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  • Hybrid Car—Types, Advantages, Hybrid vs. Electric

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Feb 06, 2023

     

    Hybrid is the latest buzzword in the automobile industry. Automobile engineers all around the world are actively working on developing and improving hybrid cars. Despite the high cost, hybrid cars are gradually gaining popularity among car users across the world.

    Unlike traditional combustion engine cars, hybrid cars address the crucial and urgent global agenda of environmental preservation. With global warming and increasing environmental pollution, any innovation that reduces or restricts carbon footprint is a welcome step. Hybrid cars make this possible and are sustainable. So, what is a hybrid car? Today, we will discuss all you need to know about hybrid electric cars in India.

    What is a hybrid car?

    Simply put, hybrid cars run on two sources of power. Confused about what is a hybrid car? Don’t be. Read on.

    • Hybrid cars come with one electric motor and one Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) which is the usual fuel-run petrol or diesel engine.
    • Hybrid cars can switch between the electric motor and the fuel-run engine or use both engines together as and when needed.
    • Since these cars do not run on fuel power only, they come with way better fuel economy.
    • The usage of the electric motor along with a fossil fuel-based engine reduces the rate of use of fuels such as petrol and diesel, thus restricting carbon emissions.
    • Besides environmental preservation, hybrid cars have an edge in terms of efficiency. Because hybrid cars use both electric and fuel power, they offer higher efficiency.
    • When brakes are applied in a hybrid car, excess power is generated which is used to recharge the batteries. Subsequently, there is a higher mileage range in hybrid cars.
    • To replenish their batteries, hybrid cars can use the ICE engine as well.

    How does a hybrid car work?

    The sources of power for hybrid electric cars include—an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors powered by the energy stored in batteries.

    Unlike standard electric vehicles, a hybrid electric car cannot be plugged into a charging point to charge the battery. Instead, the batteries are charged either using the regenerative braking technique and/or by using the internal combustion engine.

    Since the car has an extra source of power from the electric motor, these cars work perfectly fine with relatively smaller fuel engines. The battery also aids in auxiliary loads and restricts engine idling when it is stopped. The combined effect of these features and the operational structure of the hybrid cars enhance fuel efficiency without compromising power, performance, and mileage.

    Difference between a hybrid and an electric car

    While we have discussed the basics of hybrid cars, it is essential to identify how a hybrid electric car is different from an electric car. The main difference to quote in a hybrid car vs electric cars discussion is their source of engine power.

    In hybrid cars, there are two types of engines—an internal combustion engine that runs on petrol or diesel, and one or more electric motor(s). Meanwhile, electric vehicles do not use any petrol or diesel. They derive power from a single source—electric motors.

    This major difference between hybrid and electric cars leads to a series of differences in their performance, operation, and price. Refer to the table below to understand the differences between hybrid and electric cars:

    Features

    Hybrid Cars

    Electric Cars

    Source of power

    Electricity as well as petrol and diesel

    DC electricity using a battery pack

    Charging

    Not needed

    Needed

    Efficiency of fuel

    Dependent on ICE and battery range

    Dependent on battery range only

    Level of emissions

    Higher than electric cars

    Lower than the ICE and hybrid cars

    Engine type

    Electric motor and internal combustion engine (ICE)

    Electric motor(s)

    Price

    Slightly higher than usual ICE cars

    Higher than both ICE vehicles and hybrid vehicles

  • Vehicle Scrappage Policy in India

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Feb 03, 2023

    Old, unfit, and ill-maintained vehicles are one of the prime contributors to environmental pollution. The Vehicle Scrappage Policy was introduced in India to mitigate this problem. The policy nullifies the re-registration of cars that are above 20 years old. For commercial vehicles, the threshold is 15 years as they face extensive and heavy usage compared to personal vehicles. Vehicle Scrappage Policy is a ground-breaking step on the part of the government both in terms of pollution control and vehicle management. Here’s all you need to know about Vehicle Scrappage Policy and its benefits.

    What is Vehicle Scrappage Policy in India?

    An initiative of the Government of India, Vehicle Scrappage Policy focuses on taking old and unfit vehicles off the road and scrapping them. Let us look at it in detail:

    • The idea behind the scrappage policy is to gradually develop an ecosystem that phases out vehicles contributing to pollution by exaggerated measures. Most of these are old and unfit vehicles.
    • The scrap policy is expected to significantly and effectively reduce the carbon footprint caused by vehicle emissions.
    • The vehicle scrappage policy will be brought into force starting 1st April 2023 for Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs).
    • For other Commercial Vehicles and Private Vehicles, the scrappage policy will be effective from 1st June 2024.
    • Commercial vehicles and private vehicles that are older than 15 years and 20 years, respectively, will have to undergo a fitness test. If these vehicles do not get clearance under the fitness test, they must be scrapped.

    Vehicle Scrappage Policy 2019 Highlights

    Apart from the pollution control measure, the scrappage policy is also seen as a potential catalyst for the sluggish automobile sector, which witnessed a massive downturn in 2019. Though in 2020, post-Diwali, the sector did witness some improvement, it is far from satisfactory. The vehicle scrappage policy is expected to create demand for new vehicles, as the old and unfit vehicles will be phased out.

    The key highlights of the scrappage policy are:

    • The primary objective of the policy is to scrap unfit cars and bikes
    • All the rules and regulations surrounding the scrappage policy will be outlined by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)
    • According to the MoRTH, scrapping old vehicles will make the owners eligible for some benefits.
    • This policy will help in reducing pollution density. This is subjective to the existing pollution density of a place.
    • This administrative policy will pave the demand for safe, technologically updated, and environment-friendly vehicles.

    Updated Vehicle Scrappage Policy 2021 Highlights

    The vehicle scrapping policy in India was introduced to take old and unfit cars and bikes off the road. The main objective behind the scrappage policy was to come up with an effective and feasible measure to check the high carbon emission caused by unfit cars. The recent review highlighted some significant additional aspects of the policy. These are:

    • Checking pollution by scrapping vehicles that do not pass the fitness test
    • Higher safety for passengers, vehicles, and pedestrians
    • Employment generation in the automobile industry
    • Developing a formal and organised vehicle scrappage sector
    • Improving fuel efficiency
    • Reducing the cost of maintenance
    • Better and higher access to cost-efficient raw materials for industries such as automobile, steel, and electronics

     

    Given below is the timeline of how the policy will be brought into force:

    Particulars

    Tentative Timeline

    Declaring rules of vehicle fitness test

    21st October 2021

    Scrapping PSU and government vehicles that are more than 15 years old

    01st April 2022

    Commencement of fitness test of Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs)

    01st April 2023

    Commencement of fitness test of Commercial Vehicles (CVs) and Private Vehicles (PVs)

    01st June 2024

    Benefits of the Vehicle Scrappage Policy

    Let us see how the vehicle scrappage policy will help the environment, vehicle owners, the automobile industry, and the economy as a whole.

    • As mentioned earlier, the scrappage policy will help reduce pollution and contribute to environmental preservation.
    • Currently, approximate estimates show that there are 51 lakh light vehicles (both private and commercial) that are more than 20 years old. This is an estimate of only light vehicles. Scrapping old and unfit vehicles will create demand in the automobile industry, as the old ones will now be replaced with new vehicles.
    • There will be additional job creation in the automobile sector. New scrappage stations will enhance the employment scope in the industry.
    • The nature of demand for vehicles will get augmented for good. There will be a demand for comparatively safer and technologically upgraded vehicles that come with better and superior features.
    • This policy will provide a major push to the recycling industry. This will not only make the recycling sector more active but create jobs in this industry as well. In addition, it will also create further improvement in the R&D of waste and recycling management.
    • Scrapping old and unfit vehicles may come with significant tax benefits for vehicle owners.
    • For parts that are fine and fit, vehicle owners have the scope to get the best possible resale price.

    How does scrapping your car affect insurance?

