Team-BHP > The Indian Car Scene

View Poll Results: Please vote on this MULTIPLE choice poll
I simply prefer "brand new" and am willing to pay a premium for it 218 18.14%
The risk (being cheated, reliability, accident / flood damage etc.) 684 56.91%
Too much effort to find a car, TD it, get it checked... 356 29.62%
Social image / stigma in my circle 56 4.66%
Used car loans are difficult and / or pricey 145 12.06%
My company will get lower depreciation benefits 17 1.41%
Worried about the maintenance costs 276 22.96%
I don't have the knowledge or expertise on used cars 193 16.06%
The model I want isn't available used (e.g. Hector / Triber) 44 3.66%
Organised players still have limitations 34 2.83%
Try convincing my spouse / family!!! 96 7.99%
Other (please specify in your post) 42 3.49%
Are you kidding? I LOVE pre-worshipped cars 338 28.12%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 1202. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10th January 2020, 11:57   #16
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

Most people are voting for "Risk". For most of us, that means "Financial risk" - the fear of losing money on repairs and unforeseen maintenance.

The smart way to buy used is to not stretch your budget - in fact it is to cut your budget by 33-50%.

Say you are in the market for a 20L Rupee new car. Instead, if you find a pre-owned deal for a 12L Rupee car that has run 30K kms that serves your needs, you'd be much happier than if you had bought a 20L SUV used, as you'd be stretched financially, and any unforeseen maintenance would leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

I see buying used cars solely as an instrument of saving money, not as a means to buying a better car. As they say, if you can't afford to buy it new, you can't afford to buy it used either!

-Speaking from my experience of picking up a '14 320d in great nick @ 33K on the clock in BLR.

Last edited by d3mon : 10th January 2020 at 12:01.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:08   #17
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

Voted for "The risk (being cheated, reliability, accident / flood damage etc.)". The used car market in India is a sham. Even totaled cars are not scraped but sold as used. There is Maruti true value but their rates are astronomical (and it's brand specific). I am also a noob as far as mechanical thingies are concerned

However, I will have no problem in considering a pre-worshipped car in my known circle or where I am certain about the car history. Don't really care about social stigma!
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:10   #18
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

There are pros and cons of buying a used car but the pros generally outweigh cons. That's why my vote goes for the last option.

At the same time, I fully agree with Saket, there isn't significant gain in buying used lower segment cars.
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
... buy a segment A/B car (read cheaper cars) new...
Everyone has got financial limits, the most costly new car they can afford. For me, I cannot imagine buying a new BMW-3 series, no matter what I sell. But I can afford a used one. So, Dreams come true to many in used cars realm.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 10th January 2020 at 12:14.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:10   #19
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

I voted for below options
I simply prefer "brand new" and am willing to pay a premium for it
- Simply cherish the joy of owning the brand new metal. Its not to show off but for my own happiness. Also, touch wood, can afford to pay the premium for new car, atleast till now.

The risk (being cheated, reliability, accident / flood damage etc.)
- I Don't have confidence that the used car is not abused, repaired and will be in good condition. Also have a perception that used car market in India is not matured. The doubt is that if there is car in mint condition, why is being sold? Please note that this may not be the case for luxury cars as the owners of luxury cars may change the cars frequently even though in excellent conditions. However for the cars in the segments which I shall buy, I have no faith that I am not being cheated.

Too much effort to find a car, TD it, get it checked...
- This is related to the earlier point. I think i'll have to search for the right car and get it thoroughly checked and that may be a long process

Other (please specify in your post)
- This is my personal view and may not be true for every car. The segment in which I will buy a car is evolving very rapidly. The core platform may remain same, however the equipment list is changing frequently. So a car which is already few years older may become even more outdated after further few years of my ownership. Of course it depends on which model/brand is being considered.

Try convincing my family/spouse!
- No used car purchase. Period. So proposal for buying a used car is a lost argument!

