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Insurance Article

Car Buying Guide This Festive Season

June 20 2013

It is considered auspicious to buy goods in this period. And consumers make most of such lucrative offers by purchasing household items, electronic appliances, and even cars. In case you are wondering how to go about choosing the best car for yourself, here are some guidelines that will help you decide:

  • Brand New or Second Hand?

  • Everybody wishes to have a swanky new car. Apart from fantastic aesthetics, a new car offers better performance and low-cost maintenance as compared to a used one. However, this temptation has a large cost margin that can burn a hole in your pocket. If money is not a constraint, going for a new car seems wise. Second-hand cars, on the other hand are easy on your wallet though they need more maintenance. It is pertinent to note that the value of a second-hand car decreases at a slower rate as compared to a new car. Novice drivers often opt for used cars to hone their driving skills before buying a new model. In the last decade, the second-hand car market has undergone a sea change with the entry of big players like Mahindra First Choice, Maruti True Value and others.

  • Budget and Planning
  • Step one is to clearly fix your budget. Step two is to shortlist the type of cars after calculating the approximate expense for down payment (include taxes), for EMI (in case you wish to take a car loan), and for future monthly expenses (depending on the usage of the car, fuel charges, insurance premium, and expected maintenance charges).

  • Take a Quick Test
  • To further narrow down your search, answer these questions: Depending on the answers select models that suit your requirement. Moreover, look for parameters that matter the most to you (for example child safety lock if you have kids or defoggers if your city has excessive rains).

    Few Yardsticks for Comparing Similar Car Models

    • Length (mm)
    • Fuel Type
    • Seating Capacity
    • Mileage (kmpl)
    • Max Power
    • Anti-Lock Braking System
    • Airbags
    • Max Power
    • Anti-Lock Braking System
    • Airbags
  • Fuel Factor

  • Cost of fuel depends on the extent of usage and mileage of your car. How much monthly fuel expenditure do you wish to bear? Depending on your budget, opt for petrol, diesel or CNG car. While CNG cars are known to be more cost effective, you need to thoroughly research the manufacturer’s claimed vis-a-vis the real mileage for petrol and diesel cars. Apart from these, a new breed of cars known as electric and hybrid cars have been gaining ground in India due to their fuel economy. These are slated to be the future of cars worldwide.

  • Features of the Car

  • Cars flaunt gadgets such as monitors, DVD players, parking camera assist, refrigerators and a lot more. Make a smart choice and save money by opting only for the features that you wish to use regularly. A few utilitarian features that make a difference in the quality of ride are leg space, central locking system, boot space, engine power, and automatic or manual steering option. Future-oriented Approach Should you think of selling before purchasing? Definitely, as cars with a higher resale value make a better deal. While selecting the car, discuss your short or long term plan with your car dealer and ask him for the estimated resale figure.

  • Test Drive

  • Highways, city roads, bumpy roads... check them all. Test drive your car to gauge its efficiency and your comfort. Also remember to choose a convenient location for your car dealership and service centre to enjoy hassle-free and timely after-sales service.

  • Insurance

A car-guide is incomplete without reference to insurance. Though Third Party Liability is compulsory as per Indian Motor Vehicle Act, opting for a more comprehensive insurance plan (to safeguard against financial loss on breakdowns or accidents) is always recommended by financial experts.

So make an informed choice and drive home your dream car. Hurry!

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