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Old 6th November 2019, 16:57   #76
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Ever wondered how & why I keep my cars for so long? It’s simple = I buy the better car, even if it’s more expensive at the start, but retain it for 9 – 10 years (it's very EASY to hold onto a top-class car for longer).
Holding on to any car, expensive or less so, for periods approaching 10 years or more, makes eminent financial sense. Pretty much all my cars have been with me for as long as possible, and have only been sold due to extenuating circumstances or requirements beyond my control.

For example:
1. Sold my August 2009 manufactured Scorpio in February 2019, due to the ban on >10-year-old diesels in Delhi;

2. Sold my January 2006 Swift in October 2018, due to the ban on >15-year-old petrol cars in Delhi, as well as the fact that I had bought a Thar, and 3 cars in a family of 2 did not make sense - and parking was becoming a problem;

3. Sold my 2004 Accent Viva CRDi in 2009 due to a chronic lumbar problem that prevented me from getting into low-slung cars;

4. Sold my 1984 Suzuki SS-80 in 2003 because of an unanticipated mechanical problem that would have cost me at least Rs.40,000 to fix;

5. Sold my 2001 Indica VLS in 2005 because of terrible niggles that left me tired of workshop visits every month or even more frequently.

So #1 and #2, my most recent sales, were due to laws and strictures that the government passed! Otherwise, I was ever so happy with both those cars, and I'd have kept them easily for another 3-5 years.
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If you buy a superior car today, I can guarantee that you'll keep it for longer. All other factors being the same, you will find it far easier to retain a superb car for 8 – 10 years (versus an ordinary / mediocre car).
I would like to take a contrarian view on this statement. A superior (more expensive) car is not necessarily a great (or better) car. Often, our perception of what might be a great car is clouded by the vehicle's specifications on paper, recommendations from friends, usage, our need to be seen driving a particular vehicle (image), available garage/parking space, and multiple other factors. What I would consider a great car with whatever wisdom I have, is not necessarily a great car for someone else.
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Know what else is cool? 7 years down the line, your car will be better maintained too. How’s that? It’s basic human nature.
...a car from a higher segment will usually be built to finer standards + with better quality parts, which means that it'll age slower & last longer. If your car ages well, you will happily retain it for more years.
Some cars progressively become prohibitively expensive to maintain as they age, and then there are some that suffer from scarcity of spares. A shirt or a pen require minimal maintenance, but cars certainly require a lot. I am amazed at, for example, Jeroen's doggedness about maintaining his cars, and the extent he goes to, to procure (and stock) specific spares and tools, as well as do a lot of DIY. Not easy to procure parts in India, and not everyone's cup of tea, that. In India, Jeroen would have been forced to scrap his Jaguar and W124, because he'd have been unable to renew their registrations, howsoever well-maintained those cars may be. Perhaps the Spyder would be considered a classic car and allowed to run on city roads for 2 days a year!
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...holding onto your "nicer than expected car" for longer...
Some cars hardly age in their shape, looks and performance. Example = the Scorpio. Hasn't changed much in 10 years. Still sold with the same engine & transmission. Yet, the government won't let me drive it, forcing me to sell it off or junk it. It was a car ahead of its times. In-built tyre pressure monitor, automatic start-stop system, rain-sensing wipers, follow-me-home headlamps, cruise control - features that didn't exist in cars twice that price 10 years ago. I'd have held on to it for a few years - but stupid government policies make sure I didn't. Cars are being treated like mobile phones today - even the most expensive phones are outdated in 3-4 years. After spending substantial amounts on high-end phones, I've figured that a cheaper mid-range phone that can be disposed of in 3 years, makes better sense financially than a high-end phone that needs to be rejected after 4 years.
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...the changing landscape = downsized engines, shrinking variety of powerful diesels, increasing reliance on electronics, strict emission norms, electric cars etc.
Downsized engines and cars were a sick joke played on us by the Indian government (10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?). The newest sick joke is trying to force-feed the country with half-baked (or super-expensive) EVs, and trying to ban diesels quickly. Whatever we buy, would likely be outdated in less time than we can imagine. Folks who bought a Reva or an E2O, considering it to be the car of the future (future-proof purchase), now find that the car isn't sold any more - how long will it take for spares to become scarce?

My take on buying cars in India today: 'Punch below your weight' when buying a new car today, as long as it suits your purposes and checks most of the boxes for you. Don't buy a car by over-stretching your budget, just because you want an 'elite' car. 5 years later one doesn't know what new regulations and strictures our courts, government and NGT will come up with. Buy a used car by all means, if you want to keep it for 3-4 years, or a new car for 5-6 years.

