Long post. Not suitable for the ones who hate reading long ownership report.
The views expressed here are entirely personal and NOT a general opinion of the entire public. The background :
Coming from a typical Indian middle class family, owning a car has always been a dream. I was like the regular Joe there. Owning a car was never that easy for us. The cost, the fuel, the expenses required to maintain it in proper condition was always beyond our budget. Car was always a luxury. NEVER a necessity for us all these years.
Like any other car freak out there, I too was bitten by the car bug very young. I was a total car freak since childhood. I used to recognize most cars. To add fuel to the fire, I studied mechanical engineering which made me get more attracted to cars/planes and anything and everything which was “mechanical” :P The need :
The need for car started a few years back when commuting in RTC buses were not all that reliable. Add to that, we had to skip so many places to visit simply because RTC buses never had such destinations on their schedule. And also, the dream of buying a car and upgrading our lifestyle was always deep hidden in my heart. To show to the world that one has succeeded, one has arrived, must always be made in grand terms and must be visible to one and all. People automatically start recognizing you for the achievements you made. Some are jealous, some are happy. You cannot satisfy them all! In the end, who cares?! Life moves on. Live for yourself. NEVER for others! The Convincing part :
This is one huge hurdle everyone must face when one makes the decision of buying a car/2 wheeler etc. One must always justify with facts and figures as to why one needs a car. Why and how it will be used for useful purposes. Similarly, in my case too, convincing parents was the biggest hurdle. When I first started pestering them(my parents) to buy a car, I got cold stares, angry stares and what not!! Most of our conversation about car buying abruptly ended with no conclusion in sight.
My dream of buying a car for the family simply got postponed day by day, month by month. After repeated futile attempts, I was finally able to convince my mom ( the finance minister :P ) that we did need a car for errands, weekend shoppings, long drives, visiting friends/family, attending marriages/functions etc. Note that we have 2 two-wheelers at home and we could still manage all that with them. But, come on, at the end of the day, dad, mom and me could not attend so many family occasions together simply because it was a waste taking both 2 wheelers out and wasting fuel. We needed just one vehicle which could take all 3 of us, and also additional passengers, if need be The Budget :
Fixing the budget is another story altogether! I simply did not know how to convince them that the primary budget what we fixed was nowhere close to buy even a decent car. After all the hoopla and drama, we finally fixed the budget at max 5.5lacs OTR. Not a penny more Fuel Type :
Phew! Need I say more about this?! The govt raised petrol prices more than 6 times in the last 8 months. I simply could not digest feeding a car with gallons and gallons of fuel by literally drilling a hole in my pocket! I simply wanted a diesel hatchback car. To hell with all the calculation, break-even time etc. math be doomed! Who cares!!?! The car(s) in question :
Following are the cars considered for our budget 1>Ford Figo :
Man! Ford hit a jack-pot with this total VFM
car with decent features and spot-on pricing! No wonder this car has sold more than a lac units in India since its launch. I somehow was not convinced that this is the car I wanted. The seating was low. Ingress and egress was quite difficult, to bear in mind that my parents are aging. I was doubtful about Ford’s A.S.S and also high spare prices and also their limited number of service stations did not give me confidence in them to invest my money on. Moreover, Ford never offered the Figo with ABS
as an option other than in their top-end Titanium models. I could not stretch my budget for the top-end. Hence, Figo was struck off the list. 2> Ritz :
Looks small from the outside, but is very roomy inside! Was surprised to know how roomy the car was with its small exterior looks. But I could not digest the rear look of the ritz and also maruti never offered any goodies/features with the car. ZERO!! I had to shell out more on music system, central locking etc etc. 3> Vista QJD :
This one fit our budget correctly. Had all the features we wanted. Music system, keyless entry, ABS
(most important safety feature) It can easily swallow 3 ppl at back without glitches. Comfortable for long journeys, the front seats had lumbar supports, fog lamps, rear wash and wipe, read de-mistifier etc etc Add to that, relatively in-expensive spares, lot of service centres available across the country. 4> Swift :
Every tom, dick and harry owns a swift. Too common on b’lore roads.Below average leg room at back. And not to forget the never ending waiting period! Ruled out.