    The registration certificate must be cancelled for the scrapping of a car. Your insurer must be informed of your car’s scrapping. When a car is scrapped, under the vehicle scrappage policy, its registration is automatically cancelled, as it is no more fit to be driven on the roads. Consequently, the insurance company also cancels the vehicle insurance policy associated with the concerned car. The cancellation of the car insurance plan and the registration certificate is necessary to prevent the mishandling and theft of pre-existing vehicle information.

    Listed below are some important aspects of how car scrapping under the vehicle scrappage policy affects car insurance:

    • Since your vehicle insurance policy gets cancelled, you do not have to pay premiums going forward.
    • If you owe any refund from your vehicle insurance provider for the premium that has already been paid, ahead of the scrapping, it will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
    • Note, the year when you give your car for scrapping if you have raised a claim earlier, you cannot cancel the insurance plan. It will be cancelled in the succeeding year.
  • RTO New Vehicle Registration Process

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Feb 03, 2023

    Buying your dream car or bike brings you unmatched joy. You may have been eyeing the model you love, researching about it, saving up money, and making plans around it, but have you thought about registering it? If not, then you must. 

    In India, you must register your brand-new vehicle at the Regional Transport Office (RTO), and get a new vehicle registration number to be able to take it out on the road. If you are caught driving your new car without a registration number and certificate, you will have to pay hefty fines, and in some cases, you may even face imprisonment.

    Registering your vehicle is mandatory and there is no point delaying it. Therefore, once you pay for your car or bike, initiate the registration process. Here’s how you can do it.

    How do you register your new vehicle?

    To get a new vehicle registration number, register your bike or car by following one of the two methods mentioned below:

    1. Register your vehicle yourself

    You can always register your vehicle yourself. If you plan to register your new vehicle in a different state or city, it is best to do it yourself. Just visit the nearest RTO, submit the necessary documents, pay the required fee, and get your vehicle inspected.

    After the documents are cross-checked and the vehicle is inspected, if all is fine, the new vehicle registration number will be issued in no time.

    2. Get your vehicle registered by the dealer

    If you don’t want to take the load and hassles of visiting the RTO, standing in the queue, and dealing with the documents, you can simply ask your dealer to get the registration done.

    In that case, your vehicle will be brought to the showroom only after the registration process is completed. By paying a service charge to your dealer, you can easily get your new car registration done without much effort.

    Steps to register your new vehicle at the RTO

    If you plan to pursue new RTO registration of your vehicle yourself, then follow the steps below:

    Step 1: Visit the nearest RTO. Take your new car or bike along with you.

    Step 2: Fill out the registration form and submit it along with other necessary documents.

    Step 3: Post submission of the form and the documents, the RTO will check them.

    Step 4: Meanwhile, pay the RTO charges for the new vehicle registration. The charge may differ for bikes and cars. Also, pay the road tax and collect the receipt of both payments.

    Step 5: A designated RTO inspector will inspect the vehicle.

    Step 6: Vehicle details such as the make and model, fuel type, engine capacity, and more will be recorded and uploaded to the central database.

    Step 7: The Superintendent of the RTO will verify the uploaded data.

    Step 8: The Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO) will approve the registration of the vehicle.

    Step 9: Once the ARTO approves the registration, the Registration Certificate (RC) and a corresponding RC smartcard will be generated.

    Step 10: When the RC is ready, it will be sent to your registered address via post.

    Can you register your vehicle online?

    No, you cannot get new car registration or two-wheeler bike registration done online. It is extremely important to note that the e-portal of Parivahan cannot be used for new vehicle registration online. It can be used only for the renewal of vehicle registration.

    This is because a new car registration or a new two-wheeler bike registration essentially requires a physical inspection of the vehicle at the RTO. Since the physical presence of the vehicle is compulsory for new vehicle registration, you cannot register a car or bike online.

    How to apply for a new number plate?

    Every motor vehicle must display its unique registration number on the High-Security Registration Plates (HSRPs) fixed on the front and back of the vehicle. Aluminium-made and colour-graded HSRPs cannot be tempered.

    This plate is attached to the vehicle using two non-reusable locks. However, you can get a new bike number plate or car number plate online and offline.

    To apply for a new number plate online, follow these steps:

    Step 1: Visit the RTO website of your state.

    Step 2: Submit all necessary details like your name, address, contact number, car registration number, chassis number, and more.

    Step 3: Next, select the vehicle class, whether it is used for commercial or personal use.

    Step 4: Pay the required fee and collect the payment receipt.

    Step 5: You will get the acknowledgement notification that your HSRP has been created and dispatched.

    Alternatively, if you do not have easy access to the RTO website or you are not comfortable will the online method, you can go to the RTO and submit the required form, make the payment, collect the receipt and get your HSRP number. You can also get the new number plate from your dealer.

    Forms you must fill out for vehicle registration

    Getting a new vehicle registration number may look like a complicated process if you are not aware of the forms that you must fill out.

    You can find all the details on the Parivahan website, and even download the forms from there. Meanwhile, here is the list of forms that you must have for vehicle registration:

    Vehicle Registration Form

    How to Get It/From Where to Download

    Form 20 – Application for motor vehicle registration

    Download it from the Parivahan website

    Form 21 – Vehicle sale certificate. This includes details such as the make and model of the vehicle, date of manufacture, invoice amount etc.

    Get it from the Parivahan website, or ask your dealer for it when buying the vehicle

    Form 22 - Roadworthiness certificate. This indicates the safety and pollution compliance of the vehicle

    Obtain this form from the vehicle dealer

    Form 29 – Vehicle ownership transfer notice

    Download it from the Parivahan website

    Form 30 – Application for intimation and transfer of vehicle ownership

    Download it from the Parivahan website

    Form 34 – Application form to add loan hypothecation and registration certificate

    Download it from the Parivahan website

    Form 38A – Vehicle inspection report

    Obtain this form from the RTO

    Form 51 – Vehicle insurance certificate

    Obtain this form from the car insurance provider

    Form 60 - Working certificate in the absence of PAN card

    Download it from the Parivahan website

    Besides the forms mentioned above, you will have to submit the following documents to the RTO when applying for new car registration:

    • Identity proof
    • Age proof
    • Address proof
    • PAN card (if PAN card is not available, then Form 60)
    • Engine Number and Chassis Number
    • Purchase invoice of the vehicle given by the dealer and the manufacturer
    • Passport size photographs

    Vehicle registration fee

    Listed below are the fees that you may have to pay in association with vehicle registration in India.

    Services Related to Vehicle Registration

    Corresponding Fees in Rs.

    Two-wheeler bike registration/motorcycle

    300

    Three-wheeler/quadricycle registration

    Non-transport: 600; Transport: 1000

    Car/Light Motor Vehicle (LMV)/four-wheeler registration

    Non-transport: 600; Transport: 1000

    Medium goods motor vehicle/medium passenger motor vehicle registration

    1000

    Heavy goods motor vehicle/heavy passenger motor vehicle registration

    1500

    Imported vehicle (car) registration

    5000

    Imported vehicle (bike) registration

    2500

    Other vehicles (not mentioned on this list) registration

    3000

    Smart card (RC) issue

    200

    Duplicate RC issuance

    50% of the new vehicle registration fees

    RC details correction

    50% of the new vehicle registration fees

    Endorsement of Hypothecation/Lease/Hire purchase

    Two-wheeler (bike): 500;

    Three-wheeler/quadricycle/LMV: 1,500; Medium/heavy vehicle: 3,000

  • Everything You Should Know About a CNG Kit—Prices, Advantages, and Uses

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Feb 01, 2023

    Fuel costs are soaring high. To add to the woes of spending on fuel, the burning of fossil fuels is among the leading causes of environmental damage. The carbon emissions from the combustion of fuels such as petrol and diesel are very high. Amidst all this, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has surfaced as one of the best alternatives to traditional fuels. Low budget, lower maintenance costs, and significantly reduced carbon emission are some of the key reasons for the growing popularity of vehicles fitted with CNG kits.