Conspiracy theory alert: The government, in collusion with automobile manufacturers, wants you to buy new cars frequently, to profit from the taxes and the sales. The powers-that-be don't want you to hold on to your car for too long!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 6th November 2019 at 17:05.
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Old 6th November 2019, 16:59   #77
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

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I have been warming to this way of thinking the last few years. I am now post-50 years, and the need to swagger is long gone. I've been there, done that. I bought my SX4Zxi in early 2011 and have never really felt the need to replace it, except for my financial adviser telling me in 2017 to change the car. I looked at the market for equivalent cars, and couldn't find anything that pleased heart and head. Also I was offered a derisory 2 lakh for it.
My Sx4 had done 50k till then, it had a sweet JBL amp and speaker system, good sound means the world to me. It had new Michelin tyres, it has ABS, airbags, etc. the only lacuna is a bluetooth , but I have a handsfree for that. I have a hatchback Liva as a city runaround. So will use this car for as long as she runs well.
I fully agree.

And, aah, SX4, I love that car! It's very underrated. I owned it for 5+ years and loved every bit of it. It has the best ride amongst several cars I've driven and been chauffeured in (incl higher segment vehicles).

I eventually fell prey to the "indulgence" factor, and upgraded to a Tucson 2 years ago. But I recall what a terrible time I had when I was car shopping, I couldn't find a decent car that could be deemed a real *upgrade* from the SX4 in the areas that mattered to me.

Anyway, back to the point: I too agree it is best to hold on to the same car for min 8-10 years, regardless of whether high end or low end car. And I *don't* agree that a high end car brings any more value-add in enhancing the ability to own for long times. With usual recommend maintenance, even a low end car can be happily owned for 9-10 years.

If at all, my recommendation would be to avoid a high end car if possible unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise, simply bcoz whether it's a low end or high end car, man being man, will anyway be tempted by "indulgence" factor to change the car after about 5 years. And if that happens, it's a bigger loss if you had been owning a high-end car till then.
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Old 6th November 2019, 17:09   #78
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
a car like the Compass 2.0 Diesel is a keeper for 10 years…the Jeep won’t feel outdated or boring even in 2029.
Thanks for this informative thread, GTO. It couldn't have come at a better time. I'm in a dilemma between:

1) Buying a New Compass Longitude for around 20 L (~2 L discount going on currently) and drive it for at least 8-10 years

2) Picking up pre-owned 2017 Compass for around 13-14 L, came across few examples in Mumbai and drive for further 5 years

3) Getting pre-owned 2014 Santa Fe for around 5 L, keep it for 3 years. Re-sale might be an issue considering nil demand for Santa Fe in used car market.

Any suggestion would be welcome.
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Old 6th November 2019, 18:07   #79
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

A very interesting and informative thread. Even the following posts are equally good.
Many of the posts though say of past glories, regrets and experiences.
To speak of the same today, with a 10 lakh budget today then which would be the ideal car you would chose and why?
Budget 10 L but as the thread suggests one can chose a better one with 2 Lakhs max top.
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Old 6th November 2019, 18:28   #80
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

GTO, Thank you so much for this thread! A totally new perspective for me. Am in the market for a new one and now the blinkers are off. And the Compass is back in my cross-hairs.
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Old 6th November 2019, 18:44   #81
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

A good extension from GTO's earlier thread about holding cars for longer, and a bit about lateral upgrades. The added point here being - enjoying a car from the next higher segment.


The one point that I feel folks should consider is - if you can hold on to that car long enough. Typically ownership fatigue can set in. Seeing the same car for that long. I am guilty of giving up two perfectly good cars, and still miss one of them - the Sumo. Even though I drive the Storme now. I have had the Storme for 6+ years now, and do plan to keep it longer. The sense of change for me this time is to add a car that I have wanted for a long time. The search is on, and I hope to find one. Will update - hoping soon.
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Old 6th November 2019, 19:01   #82
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

