Want a daily driver in 5 lakhs: Do 10 year old German cars make sense

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.

BHPian sarthakverma97 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

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:

  • Skoda Superb (2012-2014) Available in the market under 5 Lakhs
  • Skoda Laura (2012-2013) Available int the market under 4 Lakhs
  • 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:

  • Mercedes C200 (2012-2014) Available in the market under 7 Lakhs
  • Mercedes E350 (2011-2013) Available under 7 Lakhs
  • Audi A4 (2012-2013) Available under 7 Lakhs
  • 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!

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

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.

Here's what BHPian Aze77 had to say on the matter:

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.

Here's what BHPian IshaanIan had to say on the matter:

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.

Here's what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:

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.

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