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Old 23rd May 2023, 16:22   #1
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Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

Hello all,

I'm looking for some guidance on what pre-owned car I should buy. This car will be driven by me 90% of the time and my younger brother who would at times take it to his college. It would be a potential project car that I would love to own for a few years. It'll not be a family car as such and would generally be seating at max 3-4 people and would also very rarely be used for intercity travel. Primary requirement for the car is to be a petrol, and an enthusiastic machine, which puts a smile on the face whenever I take it out.

So, I have a budget of about INR 6 Lakhs (Loan) and am ready to restore and modify (Cosmetic + Performance) the vehicle with a budget of INR 2-3 lakhs. I am looking for some expert advice on which of the following shortlisted vehicles I should be looking at.

1. Skoda Superb (2012-2014) Available in the market under 5 Lakhs
2. Skoda Laura (2012-2013) Available int the market under 4 Lakhs
3. Skoda Octavia (2014 - 2016) Available in the market within 5-8 Lakhs

As the above listed are my primary choices, I m ready to go beyond the budget if I get a good deal on the following, but am scared to enter into these brands -

1. Mercedes C200 (2012-2014) Available in the market under 7 Lakhs
2. Mercedes E350 (2011-2013) Available under 7 Lakhs
3. Audi A4 (2012-2013) Available under 7 Lakhs
4. Audi A6 2.8fsi (2011-2012) Available under 8 Lakhs

As irrational the list could be, I am really looking for all the inputs you guys have to share with me.

Thank you!
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Old 23rd May 2023, 18:47   #2
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

You really cannot take a loan to buy a 10-year old German car. Remember, there is no such thing as a "cheap" luxury car. If it's cheap to buy, it will be expensive to fix.

I own a 10-year old German car and can tell you this = AVOID. A 5-lakh used luxury car can quickly become a 8-lakh car, or a 12-lakh car, once the major repairs come in. Now, don't get me wrong = I don't mind owning my own 10-year old German car (530d) because I know its history and how it's been driven / maintained. But buying someone else's 10-year old Mercedes / BMW / Audi on a loan is just fiscal indiscipline. Not to forget, no bank will finance such an old car. You will be doing so on a personal loan, presumably @ 12%. One major + bad repair costing 6 lakhs will be enough for you to swear off Mercedes / BMW / Audi for life.

Please don't torture yourself for the lure of the "badge". Buy a Corolla Altis, Creta, City, Seltos etc. You will be far, far happier in the long run. Once you save up enough money, buy a <5 year old German car.

Just for reference, I spend about 1.5 lakhs / year (averaged) on my 530d. And this is with keeping it in top shape, low running, using the best quality labour and parts. Now that it's 10-years old, I fully expect it to go up to 2 lakhs / year.

Last edited by GTO : 24th May 2023 at 08:15.
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Old 24th May 2023, 09:30   #3
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

I really don’t have much to add over what GTO said above. Echo all of it. IMO loan + project car + 10 year old German simply don’t add up. At some point the math will fail. Its a matter of “when” not “if”.

There are many ways to have fun with automobiles and experience great performance at a palatable price. Think of some other cars perhaps which are much cheaper - like a used Honda Civic for instance. But even then, I’d say if this entire venture requires you to borrow money and create a project car with heavy mods, then save this experience for another point in life. Such life experiences are best had with spare cash from savings - not from drawing on future earnings.
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Old 24th May 2023, 11:12   #4
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarthakverma97 View Post

1. Skoda Superb (2012-2014) Available in the market under 5 Lakhs
2. Skoda Laura (2012-2013) Available int the market under 4 Lakhs
3. Skoda Octavia (2014 - 2016) Available in the market within 5-8 Lakhs

As the above listed are my primary choices, I m ready to go beyond the budget if I get a good deal on the following, but am scared to enter into these brands -

1. Mercedes C200 (2012-2014) Available in the market under 7 Lakhs
2. Mercedes E350 (2011-2013) Available under 7 Lakhs
3. Audi A4 (2012-2013) Available under 7 Lakhs
4. Audi A6 2.8fsi (2011-2012) Available under 8 Lakhs
Man I envy those prices. Used cars in Chennai at that age and budget are really entry level cars.

Last edited by Axe77 : 24th May 2023 at 13:16. Reason: Trimming quoted post.
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Old 26th May 2023, 01:23   #5
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

I would recommend against taking out a loan and instead spend 2-3 lacs on a good 1.6 SX4 you can add a turbocharger and aftermarket suspension and brakes to make it go faster and you can enjoy the advantage of owning a car with parts that are made in India
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Old 26th May 2023, 06:43   #6
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

Let’s not forget the basic reason why these cars are going so cheap - the 15 year rule for petrol cars in Delhi NCR. All these cars are 10-12 years old already, so you’ll get 3-4 years with them at max, after which they will be sold/scrapped, basically by weight.

Buying such old cars makes absolutely no sense in Delhi NCR, unless you are desperate. And again, certainly not on a loan. Delhi will be among the first cities to shift to E20 petrol, so that’s another problem from an ownership perspective. Also, visible mods in Delhi are an open invite for challans.

