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:
You are beginning your work life and there is pressure from family to avoid buying/riding a two wheeler
You were taking public transport but for some health reasons cannot continue using it or the routes have changed
Your Company has cut back on pick-up/drop
Your home/workplace has changed and it is too far for a two wheeler and public transport is not feasible
You are getting married
You are expecting a baby
It has become affordable for you
You will be Getting/Got a promotion
You are now getting a vehicle purchase/lease/maintenance allowance with tax benefits
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?