Team-BHP > The Indian Car Scene


View Poll Results: Would you keep a beater car?
Yes 397 81.35%
No 91 18.65%
Voters: 488. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 17th November 2020, 09:18   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
blackwasp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Navi Mumbai
Posts: 2,736
Thanked: 22,445 Times
Default Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Vishy76's must-read thread on Beater Cars

As Vishy76 said, beater cars are the unsung heroes of the automotive world, providing reliable transportation at an affordable price point. In these Covid-19 times, such cars are even more important as income levels are low and public transport is a strict no-no. So, if your family member needs to travel safely & you're short on cash, beater cars are the saviours! These are rides which you can pick up for less than the cost of the latest iPhone 12 .

Positives:

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

Negatives:

Cheap beaters will be old & outdated
Low cost nature & basic quality. Not something you'll look forward to
Cheap car image will be a deterrent for many. Some neighbours will think you're broke
Negligible features & safety kit. Best used in a limited manner (not long distance)
Niggles & issues are expected. You'll need to keep an FNG ready for repairs, rust etc.
Sourcing parts may be troublesome for some models
Performance & driving experience will be rudimentary in most cases
If you buy something really old, the RC needs to be renewed every 5 years
Your family members might be unwilling to drive or travel in them

Related Threads:

vishy76's article on beater cars

Aditya's 10-year old Corolla

confused.geek's 14-year old Alto

paragsachania's 2.55L km WagonR F10D

silverado's Tata Nano

swamyzen's 1.91L km Maruti Zen

noopster's 2006 Maruti Swift

Mod Potential:

Don't modify them. These cars are old; instead of spending any money on modifications, use the moolah for making them mechanically sweeter & tighter (e.g. repair / replace worn-out parts, body work).

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

Availability:

Plentiful! You can buy excellent beater cars for any budget. I bought a lovely Maruti 800 for 40,000 bucks and am extremely happy with it. Under a lakh, you'll see Altos & i10s in decent shape. You can also get some fantastic beaters for Rs 1.xx lakh, like a Corolla, Swift or Civic. 3 lakhs? You are the king of beater cars then & can get your hands on some truly sweet sedans. Of course, "low budget" is a relative term - I know of many luxury car owners who keep a 6-lakh rupee 1st-gen Innova as the beater of their house. The Ambanis use Endeavours as beaters!

Just be sure to buy a car that ages well, has a good track record of reliability & has parts available in the open market. Avoid duds, flops, unreliable models & European cars.

You might need to account for the green tax payment (Rs. 3,450) if not paid by the owner of the car. Check out some of the examples on sale here.

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-images1080x108023.jpeg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-0.jpg

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

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

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

Name:  6.jpg
Views: 15051
Size:  135.6 KB

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-7.jpg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-8.jpg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-9.jpg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-10.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 18th November 2020 at 07:45.
blackwasp is offline   (51) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 09:26   #2
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 59,082
Thanked: 179,232 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Indian Car Scene. Thanks for sharing!

Voted a resounding yes! Ever since I started maintaining our garage (circa 1995), we have always had a beater car. Helps with all the rough use, and keeps my other cars nice & tight. Every house should have one beater .

Heck, today, I actually have two beater cars in the garage (Jeep & Sunny). @ Blackwasp: posting a pic of our beaters from when we'd gone to see Ford vs Ferrari:
Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-20191125-19.01.52.jpg
GTO is offline   (49) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 09:40   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Delhi
Posts: 2,355
Thanked: 1,489 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

The only problem that I see is that in NCR there is a limit of 10 years for diesel and 15 years for petrol car ownership. Otherwise there are excellent low mileage cars available at very low price that would be excellent for visit to local markets and occational 10km+ rides.
Aroy is offline   (18) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 09:42   #4
BHPian
 
TheHelix0202's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Bang Bang Bang!
Posts: 446
Thanked: 962 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
• Cheap car image will be a deterrent for many. Some neighbours will think you're broke.

.........

Related Threads:

Leoshashi's 2000 Maruti 800 DX 5-Speed
Me, personally, I wouldn't give two hoots about what that Sharma ji uncle next door thinks about me. One of my neighbours owns a 2017 Mercedes Benz E350 CDI in all its pomp and glory, while using a humble Alto K10 as a beater.