You will be much happier spending that 8-9L Rupee budget on something that is easy to buy now and easy to sell in a couple of years, yet a lot of fun. Considering this is to be a daily driver, you’ll be much happier with something like a Nexon or Gen4 City.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 26th May 2023 at 06:45.
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Old 26th May 2023, 07:42   #7
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

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Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
Letís not forget the basic reason why these cars are going so cheap - the 15 year rule for petrol cars in Delhi NCR. All these cars are 10-12 years old already, so youíll get 3-4 years with them at max, after which they will be sold/scrapped, basically by weight. .
Is there no realistic way for these cars to make it to other parts of India? Shame to imagine a well-maintained luxury car going to the scrapyard.
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Old 26th May 2023, 09:48   #8
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

A 50 lakh rupee car may sell for 5 lakhs but it will require the maintenance fit for its original price tag. Moreover, a 10-12 year old car will require a lot of TLC on a day to day basis. I own a 2015 Octavia but as much as I love the car, I would be lying if I said it’s a fuss-free ownership.

At your budget, I’d be looking at the Japs. City or Civic will be first choice. I guess you can also look at GT TSI Polos at the upper end of your budget.
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Old 26th May 2023, 09:53   #9
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

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Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
Is there no realistic way for these cars to make it to other parts of India? Shame to imagine a well-maintained luxury car going to the scrapyard.
You can buy them on the cheap in Delhi and transfer them to another state where such age caps do not exist. Nonetheless, you cannot keep or use a 10+ year old diesel and a 15+ year old petrol in Delhi NCR in any way. They will pick the car up for scrapping even if it is parked outside your own house.
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Old 26th May 2023, 09:57   #10
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

I noticed you have a budget of 5L and even mentioned loan.

With the list of cars you mentioned, the cost of ownership/maintenance will spiral way over the initial budget in no time. There is nothing like an inexpensive German car. Just keep that in mind.

With 10+ year old German cars, however well maintained, you will not be able to avoid certain expenses, especially mechanical ones. Like suspension, gaskets, bushings, control rods, brake shoes, radiator fan etc. And these are costly. Also, since you mentioned petrol fuel preference, fuel economy of those will be very poor jacking up you running expenses (expect at most 7kmpl from these petrol engines in city).

Unless you are OK with those expenses on top of initial 5L, I would say stay away from the German cars.

Suzuki SX4, Fiat Linea ( has enormous tuning potential) etc. are good options.

All the best.

Last edited by OffRoadFun : 26th May 2023 at 09:58.
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Old 26th May 2023, 09:58   #11
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

To the OP - Even though the car purchase price is 5L, the D segment sedan spares will not be cheap - At all. These cars have modules upon modules and failure of one will put a dent in your wallet and aspirations to own a German car for a lifetime.

Buying a German car on loan is playing the Russian Roulette. There will be a bullet marked for you, sooner or later.

Get a Civic(2013 or later), Ciaz(2014 or later) or the Verna 1.6. Comparably cheaper spares, reliable motors and forgiving towards abuse.
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Old 26th May 2023, 10:07   #12
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

10 year old German luxury car + car loan + daily driver + NCR = Terrible idea!

Without cash in hand, buying a 10 year old D1 segment car itself is a bad idea. Let alone D2 or E segment.
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Old 26th May 2023, 10:25   #13
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

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Originally Posted by Manoj2268 View Post

Get a Civic(2013 or later), Ciaz(2014 or later) or the Verna 1.6. Comparably cheaper spares, reliable motors and forgiving towards abuse.
While the Civic is a good recommendation, 2013 was the lest year for both - Civic and Accord.

Ciaz and Verna are both not great to drive at all when compared to other options in the market.

Better to focus on Civic MT or AT, Laura Petrol (MT only), and Accord (again, the sale ended in 2013). SX4 would be a more pocket friendly option.

If OP has budget/money to spare, then an old 3-Series Petrol would be a better option any day than the A4 or Merc C.
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Old 26th May 2023, 10:35   #14
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

Hi,

Like everyone else pointed out, this is a suicidal combination especially with cars like the old superb.

There are two ways to go about this. Either you need to wait and amass north of 10 - 15 lakhs to afford any of the 5 lakh german cars. The other option is to buy something with cash in hand. The great thing about being an enthusiast is that there’s a good car at every budget. I would suggest a first gen city , ninth gen corolla, first gen alto k10, civics, Camrys. Generally would stick with the Japanese cars at that budget.

If you really must buy a Mercedes I might buy an older one like a W123 240d that’s completely restored for 8ish lakhs but never on a loan. Cash is king when it comes to buying cars of such vintage and would highly recommend you the same.

Happy motoring
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Old 26th May 2023, 10:56   #15
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Re: Looking for a used daily driver under 5 lakhs | Does buying a 10-year old German make sense?

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Originally Posted by sunilch View Post
If OP has budget/money to spare, then an old 3-Series Petrol would be a better option any day than the A4 or Merc C.
The OP had stated that they want to treat this as a project car. I am assuming that they will play around with the Wheels and Tire combo, upgrading suspension, tuning, Brake upgrade etc.

I have another option for the OP - get the Brio any model. Stuff the City 1.5 Motor in the chassis and call it a day. 118 BHP pocket rocket.

Last edited by aah78 : 29th May 2023 at 04:43. Reason: Post fixed, quote trimmed.
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