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Looking the glowing reviews, 9am tempted to look for this 3rd gen Honda City in the used car market. Is this the same as Honda City ZX? Which year cars should I look for?
No, the 3rd gen was sold approximately from 2009 to 2014 and is the immediate predecessor to the current one. I bought AT but you can even find one with the sunroof! You can get a decent one for 4-6L based on mileage and condition.
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Old 6th November 2019, 19:59   #83
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Buy a nice car, keep it for 10 years and you can spend the money / EMIs saved on lifestyle enhancing stuff like doing up your house, electronics, going out more, holidays etc. (this is money you'd otherwise have spent on changing your car at the 5 year mark). My ride is now 6 years old and I intend to hold it for another 4 years, which means I have no automotive down payment or EMI to worry about.
Point 14, if I may add - Even if someone can't afford the EMI of a superior car currently and someone able to manage it, they may be able to able to afford it in couple of years down the line as people Salary increases / business grows.
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Old 6th November 2019, 20:50   #84
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

I got a 2004 Bullet, a 2005 Santro, a 2009 Safari 2.2 and the 2018 model Ducati. All serving their duties alright. I have never sold any car or bike yet. Even my dad's '75 model Rajdoot is guarding its territory with pride.

The financial logic of avoiding the enormous depreciation is a no brainier. My safari would hardly fetch 2 Lac now. Its perfectly alright in terms of engine, chassis, suspension, general drivability, comfort, everything that matters to me. A new large 4x4 SUV wouldn't come cheaper than 20 Lacs give or take.

But there are some downsides too.

Firstly, parts availability (especially small parts, say door handles or power window parts etc) drops significantly when the particular model goes out of production.

Thanks to Kurla, this is generally not an issue in Mumbai. Plus all my vehicles were rather common in their prime. So I have not suffered parts shortage much. Small parts for safari weren't available even when the car was new, so I am disregarding its unique parts related hassles for this point.

Second thing is the regular service costs at ASS. If we send our Santro for the 6 months paid service to Hyundai, the bill won't ever be less than 10,000 even if nothing was wrong. Independent garages generally get things done for lesser than 2500. However, sometimes they mess things up and might cause greater expenses later. This happened with the Safari a couple of times.

Third problem is the large one time maintenance costs. I had spent close to 50K for auto box overhauling of my Santro a few years back. Such expenses are completely out of proportion with the resale value of the car at the time. This made me rethink that expense several times over. I am sure many non petrol heads would skimp on such expenses.

Fourth problem is body rust. If that comes, its gonna cost lots for body work frequently. This is happening to my bullet.

All the above points are valid only if one trades old vehicle for a brand new ones. People selling cars to get a later model used car, all these problems get worse compared to the hassles of maintaining the older car. They do enjoy 16 unique advantages though. Reference! But that is besides the point.

Lastly, one does not get to enjoy the new developments in the auto industry for a decade and half. This can cause serious stress to a team-bhp member reading up two official reviews a day. But this isn't so much of a problem for the genpop .



Now, there are some solid upsides too.

I have great emotional attachment with all my vehicles. Even the Santro. I cannot somehow get myself to think about letting any of my vehicles go. I know that sitting around and letting the registration expire if plain stupid. Yet!


Second thing is about all the mods and accessories. Every car owner, at least the petrol heads, customize and personalize their cars greatly over the time. Getting these done cost lots of money, time and passion. Many a times, one needs to redo these things several times till they get perfect. I have had three auxiliary lighting setup on my safari. Each iteration costed 30-40K and few months of research. To do them all over again every 5 years is difficult. Plus these things do not fetch any money in the used market.

Thirdly, the special features in the cars. For example, any 4x4 SUV costs 2+ lacs extra over its 4x2 sibling. I have barely used the 4x4 system in my safari. For all practical purposes its as good as new. If I sell this car, I may not get family support for a 4x4 car again. And that would be a monumental loss for me!

Finally, driving. It takes a while to get used to parking dynamics of any car, especially the larger ones. Torque bands, high speed braking characteristics, perfect judgement of its size etc take a while to bind to muscle memory. In a new car, one looses a lot of the finesse.

These things cannot be purely evaluated in money terms, but they do contribute significantly to the car ownership experience.
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Old 6th November 2019, 21:19   #85
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

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...Ever wondered how & why I keep my cars for so long?...
Excellent points there GTO. Where was this thread earlier when I succumbed to the 'itch' 6 months back & ended up with a car loan(on top of my home loan)?
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...Cars are being treated like mobile phones today - even the most expensive phones are outdated in 3-4 years.
Well put. This is something I was wondering only recently. The speed at which newer gadgets in cars are going mainstream lately, every 3-4 years something or the other will keep popping up & will start looking desirable. But more the gadgets, higher the chance of failure and additional cost in fixing them.

