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Value of a second hand Skoda Octavia

cars October 6, 2013

Skoda Octavia

The new Skoda Octavia has been recently introduced in October 2013. Due to this launch, Skoda Auto India would be phasing out the current Laura over a period of time. What this also means that prices of the older Octavia in the used car market may just go down further. At present, a 2007 model of the old Octavia, available from 2001-2010, with 55,000 kms on the odo, can be purchased at about Rs. 4.50 lakhs.

Octavia interiors

Octavia interiors

As a comparison, the build quality of the older Octavia appears stronger than the current one. Space inside this vehicle is good enough for 5 adults to sit comfortably. Upholstery is mostly made of leather. A special edition of this vehicle, called Lauren& Klement (L&K) also comes with panoramic sunroof. Though the car is not great looking, Skoda has managed to keep the design simple and functional.

For a car that was priced close to Rs. 12 lakhs, it also has many other features such as Power Steering, Power windows, ABS and airbags. The steering column can be adjusted as per the convenience of the driver. Both front and co-passenger seats can be adjusted electrically. From 2001-2010, it was one of the most luxurious sedans at this price, apart from Honda Civic.

The L&K edition of this car also came with automatic climate control, sound system with 6 speakers and alloy wheels. Mileage of the TDI diesel version was quite high, at about 18 kmpl. Most of the bhpengines that were available for this car were 1.9 litre TDI diesel and 1.8 turbo petrol. You would be lucky if you could get your hands on a Skoda Octavia (RS), which produced 150 bhp of power. This allowed the RS to have better acceleration and top speed than all other Octavia variants. It is likely to  become a more affordable car now, with the arrival of the 2013 Octavia.

Octavia rear

Octavia rear

 

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Sedans that were discontinued in India

cars September 22, 2013

Sedans are three box vehicles that have separate areas for boot, sitting and engine. The first sedan that came to India was the Hindustan Motors (HM) Contessa, which was launched in 1983. Similarly, other vehicles introduced in the country that were discontinued later were the Maruti Esteem, Maruti Baleno, Hyundai Accent, Ford Ikon and Ford Escort.

1. HM Contessa– This luxurious 4-door family sedan was originally based on the design of the 1979 Vauxhall Victor. It was originally fitted with a 1.5 litre BMC B-series engine which developed only 50 bhp of power, but it got a 1.8 litre 4ZB1 Isuzu engine in a few years and a 2.0 litre Isuzu 4FC1 diesel engine during the 90s. Its interiors were surprisingly quiet and very comfortable. This is the only Indian vehicle that is reminiscent of the American muscle cars built in the 1960s and 70s. Just like the Ambassador, this vehicle was also built like a tank. However, it did lose out to more fuel efficient cars such as those by Maruti and was phased out by 2002.

2. Maruti Esteem– The Esteem was created out of a need to produce more power from the Maruti 1000. It was an upgraded version, which had a powerful 1248cc engine and was more refined than the M1000. This also meant that fuel efficiency was hired- it delivered more than 14 kmpl in the city. Power steering made it convenient to handle the Esteem anywhere. It had adequate space for five adults, though leg room in the rear was a bit cramped. The car was discontinued to make way for the new Maruti Swift DZire.

3. Hyundai Accent– This car was Hyundai’s first family sedan for the competitive Indian auto market. It was introduced in 1999 to take on the likes of Daewoo Cielo and Maruti Esteem. It also encountered many other launches such as Tata Indigo and Ford Ikon. Sales were at its peak from 2004 to 2006 and 3,500 units of this vehicle were sold in March 2006. Its diesel edition was discontinued in 2007, which saw Hyundai taking on the C Segment with the Verna. There were limited upgrades that could be made to a 10 year old model and ots production has been ended in 2013 due to dwindling sales.

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Some guidelines for getting used car loans in India

cars September 8, 2013

A lot of information about loans for new cars is easily available over the Internet. However, there are few sites providing accurate information on second hand car loans and adequate details are also not available. The following article tried to throw some light on the general rules for used vehicle loans, but in no particular order.

1)    It is always better to apply for a bigger bank rather than considering offerings from small lenders. This helps get a better idea of the competition.

2)    Interest rates on loans for used cars are higher than those for new cars. The interest rates are calculated on the basis of age of the vehicle, model and customer profile. Loans cannot be availed for cars more than 4-5 years old. If a new car is financed at 11-14%, a used car would cost 14-16%.

