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View Poll Results: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?
Yes 343 91.71%
No 31 8.29%
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Old 10th September 2019, 18:53   #1
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Default Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Having helped my friends and family in quite a few purchases, I just love talking and helping folks decide on a new purchase!

Be it giving basic advice to going on test drives and taking delivery, I have done it all! Now, I try to remain neutral and ensure there is no bias in my suggestions. Yes, it always a suggestion and never a opinion. I try to keep it as simple as possible and if there is anything beyond my comprehension, I admit and always suggest talking to a technical guy for more info.

I am sure almost everyone here as played the role of a consultant at sometime! What's your approach?
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Old 10th September 2019, 18:57   #2
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I, at some point of time, used to.

Now I say, "I'm sorry, but I've been away from the scene for too long" because I am no longer in the mood to take the ramifications and the bickering that comes with even minor niggles.
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Old 10th September 2019, 20:46   #3
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Default re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Yes, I am the consultant to my family and friends for all matters in the automobile/gadget sphere.

To be honest, I really enjoy it. I get to do constructive research about stuff on the internet instead of loitering around YouTube/Reddit watching dog videos.

The process for me is very simple -
1. Budget plus stretchability
2. Preferences
3. My personal SWOT analysis of their requirements to narrow down the shortlist.
4. Research
5. Report
6. Cringe, crib & curse , when they go for something other than what I suggest.
7. Swear never to make suggestions again, but then fall into the cycle again. :P

My personal preferences do factor into my recommendations, since it's me advising them as if I am out in the market for the product.

Eg: I'd recommend a Toyota over a Skoda/VW, if the person has a single car in the entire family, i.e. no other car can do the duty when the Skoda is out for repairs, which can happen a lot more than you wish.

I sometimes recommend people Marutis if the requirement is just to and from office with 0% chance of highway runs or speeds > 60kmph.

If someone is getting a car for a long term, i.e. 9-10 years, I never recommend them a Tata, since their products somehow go of the roads really soon. I hardly see any Indigo eCS now, though it was once the Uber king here in Kolkata. Hoping that will change with the Nexon/Hexa.

Last edited by sharktale : 10th September 2019 at 20:49.
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Old 10th September 2019, 21:10   #4
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Default re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

I used to, but I've observed that people will always buy the car that they themselves want to. Therefore, the hours that I put into my research and everything goes to waste, unless I myself am looking for a car at that moment. So now whenever someone asks me, I just name all the cars in that segment and give a vague answer like "Yeah they're all pretty good and it's tough to choose one. Take a TD and see which one suits you the best."
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Old 10th September 2019, 21:37   #5
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Default re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

I was or shall I say tried to be an auto consultant to my family. I did give up 2 years back though when my dad picked a Renault Kwid RXT(O) AMT over a TATA Tiago XT AMT.

The battle was between a tin can with a driver's airbag and no ABS and a better built car from a segment above with a better ICE (best in the business undeniably), better build and most importantly dual airbags and ABS. Quite a bummer it was. My ownership experience has also been far from spotless even though the car is as barebones as it can get.

The second instance was more about retaining the 5 year old Jetta rather than buying a Ciaz AT or a Seltos CVT. Both cars are good in their own right, but from a remapped 2.0 turbo diesel and 6 airbags+ABS+ESP to a 1.5 N/A and step motherly treatment in terms of safety? Thankfully some godly intervention has taken place which has convinced him to keep the Jetta for 2 years more atleast.

On the other hand, I advised my tuition teacher to test drive the Figo 1.5 TDCI a year back (he was also considering the Amaze 1.2 Base variant). He was very impressed with the car itself and also got a sweet deal on a Titanium variant (6.5 lakhs OTR). I also raved about Ford's service costs and they have more than stood up to their promise. He is extremely pleased with the performance of the car and the fuel efficency too. Service costs are icing on the cake.

To conclude, yes people do have a mind of their own when it comes to buying cars, but having an open mind is what is most important, irrespective of who is advising you. My teacher honestly admitted that he would have never considered buying the Figo had I not asked him to due to the fuss about Ford's service costs and after sales, but these have now become the very talking point of our conversation about his car (in a very good way of course). It's a different matter that those idiots goof up in other areas and marketing

Some more points:

- Although I own a VW myself, I seldom advise people to buy them. Someone once asked me whether it was safe to buy a used Vento DSG TDI. You know the answer. Same for a 7 year old Jetta TDI. If you aren't recommending to a car enthusiast, its always better to stay away from such cars.

- Ford, Hyundai and Jeep are slowly making good progress in terms of brand image. People are slowly starting to give up on herd mentality is what my opinion has been. They have come to realize that dealership network and service costs (hyped in case of Marutis) are not solely prominent when purchasing a car.

- The best part. Safety. People want a car with two airbags and ABS if possible. It might be for bragging or actual awareness towards safety, but as far as I am concerned it's a step in the right direction. The tuition teacher I spoke off wanted a Titanium + with curtain airbags but the dealer had unfortunately run out of stock.

Last edited by vishy76 : 10th September 2019 at 21:44.
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Old 10th September 2019, 21:44   #6
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Default re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Yes I am asked my opinion about car purchases in my friends and family circle.