    Today, CNG kit-fitted vehicles are becoming increasingly common. When buying a new vehicle, you may choose one with a pre-fitted CNG kit. But, what if you already own a traditional vehicle that utilises an internal combustion engine (ICE)? Would you have to wait until you decide to change your car or two-wheeler to switch to a CNG vehicle?

    The answer is, no. You can easily install a CNG kit in a petrol or diesel-run vehicle. Read on to know how to convert a petrol car to a CNG car.

    What is a CNG kit?

    As mentioned above, you can either buy a CNG car or two-wheeler or install a CNG kit in your existing petrol or diesel-run vehicle. A CNG kit turns your internal combustion engine-fitted vehicle into a CNG-compatible vehicle.

    A CNG kit comprises a refill valve, pressure gauge, and an Electric Control Unit, along with some other fittings such as hoses, clamps, high-pressure tubes etc. However, before you schedule the CNG fitting of your combustion engine vehicle, you must check if your car or bike is compatible with the CNG fitting or not.

    If your vehicle is compatible with the fittings, then you may proceed with the CNG kit installation process. However, remember to get approval from your RTO for the conversion of a petrol or diesel-based car or scooter into a CNG-run one.

    What is the use of a CNG kit?

    Now that you know what a CNG kit is and what it does, let us look at the uses of various components of the kit.

    • CNG fittings come with a fuel switch for the driver to switch from petrol or diesel mode to CNG mode as and when needed.
    • The CNG kit has a CNG cylinder, which is called the fuel tank. This is where the compressed natural gas is stored. Usually, this cylinder is installed at the back of the vehicle.
    • The high-pressure compressed gas is released from the fuel tank through the extensive set-up of fuel lines or channels.
    • There is a regulator to manage the pressure. It functions in sync with the engine fuel injection system.
    • Once the pressure is regulated, the CNG passes to the combustion or manifold chamber. Here, CNG comes into contact with air.
    • A spark plug ignites the CNG as soon as it mixes with air, and the engine starts.

    Is a CNG kit compatible with your vehicle?

    Given its growing popularity, more and more people are seeking to understand how to convert petrol cars to CNG cars. However, not all vehicles can be fitted with a CNG kit. For example:

    • Older vehicles are not suitable for such technological customisations
    • CNG is not the right fit for bikes with mid to high CC. Such bikes need higher acceleration power. However, most scooters are compatible with CNG.

    The best and the most authentic way to know if your petrol or diesel car can be converted to a CNG-run vehicle or not is to contact or visit the nearest Regional Transport Office (RTO). RTOs have an exhaustive list of cars that are suitable for CNG fitting.

    If your car’s make and model are listed among the RTO’s CNG-compatible prescribed list of cars, then you may proceed with the CNG kit installation. Note, the list of cars varies from place to place. Therefore, check the list outlined by the RTO of your area only.

  • Difference between a Vehicle’s Ex-Showroom and On-Road Price

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Feb 01, 2023

    Are you planning to buy a new car? While you may have shortlisted the car of your choice and arranged for funds, have you looked up the difference between what has been quoted to you as the price of the car by the dealer, and what you will be actually paying? You must know what ex-showroom price means and what is the on-road price of the car you wish to buy before closing the deal.

    What is the ex-showroom price?

    In simple terms, the ex-showroom price is the price at which dealers buy or procure a vehicle from the manufacturer. This price does not include the cost of vehicle registration, which must be done at the local RTO. Also, the ex-showroom price does not include road tax and insurance costs. Here’s all you need to know to understand what ex-showroom price means:

    • Registration, road tax, and insurance are non-negotiable for driving or riding a motor vehicle in India. Not adhering to these three compliances can attract heavy fines and even imprisonment. The ex-showroom price does not include the cost of these.
    • The ex-showroom price includes the factory cost of the vehicle, Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the profit margin of the vehicle dealer. However, you will have to pay extra for optional accessories.

    The ex-showroom price of a vehicle is the advertised price.

    What is the on-road price?

    The on-road price is the price that you actually pay when buying a vehicle from a dealer. The on-road price is the final amount you pay to receive a ready-for-road vehicle from your dealer. The points mentioned below will help you understand what is the on-road price:

    • The on-road price is inclusive of the ex-showroom price, the cost of vehicle registration, road tax, and the cost of insurance.
    • In case you want additional features and accessories, then the same is included in the on-road price of the vehicle.

    You can check the difference between the ex-showroom price and the on-road price using online calculators or by reaching out to the dealer.

    Difference between a vehicle’s ex-showroom price and on-road price

    Here are the major difference between the ex-showroom price and the on-road price:

    Ex-showroom Price

    On-road Price

    This is not the final price of the vehicle

    This is the final price of the vehicle

    This is the price dealers pay to the manufacturers

    This is the price you will pay to buy, own and use the vehicle

    This price does not factor in the cost of registration, road tax, and insurance

    This is the price that you arrive at after including the cost of registration, road tax, and insurance.

    This price is lesser than the on-road price. It is inclusive of the factory cost, GST, and the dealer’s profit margin

    The final price is higher than the ex-showroom price


    On-road price for new vehicles

    Several factors affect the on-road price of a vehicle. While some of these factors are obligatory, others are optional. It is crucial to know these factors, or else you may find yourself confused between the difference in your estimated purchase price and the actual vehicle price.

    • Charges of vehicle registration

    Whether you buy a bike or a car, it must be registered at the Regional Transport Office (RTO). Usually, the dealer from whom you are buying the vehicle gets this done. Correspondingly, the dealer includes this expense in the final price of the vehicle that is the on-road price. Note, vehicle registration charges differ from state to state. Also, the vehicle registration charges increase if you want a specific registration number.

    • Road tax

    When you use a motor vehicle on Indian roads, you must pay the road tax. While this is a component of the on-road price, it is calculated based on the ex-showroom price. Usually, it is a percentage levied on the ex-showroom price, which ranges between 2% and 3%. The road tax paid once remains valid for 10-15 years.

    • The tax collected at the source

    The dealer levies a tax of 1% of the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. This tax is called tax collected at source.

    • Annual maintenance charges

    Many vehicle dealers offer an annual maintenance package that includes services like cleaning the vehicle, polishing, roadside assistance, and more. If you take up this package, then the on-road price will increase further.

    • Cost of essential accessories

    Some accessories such as floor mats and seat covers are essential. You can buy these essential accessories from your vehicle dealer or you can opt to buy them separately. If you buy them from your vehicle dealer, then the cost of the same will be included in the on-road price.

    • Cost of extra accessories

    There are some accessories that you choose to add to your car or bike to enhance its features and/or efficiency. For example, you may want to buy a trendy helmet for your bike or install a GPS navigation tool in your car. Adding these extra accessories to your purchase list will increase the final that is the on-road price of your vehicle.

    • Extended warranty

    All vehicles come with a fixed warranty provided by the manufacturer. It is available only up to a certain time or distance travelled. However, you can extend this warranty by paying some additional charges. Remember, this additional charge is included in the on-road price of the vehicle.

    • Green cess

    Post the ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi and NCR, the Supreme Court of India issued an obligatory cess called green cess, which is charged on the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. The cess differs from state to state and is decided by the government. It is subject to change as per the government’s policy decision.

    • Handling charges

    Your vehicle dealer must get your vehicle from the manufacturer’s factory outlet or warehouse. The transfer of vehicles from one place to another consists of transportation and handling charges. These charges are added to the on-road price of the vehicle. These costs are included in the profit margin of the dealer. Note, this particular component is not added to the on-road price separately. Rather, this is a component of the ex-showroom price.

    • Insurance

    As per the Motors Vehicle Act, you cannot drive your vehicle on the roads without valid motor insurance. You must have at least third-party insurance. Usually, dealers have tie-ups with insurance providers and they arrange it for you. Or, you can get your insurance on your own. However, if you get your motor insurance from your dealer, it is only obvious that the cost of it will be added to the on-road price of the vehicle.