3)    At best, 75% of the vehicle’s value can be financed by the loan company. This is lesser than the amount that can be availed to purchase a new car.

4)    HDFC provides specific loans for pre-owned vehicles that are available for an amount that is 3-6 times the payer’s income. Other known companies are ICICI, Axis Bank and SBI. State Bank Loans are preferred by many due to offer transparency and flexibility for payment up to 7 years. It also allows payments anytime in the month, along with low processing fees and additional accident insurance, which could help reduce the total loan.

5)    No guarantor is generally required for a used car loan, unlike the one for a new car. However, a guarantor maybe required if the creditor’s credit history is bad.

In order to get the best car loan for used vehicle, it is important to not only compare providers, but also be aware other factors such as credit history that would also affect approval. Though most models of cars are financed, it cannot be said that all can be financed.

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Type of fuel that best suits your car in India

cars September 5, 2013

Almost every buyer today has a hard time deciding whether to purchase a petrol, diesel or a CNG vehicle, looking at the current fuel inflation rate. Sample this: diesel is priced at Rs. 51.97/ litre, petrol at Rs. 74.10/ litre and CNG at Rs. 41.9/ kg in New Delhi. There is also a decision to be taken whether to install a CNG kit or to purchase a factory fitted CNG vehicle. We try to look at all these issues as per our experience in the field.

Factors influencing the buyer decision

a)      Environment friendly: CNG is known to produce lower levels of carbon monoxide as against  petrol and diesel. Overall emissions are 20% lower on an average. Interestingly, even diesel produces emissions that are 15% lesser than petrol, which is due to new technology.

b)      Cost of purchase: A petrol vehicle would be Rs. 4000-8000 cheaper than a corresponding CNG counterpart and Rs. 75,000-1,30,000 lesser than the diesel version.

c)       Running Costs : :A CNG car would cost only Rs. 2-2.50 per kg, to run, delivering mileage of 17-19 km/ kg. In comparison, a diesel variant costs about Rs. 4/ km while petrol is the most expensive at Rs. 5-7.5 per km. Thus CNG running costs are less than half of either petrol or diesel.

d)      Driveability of vehicle: Maruti Swift produces lower power in the diesel version than the petrol variant. Its 1.3 litre DDiS diesel engine generates 75 ps power with high torque of 190Nm of torque, while the 1.2 litre K-Series petrol engine generates a 86 ps power but lower torque of 114Nm. This translates into peppier acceleration in the diesel, but lower top end speed.

Based on the above factors, the buyer can decide what suits him the best. For long distance running, diesel or CNG should definitely be chosen.

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Car accessories and types part II

cars August 29, 2013

This is the second blog on car accessories that follows from part I. While some individuals get these fitted for bling, others have a genuine passion for automobiles. Most auto magazines in India come with advertisements of companies selling these accessories, especially on the last five pages.

a) Interior styling: Seat covers are common accessories for most vehicles. For providing a classic look, the car can be completely done up with leather upholstery. Anti-skid floor mats are also available for various automobiles. Steering wheel covers are used to prevent damage to the steering wheel and to allow one to grip it easily during hot summers.

b) Car Navigation Systems: GPS Navigation devices have proved to be revelations for people living in new or large cities. A brand that is common in this space is MapMyIndia. It sells portable navigators which can be easily installed on the dashboard and is one of the oldest companies in this field.

c) Car Chargers: It is possible to purchase mobile chargers for cars such as phones can be charged while en route to work. This is especially useful for individuals who spend long hours on the road. In addition, mobile holders are also available, which allow the phone to stick to the dashboard.

d) Car Body Covers: As the name suggests, these covers are used to protect the vehicle against the harshness of weather and against miscreants who may rub sharp stones against the body. It is possible to order specific car covers from online website as well.

The above mentioned categories, in addition to the ones given in part I of this article, consist of the maximum range of products available in the car market. However, there are some products apart from these as well, such as specific lighting systems, car wiper blades and Bluetooth accessories that give value to a car.

