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Comprehensive car buying guide for this festive season

16 September 2015
Before you buy a car to enjoy heavy discounts being offered for festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja or Diwali, make sure you have answered these essential questions.
 

To add to the already festive atmosphere, some car dealers and manufactures offer sales that most customers just can’t resist. Whether it’s Diwali or Durga Puja or even Christmas, there will be discounts and offers galore on varied products, and it’s in your best interest to snap them up before they disappear. 

In case you are wondering how to go about choosing the best car for yourself, refer to this handy guide we’ve prepared for you when you’re thinking of buying a car this festive season:

Brand new or second hand?

Besidesupgraded aesthetics, a new car offers better performance than a second hand one, as well as thesatisfaction of it being yours and only yours.  If money is not a constraint, going for a new car is the ideal choice. But if you’re looking for a really great deal, opt for a pre-owned car; it costs much lesser, largely because the value of a second hand car doesn’t depreciate as fast as a new car. Additionally, novice drivers often opt for used cars to hone their driving skills before buying a new model. In the last decade, the second-hand car market in India has undergone a tidal change with the entry of big players like Mahindra First Choice, Maruti True Value and others.

Related: Things to know when buying a used car

Budgetingand planning

The next step is to clearly demarcate a budget.To do this, you will need to shortlist the type of cars you can afford by calculating the approximate expense for its down payment (including taxes), for EMI (in case you wish to take a car loan and make payments in instalments), and for future monthly expenses (depending on the usage of the car, fuel charges, insurance premium, and expected maintenance charges).

Take a quick test

To narrow down your search even further, answer some basic questions that can help you identify a car model that’s right for you, based on certain parameters that matter the most to you. 

Firstly, you need to choose a car category: hatchback, sedan, SUV (sports utility vehicle), MUV (multiple utility vehicle), etc. Make this choice depending not just on your budget, but also on the seating capacity you require as per the number of members in your family. 

Secondly, choose a fuel type- Diesel, Petrol or CNG. The cost of fuel depends on the extent of usage and the mileage of your car. If you are driving less than 500 kms a month (5000 to 7000 kms in a year) – it’s viable to choose petrol car.For running in between 800 to 1000 kms a month (10,000 to 12,000 kms a year) - CNG can prove the most economical. Diesel is recommended if you are drivingmore than that- it might end up saving youa good Rs. 30,000 a year in terms of fuel costs.

While Petrol cars are less expensive than Diesel cars, Petrol itself is more expensive than Diesel. CNG is the most cost effective, but affects your car’s performance. Also, not every petrol station will service CNG cars, which can be inconvenient. Apart from these, a new breed of cars known as electric and hybrid cars have been gaining ground in India due to their fuel economy.

Thirdly, you have to choose whether you want automatic or manual transmission. For bumper-to-bumper city driving, an automatic gearshift can be a huge relief, though such cars are usually more expensive to buy and maintain.

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Features of the car

Cars nowadays have gadgets such as monitors, DVD players, parking camera assist, refrigerators and a lot more. Before choosing a model, make sure you assess the fancy features you’re getting, and if you are willing to pay for the luxury they provide- be it sunroofs, Bluetooth connectivity, leather upholstery, aluminium alloy wheels, chrome grills, etc. On the hand, there are certain utilitarian features that make a huge difference to the rider/passenger experience, like leg space, a sturdy child safety lock if you have kids, boot space, engine power, automatic or manual gear shift and defoggers if your city has intense winters.

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Test drive

Highways, city roads, bumpy roads... check them all. Test drive your car to gauge its efficiency and your comfort. Also, make the most of your showroom experience; choose a convenient location for your car dealership and service centre to enjoy hassle-free and timely after-sales service.

Related: Just bought a new car? Here’s what to do next

Insurance

In this day and age, buying a car without immediately getting insurance is an extremely foolhardy decision to make. Not only because over 1,37,000 people were killed in road accidents in 2013 alone,but because you, your family, your car, and third parties should to be insured to protect against accidents or manmade/natural disasters alike. 

There are a number of festivals coming up where there are likely to be some fantastic deals available for car buyers: Dussehra on 22nd October, Diwali on 11th November, Christmas on 25th December and of course New Year celebrations starting December end.

So now that you know all these tips, go ahead and make a comprehensive, secure purchase this festive season.

Think something needs to be added to this list? Let us know in the comments.

 

 
 
 
 

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest"

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