  • Convert Your Petrol and Diesel Car into an Electric Car

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 31, 2023

    In the wake of rapidly changing environmental conditions, switching to sustainable alternatives is no more an option, but a necessity. Increased adoption of electric vehicles is one way to tackle the issue. However, small a solution it may look, the collective effort can yield significant results.

    A new vehicle buyer can always choose an electric vehicle over a traditional combustion engine vehicle. But, what about those who already have a petrol or diesel vehicle? If you are one of them, then this article is for you. You can still do your part in preserving the environment by choosing to convert petrol cars to electric cars. You can get a car insurance for your electric car. Here’s all you need to know about diesel or petrol to electric car conversion.

    Types of electric vehicles

    There are primarily three types of electric vehicles (EVs):

    1. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV):

    These electric vehicles are charged using DC level 3 chargers. These are one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles. A prime example of BEV is Tesla X.

    2. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV):

    These electric vehicles get power from both the plugging-to-power method as well as Regenerative Braking. Prime examples are Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes.

    3. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV):

    These types of electric vehicles initially start using electric power and then shift to gas as and when speed increases. There are many international fleets of HEVs manufactured by popular brands such as Toyota and Honda.

    Retrofitting a car with an electric kit

    While the need and significance of electric vehicles are well known, it is also true that electric vehicles are not easy on the pocket. However, today, we do have a sustainable alternative. Something which was not feasible a decade ago has become one of the most popular hacks of the vehicle industry—converting traditional fuel cars into electric cars.

    Are you wondering—is this possible? Is it legal? If yes, how do you go about conversion of a petrol car to an electric car in India? Let us deal with these questions one by one.

    • Yes, it is possible to convert your petrol or diesel-run vehicle into an electric vehicle.
    • It is legal as authorities have made due changes in the Central Vehicle Motors Rule, 1989 to allow you to convert diesel cars to electric vehicles.
    • The rule allows retrofitting traditional combustion engine vehicles with an electric core.
    • Cars with retrofitted electric cores have an electric car conversion kit as well. This is to ensure the smooth functioning of the vehicle.
    • With an electric core, erstwhile petrol or diesel-run vehicles can choose to power their vehicles using electric battery-operated systems.
    • Retrofitting a petrol or diesel-run car with an electric kit will not only help restrict environmental pollution but also phase out or remodel old and unfit cars.
    • As per the norms of the Central Vehicle Motors Rule, retrofitting can be graded into three categories—conversion into an electric vehicle for all types of vehicles, hybrid conversion for those weighing 3.5 tonnes, and for vehicles that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes.

    Benefits of electric vehicles

    Some benefits of electric vehicles include:

    • No use of fuel: Fuel prices have been rising and do not appear to be going down any time soon. With an electric vehicle, you may stop buying petrol or diesel to refuel your vehicle, thus saving money.
    • Environment-friendly: Air quality remains unaffected and air pollution is reduced by electric cars. These vehicles generate less noise pollution as well.
    • Easy maintenance: An electric four-wheeler has fewer parts than a fuel-powered vehicle. The structure is relatively much simpler. As a result, maintaining such a vehicle is also less expensive.
    • Regenerative braking: Most electric vehicles come equipped with this technology. In this, every time the vehicle applies a brake, the electric generator of the vehicle generates electricity and recharges the battery.
    • Safe: In the event of an accident, electric cars are less likely to sustain significant damage. This can be ascribed to their lightweight design.
    • Sustainable: Electric vehicles are the future of the automobile industry. Getting used to electric vehicles is advantageous compared to using traditional fuel-run vehicles

    Drawbacks of electric vehicles

    • Covers less distance: The mileage offered by electric vehicles is relatively lower than that of those cars that run on petrol or diesel.
    • Expensive: This is one of the most evident concerns with electric vehicles that are available in the market today. All of them are high in cost.
    • Lack of infrastructure: Sustainable and smooth use of electric vehicles requires significant and expansive infrastructure, in the sense, that roads should have ample recharge stations. Such infrastructural backup is not yet available in India.
    • Long recharge time: Electric vehicles need some prep time and in some cases, they can take significant time to get fully recharged.

    How are hybrid vehicles different from electric vehicles?

    Here are some major differences between hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles:

    Features

    Hybrid Cars

    Electric Cars

    Source of power

    Electricity as well as Petrol and Diesel

    DC Electricity using Battery Pack

    Engine type

    Electric Motor and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)

    Electric Motor

    Efficiency of fuel

    Dependent on ICE and Battery Range

    Dependent Lon Battery Range

    Level of emissions

    Higher than Electric Cars

    Lower than ICE cars and hybrid cars

    Charging requirement

    Not needed

    Needed

    Price

    Similar to usual ICE cars

    Higher than both ICE vehicles and hybrid vehicles

  • How to download a car insurance policy?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 30, 2023

     

    For car owners, among the many traffic laws is the requirement to have car insurance and the documentation to prove it. Failure to meet this requirement carries a hefty penalty. Your four-wheeler policy is a legal document that includes your personal information and the amount of coverage. It also contains the terms and conditions under which the insurer will accept the claim following a mishap involving your insured car. But, what if you misplace this crucial document? Do not worry. Today, we will discuss ways to obtain a duplicate copy.

    Steps to download car insurance policy online

    • Visit insurer's website

    Go to your insurer's official website and navigate to the car insurance section.

    • Log in

    Log in using your name, policy number, and contact number.

    • Download

    Here's what you need to do, to download your car insurance documents. You will see a download option on your screen. Soon after clicking on it, you may receive an OTP or a link to your registered email address. You can download the duplicate copy after entering and verifying the OTP. Print a copy of the same, as you may need it in many situations.

    If you want to learn about how to obtain a duplicate copy offline, here is what you should do.

    • Notify your insurer

    Inform your insurer as soon as you realise you cannot find the document. You can do so by visiting the branch in person or calling the toll-free number.

    • File an FIR

    File an FIR at your nearest police station and keep a copy of the complaint for future reference.

  • How Can I claim insurance for car scratches in India?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 30, 2023

    Driving in India comes with countless challenges. Poor road conditions, open manholes, and complete disregard for traffic rules by some motorists are among the leading causes of road accidents in the country. No matter how cautiously you drive, you have no control over several unfortunate incidents including scratches. 

    Dents or scratches are minor incidents, and fixing them does not require big money. But, the question is—if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, does it cover minor damages such as dents and scratches? If yes, then what are the implications of filing such claims? Let's look at it in detail.

    Are car scratches covered in a car insurance policy?

    Car insurance coverage varies depending on the insurer and the policy terms. It is critical to read the fine print of the policy document to understand inclusions and exclusions and avoid any possible claim rejections. Mostly, popular insurers cover scratches. However, if you have only a third-party liability insurance policy for your car, without a standalone own damage cover, the insurer will deny your claim.

    Incidents of scratches or any significant events such as theft, irreparable damage, and loss due to fire are typically covered by comprehensive and standalone own-damage insurance.

    Will a car scratch affect your NCB?

    The NCB, or No Claim Bonus in car insurance, is a percentage reward for not filing a claim during the policy year. It is given as a discount on the premium amount at the time of policy renewal. It starts at 20% for the first claim-free year and can go up to 50% if you complete five consecutive claim-free years.

    A scratch on your four-wheeler requires the least amount of money to repair. It would not cost you more than a few hundred or thousands of rupees. Using your policy for this minor expense would result in the loss of your accumulated NCB discount.

  • How to claim car insurance for own damage policy?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 30, 2023

    Driving a four-wheeler comes with numerous risks, and insurance exists to protect you from them. Indian law mandates third-party liability insurance for all car owners. It means you cannot drive your dream car if it is not covered by third-party insurance. However, this is a bare minimum coverage and does not protect you against damage to your own vehicle. If you want to protect your car, then you must opt for either your own damage or comprehensive car insurance. Today, we will look at our own damage insurance and its claim settlement process in detail.

    What is own damage car insurance?

    Based on the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India's (IRDAI) directive, a standalone own-damage policy was introduced in September 2019. It is a separate cover that protects your vehicle financially against damage caused by fire, accident, theft, or natural disaster. However, the policy is only available if your car has active third-party coverage. Own damage cover allows you to purchase riders to boost the scope of policy coverage.

