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Buying a car? How to drive away with the best offer
The prices of essential items may be rising, but at least some things are getting cheaper. Car manufacturers and dealers are showering huge discounts to attract buyers. From cash rebates of up to Rs 60,000 to gold coins, the outpouring of gifts makes you believe that this festive season is truly fortuitous.
Manufacturers are hoping it will prove auspicious for them too, given the drop in sales in recent months. Car sales, which had slowed down after the budget, fell 18.1% in August, the first time in 10 months. In another first, there are discounts on diesel cars too.
The best part? The large inventory means there won't be any waiting period for your dream car. However, not every deal or discount offer is a golden opportunity. If you look carefully beneath the polished exterior and shiny hoods, you'll find that some of these are tarnished. In the following pages we tell you what to keep in mind when you go shopping for a car.
Which car should you buy?
If you stand in front of an auto showroom, you're back to feeling like a kid at the candy store. The various models, the gamut of options and trims, the wide colour spectrum—each car seems more tempting than the other. However, you need to choose carefully since you will, hopefully, keep the car for at least five years, if not more.
Here are five questions you should ask yourself before you buy your preferred car.
What's your budget? All of us have a price range in mind when we go car shopping, but what you also need to remember is that the car is going to cost a lot more than the ex-showroom price stated in the brochure. There are sundry charges that you will need to pay. These may not seem too high individually, but add them up and they amount to 10-20% of the cost of the car, depending on the model.
These include mandatory charges, such as registration fee and road tax, or vague and arbitrary charges like logistics and handling fee. Keep a margin since you may have to pay for a charge that you may not be aware of. For instance, if you register a car in Delhi, you have to pay an MCD parking charge of Rs 2,000 for cars worth less than Rs 4 lakh and Rs 4,000 for those priced higher.
Keeping track of these extra charges is imperative if you aim to fund your purchase through a car loan since you may need to borrow more than you planned for. Commit to an EMI you can afford. Your total debt repayment should not exceed 30% of your monthly take-home pay. This includes repayment of any other loans as well as credit card payments. So, if your take-home salary is Rs 50,000, your combined EMIs should not be more than Rs 15,000.