First Time Car Buyer's Saga & Initial Ownership Experience


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Before I start writing about my initial impressions of being a proud owner of my new car, my sincere and heartfelt thanks to TAI including all members, moderators and existing owners who have shared their car experiences. I have to say this: TAI has made my first car buying experience an unforgettable one.

Background: I have personally never owned a four wheeler in my life till date. Except for owning 3 2-wheelers, I can say that my experience with cars has been what my dad owned when I was mostly not at home cause of studies. My sum total experience with cars has been around 1000 kms of driving.

So here goes,

Somewhere around April'09, I got serious of buying a car. Reasons being, I was just frustrated with using the public commute here in Mumbai (read buses, local trains, but mostly autos). Moreover, I had never gifted anything to myself since I had started working and what better than to graduate to 4 wheels from 2??
Honestly, the search initially was for a pre-owned car. I felt I should keep my budget well below 1.5 L!!!! (Looking back now, I was being so optimistic man [:)]). There were whole lot of suggestions, advice, criticism and what not from well meaning individuals, sometimes unasked for.

From starting off by thinking of buying a pre-owned car, with all the suggestions that I received, the thought graph slowly rose to a new Chevrolet Spark. Does free advice end there??? No way, some more well-meaning individuals put this thought that since I am already considering a Spark, I should look at an I10 and thus increase my budget a little bit. And so this saga went on till around the end of May'09 (when slowly well-meaning individuals got bored and decided this was moving slower than an ant crawling) when I decided that this was going nowhere with all the muft gyan that I was receiving. Also somewhere there, neither Spark, Alto, I10, Santro could arose that feeling in me of owning a car and feeling real good about it. Mind you, nothing wrong with these cars but according to me, nothing exciting either.

After a whole lot of research on the net and another round of research w.r.t my bank balance & finances I decided that if I buy one, it better be something that I would be proud of owning. So, now the budget shot up the roof, chimney, hilltop, terrace whatever you want to call it.
As luck would have it, I got promoted (sure, they surprised the hell out of me by doing this, with recession being round all corners). There was one more pleasant surprise as well - there was a 6-month arrear that I received which I had forgotten completely about [:)]. I said heck, I should go right ahead and buy a car now, but which one??

(Will keep this going tomorrow, let me know if you are bored!!)
 
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Great to see this thread. Yes you are making us nostalgic. Great start. Will keep refreshing this thread.

Ilango, its Blue Punto man.
 
Thread Starter #8
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Lessons Learnt:

1. Its better to take advice from experts or from folks who are passionate about that stuff you want assistance on. You mostly never go wrong and if does, you know the guys backing you have the know how and the passion to help you out anytime.
2. Most of us have this herd mentality and actually consider something good/bad based on hearsay (my granny has extreme opinions on Indian cricket and Indian players when she's not held a bat in her hand anytime!!, friends suggesting this car and that had no clue about engine capacity even of the rides being suggested!!!).

I had not not gotten a chance to share my requirements anywhere except with a few of my colleagues and friends over casual discussions. One of my sardar friends suggested a used Honda City!!! ('Abe.. status symbol hai boss, ladkiyon ko pasand hai' - same words used by him) and I knew these discussions were going nowhere. But somewhere there, I did not feel like spending a substantial amount of money for the 'ladkiyon ko pasand ha' act.

With my (little) knowledge of cars and reading a lot to understand several tech terms, I finally shortlisted on 3 cars:

Swift
Ritz
Punto

One thing was for sure, if I was spending that much money initially for a premium hatch (budget increasing from 1.5 L to oh man, upwards of 5L), I wanted my fuel bills to be lesser. Moreover, I would be traveling quite a bit here in Mumbai and that meant atleast 1200 Kms a month. So, Diesel it was. Call me biased or whatever, but somehow I did not want to go the LPG / CNG route. I drove my friends Spark with LPG, did not like it one bit.

Mind you, "whole lot of research" meant analyzing prices, watch TV auto shows, figure out discounts etc etc. Honestly, I had not found a decent forum to discuss my thoughts, interests and share them with somebody (and I am honest here!!). It was by accident that I found TAI (while actually searching for "Automobile forums India") and I find it strange that we are having difficulty finding prospective members. I am sure there are whole lot of guys like me looking around to share their (auto) passions and actually not having a platform to do just that. Anyways, that discussion is for some other day.

In August'09, started a thread here at TAI (as suggested by 350Z). The discussion was extremely fruitful (you can read further at: http://www.theautomotiveindia.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84). I had to take a sabbatical from Mumbai due to work pressures and finally around the time of Diwali, I decided that "Punto" is the one that I felt like owning. This when I was still out of Mumbai.

OK.. so Punto it is, now which variant? My initial thought was go for the Active, Diesel. That's what I could afford. No music system!!, says my gf, Will get the ICE done afterwards, post buying a month later, warranty might become void sir says the dealer whom I called, shucks man!! Dynamic it is then. My mind is racing.. no front fog lamps - ok I can live with that and hoping that my gf does not notice that [evil], suddenly comes another problem - no body colored handles says she. Oh well!! the damn feature list pamphlet is screwing my happiness and has gone into the wrong hands (read SHE!!). Sense prevails and I also start feeling that if I could actually look at Dynamic, I can move a little further up and buy either the Emotion or the Emotion Pack variant. Moreover, all this budget calculation is based on pre-diwali pricing, so I am good to go now knowing I am getting a substantial discount.
Anyways, to cut the long story short, final final can only go uptil Emotion variant and that is what it is.
So, on the 24th of October (I was back in Mumbai around the 23rd I think), booked the Punto, Emotion variant, 1.3 MJD. Now, its another story about color selection, one thing to another to another and finally to the Electric Blue.

Lessons Learnt:
1. Boy wants car, boy sees 2 cars, boy likes 1 car, boy buys that same car is not a true story at all. This is Bollywood fantasy. This should more be like (as explained above) - Boy wants car, boy searches for car, boy has to decide amongst 8 new cars, boy has immense pressure from well-wishers for particular car, boy overshoots his budget by a mere 350% to get car, boy has immense pressure again on features of the car and so on and so forth..

2. On a serious note, I overshot my budget thanks to the point that I had the bank balance to support it for various reasons mentioned in the previous posts. Beware: Never ever do this, not good for your health, this is..

My booking, dealer, bank/loan experience in my next post (Sorry guys, have to get work done!!)

Cheers,
Vroom
 
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Thread Starter #11
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Yea I agree!! Thats why said sense prevailed. And you are right, getting these done later wouldn't have been a wise idea!!

OT: RSM, I am going to be in B'lore from the 2nd December. 2nd and 3rd would be all work and meetings for me. But post that we could do a mini-meet, if you are free over that weekend.

Cheers,
Vroom
 

Arun

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Awesome writing vroom. Congrats on your Punto! You forgot the sms-exchange :P. Now I know what you do at work. [lol!]
 
Thread Starter #15
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Awesome writing vroom. Congrats on your Punto! You forgot the sms-exchange :P. Now I know what you do at work. [lol!]
hehehe.. don't get those thoughts [:D]. I worked after I filed the second part of the report here. Oh yea, I thought you were busy with lectures, I mean for once you were concentrating on those [thumbswink].

Cheers,
Vroom
 
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