Buying the Right Car

  • Jun 27, 2014
  • Views : 6858
  • 3 min read

If you are looking for good economy, buying the right car is the most important decision you can take

BMW i8

A fuel efficient car as the title suggests, is one that doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet at the pumps. In India, unlike Europe and the United States of America, the automotive industry’s focus has primarily been of affordability and fuel economy. So chances are, you won’t go wrong with your purchase if you are choosing a car manufactured in India. But there are still many choices. Here’s when to choose what and why… 

Electrics and Hybrids

Electrics save you a lot of money. You are just adding to your house electricity bill but the options are too limited and range anxiety is an issue electric cars still haven’t tackled convincingly. Hybrids on sale in India are way too expensive and so will not impact most of the country with their benefits. A small electric motor compliments the petrol engine to improve your fuel economy. It can be quite impressive if you drive with a light foot. A hybrid is the most efficient type of motor vehicle if you want to use it extensively. In India, it still doesn’t make a good case for itself due to a high sticker price. 


The third option is a CNG/LPG tank fitted to your vehicle. Many manufacturers factory fit them and there are options to get an aftermarket product as well. CNG and LPG are cheaper than Petrol and Diesel so you will be saving up at the pumps. But the tanks take up too much boot space and a poor network makes it tough to use if you plan outstation trips or stay outside major cities. 


Petrol cars are the least fuel efficient. But in the past decade, manufacturers have strived hard to develop refined engines that return good fuel economy. Petrol cars enjoy a price advantage over diesel cars. To find out if buying a petrol over a diesel makes more sense, you need to calculate the difference between a petrol car and its equivalent diesel. If your average mileage over a period of three years (three years is the average ownership period wherein one would like to breakeven) is not as much as the extra money spent on a diesel, it makes more sense to buy a petrol car.


Diesel cars are more efficient than petrols. They also cost more than petrol cars so if you do a lot of long distance trips or have a high average mileage, then opt for a diesel. It is also cheaper to fill at the pumps but this gap is reducing consistently. Diesel cars are also heavier and therefore one must be aware that general expenditure on a diesel car (barring the cost of fuel), is more in a diesel car.

ARAI Certified Mileage

Once you have decided on the fuel type for your car purchase, research the ARAI certified mileage of the cars under consideration. Every car manufactured in India gets an Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) certified fuel economy figure. This figure is attained under ideal conditions and will be much higher than the real time economy of the car. But you need not be thrown away by it. Treat this as a figure for relative comparison among the cars you are considering and you will get an idea of which car is more fuel efficient. 

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