I am not a die hard fan of sports cars but my heart beats and my eyes swirl around if a great car goes by.
I am writing this ownership and buying experience of my Honda Civic but I will start from the third car of my family (the first two fiat padmini’s were bought before I knew what a car was ) as it will create the base for my decision.
My father bought a Maruti 800 in 1995, and he is still using it because he loves it. It’s economical, almost free to drive and maintain, so he loves it as it’s not at all heavy on the pocket.
We all loved our Maruti and learnt driving on it only. We have clocked nearly 2.5lakhs on our Maruti and have travelled almost all of north and west India in it from Rohtang pass to Bhopal to Udaipur to Agra and to many other places.
The small wonder played its role perfectly and was never a problem anywhere (though we had lot of breakdowns like fuse problem, punctures, tyre bursts and etc. But they all were taken care of well because of Maruti A.S.S and simple mechanical parts).
After a few years my mom & sister started those tantrums that they would not go in this Maruti to a marriage function or outside Delhi as this car now looked lower class. So the new bigger car had become need of the hour which would be affordable. A
Anyways my dad and me had started hunting for a new car in 2006 and after starting from Cielo to Nexia Delux (which was a superb car I must say) we reached to Esteem as our budget was around 5-6 Lakhs only. Anyhow because of our budget we finally decided to go with the Esteem thinking positively about its Maruti tag and its benefits.
I drove the esteem and found it a good car, but it lacked some punchy engine (which a young blood needed) and a chilled AC.
Soon after few weeks while talking to someone we got to know that in December and January HONDA was selling its Graphite Pearl HONDA City LQ models at a discounted price. We thought HONDA is a renowned brand and if the discount is bringing the price of the new car to around 7lakhs then we could think of. We went to the Capital HONDA showroom and enquired about the price and took a TD.
As perfectly told by everyone that once you drive a HONDA, you will not like any other car and true to the core we thought what a lovely car the city was which had a bigger, responsive & punchier engine with lavish interiors and still managed to give a similar mileage on petrol as Esteem.
The Sales Guy told us that the price would be discounted only by 25-30k not 1lakh.
We were disappointed by the reply and went back home. The very next day we got a call from the Sales Head there that there were two HONDA EXi’s which would cost you around 7 lakhs because of its color which is not liked by many (Cherry red and graphite Perl-blackish bluish). We immediately went to the showroom and had a look at the car. My dad said, “ the car is great and within our budget.”But we liked the Gxi more because of its beige interiors (which was a craze in 2006 as not many cars had those) as, if we are buying a thing then buy the best even if it costs more a little. So we told them that we were ready to buy a Gxi in 7lakhs and after lot of discussions they promised us that they would look for the maximum discount possible in Gxi.
Next day we went to the showroom with all the four members and finalized graphite Perl Honda City Gxi with beige interiors and bought it there and then after a long negotiated cost of Rs. 7.25 Lakhs.
We were on top of the world and I was feeling like a king driving the car back. It was buttery smooth on potholes, not even a small noise inside the cabin and giving a FE of 14 Kmpl in city with AC on. It was mesmerizing and marvelous piece of engineering. My Dad and I had become the biggest fan of HONDA at that time. My mom and sis also had a grinning smile on their face as their wish was fulfilled.
Now after few years when we all started driving Honda city and it got some scratches and dents (very common in delhi)
& my dad refused to give us the keys and told us that this was not the way to drive a car. Just because its mine it does not mean that you kids spoil the car and drove it in a rash manner and leave the maintenance to me. :D
We were without a car now.. No HONDA and no fun!
In 2008 I was placed in Accenture, and I started earning, and I thought to myself that the first thing I am going to buy is a separate car which I will drive everyday as I loved driving a car. BIKE WAS NEVER AN OPTION IN Our HOME DUE TO SAFETY REASON. SO I AM NOT CRAZY OF BIKES.
In 2009 I shifted my job and in 2011 my salary & savings were decent enough to buy a car. I had been starting the talks in my home that now I had grown up and needed a separate car and I could afford one.
My dad had supported my decision and told me to look for a new car which would be economical and drivable in the delhi traffic. The options had started from i10 and then shifted to Swift and then finally ended on Swift Dzire Vxi.
My budget was around 6 Lakhs. Swift dzire was the optimum choice from my dad and he said, “ It’s the best car for you. Will give a decent average, is very economical on maintenance and is a dynamically sound car though the looks are not that great.”
I wanted a super car in that much money as every young boy thinks.
But that was not possible. I being a great fan of HONDA wanted to buy the new Ivtech HONDA City but putting that decision across the table my dad immediately shouted, “Are you mad..bahut paisa hai??? Maintenance kaun karwayega .. tera baap??? Petrol piyegi… blaah blaah .. hamare paas already ek Honda city hai ek aur leke kya karenge.”