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Car accessories and types part I

cars August 28, 2013

A car is much more than just a mode of transportation from point A to point B. Often it becomes an extension of an individual’s personality, displaying the traits in the buyer. But utilities like these are more than what appears from outside. We will try to give you a better insight on the different car accessories available in today’s market.

a) Safety and Security : The safety of an individual’s car usually occupies highest priority among useful accessories . Gadgets like Central Locking Systems and Gear Shift Locks have become fairly commonplace. Central Locking sets off an alarm in case a thief tries to open the car without remote. Certain cars such as Hyundai i20 and Volkswagen Phaeton also come with Reverse Car Parking Assist.

b) Car Care : Such products are for those individuals who despise even a small scratch that appears on their vehicles. Liquid car wax such as those from Mothers and ABRO can keep the vehicle shining like new. Apart from this. Interiors are kept smelling fresh by using car perfumes, such as those by Ambi Pur.

c) Car Entertainment : Sources of entertainment such as stereos and TVs are very helpful during long drives. Well-known brands are Sony Xplod, Blaupunkt, Pioneer, Kenwood and JVC. Speakers and amplifiers can also be fitted as per requirements.

d) Exterior Styling : This is actually a very large category which includes many different products used to enhance the vehicle’s style quotient. Rear spoilers impart a sporty look to the vehicle. Waterproof LED daytime lamps can be used to showcase a ring of lights that glow during the day. Different type of antennae can be fitted to enhance the overall look. Side skirts give the appearance of being encapsulated. Wheel covers of different types, apart from imparting a stylish look, also add to tyre performance in a car.

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Which are the best used cars to buy in India?

cars August 25, 2013

The declining sales of new cars, especially due to high interest rates and fuel inflation, has been a blessing in disguise for used cars . This is the best time in the year to purchase a second hand vehicle. Market demand has led to the proliferation of company-based used car outlets and now finance options are also available for such vehicles. However, not every manufacturer in the market is equally aware of this segment and we will try to give you a better idea of popular vehicles here.

 a) Maruti Swift – Maruti is the most popular brand in this segment due to easy availability of parts and variety of vehicles. Swift is a vehicle that demands high resale value and every owner speaks volumes about its handling abilities. The diesel variant if this sporty car generates about 16 kmpl and noise from the engine is also low.

 b) Honda City – Petrol versions of Honda City are some of the best used cars in the market. This car merges the demands for premium styling and utility value well. Spare parts are also easily available.

 c) Hyundai i10 – This good-looking hatchback was launched as an update to the ageing Santro in 2007 and has done well since then. Suspension is good and it is quite stable at high speeds. It delivers mileage up to 16 kmpl and offers high value for money .

 d) Mahindra Scorpio – This full blooded SUV is a great buy in the used market. It is possible to purchase a well maintained used Scorpio for about Rs. 4.80 lakhs. However, initial variants of this vehicle are prone to mechanical problems.

 e) Maruti Esteem – This original sedan from Maruti has depreciated to an extent since it has been discontinued in 2008. It still is a very capable buy, with parts that can easily be fixed and a reliable engine. The car is also a favourite among tuners.

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What to remember while buying a used car

cars August 23, 2013

Used Cars

Once neighbours or other relatives become aware of your decision to buy a second hand car , everyone is bound to come up with numerous tips and advice on how to avoid getting cheated during the deal. Traditionally, most buyers are afraid to purchase these vehicles due to fear of high maintenance. However, the quality of parts in second hand cars are now world class and if chosen sensibly, such a vehicle may be of greater utility than a new one.

Required awareness to buy a used car

a) Mileage & Brand –  A vehicle that has run between 15,000 to 50,000 km is good enough to be purchased. For brands such as Honda and Toyota, it is possible to stretch the number of kms. a few thousand further.

b) Complete engine check – If the used car starts properly with the correct sound and without high vibration, it is good to be bought. You must undertake a test drive of the vehicle to understand the engine condition better. Engine oil getting heated up fast is definitely not a good sign. Apart from this, the air conditioning must be tested for effectiveness.

c) History – Get the vehicle certified by a mechanic, in case it has not already been done. Check for damages on the exterior and interior carefully, so that scratches are eliminated as far as possible. The rear should also be inspected for tell-tale signs of repair. Details of accidents, if any, must be known from the user prior to purchase.

d) Documentation check – A long list of documents needs to be checked before completing the sale of used car . These include PUC, Insurance, R.C. , RTO certificate and Registration. It is important to check for colour of the car mentioned on registration papers.

If you consider purchasing a second hand car, you can buy a sedan at about 70 % the cost of a new hatchback. With appropriate checks in place, isn’t that a good deal?

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Important tips for sellers of used cars

cars August 18, 2013

With the evolution of technology, selling a used car at the appropriate price is not a difficult job. At the same time, a buyer would certainly like to inspect a car in person before finalising its purchase. The following steps can help in gaining the buyer’s confidence, thereby ensuring a fair deal.