Last edited by varman742 : 10th January 2020 at 12:15. Reason: Added one more reason
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:12   #20
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

Ironical to many/most bhpians, my car experience started on the pre-owned direction; my first car being a 10 year old M800 that was in decent condition at a cheap (?) price of 60,000 back in 2005. 4 of us pooled money with me paying 1/3rd of the amount and we made proper use of the car over the next 6 years; till I bought the Vento in 2011; after which the car was sent to one of the 4 owner's family in Nagpur. I believe the car is still being used by someone.

Having gone through the lifecycle of owning an European car that saw it's value depreciate to nearly 25% of it's original value, I'm sorted on the decision of future cars - it's going to be pre-owned for me; unless it's a segment which is completely new (e.g. EV segment).

But having said that, it's a tough mindset change for the larger population. For example, I tried very hard to get my parents to agree to a used car 2 years ago; I even pleaded that I'd get them a well maintained car from select sources only (like a bhpian owned); but they did not agree and purchased a brand new car.

A new car is still a big event for Indian households, even if it's the 2nd or 3rd car purchase. There's a current ongoing thread of a brother looking to purchase a brand new car for his sister's marriage - there's no way a pre-owned car (even of a much higher segment) that is immaculately maintained will ever fit in that scenario. It HAS to be a brand new car; even if it is the cheapest model available in the market.

There are many such scenarios that will unfortunately work only with a new car; we still have a long way to become used to pre-owned cars as an equivalent option to a new car (like it's in the US).
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:13   #21
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

Spouse / family.

Used cars are just used cars as per my wife, and no amount of convincing (Believe me, I've tried!) could get her to think otherwise.

A new Alto holds more value to her than a pre-worshipped Compass.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:14   #22
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

Nice thread and I am also eager to see the poll results as well.

I voted for "I LOVE pre-worshipped cars".

The reason I think personally why people are going towards new car is:

1. Both husband and wife are working, they can always afford for new car rather than used car.
2. Fear of being cheated. Absolutely no support from family. They tend to fear you by telling horror stories.
3. No time for people to go and explore used car market.
4. Some crowd believes the car might be not auspicious for the first owner and hence it might be not auspicious for them too if they own one.
5. Last but not least. Peer pressure to own new car. Especially in apartments.

If you had asked me 3 years back, I never dreamt of buying used car. Reason is simply because lack of knowledge and risks with respect to "genuine" car. You are more likely to be cheated in used car market.

I bought my first car grand i10-diesel in 2013 and used for almost 5 years. I completed 68000 kms. The car was doing absolutely fine but still I wanted to upgrade for more power at the same time decent mileage too.

At this point of time, I started reading the threads which are shared by GTO above. These threads changed the way I was thinking about used cars. To give a try, I decided to move my new car plan for a year and spent my time visiting used cars showrooms. Over the time, I got a understanding which showrooms actually keep good cars. I shortlisted them and started visiting those showrooms more frequently. I was totally surprised to see some pretty good cars coming into showrooms. This is where I was unknowingly getting dragged to used car market.

Due to frequent visits, I had a good relationship with one of the sales person and he understood that I am seriously looking for used cars. With his help, I got a pretty good deal. I bought Renault Duster, ODO 8500 kms, 2016 model, Explorer edition RxL diesel-85PS for 8 lakhs with warranty covered. I bought this car in November 2018.
The new Duster RxS variant was costing some where 13+ lakhs and I got a used duster which was 8500 kms driven for 8 lakhs. I saved 5 lakhs which is enormous saving for me. For that 5 lakhs, I can fuel duster for more than 10 years.

Few things which helped me:
1. Take a break and visit more used car outlets. The more you visit the more you learn.
2. Patience pays. I rejected 3 Duster cars before I made my final deal. All 3 were in good condition.
3. Maintain good relationship with sales guy. This will be the game changer.
4. Do the required ground work before you go to showrooms. Decide what car you want. Keep Plan-A and Plan-B. In my case, I had decided to go for Ford Ecosport diesel if I don't get good Duster.
5. You might be aware of more negatives on used cars. But please hear positives as well. Understand how they got the deal and what was their approach.
6. If you have any apartment friends, then stay in touch with them. Most of the apartment owners sell their cars in the community itself.
7. Relay on ownership and official threads of Team-BHP. These are the prime source where you can understand the car and it's owning experience.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:15   #23
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

I too agree with the idea of buying pre owned cars because it makes so much sense financially. But unfortunately except once I've never gone the pre-owned way. The one time was when I had just started working and wanted something I could afford. And the car was so good to me. I think that is literally the only time any of my cars took such a low depreciation hit !