    Steps to claim car insurance for own damage

    • Notify your insurer

    Inform your insurer immediately about the mishap that caused damage to your car. Doing that within the stipulated time is important. 

    • File an FIR

    You must immediately file an FIR if your car is damaged in a road accident or stolen.

    • Damage assessment

    Following your intimation to the insurer, a surveyor from your insurer's side will visit the incident scene and assess the extent and nature of the damage.

    • Report evaluation

    Your insurer will review the surveyor's report and process your claim accordingly.

    • Settlement

    If you are submitting a cashless claim, the bills will be settled directly with the garage. In the event of a reimbursement claim, the insurer will review the estimated cost, provided by the surveyor, and actual bills and pay the amount into your account within 2-3 working days.

  • Difference between a Vehicle’s Ex-Showroom Price and On-Road Price

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 24, 2023

    Are you planning to buy a new car? While you may have shortlisted the car of your choice and arranged for funds, have you looked up the difference between what has been quoted to you as the price of the car by the dealer, and what you will be actually paying? You must know what ex-showroom price means and what is the on-road price of the car you wish to buy before closing the deal.

    What is the ex-showroom price?

    In simple terms, the ex-showroom price is the price at which dealers buy or procure a vehicle from the manufacturer. This price does not include the cost of vehicle registration, which must be done at the local RTO. Also, the ex-showroom price does not include road tax and insurance costs. Here’s all you need to know to understand what ex-showroom price means:

    • Registration, road tax, and insurance are non-negotiable for driving or riding a motor vehicle in India. Not adhering to these three compliances can attract heavy fines and even imprisonment. The ex-showroom price does not include the cost of these.
    • The ex-showroom price includes the factory cost of the vehicle, Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the profit margin of the vehicle dealer. However, you will have to pay extra for optional accessories.
    • The ex-showroom price of a vehicle is the advertised price.

    What is the on-road price?

    The on-road price is the final amount you pay to receive a ready-for-road vehicle from your dealer. The points mentioned below will help you understand what is the on-road price:

    • The on-road price is inclusive of the ex-showroom price, the cost of vehicle registration, road tax, and the cost of insurance.
    • In case you want additional features and accessories, then the same is included in the on-road price of the vehicle.
    • You can check the difference between the ex-showroom price and the on-road price using online calculators or by reaching out to the dealer.

    Difference between a vehicle’s ex-showroom price and on-road price

    Here are the major difference between the ex-showroom price and the on-road price:

    Ex-showroom Price On-road Price
    This is not the final price of the vehicle This is the final price of the vehicle
    This is the price dealers pay to the manufacturers This is the price you will pay to buy, own and use the vehicle
    This price does not factor in the cost of registration, road tax, and insurance This is the price that you arrive at after including the cost of registration, road tax, and insurance.
    This price is lesser than the on-road price. It is inclusive of the factory cost, GST, and the dealer’s profit margin The final price is higher than the ex-showroom price

    On-road price for new vehicles

    Several factors affect the on-road price of a vehicle. While some of these factors are obligatory, others are optional. It is crucial to know these factors, or else you may find yourself confused between the difference in your estimated purchase price and the actual vehicle price.

    • Charges of vehicle registration

    Whether you buy a bike or a car, it must be registered at the Regional Transport Office (RTO). Usually, the dealer from whom you are buying the vehicle gets this done. Correspondingly, the dealer includes this expense in the final price of the vehicle that is the on-road price. Note, vehicle registration charges differ from state to state. Also, the vehicle registration charges increase if you want a specific registration number.

    • Road tax

    When you use a motor vehicle on Indian roads, you must pay the road tax. While this is a component of the on-road price, it is calculated based on the ex-showroom price. Usually, it is a percentage levied on the ex-showroom price, which ranges between 2% and 3%. The road tax paid once remains valid for 10-15 years.

    • The tax collected at the source

    The dealer levies a tax of 1% of the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. This tax is called tax collected at source.

    • Annual maintenance charges

    Many vehicle dealers offer an annual maintenance package that includes services like cleaning the vehicle, polishing, roadside assistance, and more. If you take up this package, then the on-road price will increase further.

    • Cost of essential accessories

    Some accessories such as floor mats and seat covers are essential. You can buy these essential accessories from your vehicle dealer or you can opt to buy them separately. If you buy them from your vehicle dealer, then the cost of the same will be included in the on-road price.

    • Cost of extra accessories

    There are some accessories that you choose to add to your car or bike to enhance its features and/or efficiency. For example, you may want to buy a trendy helmet for your bike or install a GPS navigation tool in your car. Adding these extra accessories to your purchase list will increase the final that is the on-road price of your vehicle.

    • Extended warranty

    All vehicles come with a fixed warranty provided by the manufacturer. It is available only up to a certain time or distance travelled. However, you can extend this warranty by paying some additional charges. Remember, this additional charge is included in the on-road price of the vehicle.

    • Green cess

    Post the ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi and NCR, the Supreme Court of India issued an obligatory cess called green cess, which is charged on the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. The cess differs from state to state and is decided by the government. It is subject to change as per the government’s policy decision.

    • Handling charges

    Your vehicle dealer must get your vehicle from the manufacturer’s factory outlet or warehouse. The transfer of vehicles from one place to another consists of transportation and handling charges. These charges are added to the on-road price of the vehicle. These costs are included in the profit margin of the dealer. Note, this particular component is not added to the on-road price separately. Rather, this is a component of the ex-showroom price.

    • Insurance

    As per the Motors Vehicle Act, you cannot drive your vehicle on the roads without valid motor insurance. You must have at least third-party car insurance. Usually, dealers have tie-ups with insurance providers and they arrange it for you. Or, you can get your insurance on your own. However, if you get your motor insurance from your dealer, it is only obvious that the cost of it will be added to the on-road price of the vehicle.

  • Convert Your Petrol and Diesel Car into an Electric Vehicle

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 24, 2023

     

    In the wake of rapidly changing environmental conditions, switching to sustainable alternatives is no more an option, but a necessity. Increased adoption of electric vehicles is one way to tackle the issue. However, small a solution it may look, the collective effort can yield significant results.

    A new vehicle buyer can always choose an electric vehicle over a traditional combustion engine vehicle. But, what about those who already have a petrol or diesel vehicle? If you are one of them, then this article is for you. You can still do your part in preserving the environment by choosing to convert petrol cars to electric cars. Here’s all you need to know about diesel or petrol to electric car conversion.

    Types of electric vehicles

    There are primarily three types of electric vehicles (EVs):

    • Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV): These electric vehicles are charged using DC level 3 chargers. These are one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles. A prime example of BEV is Tesla X.
    • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV): These electric vehicles get power from both the plugging-to-power method as well as Regenerative Braking. Prime examples are Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes.
    • Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV): These types of electric vehicles initially start using electric power and then shift to gas as and when speed increases. There are many international fleets of HEVs manufactured by popular brands such as Toyota and Honda.

    Retrofitting a car with an electric kit

    While the need and significance of electric vehicles are well known, it is also true that electric vehicles are not easy on the pocket. However, today, we do have a sustainable alternative. Something which was not feasible a decade ago has become one of the most popular hacks of the vehicle industry—converting traditional fuel cars into electric cars.

    Are you wondering—is this possible? Is it legal? If yes, how do you go about conversion of a petrol car to an electric car in India? Let us deal with these questions one by one.

