Buying a Car: Should you go for a New Car or a Used Car?

There are a lot of questions that are involved when deciding on buying a car, the first and the most important one is, should you buy a new car or an old car? There is always confusion and a sense of fear as you are going to do this once every 3 to 5 years.

True, that buying a new car ensures low risk, less hassles and full factory warranty for a few years that will give you peace of mind. But, buying an old car does mean a lot of savings. Because no one tells you about the sinister-sounding financial word: depreciation! A new car loses close to 20% of its value from the moment it is driven out of the showroom. Even if it does not lose that much, driving it for a year will ensure that it loses 20% of its value. Not all cars depreciate at the same rate, some rare brands do hold their value exceptionally well. But, if suddenly no one wants the car from the brand that you bought from, you are staring at a way higher depreciation after that.

Not that we can conclude, that used cars are better. While buying a used car, careful consideration of the necessary check points would ensure that you get a car that is as good as a new one. People used to disapprove of used cars by saying it was a sure shot way to buy someone else’s problem. Not anymore. Over the years, cars have never been more dependable. Cars today can deliver more than 100,000 miles before they need major repairs. Regular maintenance on the car like oil change, brake jobs and tires have been reduced as a result of the quality improvement.

Advantages of buying a New Car include –

Made to Order – Gives you the option to spec your new car just the way you want it, like getting the right combination of interior and exteriors color options.

It’s not Used – New car does zero out the hassle by making sure that the car has never met an accident, has not been mistreated by its previous owner, clean history, no wear or tear and more importantly less smelly.

Warranty – Like the other points mentioned above, the option of having a warranty gives you that peace of mind without paying anything extra.

Latest Gizmos & Tech – Cars today come with the geekier tech packed inside. Navigation, USB, Bluetooth, Touch Controls, steering mounted Controls, Launch Control (that you never use), different drive M\modes,

Financing – More financing options and, the banks offer lower financing options on new cars because they are worth more and have yet not depreciated.

Maintenance – Car manufacturers these days offer free scheduled service maintenance for a certain period or mileage, basically saving the cost on its maintenance in the initial years of ownership.

Advantage of buying a Used Car include –

Savings on price – Because buying a used car can save you close to 30% or more, it allows a buyer to step up to a higher-class model.

Depreciation – New cars depreciate the moment you drive out of the showroom. With a used car, there is not depreciation the moment you drive it off. Also, less mental pressure about the first dent or chipped paint as the previous owner would have taken care of those for you.

Cheaper Insurance Rates – The older the car gets, the lesser you pay on its insurance as a result of the depreciation on its price and age of the car.

Easy Registration – Buying a used car saves you a lot time and cost. A used car would require way less registration processes as most of the processes have been done by the previous owner. Also, the cost of registering a used car goes down every year because of its age and depreciation.

Certified Pre-Owned Cars – Buying a used car from a certified pre-owned car dealer ensures that the car has been thoroughly checked and ensuring factory warranty attached with it.

Buying a used car is always a better value proposition. Because, cars are so robustly built these days that a car used for 2-3 years still looks, drives and feels like a new car. Also, if you are learning to drive, then a used car makes a lot more sense as it would save you immensely on the ding that you would occasionally have on your car before ruining your brand-new car with your not so fancy driving skills.

If you get it thoroughly checked by a mechanic, you have nothing to worry when buying a used car. As a car buying consultant, you can reach out to me anytime via email with any questions when buying a New or Used Car.

Image Credit – www.cardekho.com

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Car Tire Care Tips, Tire Transcription & Tire Maintenance Guide for Every Driver


Tyres are fascinating not because they roll but for the amount of beating they go through every day without bursting. The bloke who made this possible was Robert William Johnson who invented and patented the first pneumatic tyre in 1845. A year before that in 1844, Charles Goodyear found and patented a process known as vulcanization.

In short, vulcanisation is the process of removing Sulphur from the rubber compound to make them waterproof and winter proof and allowing them to retain their elasticity at the same time. Though, tyres invented by Robert William Johnson were too expensive to manufacture back then. John Boyd Dunlop in 1888 was an inventor of the first practical tyre – a pneumatic inflatable tyre. But he had invented it for a use on bicycles back then and not for cars. But he was the one who laid the basic foundation for the development of tyres in future.

From then till now, it is fascinating to see how much tyres have developed over the years and their usage, life – wear and tear and compounds. Tyres today last for thousands of kilometres before they need to be replaced. And in the lifetime, they go through tough working conditions as well.

So, just recently I had tyres on my car changed. I went to the tyre shop and I was baffled at the number of tyre companies I could make a choice from.  Today, one can simply go to a tyre shop and get their car’s tyres replaced without much of an effort. But it is equally interesting to understand why a particular tyre is desirable for your car. Have you ever paid close attention to those various alphabets and numbers written on your tyre? Well, each one of them has a detailed meaning.

I am simply going to be touching upon car tyres and not any other modes of transport. So if you are a truck or a bus driver and reading this, this article should end for you here. But if you are interested in getting to know something useful, then continue reading.

