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View Poll Results: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?
Yes 325 92.07%
No 28 7.93%
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Old 11th September 2019, 09:41   #16
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Yes. I've helped so many people buy cars in India and in the US that I'm known to some people in these circles now. A popular used car dealer in Massachusetts even cut me a $150 cheque once, since I'd alone accounted for 12 cars that were sold from his lot in a span of 2 years And no, him cutting me the cheque was unasked for.

Here in Chennai, I route people looking for mechanics to evaluate used cars to my own trusted FNG mechanic and he's ever grateful to me for sending him a regular stream of business. As for people looking for new cars, I take that up myself, create spreadsheets with comparisons and scenarios and number projections...and needless to say, a few sales reps at some showrooms in Chennai know me well too. So that's the story of Jagan, the automotive consultant.
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:00   #17
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Irrespective of what people have decided before approaching me, I try to give my opinion about a particular brand/model. If they have finalized something I give them all the negatives of owning that particular car I can come up with. Mainly to lower their expectations from car ownership.

For new car buyers I make sure to advice them to not over spend. To be ready for expenses they never knew existed (challans etc included). And give them advice on using the car correctly in all situations (eg. defogger, changing a tyre, seat and mirror adjustment). On a side note, irrespective of the car I advise them to use it as much as they can. I know lots of people who own a car just because the service loan provided by my employer is a golden egg the hen lays only twice in the service period, and then they rent taxis for outstation trips.

For veteran car owners there is no amount of new car advice that can convince them to deviate from their pre-determined liking. Good choice or bad, they eventually start liking what they have put their money on.
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:04   #18
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

It would be both yes and no.

No, because I don't try to influence anyone's decision, as most purchases are made with emotion rather than logic. If someone is about to book a car that I absolutely hate, I would still say nice things about it and not spoil the party for them

Yes, because I do help them about things like insurance prices and bargain and PDI.
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:11   #19
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

This one is so so true. Relatives don't buy a car till I sign off on them. My uncle flies me down to Kolkata when he is buying new car for TD and selection. Just got him an Ignis last month when I was in Kolkata. lol. Next year he wants to change Superb and I need to plan my travel.

From used cars to servicing to accessories, I am asked by friends and family for everything on cars.

In office I am almost the unofficial car advice helpline. Got my CFO an Altis and a Q3, both used. I'm in charge of servicing for all his 3 cars. When car goes for service he drops my number as the person to contact.

Anyone who joins and is looking for a car new or used, word gets around and they end up asking me to help out.

My boss sometimes wonder why I am not in automotive domain vs what I do.
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:39   #20
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Yes, except in few cases where decision is already taken and only confirmation is needed.
I usually follow this-
A - We know all guys, no comment/suggestion from my side except where are the sweets?
B - People who have a strong emotional feeling (good or bad) about some car/brand - I give them subtle suggestion and ask them to go for TD before rejecting a particular brand.
C - Guys with open mind - this is group which really needs suggestions. I prefer to understand budget, preference (safety/comfort, features, visibility, ASS etc.) before shortlisting any car/brand. With this information, facts and TD results we are left with very few cars to chose from, then I wait for final decision from the buyer (and family).
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:41   #21
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

I have been a consultant. particularly to my friends and colleagues. Itís fun, especially when you can have engaging conversation about cars. A colleague has been keen on a big butch suv in a decent budget for a long time. We have discussed all options ranging from Creta to Fortuner. He is still waiting for the right car.
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:44   #22
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Oh yes, I am.

And my job includes deciding brand and variants of the car, visiting the showroom(s), negotiation for discount, negotiation for exchange car, PDI, a photographer during delivery and advising for accessories. I am from a small city and due to this part-time job, almost all SA at various showrooms know me.
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Old 11th September 2019, 11:02   #23
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

No more!
There was a time I used to tell people everything and even educate them on a few facts and technicalities.

But as GTO has mentioned, most of the people just look to validate their decision. Now I simply tell them that buy what you like and you will never regret
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Old 11th September 2019, 11:27   #24
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Back in school days in 2006, a friend of mine called over the landline and asked me to suggest a car for their family, I said Ford Fiesta (Go Fida). Next time when we met he showed me the car, I am shocked that he really took my advice that seriously. Their family loved the car and kept it until now.