Also, I find it rude to call Leoshashi's beautiful Golden Goose an ordinary beater

Last edited by TheHelix0202 : 17th November 2020 at 09:48.
TheHelix0202 is offline   (34) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 10:09   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
ashis89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 2,186
Thanked: 3,617 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Voted yes.

Should be old and compact, with basic creature comforts - just AC and PS would do.

For a short period of 4 months, I kept two cars - a Seltos and a WagonR. I preferred taking the WagonR whenever I was going to the city, especially crowded areas. It took peanuts to maintain and it was extremely reliable. Even today I miss it badly in a city like Bangalore.

Zip through the city, don't think twice before parking and don't worry about it when it is parked.

Last edited by ashis89 : 17th November 2020 at 10:11.
ashis89 is online now   (5) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 10:15   #6
BHPian
 
Varun_HexaGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 253
Thanked: 1,042 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

I'm a big fan of cheap as peanuts beater cars. Exactly what I need for my typical intraday city commutes. One, you're worry free when driving one of these cars. A new ding or scratch doesn't hurt you one bit (which hurts me quite significantly when driving the other cars at home) and you can be a bit careless with the car.

I recently sold my 2012 Tata Nano for a 2005 WagonR for all my in-city runs. Someone with a bit of common sense may not agree with me but for me, the upgrade from Nano to WagonR was quite significant and the WagonR worked on the weaklings which I found in the Nano. Also the fact that I got a slightly bigger car for the exact same money. Sold the Nano and bought the WagonR for similar price.

Good part about the WagonR is the resale. Even if I use it for a couple of years and sell it, I'll still recover a significant amount. Although my itch to restore it cosmetically is at its all time high, I guess I'll take it slow because I don't want to spend way too much money on this car. But then, Empty mind's a Devil's Workshop. Thanks to covid, my hands are itching to play around with this car. If anything goes wrong, I don't have to worry twice either. Here's my daily driver:

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-screenshot_20201117101433__01.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 19th November 2020 at 22:56. Reason: Please use only smileys from the forum template. Thanks.
Varun_HexaGuy is offline   (19) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 10:25   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
KiloAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Cubicle
Posts: 1,488
Thanked: 2,307 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

While I understand and appreciate the "beater car" concept, I think that a beater car is not really necessary for most Indian households. What is needed, however, is a beater scooter.

Except maybe in a city like NCR, or the West Coast during South-West monsoon, the scooter will always be a much more useful beater tool for any household when compared to a car.
KiloAlpha is offline   (37) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 10:27   #8
BHPian
 
AirWind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 918
Thanked: 206 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Voted a resounding YES!!! A city beater is always required if you are in a busy city like Bengaluru - poor roads, traffic, fender benders, poor parking, crazy drivers!

We have a gen2 Santro as the city beater while the Highway duties are done by the Jetta!
AirWind is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 10:28   #9
BHPian
 
vishy76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Vadodara
Posts: 785
Thanked: 2,898 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Firstly, thank you for the mention on this thread. All said and done, "The beater cars" thread is the one I enjoyed putting together the most.

Coming to my garage, a Renault Kwid AMT has been doing daily duty as a beater car. Although my ownership experience with the car has been quite patchy till now, most parts that have failed have been cheap to replace. More than mechanical abuse, the car has been through a lot of abuse externally. My mom learnt driving on it and even my dad has ended up scratching it more than once (including reversing into a Pole). The roof has borne the brunt of monkeys jumping on top all thanks to the fact that the car wasn't fortunate enough to get a covered parking of its own when we first shifted buildings.

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-20170826_185609_011.jpg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-img_20200911_114225.jpg

Another beater has been added to the family in the form of my Chevrolet Spark. It belongs to my grandfather who has now given up driving. The car has only done 15K km in the past 8 years. Got the refrigerant gas topped up, fuel tank and fuel injectors cleaned and changed the Spark plugs for a paltry 6K and the car is back to running almost perfectly. Plan to keep her atleast till I go off to college next year. The joy of driving a hatch with hydraulic power steering and compact dimensions is something else. It's an excellent car to learn on before moving to the bigger and more expensive Jetta TDI.

Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car-img_20200825_183606.jpg

Last edited by vishy76 : 17th November 2020 at 10:32.
vishy76 is online now   (18) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 10:28   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Nil
Posts: 224
Thanked: 1,507 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

Good thread.

Our 2002 Esteem still works brilliantly. AC, engine and clutch are great. Suspension makes a few noises but nothing that can't be sorted out by replacing a few bushes costing less than Rs. 1000.

