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Old 19th November 2018, 15:51   #1
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Default Used luxury car as a beater?

Hi!

This might sound weird and very unusual but i want to talk about this and know your views.

Is it reasonable and possible to buy a used luxury car and use it as a beater for daily usage in the city? I mean are there any cars which cost 30-35Lacs new but are available for 5-10Lacs in the used market and yet are easy and cheap to repair and run?
For example CRV is an amazing car and new costs 30L approx. Used CR-Vs are available for as low as 5Lacs and they are still trouble free. But if an expense arises in future, then the spare parts would be at par with the new car price bracket.
So i want to ask if there are any such cars in market(Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, etc) which a middle class person could buy and then keep it with him/her for atleast 3-4 years and still pay for repairs/maintenance easily?
Toyota corolla is one such car which is very cheap in used car market and it's spares are reasonably priced too.
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Old 19th November 2018, 16:08   #2
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Default re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Firstly it depends on your definition of luxury car. I note that you are considering all the way down to Corolla Altis and not just big 3 germans. Going by that liberal definition, I would suggest your best bet would be a Toyota car. They simply age better than most of their corresponding Hondas and are generally cheaper to maintain as well than their corresponding Honda counterparts: Accordingly, the options you could consider are:

1. Toyota camry hybrid
2. Toyota Altis
3. Toyota Fortuner
4. Honda CR-V with CNG conversion (I assume cost of running is also important. The CR-V is a guzzler).

One point - from a future proofing standpoint, you might prefer petrol non guzzlers or hybrids or petrols converted to CNG instead of diesel if you want to be sure they will be protected from 10 year usage policy (Delhi for instance has banned diesels older than 10 years).

All of these can be had for a good price at the 5 - 6 year mark and in my opinion can be comfortably used for 10 years and more than 100 / 120k kms. We sold our City A/T at the 9.5 - 10 year mark with 108k kms on the clock. We could have easily chosen to keep it for another 2 - 3 years if we wanted.

I would not recommend any other old cars from brands like germans / european etc to use as a beater car. At least off hand I cannot think of any examples.
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Old 19th November 2018, 16:41   #3
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Default re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Yes - but finding a good and well cared for example makes all the difference.

Some tips:

1) Avoid Germans / Europeans - No Jaguars, BMWs, Skodas, VWs, Mercedes. One bad incident and you may spend the acquisition amount just fixing it up again!

2) Look at Japs / Koreans. Avoid models that have been discontinued for long because over time - finding parts becomes an issue. Also some cars were sold as CBUs (Camry for example) and parts for those cars could be a little more expensive.
Good examples of cars worth considering are: Honda Accord, CR-V, Corolla, Civic, Sonata, Elantra if any available, etc.

3) Do a quick search to see if there are any teething problems with a particular car. For instance the Accord V6 (2004-2007 pre FL) had some gearbox issues overtime so you'd want to make sure it was well cared for and have some funds available to fix it if there was an ever an issue.

4) Find a good independent mechanic who won't take you for a ride.

5) Keep in mind if any major work is to be done - it won't be cheap. These are still luxury cars at the end of the day, and if you pick one up for 5-10L, it'll still require wear and tear replacements and those will be in line with the pricing of the car. So account for that and keep some budget available for it. Personally, if I had a budget of 10L, I'd look at cars worth 8L and keep 2L for spares and maintenance.
Small things too add up - like the tyres would be 15" / 16" so replacing those would be a lot more expensive than 14" skinny tyres on most cars under 10L.

6) Running cost. A friend picked up an Accord V6 (2007) and gets a FE of 5kmpl, so you need to be prepared for that too.

But everything said and done - there are good deals available though you have to look for it. The friend in question (also a BHPian) picked up another member's Accord V6 and the car is still going strong today despite being 11 years old. He did spend a fair amount recently on a full paint job + other work but had budgeted for the same anyways. His regular routine maintenance though is still fairly affordable, and the car is reliable enough for him to fuel up and leave for a long trip at a moment's notice.
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Old 19th November 2018, 17:14   #4
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Default re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
....
1. Toyota camry hybrid
2. Toyota Altis
3. Toyota Fortuner
4. Honda CR-V with CNG conversion (I assume cost of running is also important. The CR-V is a guzzler).....
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
Some tips:......
You have the best recommendations here already from Axe77 and lamborghini in terms of recommended cars and what to look out for.

One car that I will add to the list, but only and only if you know a good FNG or Service Center in Jaipur for the same, would be Mitsubishi Pajero or the Pajero Sport. Highly capable, great badge value and falling in your expected luxury band too. Difficult to find a good example in the expected price but if you could manage this and the service, then nothing like it.