The basic questions I ask
1. Price Range
2. Manufacturer preference
3. Auto or Manual
4. Car Type.
5. Fuel

Nowadays most want sunroof in the car because their kids want sunroof.
Seriously no one really cares about safety features in my circle.
In my circle, most prefer Maruti, Hyundai or Honda only.

We list out a few possibilities and I send them links of the Team-Bhp official review / Ownership review if any of all the vehicles short listed and ask them to make up their minds.
I do not go for test drive because I want them to experience the test drive and not bias them.

When things work out, no one thanks us but if it flops, then I will be the butt of their criticism forever.

Last edited by Ithaca : 10th September 2019 at 21:45.
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Old 10th September 2019, 21:54   #7
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Default re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

It's sometime difficult to get one's own family to agree with you, so I don't give any one any advice as to what he or she should get: to each his own. For example I liked the Ignis but my daughter didn't like it. We both took TD's together.
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Old 10th September 2019, 22:23   #8
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Default re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

I have become a sort of car concierge

Past year saw me getting rid of a Honda City and a BMW 3GT for some newly non resident folks
Sorting out a damaged Datsun GO for Rs 3000 which Nissan were quoting Rs 30000
Getting the paintwork sorted for a Toyota Etios for an uncle
Now sorting out a damaged VW Polo and have been asked to locate a used Mini Cooper.
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Old 10th September 2019, 22:32   #9
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Default re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

A bit of a yes and a no. Some like my sister's actually listen to me and buy accordingly. Pleasant surprise because they never listened to me in our childhood. May be they are discovering my latent genius at long last. Men on the other hand I notice come seeking advice with the expectation that I'll rubber stamp the conclusion they have already taken!!!
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Old 11th September 2019, 07:36   #10
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

I absolutely am. Receive a whole lot of queries and always help out with clear advice. Just the day before, I spoke to a BHPian and shared tips about closing on a 328i. I also love answering queries in our "What Car" forum, especially if the OP has put a lot of thought & detail in his thread.

Originally Posted by boniver View Post
I used to, but I've observed that people will always buy the car that they themselves want to.
This is also very true . Therefore, if someone calls and asks me "what 15 lakh SUV should I buy?", my first response is "first tell me all the cars that you have liked" . Many of them have already decided and are just looking for validation.

P.S. Added a poll to spice things up a bit!!

Last edited by GTO : 11th September 2019 at 07:39.
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Old 11th September 2019, 08:04   #11
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

No I'm not. My friends & family consider me as walking encyclopedia on automobiles
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Old 11th September 2019, 08:08   #12
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Originally Posted by aargee View Post
No I'm not. My friends & family consider me as walking encyclopedia on automobiles
Pretty much the same situation here, though I am far from what an actual encyclopaedia on automobiles would be. However, as compared to the vast majority of the non-entusiast populace, I am definitely better informed and therefore in a position to provide useful advice to someone looking out to buy a car, or anything else related to the automobile world. While family and friends always knew me to be an auto nut, gradually people in office have also come to realize the fact, and I find myself giving opinions and advice on cars ranging from humble budget hatchbacks to luxury German trip cars!
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Old 11th September 2019, 08:26   #13
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Like others on this thread, I used to give all sorts of gyan when asked. People would then go out and buy the usual tincans with high fuel efficiency and more chrome. These days I just go and tell them to buy the usual tincans and save my blood pressure.

Fine. I recently bought one of the usual tincans as a beater car for my wife (2012 i10 automatic) so fine, who am I to diss tincans?
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Old 11th September 2019, 08:36   #14
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

Voted Yes. My "consultancy" is more towards educating first or even second time buyers with the peripheral aspects of car buying like insurance, extended warranty, accessories, PDI etc and making them aware about the different ways the dealership might be fooling them. Most car buyers in my vicinity hardly bother to check whether to cross check insurance from outside and blindly go for dealer provided insurance, many never bother to take the extended warranty, many don't know what PDI is and many blindly pay handling charges and agree to unnecessary accessories installation which could be done at outside shops for a much lesser price. These are the aspects I like to educate them with.

As for the "what car" query, I ask them their requirements with respect to features and driving preference and their budget. Based on that I give them a list of cars to choose from. I highlight the pros and cons of each car and leave it up to them to choose. Most car buyers don't care about safety, build quality and driving dynamics, they mainly care about features, maintenance, fuel efficiency and resale value. Also I have seen that car buyers have multiple "consultants" and many of those "consultants" are non-auto-enthusiasts, so usually my recommendations aren't seen in a favorable light being different from the other "consultants". Hence I just give out the information and let the buyer decide.
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Old 11th September 2019, 09:30   #15
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Default Re: Are you an auto consultant to your family & friends?

I can completely relate to this thread. Have been on call multiple times suggesting and advising people on their purchase. Multiple instances where friends of friends and extended family with whom I have rarely met even once in my lifetime calls to seek advice.
As GTO pointed, mostly people had finalized their purchase and they just wanted to hear that they are not wrong in their analysis.
Anyway I'm always happy to have a chat on this cars, so I enjoy it.
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