta give!
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Old 6th November 2018, 11:35   #65
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Default Re: Change in car ownership trends in India - Paradigm shift among the urban youth

Agree with most points above.

I am 30 years old but i don't think i'd fall in the category most ppl my age do. I don't think i can completely rely on on demand car services ever. Recently, my Linea had a unexpected breakdown and had to spend almost 4 days in the workshop. Although i try to keep my car in top shape those 4 days really taught me why it is even more important to attend to smallest of issues in the car asap and keep the car in top running condition. Since, i am staying away from home for a short while i didn't have alternate cars to depend upon. My experience with these Ola s, Uber s or any other modes of public transport has been horrible.
1. They take a lot of time to arrive since you booked.
2. Sometimes even when they are 100m away from your place they deny after knowing where you have to go.
3. Expensive. I was on average spending 2.5 to 3 times more money than i would have on fuel in my car.

Sometimes i get emergency calls from the hospital and have to visit urgently. I usually take 15 mins (min) to 22 mins (max) everday to cover 9 kms from home to hospital. Cabs were taking me longer by almost thrice the time from booking to destination. Having time for yourself is a very valuable thing these days.

I still believe car ownership is a matter of pride. Even at crowded places and places with no parking i feel it's better to be chauffeured in your own car and get the car parked at a distance after dropping you.

I usually have 2 sets of clothes, mobile charger, shaving kit, toilet kit and shoes/ sandals in the boot for unexpected stays at friends places or delays at work. I can't think of carrying these everytime i take a Uber or Ola since i am myself not sure when i may need them. Also, lot of water and snacks (usually biscuits and dry fruits) are available in the car for those hunger pangs while outside. I can comfortably leave my ipad, laptop in my car but not in these Ubers and Ola s.

The only time i see using them is when i am in a different city for airport to destination and back trips and nothing more.

Last edited by bharatbits : 6th November 2018 at 11:44.
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Old 6th November 2018, 12:25   #66
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Default Re: Change in car ownership trends in India - Paradigm shift among the urban youth

Most people comparing prices of Ola/Uber with personal cars are not factoring costs such as Insurance, Servicing and depreciation. Cost comparisons need to factor in these for a apples-apples comparison.

Nevertheless, i myself would always prefer to drive/ride instead of taking a Uber.
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Old 6th November 2018, 13:45   #67
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Default Re: Change in car ownership trends in India - Paradigm shift among the urban youth

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Originally Posted by bharatbits View Post
....
3. Expensive. I was on average spending 2.5 to 3 times more money than i would have on fuel in my car.
....
All other factors notwithstanding, I have noticed we don't consider depreciation much. A 50K run C segment sedan would typically have it's value reduced by around 5L in 3-4 years. Add interest, insurance, service and upkeep costs. Eventually, 25-30 rs per KM is not an unheard amount.

Once we factor in these, Uber/Ola appear more reasonable even with Surge pricing now and then.

Of course I'm talking purely numbers. Like many here, I too put a huge premium on convenience which tilts the balance heavily. And that's the root cause of our congestion woes despite Uber promising utopia when it first came on the horizon.

(PS: The situation is much, much better in smaller cities. Uber is super quick and reliable in Chandigarh. Paradoxically, others factors are not so bad so people are not ditching cars yet.)
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Old 6th November 2018, 14:23   #68
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Default Re: Change in car ownership trends in India - Paradigm shift among the urban youth

For me, the convenience and reliability aspects of owning a car trump relying on Ola/Uber for transport.

Most of us here would book an Uber Go or Ola Mini/Micro for city trips. And in Bangalore, around 70% of the time, I end up getting dirty, smelly beat up cars, mostly Indicas. Many drivers are smelly - I am not joking here - The body odor gives me a headache. The seats are dirty and stained and the interiors look like an old BMTC bus. I do not want to travel in such a car after paying 10-15 bucks/km or 20 bucks in case of surge pricing. I would prefer an Autorickshaw than this!

