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Old 29th July 2021, 15:19   #1
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Default Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

Dear BHPians,

This is my first thread here on TeamBHP, I will try to keep this as readable and interesting as possible.

Background :

At this point, almost a year and a half back, I had an A6 C7 3.0 TDI as my primary car, and thought I needed a second car which should be abuse friendly with decent ground clearance and should be able to do most of the short city runs. Also my wife might rarely use that car. This was the criteria, obviously it also needed to be cheap to buy. I was thinking around 3L.

Naturally i was ready to give up these aspects i really value in cars in general

- Mature suspension
- Good quality interiors
- Like most of us here POWER

In return i expected

- Reliability
- Decent ground clearance (With the A6, raising and lowering the air suspension was tiring, and it might scrape even when raised )


Cars Shortlisted :

Naturally since I wanted reliability, the first brand that came to mind was Toyota. There were a bunch of diesel Corolla Altis slightly above my budget. Was also thinking about a small Maruti or Hyundai hatchback. Suddenly i thought a Chevrolet would be cheaper to buy, my head was all over the place. But i made up my mind that i will go for the Corolla.

So I took my friend, who is also the one who takes care of my parts. He is an ex Skoda head mechanic. Just to check if the car is alright, we went to Cars24 yard. A very helpful gentleman was there to assist us from Cars24. He directly took us to the car. We did a test drive, it was the top end Altis diesel, and it was alright, i was okay with it. Ground clearance was better than the A6, Superb and 1st gen Octavia I have lived with in the past.

And this happens

My friend : This will not work for you ! (with a laugh)

Me: Why not? It fits my Criteria

My friend : Let me predict the future for you now, this will sit in your home used, you will stop using it after a couple of weeks

Me : What you trying to tell me now ?

My friend : *Points a broken/abandoned Skoda Laura in the yard *

Me : No way, it's too broken, too old, too much for a 2nd car

My friend : Lets just ask for a test drive, i have 3 engines, 2 gearboxes and everything you might need at my garage, why do you care then ?

Me : *Scratching my head* We didn't come for this, but a test drive wouldn't hurt

Initial impression

- car was dirty
- had a million dents
- rear wheel arch seemed crushed
- almost 10 years old

After entering the car

- the car didn't start
- Christmas lights on the instrument cluster
- it had 1,38,000 on the ODO
- Seats were neat and clean
- few AC vents were broken
- no glove box (literally)
- AC was not working even after jump starting

At this point, i had that *i told you so* face. My friend didnít hesitate for a moment, he swapped the battery from his Laura (which is his daily driver) to this car. And suddenly all the errors were gone, AC magically worked, engine sounded very clean with no belt or excess noise, there was a little tappet noise, but we knew it was because the car was not used for a while.


The Drive
  • No front shock absorbers ! LOL. The front was bouncing like there is no tomorrow and it was fun
  • 2.0 CR Engine and DQ250 gearbox seemed to be solid, didnít feel like 1,38,000 kms done
  • Clutch and flywheel felt new
  • Rear shocks were alright
  • Brakes were sharp
  • All 4 Injectors were new
  • ECM was new (the old one was in the boot)


Being an ex Skoda guy, he quickly checked the service history, and we came to know that the previous owner had just spent 1.5 L on the car just a year back. Explains the new injectors and ecm.

Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package-laura1.jpeg

Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package-laura2.jpeg

Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package-laura3.jpeg


What next ?

We purchased the car. At this point I really forgot why I came in and went out with a Laura L&K which looked really out of shape and I was still unsure why and what I did there.

Works planned
  • All panels to be repainted
  • All four shocks to be replaced along with bushes (Bilsteins or Sachs? Okay, Bilstein, was a easy choice for me)
  • Order broken vents online
  • Get a glove box from a total loss vehicle
  • New battery

Unplanned work (how i got carried away with this supposedly second car)
  • Full LED headlights
  • RS bumper with DRL
  • Replace headlight lens (ordered online)
  • Better tyres (Conti comfort series)
  • 10 inch touch screen with android auto and can bus support
  • Changed the alloys to momo, anyway 2 OE wheels were bent, so it made sense to change all 4. But stuck to 16 inches (This was done recently)


After the above work was done, which took a month in total, here is the review of the car

What do I like ?

