After being undecided for nearly one and a half year, I finally decided that it is time for me to buy a car. One thing I was sure about is that the only car I want is Maruti Zen VX. And another thing I was sure about was that I would be buying a used car in fairly good condition. Used car because of several reasons:
I want a small car for a short period, say around 2 years or so by when it will be time to upgrade. A new car better be kept for a long time to get complete returns from it.
If I buy a new car, there is a bigger danger of falling in love with it and hence may not want to part with it for an upgrade.
Will have to take good care of a new car. Tough job! And I don't want to loose several days of sleep brooding on a small dent that happened due to no fault of mine.
And there I started my hunt for the used car. The first choice to look around was of-course with people I know. But it is not easy to find some one whom you may know who would want to sell the car that you are looking for at the time you want to buy, and would meet all your requirements. Besides, my specifications of the car I am looking for are so stringent that a very narrow band of cars actually pass thru the screen test. And then, just to broaden my chances, and to get a hang of the market, I decided to go ahead and talk to the dreaded middle men. First thing that shocked me was the prices. Most of these people talk as if they got the car only yesterday from showroom and they are doing me a favour by selling it to me. And the condition of a car that has been passed into a middle man's hand are always suspicious(like I found out with one of them).
Couple of days of tiring lookouts all over the city and hearing exhorbitant numbers that can psyche astronomers, I began wondering if a new car is a better bet. But then, if I go for a new car, how will I upgrade to a 'Acccent Viva' or an 'Opel Swing' or if I hit a jackpot, a 'Tata Safarai' 2 years down the line? I know new cars depreciate real faster than old cars. And by selling this new car, I would probably not get enough money even to make down payment for my upgrade. So buying a new one is out of question. The next thing to to think about is making a compromise with price and quality and simply buying from best of the available deals. Nope, I am not sure that is right thing to do. I might as well wait a bit and see what's going to happen. The other option is to go for an Accent or a Ford Ikon right away so that there is no immediate upgrade required. But somehow I am scared to go for a big car as my first car. I would rather feel comfy about owning a car first and then plan a little big. So that brings me back to square one again.
Right now, I am digging classifieds so that I can talk to owners directly and find a decent deal, and trying to be patient. Do you know any one in Bangalore who is selling? :-)