A used but in good shape Fortuner will be nearly impossible to find in 5-6 L range for now (except for NCR due to the Ban). As rightly said by both, stay away from the Germans

Not recommending Yeti as it is German (and a Skoda) and not exactly a luxury from the inside. But a capable car for sure.

Last edited by sunilch : 19th November 2018 at 17:43.
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Old 19th November 2018, 17:17   #5
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Default re: Used luxury car as a beater?

While i have given an example of Corolla, it was only because i know it's cheaper to maintain. By all means, this thread is mostly targeted towards Germans, Brits and other luxury barges.
Like, in Europe there are loads of Mercedes taxis. Now this gives the impression that 1. Those Mercs(specific models) are extremely reliable and 2. They're easy/cheap to maintain.
Then there's the Arab world. Land Cruisers are very popular there for dune bashing. I think it's coz of overall Toyota reliability and not the absolute capability of Land Cruiser alone.

Similarly, i'd like to know options in the used market of luxury cars where one can own it for 5-10-15Lacs and then use it as a normal daily-routine car. Like people buy Fortuners by paying a very steep price upfront but then it's all smooth sailing from then onwards till the Fortuner is sold or discarded. One can't say the same about say, a BMW X1(similar price) or a Skoda Kodiaq.

Isn't there an option for sourcing reasonably priced spares for luxury cars? I mean, they're cars overall, it shouldn't be THAT hard to get parts/maintenance-spares for them. For example an AC Cooling Unit for a 20Lac Elantra are considerably cheaper than a similarly priced Octavia.
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Old 19th November 2018, 18:02   #6
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Default re: Used luxury car as a beater?

I always thought these luxury cars go cheap in the second hand market for a reason - atrocious upkeep costs. There is also a thread here which has hundreds of pictures of luxury cars now abandoned by owners (for various reasons).

Somehow beater and luxury doesn't sound all that good in the same sentence. Why not get a second hand Jap for this price? Would definitely serve you well as a beater.

Reminded of a very famous quote -

Cheap and fast isn't reliable
Cheap and reliable isn't fast
Fast and reliable isn't cheap

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Old 19th November 2018, 18:54   #7
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Default re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepakS View Post
Like, in Europe there are loads of Mercedes taxis. Now this gives the impression that 1. Those Mercs(specific models) are extremely reliable and 2. They're easy/cheap to maintain..
These Mercs are usually bought new, serviced on the dot and less troublesome as the are constantly used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post

Somehow beater and luxury doesn't sound all that good in the same sentence. Why not get a second hand Jap for this price? Would definitely serve you well as a beater.

Reminded of a very famous quote -

Cheap and fast isn't reliable
Cheap and reliable isn't fast
Fast and reliable isn't cheap

Well said, unless beater pertained to beating the wallet!

Last edited by GTO : 20th November 2018 at 09:27. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 20th November 2018, 09:33   #8
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepakS View Post
I mean are there any cars which cost 30-35Lacs new but are available for 5-10Lacs in the used market and yet are easy and cheap to repair and run?
Depends what car you are talking about.

If it's the Germans, they are cheap for a reason. No one wants them. Reliability is either poor or acceptable, while part costs are eye-watering. Remember, new car prices are set by the manufacturer, but used car prices are decided by the market / customer.

Quote:
For example CRV is an amazing car and new costs 30L approx. Used CR-Vs are available for as low as 5Lacs and they are still trouble free.
Still won't be cheap to own. For one, it guzzles petrol. Two, check the price of a clutch replacement or headlamp assembly (as an example).

Still, the CR-V is among the better premium cars to buy used. Others you can consider are primarily Japanese or Korean for obvious reasons (Accord, Camry, Tucson, Santa Fe etc.).

A beater is a car that is kept for rough use, parked anywhere, should be durable & cheap and the ownership should be hassle-free. If you are looking for a true high-end beater, then the Corolla is your best friend. It can take serious abuse.
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Old 20th November 2018, 11:10   #9
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

To my mind, a beater is not a cheaper car but the one that serve as a serious workhorse under all sorts of conditions. If my garage has an Innova and a Polo TSI DSG, I would call Innova as my beater car. So the concept of a German luxury beater car is almost an oxymoron.

You probably meant to ask if it makes sense to have a super cheap German luxury car as a daily driver. Yes and many people manage to do it. If you have a budget to buy new Corolla for 20+ L, you can surely buy a well maintained old Mercedes (models without known reliability issues) for 10L and set aside 10L for potential repairs. The numbers will work but your time spent in getting things fixed, emotions, value perception can severely diminish the fun of such an undertaking. Not to mention the ridicule by your well meaning near and dear ones.