  • Solid car, feels solid, drives well, feels safe
  • 6 airbags, ESP, Traction control, EDL, Brake Assist (Safety covered)
  • Rides and Handles really well for the height of the car, rear independent suspension definitely helps
  • This Engine and Gearbox combinations is so much fun, down shifts are dramatic though not fast
  • Great fuel efficiency, i am getting 14+ kmpl in chennai consistently
  • Looks great with the RS bumper
  • Very good driving position especially compared to the A6 ( Im 6 foot 4 inches tall )
  • Awesome 12 speaker audio system
  • Sharp brakes, never needed to get used to it, and never made me feel nervous
  • Huge boot and very practical with the notch back design
  • More than enough ground clearance to tackle our roads

What I don't like ?
  • Rattling sound from the dashboard, super annoying, specially on rough roads
  • No sunroof on the L&K? *cough* 2021 Octavia
  • Steering is heavy at low speeds (2010 version)
  • The wooden trim on the L&K doesnít go well with the interiors
  • AC is just enough
  • Rear legroom is average
  • Sound insulation isnít as good as the Superb
  • Definitely gonna cost more to maintain than a corolla


Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package-laura5.jpg

Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package-laura-edited2.jpg

Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package-laura-7.jpg

Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package-laura6.jpg



How do I feel now ?

Honestly, I never would have imagined I would be saying this, but this is my favorite car i have ever owned. Itís quick, it handles well, the right size, fun too, convenience of the automatic gearbox, great audio system. This even made me question if I really need the Audi. Yes, the Audi is super quick 250 bhp, quattro and can do stupid speeds, but iím getting older, i have had all the fun in the 20's, now iím entering the 30's. Without me realising, iím appreciating better seating position more than doing 0-100 6.5s, practicality more than super soft interiors and taking my dogs with me more than the track days.

This also pushed me to make one of the hardest decisions of my life, selling the A6 i loved. Iím gonna write a review of that special machine soon.

Thank you guys for reading !
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Old 29th July 2021, 22:53   #2
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Default re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

For a first post, that was a good one ! A friend in need is a friend indeed . Your lucky to have someone help you out on the Laura. The car looks brilliant and good as new post all the works. Do post some interior pictures and also how much did the total project come to cost ?
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Old 30th July 2021, 11:42   #3
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

So you walked into the showroom to buy something reliable and ended up with a used Laura. That's a complete 180. I must say though that the car looks brilliant after the restoration. Wish you many happy miles with this car. Look forward to reading more updates on this car and your review of the A6.

You could also add your advice to this thread.
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Old 30th July 2021, 11:51   #4
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

I was surprised when I looked at your budget and the thread headline. Your friend is a convincer. That car looks great, don't you think you have gone over budget by a few lakhs? If you are happy with the result, nothing like it. Good luck and wish you happy miles of driving.
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Old 30th July 2021, 12:06   #5
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

Quote:
Originally Posted by onej_maverick View Post
Dear BHPians,

This is my first thread here on TeamBHP, I will try to keep this as readable and interesting as possible.
You sure made it interesting as hell! Great way to start off this forum.

What would make it more interesting if you'd share the hit to your wallet (with the break-up if not a concern) and what you might/were okay to have incurred if you had gone your original option of a used Toyota.
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Old 31st July 2021, 10:27   #6
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

The Laura is a money pit and once enough M has been poured into it, the car will look and drive well.
Niggles and major issues can crop up at any time and ground the vehicle.
Definitely a good idea to befriend a Skoda technician before considering such a purchase.
Congratulations on the acquisition!
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Old 31st July 2021, 16:16   #7
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackDay View Post
For a first post, that was a good one ! A friend in need is a friend indeed . Your lucky to have someone help you out on the Laura. The car looks brilliant and good as new post all the works. Do post some interior pictures and also how much did the total project come to cost ?
Thank you ! Yes, the guy is life safer. I will post pictures of the interior soon. Didn't think about it. Sharing the costs below

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
So you walked into the showroom to buy something reliable and ended up with a used Laura. That's a complete 180. I must say though that the car looks brilliant after the restoration. Wish you many happy miles with this car. Look forward to reading more updates on this car and your review of the A6.

You could also add your advice to this thread.
That is very true, exactly, it was a 180, setting my mind on a Toyota, and suddenly bringing home a 10 years old Skoda. That sounds ridiculous to me even now. But the process happened so quickly that i lost track of both what i came for and how much i was supposed to spend !

And sure i will have a look at that thread too. Seems like a similar position

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raghu M View Post
I was surprised when I looked at your budget and the thread headline. Your friend is a convincer. That car looks great, don't you think you have gone over budget by a few lakhs? If you are happy with the result, nothing like it. Good luck and wish you happy miles of driving.
Yes, by a good margin ! But i am very happy with the car. And I am praising my friend now for getting me an amazing car, but i might curse him if something goes wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
You sure made it interesting as hell! Great way to start off this forum.