Before making the sale of a second hand car

It would be most profitable to conduct sale of used car on one’s own, as brokers charge a heavy price (2 % of selling price) and dealers buy it cheaply in order to sell it later at a high price. Minor repairs such as torn upholstery, blown fuses and broken lights should be heeded to. Vital information such as Year of manufacture and registration, state of registration, number of owners, kilometres covered, interior and exterior colours, mileage, warranty and insurance should be sent across before to potential buyers.

Interacting with a buyer of a second hand car

The price quoted must not be too high so as to deter the buyer from considering, but some room can be left for bargaining. Know how to manage time and focus only on serious buyers, as many would be time -wasters. Buyers must always be accompanied by you or a representative while going for a test run.

Handing over necessary documents

Documents such as Form no. 28, 29, 30, Delivery note, Registration certificate, RTO documents, Insurance policy, owner’s manual, Warranty papers, Service history, Car Invoice, PUC and duplicate car keys need to be handed over to the buyer. You also need to collect a photo ID from the buyer, confirming the sale.

After completion of sale

Once sale of second hand car has been completed, the RTO for your registration must be informed within 14 days of ownership transfer. It is also advisable to inform the insurance company, so that chances of false claim are eliminated.

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Why purchase popular second hand cars in India

cars August 15, 2013

It can be said that the research that is required to buy old car is often much more than the same for a new one. Customers need to keep in mind that apart from purchase, the resale value of this vehicle is also important a few years down the line. By searching on the Internet, it is easy to understand that prices of used vehicles that are heavily in demand are always high.

Factors that determine the popularity of second hand cars

 When customers are familiar with the reliability of a particular brand, they are likely to buy more vehicles from the same. For example, it is common knowledge that well maintained Maruti cars will always fetch high prices due to hardiness and high fuel efficiency. On the same lines, another important factor here is the availability of service stations, which would keep stock of spare parts. The strong service network has ensured that Maruti True Value, the used car division of the company, has been able to make its mark in the country.

 With the prices of fuel escalating every other month, it is important to consider the current mileage of second hand vehicles. Mileage would be determined based on the current usage and maintenance of the vehicle. However, if the purchase is being made from an organised retailer, appropriate maintenance checks would have been carried out.

Make a visit to the used car showroom before purchasing it

It is good that technology makes it possible to view a car on the Internet before purchasing it. But final checks must be made at the showroom before finalising a purchase. This will ensure that on one hand, all vehicle documentation is up-to-date and secondly, the vehicle’s condition is same as has been described.

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  • Sedans that were discontinued in India

    by on September 22, 2013 - 0 Comments

    Sedans are three box vehicles that have separate areas for boot, sitting and engine. The first sedan that came to India was the Hindustan Motors (HM) Contessa, which was launched in 1983. Similarly, other vehicles introduced in the country that were discontinued later were the Maruti Esteem, Maruti Baleno, Hyundai Accent, Ford Ikon and Ford […]

  • Skoda Octavia

    Value of a second hand Skoda Octavia

    by on October 6, 2013 - 0 Comments

    The new Skoda Octavia has been recently introduced in October 2013. Due to this launch, Skoda Auto India would be phasing out the current Laura over a period of time. What this also means that prices of the older Octavia in the used car market may just go down further. At present, a 2007 model […]

  • Which are the best used cars to buy in India?

    by on August 25, 2013 - 0 Comments

    The declining sales of new cars, especially due to high interest rates and fuel inflation, has been a blessing in disguise for used cars . This is the best time in the year to purchase a second hand vehicle. Market demand has led to the proliferation of company-based used car outlets and now finance options […]

  • Type of fuel that best suits your car in India

    by on September 5, 2013 - 0 Comments

    Almost every buyer today has a hard time deciding whether to purchase a petrol, diesel or a CNG vehicle, looking at the current fuel inflation rate. Sample this: diesel is priced at Rs. 51.97/ litre, petrol at Rs. 74.10/ litre and CNG at Rs. 41.9/ kg in New Delhi. There is also a decision to […]

  • Car accessories and types part II

    by on August 29, 2013 - 0 Comments

    This is the second blog on car accessories that follows from part I. While some individuals get these fitted for bling, others have a genuine passion for automobiles. Most auto magazines in India come with advertisements of companies selling these accessories, especially on the last five pages. a) Interior styling: Seat covers are common accessories […]

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