I remember two very good threads that are worth sharing:

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...-cdi-w203.html (My experience with a pre-owned Mercedes C220 CDI (W203))

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-...4-8is-e70.html (Life with a 2009 BMW X5 4.8is (E70))
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Old 20th November 2018, 12:11   #10
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I would add one more thing. It is one thing to have the budget for extraordinary maintenance and another thing to frequently require it. In my view, a beater car is required every day so maintenance should be minimal and predictable with easy parts availability.

This is another reason I would suggest Toyota, Honda and perhaps Hyundai in that order. (Honda / Hyundai on par perhaps).

Reliability of the car would be high on my list of an old beater car and that's where Toyota scores the highest I feel.
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Old 20th November 2018, 15:12   #11
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

In 5L-10L budget, you can get some very good new luxury rides which will give you, new car smell, a fairly long list of standard features, reliability, peace of mind, and the list is long. You would miss all of them in the old car. Just for the sake of some show off (and I presume that, as there is nothing else which can drive a person to take such an extreme step) you are risking your good night' sleep. As GTO once said in a post, peace of mind is something, one doesn't value, till the time he/she loses it.
Get yourself some brainwash done from family members, well wishers, and buy a new car. The majority would be feeling sorry for you, seeing you in your so called luxury beater, rather than getting jealous of you, or keeping you in high stead.
Also, help save the Environment!

Last edited by navin : 20th November 2018 at 17:07. Reason: typo
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Old 20th November 2018, 15:53   #12
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

The only european cars I can suggest are 1.9Tdi/1.9 Pd Tdi Octavia/Laura in Ambiente/Elegance Manual Transmission versions only. Though they are crude, the engines are fairly reliable for 2-3 lakh kilometers esp. VW ALH/BJB engine series. But, finding a pristinely maintained car is difficult as most of them would have been thrashed by at least 3-4 owners. They are used as beaters, although service costs may still be higher compared to Japanese/Korean cars.
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Old 20th November 2018, 16:35   #13
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

I bought a 2009 Honda City for a smudge under 3L. It had less than 60k on the clock. It is not NEARLY a luxury car or even a premium car for that matter, but if you're on a tight budget and need something that won't guzzle fuel and is comfortable then consider one. You can buy 2014 ones for less than 7L and they are quite reliable for the most part. While on a road trip my car's suspension gave in - poor roads + high speeds + 8 year old suspension = broken shocks, mount and a couple of other things. We could still comfortably complete our trip though. The repair bill was quite reasonable, too. About 12k for the suspension bits and some other minor preventive maintenance.

The Civic is a great choice, too. It's very comfortable, feels great, and should not cost as much as the Euro cars to fix. It's a hoot to drive. Also, you could consider the Accord which is quite reasonably priced. That said, the reason we didn't opt for these cars is because my mechanic told me that repairs cost more than the City.

If the car will primarily be chauffeur driven then an Altis is a good choice except for the slightly lower leg room.

Last edited by AnInternetUser : 20th November 2018 at 16:39.
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Old 20th November 2018, 18:17   #14
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepakS View Post
Is it reasonable and possible to buy a used luxury car and use it as a beater for daily usage in the city?
Possible - Most definitely.

Reasonable - Not so much.

You've got to keep in mind that although you're able to buy a car at less than half of it's original price, the spares will cost at par with a newer sibling. Assuming that you're okay to bear that cost, you'll still have to deal with a downtime of a few days to weeks due to part availability, etc. Hence it doesn't make much sense as a beater. However, if you keep it as a weekend fun-machine, it would make tremendous sense.

Refer to this post (BMW Maintenance Packages - Buying New BMW Cheaper Than Buying Used?) as an example.
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Old 20th November 2018, 21:13   #15
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Default Re: Used luxury car as a beater?

Its certainly possible if you are open to the idea of high maintence costs (and time) in the event of unplanned repairs. Ive had really positive experiences with a used Passat - an automatic at that - with 50k kms on its odo when we picked it up as family car. We now have a used E 350 (7-8 yr old) automatic brought from someone we know and has been running well since a year. My recommendation - if you are picking up a Premium used car - ensure that it has been used and maintained well. Which is another way of saying buy it from someone you know. Do the necessary checks from an independant garage as many of the other posts suggest. Statistically there is still a high probability of breakdowns (Vs a toyota for instance) but thats the trade off you will need to live with when buying a used 'luxury' German car at a resonable price.
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