    • Yes, it is possible to convert your petrol or diesel-run vehicle into an electric vehicle.
    • It is legal as authorities have made due changes in the Central Vehicle Motors Rule, 1989 to allow you to convert diesel cars to electric
    • The rule allows retrofitting traditional combustion engine vehicles with an electric core.
    • Cars with retrofitted electric cores have an electric car conversion kit as well. This is to ensure the smooth functioning of the vehicle.
    • With an electric core, erstwhile petrol or diesel-run vehicles can choose to power their vehicles using electric battery-operated systems.
    • Retrofitting a petrol or diesel-run car with an electric kit will not only help restrict environmental pollution but also phase out or remodel old and unfit cars.
    • As per the norms of the Central Vehicle Motors Rule, retrofitting can be graded into three categories—conversion into an electric vehicle for all types of vehicles, hybrid conversion for those weighing 3.5 tonnes, and for vehicles that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes.
  • How to Know All Claim Settlements on Your Vehicle

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 24, 2023

    The claim settlement process of a vehicle insurance plan can be a daunting affair sometimes. Unlike life, home, or health insurance, where the proof of crisis or damage to the property due to a natural calamity has self-explanatory evidence, the same cannot be said about damage to vehicles.

    For instance, the driver of a car or bike involved in an accident can shift the blame to the other party or refuse to take accountability. Thus, there remains a possibility of confusion. Consequently, negotiating a fair claim settlement amount may turn out to be a critical process.

    Know your policy

    To mitigate such uncertainties and their consequences, it is imperative to know all that you can claim in your settlement application. For that, you must read the policy outline thoroughly and take note of the inclusions and exclusions of your insurance policy.

    Inclusions

    Every vehicle insurance policy comes with certain inclusions. Make sure you are aware of them. Your claim will be taken forward, processed and accepted if and only if, the reason for the claim is covered under the inclusions. Comprehensive vehicle insurance covers third-party liabilities, total loss or damage to the car or bike due to natural calamity, personal accident etc.

    Exclusions

    Exclusions are the conditions or instances that are not included in the insurance policy. If you raise a claim for a cause that is excluded from the policy coverage, your claim will be rejected. Usually, instances such as drunk driving, driving without a licence, an invalid car insurance policy, or loss due to wear and tear are not covered by vehicle insurance.

    Tips for smooth claim settlement

    Given below are some tips to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of factors that affect the claim settlement on your vehicle

    Maintain records

    You should try maintaining the details of all small and large accidents or brush-offs suffered by your vehicle, in chronological order. The record should carry medical bills if there are any, police reports, and other related documents.

    Comprehensive demand letter

    When you make a claim, in your application for the same, break down all the elements that you took into consideration and how you arrived at the amount that you claiming.

    Check the claim settlement ratio

    One of the major indicators of the credibility of insurance companies is their claim settlement ratio (CSR). The higher the claim settlement ratio, the higher chances of your claim getting settled smoothly. Before you buy insurance, check the IRDA Claim Settlement Ratio 2022 list.

    Easy settlement process

    The claim process should be easy. At the time of claim settlement, you do not want to go through a tedious and time-consuming process. You can contact the insurance company directly to know about their claim settlement process.

     

    While purchasing vehicle insurance, do not forget to check the claim settlement ratio of the insurance company. Choose a financially healthy company such as ICICI Lombard. You can check its credibility and track record by checking the ICICI Lombard Claim Settlement Ratio from IRDA’s annual report.

  • What is EP in car insurance?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 23, 2023

     

    Travelling by car and discovering new places is a one-of-a-kind experience. It allows you to capture not just beautiful moments in exotic settings but also creates a wealth of memories. However, if you are stuck in the middle of your trip with a broken car, particularly one with a damaged engine, your excitement may turn to sorrow. Your concerns may be compounded when you learn that even if your vehicle is covered by comprehensive car insurance, you will not receive assistance for engine leakage.

    So, does this imply that insurers do not offer any option to cover engines? The solution is the engine protection (EP) cover. You can avail of the benefits of this add-on cover by paying an additional premium. 

    As the name suggests, the engine protection or EP cover reimburses the bill if the engine sustains damage due to water ingression, lubricant oil leakage, or a hydraulic lock fault. The coverage also includes key engine components. For example, if an engine's pistons, crankshaft, or gearbox are damaged, you can file a claim invoice.

    However, the policy does not provide financial assistance if the engine is damaged as a result of your constant attempts to start your car while it is submerged. Another situation that is not covered is an increase in pressure when the engine is clogged with water.

    The Engine Protection Add-On is not suitable for everyone. For example, if you live in a city with a good drainage system and little rain, investing in this cover may not be worthwhile. However, if you live or drive in a flood-prone area, this add-on is a must-have to extend the life of your vehicle.

    You can buy this rider either at the time of buying a new policy or during the renewal process.

  • How to Claim Insurance for a Car Dent?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 23, 2023

     

    Purchasing a car is not a one-time expense. You will need to set aside some of your earnings to cover its operational and maintenance costs. Even minor car damage can result in significant repair bills. But, if you have a comprehensive motor cover, you won't have to worry about maintenance. Insurance provides financial assistance if repair costs are incurred as a result of an accident, fire, or other tragic events. Also, you will be compensated if you lose your car to theft or total damage. 

    While driving a car, a few incidents are unavoidable; a dent is just one of them. It is critical to understand the claim process to avoid any last-minute hassles.

    How to Claim Insurance for a Car Dent in India?

    Follow these steps to raise a car insurance claim: 

    • Notify your insurer: Notify your insurer as soon as possible following the accident that damaged your vehicle. You can dial the toll-free number to reach the claim support team.
    • File an FIR: If the claim is for theft or an accident, you must file an FIR with the nearest police station.
    • Save the claim number: When you submit your claim request, you will be given a claim acknowledgement number. Save this number for future reference. You will need it to track your claim status.
    • Inspection: Your insurer will dispatch a surveying officer to assess the extent and nature of the loss. The officer will prepare a report based on his/her evaluation and send it to the claim support team.
    • Garage appointment: Following the inspection, you will be given a list of nearby network garages. You can arrange to have your vehicle towed and the repairs completed. You may also visit a non-network garage. In that case, you cannot avail of the cashless claim facility and will have to file a reimbursement claim.

    Following the completion of the preceding steps, the insurer will settle the claim.

  • How to Check Car Insurance?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 19, 2023

     

    According to the Motor Vehicle Act, all cars must have at least third-party liability insurance. If you do not follow this law, you will face consequences.  Hence, you should make sure you renew your policy on time to avoid any issues. If you are not sure of your policy expiry date, check it right away.

    If you remember your policy number, you can check the status with the insurer directly. If you don't remember, you have two options:

    • Through the Insurance Information Bureau (IIB) portal
    • Via Vahan e-services

    You can also check the status offline by visiting the insurer's branch office with your KYC and vehicle documentation.

    How to check the car insurance status on the IIB portal?

    IIB is a government agency that maintains digital records of all the vehicles registered in India. To check your car insurance status on the IIB portal, do the following: 

    • Go to the official website of IIB
    • Go to the quick links displayed on the homepage and choose "V-Seva"
    • After clicking the link, the Accident Vehicle Information Retrieval System webpage will appear on the screen 
    • Next, fill in the information such as the registered mobile number, registration number, and a few other details
    • Always double-check the information, before clicking the "Submit" button.
    • The insurance status will be displayed on your computer screen

    Guidelines to check car insurance status on the IIB portal

    You must exercise caution when checking the status via IIB. A single error could cause you to repeat the entire process. Here are some things you must keep in mind. 

    • Share your car registration number without inputting any special characters or spaces. The correct format is UP-65-TA-XXXX.
    • There is one disadvantage of using this website. It reflects your insurance information two months after you purchase it. For example, if you purchased car insurance for your new car on March 31, 2021, the details will be available on IIB from June 1, 2021, onwards.
    • When checking the status of a new car, you must provide information such as the engine and chassis number.
    • If the IIB portal does not display the insurance or other critical information, you may need to visit the Regional Transport Office (RTO).
    • The IIB allows up to three attempts to check the status online.

    Check through Vahan e-services

    If you are unable to find the insurance status through IIB, try checking it through Vahan e-services by following the steps below:

    • Go to the VAHAN e-service portal
    • Tap on "Know Your Vehicle Details"
    • Share your car registration number and then tap on the "Search Vehicle" option
    • The displayed result will include all relevant information about your vehicle, including the insurance expiration date

    How to check the car insurance status in IL?

