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View Poll Results: Would you keep a beater car?
Yes 397 81.52%
No 90 18.48%
Voters: 487. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 17th November 2020, 17:02   #31
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Do I want a beater car? - YES!

Will I keep a beater car?- NO (for now). From the economic viewpoint, it's not viable for me right now, nor am I in dire need of one. Currently my trusted Activa 125 is doing all the duties of a beater car; grocery runs, shopping in the city and even an airport drop.

I have toyed with the idea of getting a beat-up beater car, something which I can work on myself without worrying about screwing up, but then the thought of spending about 50-60k (cost of a decently reliable car) for this which can be utilized as almost a year's worth of fuel bill for our Panda dissuades me.
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Old 17th November 2020, 18:26   #32
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

That's my 20 year old beater car. Does it's city duties pretty well and touchwood never left me stranded on road any day. Though the mileage is only 1 lac km which is pretty less seeing it's age but yes since last 6 years it's not seeing much of kms due to short city runs.

Trying to keep it mechanically fit as much as possible. Have no intentions to sell it in near future. I procure it's parts mostly from Delhi or through online portals.

Have done lot of road trips in this car including Bhutan road trip and many more hills drive too. Since last 6 years the airport runs and my road trips are handled by xuv, since then lancer is doing it's city run pretty well.

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-img_20180625_135426__01.jpg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-img_20201031_213131__01.jpg

Last edited by rahul_kej : 17th November 2020 at 18:33. Reason: Added more information.
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Old 17th November 2020, 19:37   #33
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Did not vote because as of now no plans of owning a beater car. In future if I get a bigger house with more parking space then I'll think of an EV as a beater as EV's make much more sense in terms of maintenance and rough use. I'd prefer a beater 2 wheeler in a city like Bangalore where the streets are narrow and driving a car will get you stuck in traffic (nowadays irrespective of car or bike, the time taken is almost the same) but a two wheeler to weave through the small lanes

If in a smaller town or away from the city, then yes to a beater car

Untill then this little one is my all-rounder and does the job well

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-img_20200724_133708__01.jpg

And this one is another all rounder on 2 wheels

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-snapchat189318702__01.jpg
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Old 17th November 2020, 19:42   #34
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

A big fan of beaters or second cars for school / grocery runs.

I had a 2002 Maruti Zen MPFI which fit the bill perfectly. It had run 90000 KMS, maintenance was less than INR 2 K per year and fairly reliable and fuel efficient.

Sold it as it had crossed the 15 yr vintage and I had to get it fitness certified.

My Chevy Beat is currently doing the beater duties , but its not been very reliable till date. I see a bit of engine oil leakage and need to fix this for it to continue to do beater duties.
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Old 17th November 2020, 19:45   #35
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post


Cheap to buy! Less money than a flagship iPhone or Macbook
Wide variety of cars! Plenty of Altos, i10s, Corollas, Civics, Jeeps, Nanos, Gypsys available
Simple mechanicals = easy to fix. Buy the right model & you'll enjoy decent reliability
Cheap to maintain. Parts & repairs are usually inexpensive
No stress about parking in suspect neighbourhoods, dents from cabbies, rough usage etc.
Your other, nicer car will be better maintained as this beater is used for all the dirty work
Safer than 2-wheels, especially given our road & weather conditions
Nostalgic value as someone in the family would have owned one in their lifetime
Borrower-friendly! You can hand these over to friends / family instead of your more expensive car
Some cheap ones can be fun to drive too - Civic, Brio, Etios 1.5 & more

Add another positive there-
They are excellent to learn driving and practice for a novice.

As long as her engine and clutch are well maintained, they offer excellent usage as a true beater that would take abuse from a novice- jerky launches, stalling, occasional error of judgement and scratches.
I still own my 2004 zen that I have been approached to be bought. However once I restore her to showroom condition soon, Imight keep my more recent 2018 city as a beater and make this the crown jewel of my small garage.
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Old 17th November 2020, 21:43   #36
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Beater car - Of course YES! We stay as a joint family in Bangalore and am fortunate enough to get access to a beater car - Alto! The Xylo is a real pain to drive in the city with the bikers giving enough hits to the side mirrors, you are drained both mentally and physically at EOD.

But with the Alto, no two hoots given in the city. In fact, the Rickshaws used to back off seeing the beaten up condition of the beater car! :P

Many people I know have bought Celerio AMT as the beater car for cities like Bangalore. Makes sense and is truly worth it!

Just today was driving through the streets of Madurai in peak traffic with the Xylo, it was a real torture. Mum even commented that we would be better off driving an omni in the city as no tensions, easily can take nicks and scare off few bikers.
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Old 17th November 2020, 22:23   #37
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Yes. Definitely would buy an used car as a beater car.

My definition of a beater car is slightly different from others. A beater car in my view, is a car that's gets 'beaten' by quite a lot of usage.