Back in 2016, an engineering friend of mine asked me to suggest a car for his cousin around 10 lakh rupees, I instinctively said Maruti S-Cross, and to my surprise they bought the S-Cross immediately! And also even my friend bought the S-Cross facelift version during his Grand-i10 replacement.

And my uncle never buys a car or any other electric item at his home without my advice.

But as said by boniver and GTO most them have already made a decision and are just looking for validation, advising such people is a waste of our time and effort, so if I ever find such kind of advice seekers I always advice them what they have already decided upon .

But things are quite different at home, when I bought Tata Nano, my sister was against it, she was like can't you look for a better car. I said I love the car and I am the only one who is going to use the car so I am going ahead with it, I would leave it to her if she is going to use the car. And even my friends were against my decision of buying a Nano but everyone were okay with it once they experienced it. I never wanted to take too much space on the road and also the ease of ingress and egress into the car tilted decision towards Tata Nano, other cars considered were Santro and WagonR.

Last edited by wheelguy : 11th September 2019 at 11:49.
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Old 11th September 2019, 11:32   #25
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

I have done this job many times and I love it. Although most people do what they want to do, there are some who actually listen to you with an open mind. Last year, I suggested my uncle to go for the Ford endeavor, he liked the car a lot and eventually went for the BMW X1
No doubt, the X1 is a great car but he could have got a lot more space and features with the Endy.
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Old 11th September 2019, 11:37   #26
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Although, I am not an expert in Automobiles by any means, I have become an advisor to some of my colleagues. Thanks to the reviews and buying guides of Team -BHP which are my sole source of research!

In the last few months, I have been involved in purchase of a Tata Nexon XZA+ (D) and a Nexa Baleno Zeta (P) right from TD, booking, PDI to choosing accessories.

The guy who bought Baleno had already decided on it. So my role was to advise on variant and to assist with the buying process.

It's a different story altogether for the Nexon guy. He was so much confused that we ended up Test driving everything from Tiago to Creta!
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Old 11th September 2019, 11:47   #27
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

I try not to enter into discussion or give advice on what car to buy. Buying a car is a very personal choice. Although many people like to think they are making rational choices, they are not. People have a pretty good gut feeling idea what they want and then start looking for arguments to substantiate and validate their choice of car, bike, house etc.

So if people ask my for my opinion it is usually along the lines of follow your gut feeling. Get something you really fancy. My wife and now also daughter buy their cars on the criteria they need to look cute! That makes them very happy, which seems perfect to me, nothing to add.

I prefer my role of hands-on mechanic. Family and friends are more than welcome to ask me to fix their car. No charge, no guarantees!

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Old 11th September 2019, 11:54   #28
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

I used to be the "go-to" guy for advice on car purchases, maintenance, repair validations etc.
However, this has started to change recently from the time my 8 and a half year old son has taken up a liking for anything that moves on wheels (motored or otherwise)

This has put in me a situation where I myself have been trying to change my car and unable to do so based on the insights my son provides me!
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Old 11th September 2019, 12:26   #29
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Oh! Certainly.

Although I've a long way to go before I can call myself an expert, the very fact that I'm a BHPian adds credibility to my advise

Having said that, I have had the opportunity of advising family members, friends and acquaintances on a various things from buying cars to mods to accessories.

I've also been a strong advocate of AT and have successfully converted a handful of cases!
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Old 11th September 2019, 12:42   #30
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Yes, a lot of my friends & relatives have sought my advice. Over time I realized that most of them had already made up their minds & used me merely as a sounding board.

I found that a waste of my time especially when advice is sought over a phone call.

My standard response now is don't buy a car. We are moving to a rental economy & your purpose would be better served if you just used cab-hailing services.

The reactions - from astonishment to outright anger. I prefer it this way. Most people do extensive online & offline research. You are not the only expert on their respective panels. So I do get a perverse pleasure in throwing them off track.

If you think I am not helping the cause of auto buying, then think again. Most of them go out & buy the "Cars of their Dreams" irrespective of my advice.
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