    If you have an ICICI Lombard car insurance policy, you can track its status even if you have misplaced the documents. Simply follow the steps mentioned below:

    • Go to the ICICI Lombard website
    • Navigate to the car insurance page and enter your vehicle's registration number, registered mobile phone number, and email address
    • Click the "Submit" button
    • Your insurance information will be displayed on the screen
    You can also download you car insurance policy documents easily with ICICI Lombard.

    If none of the above-mentioned methods works, you will have to visit the RTO.

  • Claim Settlement Process for Road Accident

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 19, 2023

    While financial stress will be present in case of any type of loss, the associated risks and mental stress in case of an accident are even higher, especially if a third party is involved. Besides dealing with own damage and loss, third-party liabilities can wreak havoc on your finances. To make matters worse, a delay in reporting the damage to the insurer can lead to a claim refusal. An insurer with a good claim settlement ratio will extend all sorts of support to you, provided you are honest and do the needful.

    To ensure a smooth and hassle-free accident claim settlement process, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has laid down a set of guidelines for all insurance companies.

    • On the intimation of a road accident, the insurance company must assign an investigating police officer to the case.
    • The investigating officer must inspect the accident site, click photographs of the site and the damaged vehicle, and prepare a site plan.
    • The investigating police officer must send all the collected details to the claim tribunal within 48 hours of the accident.
    • If there is a third-party liability—be it bodily injury/loss or a loss to the property, the third party, that is the victim of the road accident, should be informed of their rights. They should also be provided with a flowchart elaborating on the settlement scheme. These details have to be forwarded to their legal representatives as well. This intimation has to be done within 10 days of the accident.
    • After that, the investigating officer must submit an interim accident report to the claim tribunal and the submission has to be done within 50 days of the accident.
    • Post the submission of the interim accident report, the investigating officer must submit a criminal investigation report to the concerned criminal court within 60 days.
    • The verification of all the documents and information has to be included in the Detailed Accident Report (DAR) and the same must be submitted to the claim tribunal within 90 days of the accident.
    • Once the DAR is submitted to the claim tribunal, the same has to be forwarded to the insurance company as well.
    • The insurance company will verify the details at its end and file a report.

      Depending on the available information and policy coverage, the insurance company will either accept or reject your road accident claim.

    While the road accident claim settlement process looks tedious, it is fairly easy and simple. If you were not drunk driving or driving without a licence or insurance at the time of the accident, the claim will be settled smoothly. Just make sure you choose an insurer with a good car insurance claim settlement ratio or bike insurance claim settlement ratio. To know the claim settlement ratio of your preferred insurer, check the IRDA Claim Settlement Ratio 2022 report.

  • Can I Claim Insurance for Car Scratches in India?

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Jan 18, 2023

    Driving in India comes with countless challenges. Poor road conditions, open manholes, and complete disregard for traffic rules by some motorists are among the leading causes of road accidents in the country. No matter how cautiously you drive, you have no control over several unfortunate incidents including scratches. 

    Dents or scratches are minor incidents and fixing them does not require big money. But, the question is—if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, does it cover minor damages such as dents and scratches? If yes, then what are the implications of filing such claims? Let's look at it in detail.

    Are car scratches covered in a car insurance policy?

    Car insurance coverage varies depending on the insurer and the policy terms. It is critical to read the fine print of the policy document to understand inclusions and exclusions and avoid any possible claim rejections. Mostly, popular insurers cover scratches. However, if you have only a third-party liability insurance policy for your car, without a standalone own damage cover, the insurer will deny your claim.

    Incidents of scratches or any significant events such as theft, irreparable damage, and loss due to fire are typically covered by comprehensive and standalone own-damage insurance.

    Will a car scratch affect your NCB?

    The NCB, or No Claim Bonus, is a percentage reward for not filing a claim during the policy year. It is given as a discount on the premium amount at the time of policy renewal. It starts at 20% for the first claim-free year and can go up to 50% if you complete five consecutive claim-free years.

    A scratch on your four-wheeler requires the least amount of money to repair. It would not cost you more than a few hundred or thousands of rupees. Using your policy for this minor expense would result in the loss of your accumulated NCB discount.

  • How to Check E Challan Status Online

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Dec 26, 2022

    You probably drive as carefully as you can to avoid accidents and refrain from violating traffic rules. But mistakes happen by the best of us. You may drive on high alert but there will always be some mistakes you make and end up getting a challan. A traffic challan can be issued for flouting any traffic rules like jumping a signal, driving over the speed limit, or driving without valid motor insurance. Earlier the process of getting a challan till actually clearing the fine in the system used to be an arduous task. But in order to simplify this process and ensure that traffic rules are followed even in the absence of traffic police, the authorities have employed the e-challan system.

    What is E-challan?

    An E-challan is a challan or fine that is generated through electronic and digital means. The idea behind employing e-challans is to reduce dependency on physical papers. An E-challan is accessible through an authorized digital source. These e-challans, add a great deal of convenience to the different processes surrounding them.

    What is a traffic e-challan?

    In India, if you are pulled over by the traffic police for breaking a traffic rule, you will be given a ticket. This ticket is called a challan. It lists the rule you broke and the fine for it. However, there are a lot of problems that arise from doing things this way. First, maintaining a record of all the challans issued even in a single day becomes a tough challenge. Second, just issuing a challan doesn’t mean the fine will be collected. Moreover, in the case of a physical challan, you have to go to an authorized traffic police station or the RTO office to make a payment. 

    To tackle all of these challenges, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has started executing on the concept of e-challan. At its base concept, an e-challan is just an electronically generated challan. However, the benefits it has for drivers as well traffic authorities are exceptional. E-challans work on an integrated platform to enforce traffic laws through information technology. Traffic personnel can issue challans to noncompliant drivers digitally and charge them fines as per the rules set by Motor Vehicles Act of 2019 with or without even being present at the scene.

    How does traffic e-challan work?

    The main goal of traffic e-challan is to create a more seamless approach of penalizing traffic violations like traffic signal violation, not wearing a helmet, over-speeding, etc. E-challans achieve this goal in two ways:

    • Traffic police can generate an e-challan after pulling a driver over upon catching them on violating a traffic rule.
    • E-challan can be automatically issued if any driver is recorded going above speed limit or breaking red-signal rule, etc. on traffic surveillance cameras or speed guns. The e-challan is issued against the vehicle owner after the cameras register its number plate, make and model.

    Different cities across India have different kinds of automated systems for giving e-challans. Some of them directly capture the vehicle on camera and issue a penalty. On the other hand, some require manual handling. This manual operation is carried out by traffic personnel who issue e-challans through a mobile app connected to the database of the RTO.

    When a driver logs onto the website where these challans are listed, he/she can see the list of offenses and the fine that they need to pay for them. To make things better, you do not even need to visit a police station or an RTO office to pay your fines. You can pay your penalty through debit cards, net banking, etc. on the website itself.

    Traffic e-Challan Process Flow

    CCTV camera captures violation - Traffic Enforcement Officer is notified - Officer confirms the offense - E-challan is issued - Driver receives e-challan on registered email ID/mobile no. - Driver pays the fine - E-challan is cleared

    Steps To Pay Your E Challan Online

    The simplest and most convenient way to pay for traffic e-challans is to do it online. To promote hassle-free processes, traffic authorities have introduced a designated website for traffic compliance that is easy to find and navigate. Moreover, your e-challan will have a unique number so there is no confusion in making your payment. You can use this number to find your e-challan and make the payment quickly.

    When an e-challan is issued, you will get a notification on your registered email or phone number. Once you receive this e-challan, you will have 60 days to pay your fines. However, it is better to make the necessary payment as soon as possible. Failure to do so within the next 60 days means the traffic authorities will take legal action against you. These are the steps that you can follow to make the e-challan payment:

    • Log on to the following link: https://echallan.parivahan.gov.in/index/accused-challan.
    • Provide the necessary details like driving license number, challan number, etc. where the website requires you to.
    • After you have entered the necessary details, you need to click on the ‘get detail’ option.
    • You will see the e-challan status on your screen. Click on the ‘Pay now’ option to start your payment.
    • The next step is to select a payment mode for your e-challan. The options available to you will be debit cards, credit cards, and net banking. Once you have selected an option and made the payment, you will receive a message on your registered mobile number confirming your payment.
    • You also can use digital wallets like PayTm, PhonePe, GPay, etc. to pay your traffic e-challan.