See, it is not about whether i can live on Uber/Ola. Of course one can. But the comfort and feel good factor of traveling in a clean car, listening to the music you want, knowing that your car is maintained well and will not give problems to you in the middle of no-where far outweighs the one to one comparison of costs of owning a car vs renting a cab.

And the other aspects of rash driving, un-necessary honking, sudden braking/acceleration all make me feel that I am not getting my money worth on a trip. Add to the overworked/under-rested drivers who are in pursuit of incentives doled out by the operator, means that a comfortable trip is a rare occurrence and not a norm.
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Old 6th November 2018, 16:37   #69
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Default Re: Change in car ownership trends in India - Paradigm shift among the urban youth

I think this phenomenon is restricted to a few urban areas, mostly within corporation limits. Most youngsters I know, want to own a car, the spreadsheets don't cover the basics of car ownership - convenience and freedom.

I can't think of a single time when I used taxi services and felt they could replace my car, in an emergency, good luck trying to get a ride at an odd time. The depreciation is another bogey that's rolled out to buttress this argument against ownership, reliability has gotten so good in most cars, that in the long run, the only cost is fuel and periodic maintenance - insurance being unavoidable even in rentals. If you buy a car with good resale value, the cost goes down even more.

A car is still a status symbol and just because parking is a hassle in urban areas doesn't mean no one is buying cars at all. The usage patterns will change, but a 20 year old who doesn't know how to drive won't be too smug about it. It's a life skill until the autonomous appliances take over.
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Old 6th November 2018, 18:19   #70
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Default Re: Change in car ownership trends in India - Paradigm shift among the urban youth

This is indeed an interesting argument I'm hearing these days that a lot of youngsters today don't feel owning a car is a necessity. With all the apparent financial benefits, I strongly believe one needs to own a car. Hell, I'm addicted to my car

Like others suggested above, emergency situations, feel good factor of travelling in a clean & well maintained car, sense of security you get in leaving your belongings back in the car and the comfort it offers are most important factors for me to own a car. We changed our car from Ritz to City because my wife couldn't fit both my son's car seat and his stroller while going out for shopping with my mom. I guess these *youngsters* who are not interested in owning cars are the same guys who are not interested in getting married and having a family or who are staying in a different city, away from their parents/family. No offence to anyone. I just don't see how it makes sense to forgo the comfort an own car offers for the financial benefit which could put us in difficult situations multiple times a week.

I'd love to drive my own car than taking a bus even upto round trips of 1000kms. Recently I had to visit an injured friend in Belagavi (500+ kms from BLR). Although I checked the bus and train tickets online, ended up driving down only to avoid relying on auto/local bus to reach his house from the main bus/train station. Oh man, that was one hell of a drive BTW
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Old 6th November 2018, 23:36   #71
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Originally Posted by LazyGunner View Post
. I guess these *youngsters* who are not interested in owning cars are the same guys who are not interested in getting married and having a family or who are staying in a different city, away from their parents/family. No offence to anyone. I just don't see how it makes sense to forgo the comfort an own car offers for the financial benefit which could put us in difficult situations multiple times a week.

:

I am all for individuals making their own choices in these sort of matters. Whether it is cars, where you live, who you choose as a partner, what religion you belong to, what job you hold etc.

I can not say I have always understood the choices our three kids have made. But I do not consider them good or bad choices. It just happens to be the way they like to live their life. If it is their choice by definition it is fine by me and I would support them.

I am glad I see my kids doing a number of things very differently from my wife and me. I would consider it a failure as a parent if they would just copy cat what we did.

Jeroen
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Old 7th November 2018, 00:28   #72
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I am all for individuals making their own choices in these sort of matters. Whether it is cars, where you live, who you choose as a partner, what religion you belong to, what job you hold etc.
After I completed typing my message, I read and re-read because I got a feeling that through my text I'm not conveying what I intend to. I posted it anyway as I couldn't phrase it any better.

All I meant to say was, probably they don't live with their immediate family (for ex, bachelors living in a different city) which makes not owning a car more sensible for them.

I definitely respect an individual's choices even if I don't understand them or if they differ from mine. I apologise if my post means otherwise.
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