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Cars: Should you buy new or pre-owned?

  1. #1
    saurav_k
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    Thumbs up Cars: Should you buy new or pre-owned?

    Car shopping: New vs pre-owned

    The Indian car market is on a roll. While mature auto markets like the US and Europe grapple with the worst crisis in decades, the Indian auto market is racing ahead with gusto. Car sales figures are in overdrive, but interestingly, a large percentage of that growth is being driven by used cars.

    Second-hand cars or pre-owned vehicles have really come into their own in the last few years. Gone are the days when a second-hand car was a sureshot sign that you couldn't afford a new one, or when used-cars were looked down upon as poor cousins of the 'new car'.

    Today, the market is flooded with incredible used cars -- not very old, not run much, and almost as good as new. Interestingly, there is no dearth of buyers who are choosing to purchase a used car over a new one.

    Advantages of a new car

    Unlimited options and wide choice

    You can choose your brand and your model. You can choose what colour you want the body to be. And you can choose the colour of the seat fabric. Some new (and expensive) models give you the option of completely customising every detail on the vehicle, making the car a reflection of 'you'.

    That 'new car' feeling

    Let's face it, few things come close to the smell of a new car. Everything on a new car is, well, new. And that is what most people dream of owning -- a new car, untouched by anyone else, straight off the assembly line.

    Peace of mind

    New cars are covered against manufacturing defects and faults by the manufacturer for 12-18 months. Also, since the car has not been used by anyone else in the past, it has no secret history for the buyer to be wary of. The condition and price of a new car are transparent, and that makes the deal slightly less risky as compared to a second-hand car purchase.

    Dis-Advantages of a new car

    Depreciation depression

    New cars lose value really quickly. This loss of value slows down as the car gets older. That's slightly counter-intuitive, but it's true. Some models are known to lose up to 40 per cent of their value in the first year alone.

    Money, money, money

    The new car feel comes at a cost. You end up paying for insurance, registration, taxes and accessories -- none of which really have any value when you decide to sell your car a couple of years down the line. Basically, most of these expenses are compulsory expenses that you must incur because it is mandatory by law.

    Advantages of a used car

    Cheaper to buy

    A Honda City for Rs 6 lakh sounds like a steal. And if it's a well-maintained car like the one Arun has chosen, then it is a steal. Used cars are usually significantly cheaper. Plus you will not incur registration and taxation costs. If you decide to buy second-hand, you can get the same car (say a Getz that Rakesh wants) at a far lower price, or you can buy a bigger, better car (say a City, that Arun wants) for the same price.

    Cheaper to own

    A used-car has already lost a big chunk of its value, and is going to depreciate much slower in the next few years. That has a positive impact on the cost of ownership, and you lose far less over the three years that you will own the car, as compared to a new car.

    No additional expenses

    When you purchase a used car, you are paying for the car on an as-is-where-is basis. You don't incur any additional expense on accessories like seat-covers, floor mats, fog lamps and a decent music system. In all probability, the first owner has already done all this for you.

    You will not incur additional expenses only if the car is well-maintained and is in good condition.

    Dis-Advantages of a used car

    Perceived risk

    You don't know how the car has been driven and maintained. You are not aware of its accident history. You are putting a large portion of your hard-earned money on a transaction with a guy you have just met. This can be scary. But if you get the car inspected, checked and verified by a competent, independent authority, you have information on your side. And then you have nothing to fear.

    Possible expenses on the car

    You might have to incur some expenses on servicing the car, setting things right and repairs if required. The wisest thing to do would be to keep away from a car that comes with baggage, and buy one that has been kept lovingly. Once again, a competent person who knows cars inside out will be able to help you with everything you need to know. Most people take a trusted mechanic along, or a friend who knows a little bit about cars. There are professional services you could choose to help you out with this information.

    Limited choice

    You will probably not get as much choice and flexibility in customisation as you get with a new car. You might have to make your peace with that white Honda City, even though you would really have liked to have a golden one.

    Source: Rediff

  2. #2
    Platinum Member mickey's Avatar
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    hmmmmm...


    nice one..indeed'

    i think Indian market for cars is Increasing at more rapid rate than any other countries...

    indeed, somedays back, one of my russian friends told me that in Russia people are amazed of how Indian car company made such a nice car for so small price, so now they too are asking the govt,. to make such small family and semi luxury cars for the people,....Russians like Indian lack cars..
    Last edited by mickey; 26th May 2009 at 07:50 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    job takes the child away.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member StarK's Avatar
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    i can vouch for every sentence in that post...
    DON'T beam me up, Scotty!

  4. #4
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    Default Don't you ever expect a good 2nd HAND

    No matter where you are in the world you can never expect a "Good" second car. Why? Because of the info gap between the customer and the dealer. He will never give "you a good car for a good price".