    If you are not familiar with doing things online, there is always the option to pay fines offline. This way of paying fines involves visiting your nearest traffic police station or RTO office and making your payment over the counter.

    Steps to Check Traffic E-Challan Status Online

    Here is how you can check your e-challan status online:

    • Log on to https://echallan.parivahan.gov.in/
    • Go to the ‘Check Challan Status’ section.
    • The new page that opens up next will require you to provide your vehicle number or driving license to check if your vehicle has any traffic violations listed against it.
    • In the case your vehicle is not involved in any traffic violations, the website will show you a dialog box showing the words ‘Challan Not Found’.
    • On the other hand, if you have committed traffic violations, you will see a row showing the list of all of them. It will show you the list of offences and the fine that has to be paid for them.

    What happens if you don’t pay the traffic e-challan?

    Simply put, the e-challan is a compulsory payment and not making it means ignoring stringent traffic laws. Hence, as a penalty for breaking the law, you will have to face legal action from traffic authorities.

    Upon missing your payment deadline, you will be sent a court summon at your registered address. At the court, you will have to explain to a judge why you made the traffic violations and why you have missed your e-challan payment. Based on your explanation, the judge gives a verdict.

    In the rare case that drivers do not show up at court even after a summon, their driving license is suspended.

    How can you avoid the E-challan?

    Here are a few tips that you can use to avoid getting a traffic e-challan:

    • Drive smartly by following lane discipline, following traffic signals, wearing helmets/ seatbelts, following the speed limit.
    • Make sure you have a suitable car insurance
  • How to Link Your Aadhaar Card with Your Driving Licence

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 21, 2022

    The Aadhaar card is one of the most important identity documents for Indians. It is critical for availing of the benefits of various government schemes. As part of attaching all other official identity documents with the Aadhaar card, the Central government has listed guidelines to link your Aadhaar card with your driving licence. It means two-wheeler and four-wheeler owners would now need to share their Aadhaar card details to obtain a new driving licence. Also, you must have your Aadhaar card attached to your driving licence for licence renewal purposes.

    The UIDAI mandates Indian citizens to link their Aadhaar cards with their driving licence to curb the growing menace of duplicate and fake driver’s licences in the country. A report by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways revealed that 30% of driver’s licences in India are fraudulent. They expect the new provision to overcome the problem of forged and counterfeit documents.

    In addition to linking the Aadhaar card with the driving licence, vehicle owners must buy a robust motor insurance policy to safeguard themselves against road mishaps and related losses.

    A detailed guide on how to link your Aadhaar card with your driving licence

    State road transport departments issue driving licences to the residents of their respective states and union territories. To link your Aadhaar card with your driving licence, visit the website of your state transport department or that of the state where the driving licence was issued.

    Remember, the process for linking an Aadhaar card with a driving licence may vary slightly from state to state. However, the need to have a valid bike and/or car insurance plan, depending on the vehicle(s) you own, is uniform across India.

    To link your Aadhaar card with your driving licence, follow these steps:

    1. Visit the relevant licence-issuing state road transport department website.
    2. Search for the “Link Aadhaar” tab on the homepage of the given website and click on it.
    3. It will take you to a new webpage. Find the “Aadhaar Number Entry" tab and click on it.
    4. Select the “Driving Licence” tab from the drop-down menu.
    5. When the system prompts, enter your licence number.
    6. Click on the “Get Details" tab.
    7. Your driving licence details would appear on the screen.
    8. Now, enter your UIDAI-registered mobile number and 12-digit Aadhaar card number in the appropriate boxes.
    9. Double-check entered details. Then, click the “Submit” tab.
    10. The system will generate an OTP and send it to your registered mobile number for verification purposes.
    11. Once the OTP is verified, your Aadhaar card will be linked with your driving licence on the official portal of the state transport department.

    Benefits of linking the Aadhaar card with your driving licence

    Some benefits of linking your Aadhaar card with your driving licence are:

    • It will help in reducing corrupt practices, improve transparency, and make the licence-issuing process easy, smooth, and hassle-free.
    • Government agencies can access the database containing licence details of all vehicle owners in India via the Aadhaar-based unified platform.
    • Authorised agencies can identify fake driving licences from genuine ones through this drive.
    • Transport authorities can sift out forged documents and take disciplinary action against individuals with multiple licences.
    • The consolidated online database bearing details of automobile owners in India will dissuade people from renewing duplicate licences.
    • Individuals can receive their driving licence within 72 hours after passing the driving test thanks to electronic processing.
    • Linking the Aadhaar card with the driving licence will go a long way in reducing the number of road accidents since individuals cannot obtain a licence without clearing the driving test.
    • Both individuals and government bodies can benefit from quicker and hassle-free operations.
  • 6 Airbags Mandatory in Cars from 1st October 2023

    by Almog Ramrajkar | Nov 21, 2022

    Similar to the mandatory third-party motor insurance, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has made 6 airbags mandatory in all cars starting October 2023. In the wake of the rising number of road accidents in India, Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that all M1 category passenger vehicles must have 6 airbags to ensure the safety of the passengers.

    Initially, the road transport ministry was set to make 6 airbags mandatory in all 8-seater passenger vehicles starting 1st October 2022. However, it could not be implemented due to supply chain disruptions in the global automobile manufacturing sector.

    In July 2019, the Government made it mandatory for all cars to have a driver airbag. Later, in January 2022, dual front bags were made compulsory to protect the driver and front seat passenger in the event of an accident.

    The accidental death of Cyrus Mistry, the former Tata Sons Chairman, at Palghar in Maharashtra in September 2022 stirred raging debates over road safety measures in India.

    What is the M1 Category of Vehicles?

    The M1 category of vehicles refers to passenger vehicles equipped with up to 8 seats, including the driver’s seat. The M1 category of vehicles includes MUVs, SUVs, hatchbacks, and sedans.

    The new rule prioritises the safety of all passengers travelling in cars notwithstanding the cost or the variant of the vehicle. Previously, Nitin Gadkari had urged car manufacturers to adopt safety norms for ensuring the safety of passengers, especially those using economy cars.

    He had said that most automobile manufacturers in India export cars equipped with 6 airbags but are hesitant to sell them in India due to their high cost. He highlighted that not much thought is given to the safety of people driving economy cars in India.

    If you are a car owner, think of your financial protection. Purchasing comprehensive car insurance is a step in that direction. It is a good strategy to compare various car insurance online and choose the plan that best suits your needs.

    A Note About the Safety Mechanisms in Cars

    Both airbags and seatbelts are part of the safety mechanism in cars. Seatbelts secure the seat occupants and prevent them from being thrown out by force. On the other side, airbags fitted into cars interfere between the driver and the hard surface on the front during the collision, reducing the possibility of serious injuries. An airbag is an inflated safety device designed to protect passengers during road accidents. However, an airbag alone is not enough. You must be wearing your seatbelt for the airbag to save you.

    An airbag comprises a diagnostic monitoring unit, a steering wheel connector coil, an airbag module, an indicator lamp, and crash sensors. All these airbag constituents are integrated and powered by the car battery.

    When abrupt decelerations are detected, the crash sensors start transmitting electrical signals, activating the initiator. As a result, there is a rapid chemical reaction, which leads to nitrogen emissions and bloating of the airbag immediately.

    Because of this, a plastic module inflates to protect the passenger from hitting anything hard in the front due to the impact. After inflating for one-tenth of a second, the bag deflates in three-tenths of a second after the impact. Airbags contain a mixture of cornstarch and talcum powder and this mix gets released when the bag opens.

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