Phones I have already stopped buying expensive ones as no matter how careful you are, they tend to get slow in 2-3 years max(androids) & hence perfectly happy with the mid range phones which are good enough for almost everything that I need a phone for.
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I can't stress this enough. Times are tough with news of layoffs coming fast and frequent across different sectors. If you are a salaried employee tread carefully and don't spend money on upgrading cars frequently.
Tell me about it. These news items(Eg: CTS laying off 12k employees) lately give me jitters as it reminds me of 2008 recession. I was just a freshman back then and remember the bloodbath across IT industry.
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Old 6th November 2019, 21:59   #86
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

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[i]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.
One catch here is that people shouldnt buy bigger vehicle and expect maintenance of smaller vehicle.(unless its a toyota?)

Very insightful thread GTO.

One additional point i would like to highlight is that, when multiple niggles start popping up it is better to sell of the vehicle rather than keeping it.This is one scenario where I find it better to have new vehicles.
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Old 6th November 2019, 22:01   #87
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Default How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

While I agree to this whole concept of getting a solid good car upfront rather than changing cars every 4-5 years, there are two big factors. First, how long can one wait to get that better car? Not everyone can afford a Jeep Compass or an Octavia! So we have to do with smaller upgrades every 4-6 years. I switched from a Dzire to a Rapid and now a Creta in a span of 12 years. In each of the 2 cars i sold, I got an average of 50% resale and used it to fund my next car. Would I have wanted a Jeep Compass as my next drive after the Rapid? Oh yes! But there is a massive difference between 15 to 25 lakhs!

Secondly, in the current scenario we are seeing massive changes in the automotive sector. Right from ownership patterns to Hybrids and Electrics, so would it be right to hold on to something for 10 years? The MG Hector has redefined features in a car so much so that almost all of the manufacturers will jump on to this bandwagon in the next 2-3 years. And we are going to be seeing the MG ZS electric and other possible electric options even from Tata in the next 1-2 years. Agreed we may be still sometime away from mass penetration, but changes are happening very fast, unlike the last 10-15 years where only visible additions were ABS, airbags and a blue tooth audio system.

So yes, if you can afford a better car you should buy that. But waiting years for one is not in line with the kind of changes we are seeing in this sector.
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Old 6th November 2019, 22:26   #88
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

The cost of a new car has gotten obnoxiously high (to repeat a commonly heard refrain on the forum). I would love a Hexa but my brain refuses to allow it even though my finances permit it. An initial outlay of 20 lacs for a car is just mind boggling to me. Thus it came to be that the ordinary middle class Indian in me settled 18 months ago for a 10 lac sub 4m compact SUV and even though I've already begun vocally complaining about its small engine - it is what I will persist with. The larger picture is what holds me back - the EMI trap and an increasingly moribund industry where most of us here work in.

I've stubbornly invested capital elsewhere - mutual funds, real estate etc. The cheaper sub 4m CSUV purchase has also left enough money over for me to get a used automatic hatch for my wife to learn driving. My kid gets driven around in a car from school these days, instead of in our 2 wheeler...

As for me, a lateral upgrade on the other hand is an appealing proposition. That is pretty much the only safe option left to the enthusiast in me.
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Old 6th November 2019, 22:47   #89
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

Thank you so much for this Thread GTO! Excellent perspective and something which I keep trying to bring up with my wife but failing miserably, because I've never been able to communicate all this so eloquently to her. Now if I can just get her to read this thread!

Since new car costs are increasing exponentially, it also makes great sense to splurge on a great pre-worshipped car and extend the budget a bit more on the pre-worshipped car rather than buy a new car from a lower segment!

I did the same when I was in the market for my first car. I could have bought a new Alto or a Kwid or a Celerio if I had stretched my budget. Instead, I bought a pre-worshipped Top end Brio V MT, and for me it has made all the difference. It's a solidly built car, despite the glass back rear trunk lid.
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Old 6th November 2019, 23:15   #90
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Default Re: How a more expensive car can work out cheaper (if you hold onto it for longer)

Interesting thread,

Agree to the logic of keeping a better car for longer but never end up following it. Our 2012 Laura was sold in 2015 as it covered more than a lakh kilometres and maintenance bills started piling . Now the xuv500(2016) has done 1.5 lakhs in 3-4 years and will be needed to change in a year. Even the Mercedes e class(2016) we recently got pre worshipped has started piling on kilometres and will be with us just for 3-4 more years!!!
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