In my garage, my ciaz is the beater, while the Kwid is a back up car that gets used when the beater car is down for service. I use the ciaz for everything. I understand the beater car logic suits better with the rich garages where they have a few luxury cars, which they won't like to use for daily activities like grocery runs, shopping, gym runs, to places where parking is an issue etc.

I also have a fairly new Storme which I don't use often just because I don't find it optimal for my kind of usage as I find the ciaz. Not because it's special or new

I might just replace my ciaz with another used beater car, which will be something that I love using (despite popular opinion about how boring Ciaz is, I absolutely enjoy using it). An used rapid/polo GT/altis diesel after a few years will be a perfect replacement.

By the way, a beater car doesn't mean that we don't care for it, I take absolute care and put effort in maintaining my beater to keep it in top shape that it will serve me well for atleast 2 lakh km.

Last edited by PrasannaDhana : 17th November 2020 at 22:30.
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Old 17th November 2020, 22:24   #38
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

I entered the 'beater-car club' last year, when I got a used Figo.
Actual purpose was for my wife to learn driving and eventually drive to office everyday. Her requirements were like this-
- Around 2.5 lakh
- ABS, Airbags, rear wiper, good build quality
- Good highway manners
- Manual transmission

Once the Figo came in, it's elder brother (Ecosport) was reserved purely for highway duties.

I park it outside and it is quite convenient in the city. Ended up spending around 40K last month on insurance, routine service, engine mounts and new tyres. Never realized the number till I summed up the individual amounts.

From a maintenance standpoint, maybe a Japanese car will turn out cheaper but then I just can't get over the way this car handles. Maybe I'll keep this for 5 more years and replace it with a small automatic then. A beater is supposed to be more head than heart, but I fear this is turning the other way around.
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Old 17th November 2020, 22:32   #39
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Voted NO.

I live with my retired parents and both my spouse and I are in IT and business consulting respectively. We have been working majorly from home for the past two years and have very low monthly running.

We currently have a Baleno which is driven by me and my father. Primarily used on weekends for outings. And in this Delhi traffic my father prefers to use Uber when he wants to visit any crowded places.

So keeping 2 cars with such low running doesn't make sense and after driving in the NCR region for the past 10 years I am fairly confident in taking a car on any size into the narrowest on streets this city has to offer
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Old 18th November 2020, 00:57   #40
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

A 'beater' car is a must in India especially for those who love cars and live in two wheeler infested dungeons we call cities in India. This is my ultimate beater car for India, a 2011 2nd gen. Wagon R, one owner with 56k miles on the odometer which i bought at a TrueValue outlet for 2.15lacs in 'as-is' condition , spent 25 grand to bring it up to snuff and the rest as they say is history.

The 2nd gen. Wagon R is the best car for India, it's the right size, ugly looking, utilitarian and dings and scratches made by the willful, manic and psychotic two wheeler , commercial vans and autorickshaw drivers of Chennai where i reside will not make a difference to it's looks. It is the perfect indian car.
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Last edited by nickatnite : 18th November 2020 at 01:07.
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Old 18th November 2020, 09:43   #41
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Voted no. I had kept my Baleno LXI from 2006 till about last year. At some point you begin to compute the repairs and service costs as a fraction of the car's residual value. Replacing tires for instance would set you back by 30% of the car's value!
That said I will be in the market for a such a car in a few years when my kids get to drive.
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Old 18th November 2020, 11:32   #42
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Voted NO.

I love the idea of a beater, and truth be told they do most of the running at home leaving the Germans for the fun drives.
Bad roads, tight parking, airport runs, running errands, etc. they're perfect and I try to pamper them as much with high quality replacement parts (tyres, lights, battery etc.) and detailing.

However would I buy one used? Truth be told its a tough question and I would have to say NO for the following reasons:
1) Very few cars NEW meet my safety requirements, in the pre-owned segment this reduces even more as Airbags & ABS are not necessarily standard equipment on older cars
2) Popular cars see minimal reduction in price - look at a swift, i20, etc.
3) Entry level hatchbacks are often used by newer drivers and see a fair amount of abuse
4) Brands that I would like to buy new - such as Tata, Mahindra for their incredible jump in quality & safety - I don't have the same comfort buying them used as they aren't reliable cars and I am not sure how the owners took car of the ride given most people associate these brands with more utilitarian vehicles.
Same for Skoda / VW especially if it's a DSG!

That being said, there are a few cars meeting my criteria that I would love to explore - Yaris, Corolla, etc.
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Old 18th November 2020, 11:37   #43
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Since the pandemic hit and both me and wife are WFH, the Polo has turned into our beater.

When things get better, I plan to buy a new ride for myself and give the v40 to my wife for her commute.

The Polo GT will probably still be with us and be used as a beater.
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Old 18th November 2020, 12:18   #44
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Parag's and Shashi's cars are "beater" cars? LOL! Seriously, those cars are more precious to their owners than a brand new vehicle.
Precious yes because I love what I drive but that's about it.