Hearing that, I was disappointed and thinking of opting another car. It took 5 months went to decide which would be the right car for me. One day I was driving near a Gurgaon toll and saw a shining red Ferrari which just zoomed by us and stopped at the toll. We also speeded up and tried to catch the car on toll. The car gave the toll money and zoomed ahead..and when we were not able to catch the car my friend told me that a young girl nearly aged 22-25 was driving that car and I was like …mannn I want that car only dire desperation .
It took few minute to come out of my dreams that I was driving a Maruti and earned just 50K per month. My dreams were broken. It was a reverie that had been shattered…
After coming back from the same route It was raining and I saw a bright white CIVIC with a young couple with their small kid sitting comfortably in the car and the kid was standing on the mother’s lap and looking outside at the rain dropping on other cars. It was such a Kodak moment scene that has been still flashing in my memory. I went home and told to my dad, “DAD I WANT A CIVIC (In full confidence as if I can handle a CIVIC and not HONDA CITY )
But Dad said sarcastically, “Hamara beta pagal ho chukka hai.. isse chod do… let him do what he wants to do. Isske paise hai and let him go and waste it!” Hehehehehe
I was adamant that I want CIVIC only. CIVIC –CIVIC-- CIVIC was the only word in my brain and dreams. I dreamt of riding a civic.
After few days my dad came to me and said, “you want to buy a CIVIC but do you know that a CIVIC costs around 15 lakhs and insurance itself will be around 40K-50K which will be very costly for you, son.”
I realized his concern but still managed to count the pros and cons of HONDA and CIVIC.
Listening to me he said, “ok, lets go to the showroom and enquire about your car.”
We went to the dealer and enquired and the cost of CIVIC was 14.40 lakhs (on road) for S and 15.25 lakhs for V.
As usual my dad said, “we will only go for the V model as buy the best because its only once though the V model had leather seat covers and better alloys and side indicators on ORVM’s.”
The SG told us, “The CIVIC is for rich people as it’s a very expensive car and it’s a blend of sports car with luxury. The engine is very responsive, and people call it a jet engine; but the FE is only 9-10kmpl.”
It was a shock but after the driving the car nothing seemed ahead of the car.
The driving experience was beyond words, it responded to every command that I gave. If I said accelerate then it accelerated like a rocket and overtook every car in the road. If I said stop then all four disc brakes with ABS
applied in full force and stopped the car within seconds. Once you hold the steering you get the feel that you are holding something superb and the confidence it gives while driving is phenomenal.
I was totally mad and in love with the car. But the price and insurance costs pulled me back to the real world.
We went home and decided after much thought that I would go for a second hand civic.
We started looking for CIVICs and then the word spread to my relatives as well. My chacha ji owns a a civic (but a S model) which is very well maintained. And he gave us a boost, “ Anshul you don’t worry just buy it, its worth all the money . Its an exceptional car.”
I was in fifth gear and starting searching for my dream car.
We searched for almost 3 months and Test drove almost 15-17 cars in Delhi all ranging from 2007 model to 2010 model (VMT only) but none was upto my expectations.
One fine day I was having fun with my friends I got a call from my dad saying that he had located a civic for me. I jumped in excitement and left everything and went to my dad’s office. He took me to a place wherein the CIVIC was standing in a big bunglow. We went inside and met the owner who had 7 different cars including a Honda CIVIC, BMW 5/7 series, Merc and 1 Range rover. He was obvious rich man.
We spoke to him and saw the sparkling white civic standing there waiting for a glimse of mine..
We took the test ride and found the car in perfect condition. The car had clocked only 25K, was a 2008 model with original tyres and neat and clean bodyline. The driver told us everything about the car and he said, “ if you are driving in delhi then scratches do come as you cannot control the other person and this car is exceptionally maintained. We could see that he was saying the truth and we immediately said to ourselves that the car was worth buying.
We asked the owner for the price and he quoted 7.5 Lakhs. We negotiated and gave him reference of my chacha ji and said to him , “even he (chacha ji) is selling his civic which is not priced more than 6Lakhs in the market. Your civic is exceptionally maintained so we can give you 6.25 not more than that.” He was adamant and not ready to reduce the price.
We went back and waited for his call. After 3 days we called him and offered him 6.5 lakhs which was my final price as I needed to get a new insurance as well which would cost me around 20k and my total price would be around 6.7L to which he refused.
I thought that the car was not meant for me and had started searching for another car.
After 5 days the owner called and ready to reduce the money. We negotiated and the deal was final on 6.6 Lakh. The next day we took the car to Honda showroom and got all its service records and got it scanned on HONDA scanner. There was no defect and we got all the service records from 1000Km to 22000Km. We were dam sure now that we got the best deal. :P
My dad blessed me and said, “beta it’s a great choice that you have made and I am there behind you anytime you need my help. May god help you in your life and may u progress way ahead of me.”
Hearing the praising, I thought I should also start the part time business of sale-purchase of old cars.