What would make it more interesting if you'd share the hit to your wallet (with the break-up if not a concern) and what you might/were okay to have incurred if you had gone your original option of a used Toyota.
Thank you ! I am pretty sure the Toyota would have been much more wallet friendly, but i also i think i would have treated that car very differently compared to how i treat this car. We will never know ! Sharing the costs below


Quote:
Originally Posted by matizcrazy View Post
The Laura is a money pit and once enough M has been poured into it, the car will look and drive well.
Niggles and major issues can crop up at any time and ground the vehicle.
Definitely a good idea to befriend a Skoda technician before considering such a purchase.
Congratulations on the acquisition!
Thank you. Its like i signed up for something i exactly didn't want, but honestly the scale of expenses/time during a failure is very different between the A6(specially with 3.0 engine) and the Laura. Which somehow made Laura look like a not so bad option. On the flip side, it didn't even feel like a second car, it was almost as good in many ways practically, which totally changed my perspective of what i need.

I have driven it for 10,000+ kms now, no problems till now.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And here goes the damage to the wallet !

The 2 owner Corolla Altis diesel had a very similar price tag and had 1.2L kms on the odo (doesn't matter for a Toyota, does it ?)

Cost break up (approximately from what i remember now)
  • Price of the car incl cars24 commission : 3.6 L
  • Basic oill/filter service : 7k
  • Full body painting : 40k
  • Shocks and bushes : 23k
  • Tyres : 26k
  • Interior bits (vents and used glove box): 3-3.5k
  • Headlight lens: 4-5k (really not sure here)

These were the essentials that comes up to around a Lakh

After using the car for a month, now spent a little more than necessary

Additional costs:
  • 10 inch android player with Android Auto/Wireless Carplay - 12k
  • Momo Alloy wheels (post exchange) - 24k
  • RS bumpers - 25k
  • DRL ordered outside - 7k

I haven't added wiper change and tinting costs (i did the rear glass first and then the remaining)
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Old 1st August 2021, 08:29   #8
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

This is an absolutely wonderful adventure and a total plot twist like some of the best anime out there. Great that you spent on prep and replacing things like shock absorbers immediately. Laura is mighty fun. Try retrofitting paddle shifters at some point.

P.S: Don't sell the A6.
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Old 1st August 2021, 10:04   #9
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

Welcome to the club. The moment one overcomes the brand obsession, and badge value, this is a great buy. As you rightly pointed out, Skoda maintenance would be cheap, when you look from Audi point of view.

Btw, is the RS bumper fully functional with headlight washer?
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Old 1st August 2021, 11:12   #10
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

Haha such a wonderful friend you have got, he should definitely work in the sales department of SKODA I would say, for making someone pick up a 10yr old DQ250 Laura over a Corolla.

Anyways jokes apart, such a wonderful car to own and I wish you a lot of joyful kilometers on this beauty.

More and more pics please.
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Old 1st August 2021, 11:46   #11
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

Something similar happened with me last year. I went to Cars24 dealer here looking for some decent mid size Suv and ended up booking a sparsely used 1 year old octavia (a sedan was never even in my preferred car list).

The Laura looks good after the restoration work you have done. This can be your project car for the future, dont let your age come in between , 30s are the new 20s in todays world I feel. There are plenty of tasteful mods available for your steed, will make your ownership experience even better.

Cheers to many miles ahead with this machine.

Last edited by ShivWason17 : 1st August 2021 at 11:47.
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Old 1st August 2021, 11:55   #12
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

Wow this is an interesting purchase, generally people stay away from even the best spick and span used skoda and you purchased a skoda laura which is almost a decade old and was not in its best shape too! Im not talking about expenses but the fact that Skoda and maintenance dont go well with each other especially older ones. But one benefit on your side is your friend who knows skoda well. Just imagine if Skoda had such talented mechs and no ripoffs at all their service stations!
By the way please post some interior pics too.
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Old 1st August 2021, 12:11   #13
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

Onej_maverick,

Quite an interesting post, that! I suppose your friend being a Skoda mechanic turned the tables in the Laura's favour. After all, the issue with Skoda has always been its after-sales bit!

All the best to you and do post a review after you've used the Laura for a period of time!
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Old 1st August 2021, 12:44   #14
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

Laura / yeti were easily the best skodas ever produced. So a great choice . The sound system in laura is the bestest i have ever experienced in a car .
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Old 1st August 2021, 14:30   #15
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Default Re: Used Skoda Laura | Surprise purchase, surprise package

She looks neat (now) Laura is easily one of the whole package vehicle I have driven.
Few questions:
1. Is ECU remapping on the cards?
2. Is your friend open to make some more friends? I need a person like this in my friends list
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