Tyres are of two types – Tube and Tubeless tyres. Tyres with tubes were the first one to be introduced. But it had some obvious disadvantages ranging from maintenance, stability, cost & friction. A tubeless tyre, on the other hand, is a tyre without the tube inside. The tyre can contain air in itself. A layer of chloro-butyl lining (I wasn’t very bright in chemistry, so expect no fancy formula here) between rim and tyre helps in containing the air inside. The elimination of tube also has some obvious benefits. Mainly helping in

  • Reducing friction between tyre and tube, since the tube is eliminated.
  • Improved fuel efficiency and lesser rolling resistance.
  • Fewer vibrations & better comfort.
  • Lower wheel weight reducing un-sprung mass.
  • In case of penetration of a nail or a sharp object, the air loss is not sudden. This increases safety as it reduces the chances of tyre bursts.

Here is an example of a car tyre with different markings on it.

A tyre has following markings –

  • Width
  • Aspect Ratio
  • Construction
  • Rim Diameter
  • Load Index (Load Rating)
  • Speed Symbol (Speed Rating)

Width –

Width is the amount of contact a tyre makes with the road.

Aspect Ratio –

Aspect Ratio is of section height to section width.

Construction –

There are two types of tyres – Radial and Bias. A radial tyre is the most commonly used tyres for road cars these days. The difference between the two is the way they are constructed, having different ways of a layered arrangement on top of each other. There are a lot of advantages of radial tyres. Few to mention are –

  • They have a longer life as a result of lesser tread squirming and shuffling.
  • They reduce rolling resistance which helps in increasing the fuel economy.
  • Lesser edgewise bending leading to better stability and traction, in turn leading to better high-speed performance.
  • Improved vehicle handling.
  • Improved Braking & Cornering

Rim Diameter –

Whilst a rim is mounted on the hub, the tyre is mounted on the rim. It’s also a tyre’s inner diameter. Changing the size of a rim can impact the performance of the car in positive and negative ways.

Load Index (Load Rating) –

Different tyres come with a different load capacity. The value on a tyre indicates how much load a tyre can be subjected to. A chart below shows maximum load of a tyre against various load index values.

Speed Symbol (Speed Rating) –

Speed Symbol (Speed Rating) is the maximum speed for the tyre at full load. It is indicated by an Alphabet after Load Index. The table below shows the different speed ratings and its corresponding speed limits.

With these basics in mind, you can easily figure out what tyre does your car need to be fitted. Always make sure to put the right size of tyres and all from the same manufacturer. If you still need help in understanding the topic better, you can always email me your queries and I shall be more than glad to help you.

Image credit – http://kenyacarbazaar.com/blog/

If you have not read my previous blogs on how to buy a used car then check it here – Part 1, Part 2

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Car Odometer or Od(d)ometer? Part-1

Car OdometerAfter driving through craters and finding my way through the traffic filled with Olas and Ubers that zig zag the roads of Mumbai, I reached the place for dinner with a friend of mine. Coming from an automotive background I’m often asked for suggestions and opinions on cars. This was just another day, though more interesting as it turned out. My friend asked for some suggestions as he wished to buy a second hand car. Since, this would be his first car, I said “Go for a Maruti Swift;” Generally, this does the trick as it is well-known, affordable and durable.
However, he wanted better, a car that fits his specific needs. So he replied, “Come on. You can do better. Suggest me something that fits my style.” Now I cannot really make suggestions unless I know what they need it for and their budget. Also it matters if they have prejudice to Japanese, Indian (JLR isn’t Indian, it’s just being taken over), American, Korean, European or British.
“Is your wife prone to car sickness?” I asked him and before he could answer, “How many people are going to be using the car? Do you prefer extra airbags for safety? Are the people using it overweight?” Because these are the things that matter when it comes to choosing a car. If you are prone to car sickness, opt for non-fabric seats. If driving on the highway is routine for you, then you would need those bursting pillows hidden inside your steering and the dash, so that you can thank the modern invention like an airbag for saving your life in case of accidents. I went through a full range of necessary questions and based on his answers told him that the best car for him would be a Honda Civic.
He was convinced about it and we had our dinner assuming that this topic was over for me after that. Two days later, I get a call from him saying “Would you be free to check a Civic that I have shortlisted?” I decided to help him out.
The next morning, I went with him to the dealer’s place who seemed like a guy who never really wanted to run an automobile business but instead wanted to become an accountant. He took us to the parking lot where the car was. We looked around for the car wondering where it was, the dealer said “It’s in front of you.” Now, my friend had already seen the pictures of the car before paying a visit to the dealer, so it was obvious that he would recognize the car. But, even he could not.
There is an interesting story that unfolds about the car odometer after we get in terms with the condition of the car. The part two of the blog deals with how we unearth some truths about the actual condition of the car and what how the car odometer was rigged.

Please keep following my page to get more suggestions, tips and advise on anything related to cars.

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