In my case both my cars are treated equally; as regular cars to serve their purposes wherever they deem fit! There is no such TLC that I do and I prefer it that way. Hence, you would not see me lurking around the detailing threads . I want my cars to be mechanically fit and to certain extent I can spend some time to do the regular cleaning on the inside too. During WagonR's glory days, I have driven it across the country quite a few times too.

There are quite a few things that I don't do:
  • I do not intend to baby any of my cars and the reason why I will pick something that can withstand such abuses. Sorry, no seemingly sensitive cars with gizmos for me even in the future
  • I do not wash my cars regularly or get them washed. I prefer to let the car remain dirty for longer duration during rainy season (almost for 2-3 months) and then get it washed once for all
  • Post warranty, I have not followed a strict oil change interval for both the cars. I prefer to do that based on what type of driving/roads both have been through over the last 10,000 Km. For instance, I replaced the engine oil for the Ertiga last time after driving for more than 13-14K kms. But one thing I am very sure of is that I have replaced parts pro-actively most of the times.
  • I do not detail any of my cars but I do clean them inside out once in a while
  • I am not overly careful about bad roads and this is true when I use both of them; No wonder the suspension for WagonR was replaced as early as 70,000 Kms and its running on the 3rd set now
  • I am a reasonably fast driver on the highways but I don't ever drive Pedal to Metal nor I abuse with higher RPMs soon after starting the cars

Originally Posted by headbanger View Post
A person having Merc might have a roomy sedan as a beater while a person having a City may think of an i10 or swift as a beater. The same hatch may be someone else's only car with a scoot as a beater.
Absolutely agree with this. It is only because I picked up the Ertiga and retained the WagonR that today the latter is treated more of a beater car than a highway commuter. In fact, I will prefer to take the WagonR for all the shopping on the narrow lanes due to the ease to drive and park. Till Covid, the same car was driven 20Km a day on some of the super bad roads by wife to commute to work and back.

The same beater car today was my faithful highway commuter car few years before that even today, without a wink I can vouch that I don't need to carry a single spare anticipating any kind of breakdown and I am referring to drives beyond 2500 Km. Heck, even when the Odometer was at 166K, I managed a non-stop run of 1800 Kms due to the frugal nature of the F10D engine and of course my confidence that nothing can go wrong.

In the end, the concept of beater car for me was never existent till I started treating my cars as such. So I would now have to agree that I will always be happy to have one such car in my garage all the times that I can call it as a beater car and coincidentally as on date, it happens to be the WagonR most of the times which even otherwise is a fantastic beater car for many. A friend picked a beautifully maintained K10 WagonR last year and on weekends he prefers to take out the WagonR only instead of the longer Ciaz. Even for me, there have been many occasions where I have wished that I was in a beater car than the one I was driving to some really congested areas of the city.

Adding to this, I will call both my cars are beater cars (and workhorses) for they have served many purposes during my ownership till now, including being part of many drives tagging along with proper highway cars then.

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-drives-01-1.jpg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-drives-01-2.jpg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-drives-01-3.jpg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-drives-01-4.jpg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-drives-01-5.jpg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-drives-01-6.jpg

And of course, the beater car that it is today has one of the most practical designs to stack the luggage in the boot too:

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And at times, whenever I felt the Tallboy would not be able to do the job, I have without any second thoughts, used the Ertiga as a beater.

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This load had 10 ft long Pine wood planks:

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-load.jpg

To me,both compliment each other as of today and if I end up buying something better tomorrow, I would still not baby my cars but instead put it to full use like I always have.

Thank you for referring my WagonR in this thread. However, since there were posts that mentioned about why certain cars including mine should not be called beater cars, I had to disagree because as an owner I know why they gladly have to be referred to as beater cars. This is also not to unnecessarily glorify when I have owned or driven because tomorrow if I pick anything else, I am sure I will put that car to right use too.

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-img_20201109_181158.jpg

Last edited by paragsachania : 18th November 2020 at 12:36.
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Old 18th November 2020, 12:46   #45
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Voted yes for a beater car. However i bought my AltoK10 AMT brand new and it has been a happy ownership so far.

For those zero star NCAP critics, a four wheeler in India is any day safer than a two wheeler provided you set the right expectations.

Beater car(for me) is for running errands which usually take me to those narrow roads and traffic. A car also provides protection from the pollution and rains(it has been raining in Bangalore all year round in 2020)

Though my primary requirement for this car was to drive to work in mad traffic, I explored new usecases(Such as off tarmac trails, slush and what not) due to this extended pandamic scenario and the car seem to be enjoying anything that i throw at it.

I will not dare taking a sedan or even a crossover such as Creta/Seltos to places Alto can take me. I am saying this after a trip to Sikkim where most of my local sight seeings were on an Alto/WagonR and I did this crazy Nathula trip on an Alto K10.
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