I voted

1. Too much effort to find a car, TD it, get it checked..
In a city like Cochin, the used cars available are plenty in number but limited to a few choices. Good examples of some cars are almost impossible to come by. Let me explain. Cars like the erstwhile Innova, Innova Crysta, Honda city , Fortuners, Marutis of all vintages are easy to come by. I wanted to buy a pre owned Hyundai Tucson / Elantra auto or the new iteration of XUV 500 for my wife and having searched for an odd 6 months, I came across just 1 Elantra, 2 Tucsons and half a dozen XUV 500s (nice examples but either the Mrs vetoed it or the asking price just didn't make sense for a pre owned piece) which brings me to the next issue.

2. Used car loans are difficult and / or pricey
One XUV 500 W11 auto that both me and the Mrs agreed on didn't make sense because we would end up paying as much as new XUV 500 W9 if we took a used car loan. Buying outright is not an option for me because in business liquidity is something you can't compromise.

3. My company will get lower depreciation benefits
Pretty self explanatory.

Couple of things that still I'm weary about is how the previous owner took care of his vehicle and 2 recent floods that Kerala went through. I mean if I know the owner, its fine. And buying Germans pre-owned requires a lot of studying and know how, which sadly due to the nature of my work I'd never get time for.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:21   #24
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

Even though I love pre-owned cars for all of the benefits that have been listed, options available in the pre-owned market vary greatly according to region. When i myself was looking for a fast petrol sedan/hatchback in Jaipur, most people i got in contact were dealers/individuals in Gurgaon or Delhi and it was only after about 2 months of searching that i found my beloved 2017 BMW 320i. I have seen progress towards more offerings in the used car market but still finding the right car is a pain.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:24   #25
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

I avoid buying used car mainly because of uncertainty associated with it and negative value propositions.

I take the financials in a different way.

A petrol car service life is theoretically approx. 15 years. Say a new car on road costs 10 lakhs excluding insurance. So every year the usable value of the car is reduced by 1015 = 0.66 lakhs + depreciation due to use, say another 5% or 50 thousands every year.

So at the end of three year, the remaining value is approx 6.5 lakhs. Accordingly to above mentioned considerations, the car life cycle value already reduced by 1.98 lakhs + use cost depreciation by 1.5 lakhs

Now if I go to market to buy 3 years old and equivalent used car, the asking price is approx 7.0 to 7.5 lakhs.


cost of transfer of ownership which is nowadays a hefty amount including incidental expenses.
Increased cost of regular maintenance and parts replacement, such as tyres, clutch etc. as the car is out of warranty.
Cost of risk associated with used car.
Cost of used car loan on elevated interest rate.

So, I donot find prospect of owning a used car worth enough at prevailing market price. One can buy a new and latest model by paying marginal increase in monthly loan installments. Simple!
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:34   #26
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

For me, scouting for good pre-owned cars is like an adventure. I love finding good cars which I would have never bought new (like the Civic or Polo 1.6 or City CVT sunroof).

