It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
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Once you think you've got all the information you need on how to buy your first car, only one thing beats the feeling of going shopping for it--actually driving back in one. But if you skip the thrill of going through the exciting sales talk and brochures, buying your first car is actually not an easy task especially with so many options in the market.
So what do you need to look out for? To begin with, make a checklist of things you need your car for. “Brand name, longer warranty period, low maintenance cost, and fuel efficiency will be absolute essentials for anyone buying their first car,” says Rohitaaz Kumar from JK Tyre Motorsport who has raced cars and swapped many of them over the years.
In the automotive industry, brand names matter a lot. Years of research, after-sales service, design and research have gone into making these brands what they are today. So while you shouldn’t blindly trust advertising campaigns, it would be a good idea to do a checkup on existing brands and their reputation.
For example, a Maruti will mean complete understanding of Indian driving conditions and a reliable service team while a Hyundai would translate to Korean engineering and low maintenance.
For a first car, you need complete peace of mind and not have to worry about shelling out money for spare parts on a regular basis. After all, you’ve saved up your hard earned cash to buy a new car. Make sure you get a longer warranty period.
Companies like Chevrolet sometimes offer up to three years of zero cost, all parts replaceable warranties, which are perfect for the first car buyer. Remember, such offers are more prevalent during the festive season so it may be worthwhile to hold on for that good deal to come your way.
Having bought a new car, the last thing you want is regular visits to the service station for frequent checkups and services. So make sure the maintenance costs are low. Many cars may have no maintenance costs in the first year or so, but the bill starts climbing as the years pass. Ensuring that your model has been in the market for a while is a good indication of these costs.
Most car salesmen will throw in a few free services and checkups for the cost. Insist on it if they don’t. Remember: the car market in India is highly competitive which means you really have the privilege of being choosy about your purchase. Negotiate as much as you can. In fact, get the salesman to throw in a few freebies like car accessories too! You’ll be surprised at the lengths they'll go to please you.
“Ask yourself not what car you want, but how much you’d be driving everyday,” says Kushan Mitra, an associate editor of Business Today and an automotive journalist who’s been in the business for over a decade now. “Petrol is not cheap so depending on the number of kilometers you’ll be clicking each day, you will have to decide between a petrol and a diesel car.” Diesel variants may be more expensive to buy and maintain but they work out to be cheaper in the long run if you drive up to a 100 kilometers everyday.
You should also do a check on daily driving conditions--whether you’ll be driving in heavy city traffic or empty roads. An electric car like Reva may not be such a bad idea if you work in the heart of the city, and have to fight through 20 kilometers of mad traffic everyday. Similarly, an Alto would be perfect for small town driving and the occasional highway cruises.
And last but not the least: style. Sure, you'd love to get your hands on a sportscar, but that may not be your first car. That shouldn’t stop you from aspiring to drive one. Invest in a car that meets all the above mentioned requirements and you may have money left over to pimp it out and make a sports version of the same. A Santro could look good with the extra-large alloy rims!
And remember, you are known by the car you drive. So if you are a clubbing addict, a Nano may not be the best choice after all!
For more on style & grooming, health and fitness, work & play, and relationships, visit Men's Life Today, India
-Pictures courtesy Thinkstock-
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