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Preeti_20's Avatar
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    Its always dodgy to buy a second hand car, i mean who can you exactly trust, unless your buying from a reputed place or known person! You can get the car checked from a garage and make sure everything's ok!
    It also depends on how much you are paying for the car, if there's a difference of say 2 lakh, then your worth off buying a brand new car!

  6. #6
    Platinum Member StarK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preeti_20 View Post
    Its always dodgy to buy a second hand car, i mean who can you exactly trust, unless your buying from a reputed place or known person! You can get the car checked from a garage and make sure everything's ok!
    It also depends on how much you are paying for the car, if there's a difference of say 2 lakh, then your worth off buying a brand new car!
    Believe me Preeti, you cant even trust a friend! This has happened to my brother.
    DON'T beam me up, Scotty!

  7. #7
    kirankumargb
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    Ya thats true, cant believe anybody in this matter.
    I have only question, if the car was in good condition then why would he sell it ? that too at a low cost....

    My suggestion is when buying a car (2nd hand) take your well known mechanic and let him check the car then decide.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member StarK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirankumargb View Post
    Ya thats true, cant believe anybody in this matter.
    I have only question, if the car was in good condition then why would he sell it ? that too at a low cost....

    My suggestion is when buying a car (2nd hand) take your well known mechanic and let him check the car then decide.
    that's what he did not do, actually we were n00bs on cars at the time. well in his case he was moving to a different state.
    DON'T beam me up, Scotty!

  9. #9
    kirankumargb
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    Oh then tough luck...

    got duped ?

  10. #10
    Platinum Member StarK's Avatar
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    well its not in very good condition, spent quite a bit on it till date. but gets the job done. The important thing is "lesson learnt". I mean we've never bought anything used and this incident has put some reason to not to in future too.
    DON'T beam me up, Scotty!

  11. #11
    Platinum Member Preeti_20's Avatar
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    best bet like mentioned, get a professionals opinion in this case mechanic!

  12. #12
    ShAdOwCoN
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    i believe we have companies selling certified used cars ..... tho i dont know much about that

  13. #13
    Its Time To Change ! deepmohan's Avatar
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    Certified used car dealers too cheat customers......:taz:

  14. #14
    Platinum Member StarK's Avatar
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    actually these certified cars are way overpriced. you might as well buy a new car than get it from them!
    DON'T beam me up, Scotty!

  15. #15
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Certified used car dealers charge at least 50K over the fair market value and that too on a B-segment car like Santro, Wagon R, etc. This is because they have to overheads such inventory carrying cost, space/display, employees, maintenance and upkeep, etc. Not all are cheaters.

    Check if they are giving any kind of warranty.

    On the whole, here is a (newbie's) advice for buying a second hand car:

    a) Test drive for 10 to 15 km. See how the engine sounds.
    b) Do a visual inspection. Check for scratches, bumps, paint damage, etc.
    c) Check inside corners for rust damage - inside the car boot, the channel on the edges of all door and covers (these channels are often filled with water after a wash), underside (if possible). Remove all covers and check the floor.
    d) Insist on all insurance records. If you find that the "no-claim bonus" was denied in a particular year, ask why.
    e) Insist on all maintenance record. Check that the car is serviced every six months or 5000 km.
    f) Check for wear and tear of tyres, rubber parts, etc.
    g) Check when the AC gas was refilled the last time.
    h) For automatic cars, check the timing belt age. A timing belt must be replaced after 75,000 km.

    and finally, if you have liked the car and the price is right, before making the deal

    i) Show it to a mechanic of your choice. If the mechanic charges a fee, so be it.
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  16. #16
    Platinum Member StarK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just4kix View Post
    Certified used car dealers charge at least 50K over the fair market value and that too on a B-segment car like Santro, Wagon R, etc. This is because they have to overheads such inventory carrying cost, space/display, employees, maintenance and upkeep, etc. Not all are cheaters.

    Check if they are giving any kind of warranty.

    On the whole, here is a (newbie's) advice for buying a second hand car:

    a) Test drive for 10 to 15 km. See how the engine sounds.
    b) Do a visual inspection. Check for scratches, bumps, paint damage, etc.
    c) Check inside corners for rust damage - inside the car boot, the channel on the edges of all door and covers (these channels are often filled with water after a wash), underside (if possible). Remove all covers and check the floor.
    d) Insist on all insurance records. If you find that the "no-claim bonus" was denied in a particular year, ask why.
    e) Insist on all maintenance record. Check that the car is serviced every six months or 5000 km.
    f) Check for wear and tear of tyres, rubber parts, etc.
    g) Check when the AC gas was refilled the last time.
    h) For automatic cars, check the timing belt age. A timing belt must be replaced after 75,000 km.

    and finally, if you have liked the car and the price is right, before making the deal

    i) Show it to a mechanic of your choice. If the mechanic charges a fee, so be it.
    the timing belt is not at all limited to automatic cars, its on all engines j4k... but otherwise good advice.
    DON'T beam me up, Scotty!

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