After having bought 6-7 used cars. Let me give you some tips for people who want to convert, but are on the fence
  1. If you have a timeline to purchase a car, dont go for the used car route, you will buy the car which doesnt meet your criteria and the timelines will not let you negotiate or assess the car well.
  2. Assume you are seeing the car in its best condition when you test drive it. If the car is OKish during test drive, stay away from it. The car has to feel EXCELLENT (not GOOD) during the test drive.
  3. Define your budget and stick to 85% of it. Buffer 15% for repairs post purchase. Even if you extent your budget for a higher segment car, maintain your buffer. Buffer higher amount for brands like VW with known failures. Buffer for Toyota and Maruti can be lower.
  4. Assume you will need atleast 2 service station visits and be mentally prepared for it. Befriend a friendly garage wala in your area.
  5. Leverage teambhp network to speak to fellows who have owned the car you plan to purchase.
  6. Never make a cash transaction, keep the ID proof xerox of the RC owner with you when you make payment.
  7. Check electronics of the car well, these are much more expensive and difficult to fix than mechanical issues. Primarily because this will go to the authorized centers more often than not.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:40   #27
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

I voted for risk, especially the financial risk and risk of unknowns. One another grudge I have is the established players do charge a hefty premium (in Chennai atleast) and the other players just don't know what they are selling. It takes a long time to find a good one in Chennai

I started with a pre owned Esteem before I got myself a brand new Scorpio. So I have seen the best and worst of both sides.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:48   #28
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

I prefer buying new and so far all our cars have been bought new. Reasons? Voted for option 1, 2, 3 and 6 on this poll.

We like to buy new and use for a reasonable period of time (min 7 to 8 years some. Some cars have lasted over 10 years with us). Being in business allows us to avail depreciation benefits. 15% depreciation p.a translates to about 70% depreciation of the value of the car over 7 years. Calculate the tax savings @ 31% and you end up getting back nearly 25% of the price paid for the car in tax savings. Also with insurance premiums and interest component of the car loan being fully deductible expenses, the incentive to buy new is pretty good.

Then at the end of these 7 or 8 years we also get pretty decent resale value here in Bangalore. I sold my Laura TSI for nearly 50% of the initial price after using for 80k kms after about 7 years. Consider this : 25% tax savings + 50% residual value. In my mind, a car costs only 25% of its purchase price to buy new
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:50   #29
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

I want to give an opinion from the seller perspective.

In Nov 2018, when I was dropping my 2 year old to his day care in my 2011 FIAT Grande Punto Emotion, it made wild noises and came to a grinding halt in the middle of a road. My son was curious but he was dropped to his center by other means. After an on-site mechanic failed to identify the cause, the car was towed to an FNG. It was a broken timing belt that had wrecked havoc with the cam and crank shafts. It had clocked 45,000 km. With the lack of proper FASS and my own ignorance, this costly mistake was allowed to happen. An estimate of a whopping ₹90,000 was given to fix everything by the FNG. This forced me to think about disposing the car and get a new one. But I wanted to at least get it up and running before I sell. After spending ₹35,000 it was up but with mediocre performance and the check engine light still glowing. The mechanic offered to suppress the check engine light permanently but I did not want to "cheat" as I was aware the car is not fully healthy. I left it glowing and sold it at Cars24 for just ₹1,45,000 after being transparent about the issues the car had faced in the recent past.

After a couple of months, a gentleman called me saying he was the new owner of my car and wanted to know why the check engine light was glowing and what he should expect. I gave him as much details as I could. I consider my ownership of the Punto ended there.

It was also good to know that the dealer/Cars24 did not try to con the buyer either.

In my opinion, a pretty good portion of the cars in the used car market are there solely because of some major issue - either fully fixed or under disguise. I don't have what it takes to peel out all the masks that it may be wearing. So I have voted "The risk".

Last edited by dksv : 10th January 2020 at 13:12.
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Old 10th January 2020, 12:50   #30
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Default Re: So, why won't you buy a used car?

I have had a great experience buying used. Was looking to buy the top end Verna in 2012. Came across an ad for a used 2011 Jetta highline AT with 3000 km done. The price difference between the verna and Jetta was just 1,5 Lakhs. I was sure that it had some defect or accident, but went over to see it anyway. Did a 10 min test drive, a walk around and picked the car after verifying the documents . Its 2020, 65000 km now and the car is running like a dream. Touch wood.
Saw a 2018 BMW last week, but it didn't feel right, though could not pinpoint what was off. Walked away.
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