Never considered Fabia, I20, Polo, Liva, Micra etc since they were all way too expensive and beyond our budget. Dealership Experience : Dealer :
K.H.T Motors, Whitefield, Bangalore
The only reason why I chose KHT Motors was due to the fact that the model and variant I wanted was phased out and KHT was the only one who had the last outgoing piece. The dealership is 25km away from my place!! Since I wanted the outgoing model and NOT the new updated sedan class vista,on 9th Aug, I called up every TATA dealer in bangalore to check the availability of the old one because the new one would cost me close to 28k extra on the on-road price compared to the outgoing one. I could not bear additional loan amount which would invariably add more amount to the EMI to be paid. In the end, it was KHT which responded promptly saying that they did have one last piece and it was Cavern Grey in color. I was ok with the color available. I told the sales exec that I’d be visiting their showroom/stockyard to check the vehicle and would then take the correct decision.
The next day I visited their showroom. They had the car in the parking area (basement). I was happy with the car’s condition. I headed to office from there. Spoke to parents in the evening. Convinced parents that this is the time and time had come for us to take the final call. The next day, I headed to KHT again and paid them a booking amount of 10k cheque and booked my car! Yippee!! Since the car was readily available, thankfully, there was no waiting period etc! The only thing what we needed was the bank loan. We applied for the in-house HDFC bank loan for an amount of 2.9lacs @ 11.75% for 5yrs tenure. The loan was sanctioned and the car was delivered to us on 27th Aug 2011.
The final on-road price was 537300/-.
Ex-showroom : 539973
Road tax : 2500/- Annual road tax since I registered the car in my mom’s name who works for a reputed PSU
Insurance : Free
Incidental expenses : 5000
Extended warranty : 5100 = free. I bargained for extended warranty to be given free in lieu of corporate discount since my mom was eligible for corporate discount of 3500. He agreed.
Discounts from TML = 10000 cash discount
Freebies from Dealer : Mud flap, Mars, Sunfilm (Garware), Idol, Perfume.
So, all discounts and offers put together added up close to 35k!!
Before all this happened, I did a complete PDI with the help of my friend.Found the car to be in good condition. Decoded the VIN and verified that the car was June 2011 manufactured. Test drove the car. It was slightly pulling to left. Strictly instructed the sales rep to get the alignment done and the report be handed over to me before delivery. They promptly did the alignment checked and rectified the issue. Delivery experience :
Oh gawd!! It is my first ever car and I experienced the worst that day. I had very well informed the sales rep that we’d be coming over the next day to get the car delivery on 27th at 11am. We arrive at the showroom at 10am and the car was not ready! They get the car washed and park the car in front of showroom and wait for the sun film to be installed. Despite my strict instructions, the sales rep had not got it installed the previous day citing lame excuses. They take full 3hrs just to get the installer at their showroom. Inefficiency at its highest order. And if you thought that the car was delivered to us after the sun-film installation, you are wrong! It took us total 7hours just to get the car delivered. Why? Inefficiency, ZERO co-ordination between each dept, miscommunication, confusion, chaos and what not?! The list goes on. Our woes went unheard. How irresponsible they can be that they had not got the insurance done even on the day of delivery! The excuses they had were that the TATA CRM website was not accepting the old price of the vehicle since the new one’s price were already updated! Unless the invoice was generated, the insurance could not be done. They somehow generated a manual invoice and got the insurance copy at 5pm!! Phew! We were made to wait till eternity. We simply got bored walking around the showroom for 7hours! We were offered coffee a couple of times. Nothing else.The dealer offered us 5 litres of free diesel at the next fuel station. Tanked up for 1000 bucks. Drove the car home straight. Got the customary pooja done the next day at the famous Basavanagudi temple. Took the blessings of god and went home .