To add to your point, many well maintained old cars are actually as fast as the modern ones. Esteem does 0 to 100 in about 12 seconds even today, which is comparable to the Swift or Dzire or Ciaz.

The social perception issue is true, but the reverse is true as well. A well maintained 800 or sparkling Corolla gets more attention than a new Mercedes C class in most urban areas. Hinterlands are different, where a Bolero or Scorpio is still the default choice.

The only exception to this is with the manufacturers who left India. I won't buy a Fiat or Chevrolet or any similar make. But a Nano, Corolla, Esteem, Estilo etc.? Always up for it.

I always request people who want to buy a bike for a lakh to please look at used cars for their own safety. Sadly many people think it is better to look macho on a bullet or KTM rather than protect themselves and be seen in an old, perhaps CNG or LPG powered car. This mindset is peculiar to India.

In no other country would you find people who can drive and have some parking space so eager to spend more on a bike than on a reasonably reliable car with airbags than in India.

Last edited by Cessna182 : 17th November 2020 at 10:31.
Cessna182 is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 10:37   #11
BHPian
 
DudeWithaFiat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pune/Kochi
Posts: 404
Thanked: 583 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

I would not really recommend a Corolla, Civic and the likes as the beater car. Though reliable cars, when they get old, they do come with their fair share of troubles that can be expensive to fix. Think how much does it cost if the AC dies? If the electric ORVM gets hit by a careless biker? Let the beater car be always the ones that is very cheap to maintain.

(Not applicabale if you are rich - have couple of expensive Germans in your garage )

Last edited by DudeWithaFiat : 17th November 2020 at 10:39.
DudeWithaFiat is offline   (14) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 10:44   #12
BHPian
 
Abhi5868's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Kanker
Posts: 79
Thanked: 402 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

A great thread!! Although I voted Yes we've never had a beater car in our garage till now.

The only time we were close to having a beater car was when we had a Uno and Mahindra Marshal. But those two used to complement each other. Since only one person in our family drives regularly (mum's workplace is 500m away and I study in another city) there isn't any sense in keeping another car. That's also because our primary car hasn't been any worthy itself to deserve a more pushed around sibling.

So, have I ever had a beater? No. Would I like to have a beater once I maintain my own garage? A big Yes!!!
Abhi5868 is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 12:27   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,065
Thanked: 2,740 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

I would love to have a first gen swift as a beater, but I live in Mumbai!

Parking is such a mess here :(
2000rpm is online now   (2) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 12:36   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
DicKy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Thiruvanthapuram
Posts: 1,870
Thanked: 2,107 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

While @paragsachania's wonderfully maintained F10d WagonR is the best example of a well maintained and used beater car.

@Leoshashi's 800? Beater?
He bought the XL6 as a daily beater, so that the 800 doesn't have to endure poor roads!!!

Voted Yes

My two cents.

Three types of beaters

1. That got relegated to a beater status just because of its age, and not because of virtues. With time they get sold off...maybe due to complexity, lack of spare parts or nature (low slung, too much fuel guzzler). Survivors - Marutis and Toyotas, maybe smaller Hondas

2. That are by nature destined to be beaters due to their versatile nature. Even bought new just to become a beater. Examples: WagonR, Celerio, Ertiga, Innova and of late Spresso.

3. Too much utilitarian or never die attitude, that other factors like size, mileage or being bare bone doesn't matter. Works fine. Why replace when it ain't broke.
Examples: Ambassador, Omni, Eeco, Qualis, Tavera, Innova.

Ohh....and looking by the Ambani's use of Endeavour as beaters.
Rich folks/celebrities in my place, buy a Polo GT or Innova as a beater/anonymous car.
DicKy is offline   (25) Thanks
Old 17th November 2020, 12:56   #15
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 5,347
Thanked: 8,483 Times
Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : The cheap beater car

It's ironic that we regularly discuss topics on either ends of the spectrum: the rise of ride-sharing apps, finding that perfect one-size-fits-all, the miseries of finding parking in metros - on one end, and the need/use case for a beater car on the other end.

If you have a largeish household (joint family kind of setting) and/or have the luxury of parking space, beater cars make a lot of sense.

But in today's world, where you have Uber for intra-city runs and the extended working from home caused by the pandemic, one would rather have one car that ticks the most boxes.

So, voted No.
libranof1987 is offline   (21) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2020, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks