Waiting for the Tata Nano

Why should you buy the Tata Nano ?

The Tata Nano fits the budget for a small first/additional car. Taxes and insurance will not add much to the overall price of the car.

It is a definite improvement in safety and convenience over a two wheeler


It is the best size for crowded city streets and for peak traffic.

It gives good mileage (supposedly around 20 km/l)

It will be easy to park due to its size.

It will be easy to maintain due to the wide reach of Tata dealerships.

It will have reasonable maintenance costs since the input parts itself are capped within the 1 lakh mark.

The cost of parts for the Nano will come down drastically after around 2-3 years with mass volumes appearing. (I am very curious to know what kind of warranty would be provided by Tata for the Nano. An extended warranty, if provided, would have me signing up for it even on day one. I have the benefit of the extended warranty on our current cars and have seen the benefits. I’ve also seen the amount of money one can burn if you don’t have the extended warranty.)

If there is an option with an auto transmission it may be the best option for a driver not comfortable with driving in the city or novice in driving

Most cars depreciate almost the second you sign the papers paying your advance amount for booking it. In this case the Nano due to its high demand will not depreciate as much as other cars and as soon as the others. As it is most used car dealers are worried about being able to sell used cars at prices between INR 80,000 to 2,00,000 as most people when given that kind of budget may take a serious look at the Nano instead of a used car.

You will be able to buy a new car for around 1.25 -1.5 lakhs and still be able to spend even up to 30,000 rupees in accessorizing the cars. I am waiting to see a pimped out Nano with oversized alloy wheels and low profile tyres blasting out tunes painted in garish colors and with all possible spoilers and extra fittings in chrome added to it!


How to select your first car ?

You have never owned a car in your life and are now at a point where you are considering the purchase of your first car. This is a big step for most people in India an aspiration that probably is a close second to owning a house. Most times people first buy a car and then go on to owning a house.

You need to/want to buy your first car for one of the following top 10 reasons:

  1. You are beginning your work life and there is pressure from family to avoid buying/riding a two wheeler
  2. You were taking public transport but for some health reasons cannot continue using it or the routes have changed
  3. Your Company has cut back on pick-up/drop
  4. Your home/workplace has changed and it is too far for a two wheeler and public transport is not feasible
  5. You are getting married
  6. You are expecting a baby
  7. It  has become affordable for you
  8. You will be Getting/Got a promotion
  9. You are now getting a vehicle purchase/lease/maintenance allowance with tax benefits
  10. You have aged/ailing parents/in-laws who will be staying with you and cannot take them around by other means of transport

You have your reasons for purchasing a vehicle. What should you buy is determined mainly by your finances and by your requirements. If you are not clear on your requirements this post will help you clarify your requirements. This post will not pick the vehicle for you as that is something you will have to do based on your specific situation.

If you have little or no prior car driving experience (days in driving school don’t count) and live in a crowded city and with a limited budget you are better off going in for a good used car to learn your driving in. If you are particular about reliability go for a certified used car. If your budget allows it you should go in for a new car but here again I would suggest a compact hatchback to start. Upgrade whenever you are comfortable with driving and do so in a time frame that you don’t lose money on the sale.

If you have sufficient driving experience and your budget permits you should go in for the vehicle that best matches your requirements.

What  you should consider while making the decision:

·         What is your budget for purchase and what is your annual budget for maintenance & insurance?

·         Do you need to take a loan? If so how much money do you need to keep ready from your side and how much will the loan cover?

·         Do you mind buying a used car or do you prefer a new one? (Check: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/buying-car/17751-article-buying-new-car-vs-used-car.html)

·         Will you drive or have a driver? (If you plan to keep a driver you would be looking for good front passenger side comfort and rear seat comfort and space, rugged build and good mileage while if you would be driving it yourself driving comfort would be of first importance)

·         Do you have any special requirements or needs (very tall or short driver or a physical disability requiring a hand controlled vehicle)? (Some manufacturers build custom hand controlled vehicles with automatic gear shifters that allow people with disabilities to drive a car easily.

·         How many passengers would you need to carry frequently? For example if you may be the primary driver during the week but on weekends you would like to ferry along the entire family of 5/6/7 people on outings. If you have a small number you may be able to do with a hatchback or a entry level compact sedan but if you have a large family you may need to look at SUVs/MUVs.

·         How much and where will you be driving? (If you will be driving a lot then it may make sense to look for a vehicle that runs on diesel or is a petrol car allowing the use of petrol and LPG or CNG or a petrol electric hybrid. If your travel is limited then a petrol would do just as well since the vehicle would be cheaper and wouldn’t warrant the higher initial purchase price)

·         Do you have space to park the vehicle of your choice easily and safely? (you may need to choose a smaller vehicle if your parking spot doesn’t allow a large vehicle)

·         How important is looks, colors, features, safety, performance, ease of driving, space, payload, mileage, maintenance cost, ASS (After Sales Service) to you?

·         Do you have a preferred brand you want to buy? If you like a certain brand you may have a more positive view of vehicles of that brand – it also makes sense to test drive vehicles from their competitors as well for you may be pleasantly surprised.

·         What features are must haves for you and what are nice to have?